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UC Davis research advances efforts to prevent dangerous blood clots
Date:3/20/2013

however, both patients would be treated as having equal risk. Use of the nomogram to calculate risk could allow clinicians to more precisely respond to each patient's individual risk factors.

Charles LaFlamme, of Sacramento, is a good example of a patient whose care could have benefited from a better understanding of blood-clot risks. After having a very large liposarcoma removed from his abdomen, he was sent to the intensive care unit, where he experienced a persistent elevated heart beat but no other symptoms. Approximately a week later, he experienced shortness of breath while walking in his hospital room. A CT scan identified a pulmonary embolism. Aggressive treatment was prescribed for his remaining hospital stay and, after discharge he was placed on Coumadin for six months. The treatment was successful and LaFlamme fully recovered.

"The medical staff handled the situation well, but I would have preferred to have avoided it altogether," said LaFlamme.

The UC Davis research produced a couple of surprises. Though high BMI generally increased risk, the risk did not carry over to bariatric procedures, perhaps because more aggressive measures are often taken to prevent blood clots in bariatric cases. That splenectomies put patients at higher risk for clots was also a surprise, as the researchers expected the procedure would instead expose them to a higher risk of bleeding.

Canter notes that while hospitals around the nation have been focused for several years on reducing VTE and VTEDC, these measures have not reduced their frequency.

"Despite all the attention to eliminating this as a post-operative complication, the numbers have remained static," said Canter. "This shows us that the approach needs to be more individualized."

While these results need to be validated, Canter believes the data will help clinicians take a more evidence-based approach to administering heparin and reducing the incidence o
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Contact: Dorsey Griffith
dorsey.griffith@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9118
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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