The objective of this study was to determine the clinical profile of and diagnostic and therapeutic approach to patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Spanish Emergency Departments (EDs). Risk factors, adherence to clinical practice guidelines, and outcomes were also evaluated.
Patients with VTE diagnosed in 53 Spanish EDs were prospectively and consecutively included. Demographic data, comorbidities, risk factors for VTE, index event characteristics, hemorrhagic risk, and mortality were evaluated. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines was assessed based on clinical probability scales, requests for determination of D-dimer, use of anticoagulant treatment before confirmation of diagnosis, and assessment of bleeding and prognostic risk. Recurrence, bleeding, and death during admission and at 30, 90, and 180 days after diagnosis in the EDs were recorded.
From 549,840 ED visits made over a mean period of 40 days, 905 patients were diagnosed with VTE (incidence 1.6 diagnoses per 1000 visits). The final analysis included 801 patients, of whom 49.8% had pulmonary embolism. The most frequent risk factors for VTE were age (≥70 years), obesity, and new immobility. Clinical probability, prognosis, and bleeding risk scales were recorded in only 7.6%, 7.5%, and 1% of cases, respectively. D-dimer was determined in 87.2% of patients with a high clinical probability of VTE, and treatment was initiated before confirmation in only 35.9% of these patients. In patients with pulmonary embolism, 31.3% had a low risk of VTE. Overall, 98.7% of patients with pulmonary embolism and 50.2% of patients with deep venous thrombosis were admitted. During follow-up, total bleeding was more frequent than recurrences: the rates of any bleeding event were 4.4%, 3.9%, 5.3%, and 3.5% at admission and at 30 and 90, and 180 days, respectively; the rates of VTE recurrence were 2.3%, 1.3%, 1.7%, and 0.6%, respectively. Mortality rates were 3.4%, 3.1%, 4.1%, and 2.6% during hospitalization and at 30, 90, and 180 days, respectively.
VTE had a substantial impact on Spanish EDs. The clinical presentation and risk profile for the development of VTE in patients diagnosed in the EDs was similar to that recorded in previous studies. During follow-up, bleeding (overall) was more frequent than recurrences. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines could improve significantly.