J Surg Res 2016 09 24;205(1):221-7. Epub 2016 Jun 24.
Department of Surgery, Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah, Georgia.
Background: Venous thromboembolisms (VTEs) occur more frequently in patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries, yet the use of chemoprophylaxis is controversial. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the timing of chemical VTE prophylaxis initiation and the development of VTE events in these patients.
Methods: Prospective data were collected and retrospectively reviewed on 1425 patients sustaining TBIs or spinal injuries from 2010 to 2014. Patients were reviewed with respect to age, gender, injury severity score, Glasgow coma score, and mechanism of injury as well as timing of initiation of chemical VTE prophylaxis and presence or absence of VTE.
Results: Patients who developed a VTE had a significantly longer time to initiation of chemical VTE prophylaxis (6.7 ± 4.9 d versus 4.7 ± 4.9 d, P < 0.001) compared with those that did not develop a VTE. Also, for each 1 d increase in time to prophylaxis initiation, the odds of developing a VTE increased significantly (odds ratio = 1.055, P < 0.001). The combination subarachnoid hemorrhage/subdural hemorrhage group was started on VTE prophylaxis significantly later (8.3 ± 6.1 d versus 6.7 ± 3.9 d, P < 0.01) than the overall TBI group and had a higher incidence of VTE (14.4 versus 10.4%, P = NS). In contrast, patients sustaining isolated spinal injuries received chemical VTE prophylaxis significantly earlier (3.4 ± 4.2 d versus 6.7 ± 3.9 d, P < 0.001) and had a significant decrease in their VTE rate (4.4 versus 10.4%, P < 0.0001) compared with the overall TBI group.
Conclusions: Patients with VTEs had a significant delay in time to initiation of chemoprophylaxis compared with patients without VTEs. Patients sustaining a TBI had a 2-fold delay in initiation of chemoprophylaxis and an associated 2-fold increase in VTE events compared with patients who sustained spinal injuries. Of those patients who developed a TBI, patients who sustained a combination subarachnoid hemorrhage and/or subdural hemorrhage had a significant delay in initiation of chemoprophylaxis with a higher rate of VTE events.