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Protocol helped identify hospitalized children at risk for VTE



In 2012, Children’s Hospital Colorado implemented a VTE risk assessment tool as part of a hospital-wide patient safety initiative. The assessment is triggered via an Epic Best Practice Advisory to complete in certain higher-risk patients, including ICU patients, hematology/oncology floor patients, any patients with a central line catheter, and those who are over age 12 and obese.

Clinicians also assess for risk factors such as significant infection, recent surgery, and personal or family history of thrombophilia. Next, they classify each patient’s risk of hospital-acquired VTE as high, moderate, or low risk.

In a pilot study, Dr. Southard and her associates set out to validate the accuracy of the institution’s VTE risk assessment tool since it was implemented in 2012. She presented findings from 215 hospital-acquired VTE cases in patients younger than age 18, compared with age-matched inpatient controls. Data from patients under 6 months of age is available after October 2016, coinciding with a change in definition of pediatric hospital-acquired VTE.

Most hospital-acquired VTE patients (77.2%) ranged in age from 1-17 years. The number of patients admitted for a trauma diagnosis was similar between VTE cases and controls (7.4% vs. 7.9%, respectively). However, compared with controls, a significantly greater number of VTE cases were immobile (41.8% vs. 10.3%, respectively), required ICU admission (86.4% vs. 26.5%), had a central venous catheter (80.4% vs. 10.9%), had a positive blood culture (16.7% vs. 1.9%), required surgery or a medical procedure (57.7% vs. 36.7%), and had a longer procedure time (a mean of 151 vs. 133 minutes).

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