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Adhering to Clinical Guidelines Decreases Blood Clots in the Elderly

709 patients. Following the intervention, clots were found in only 52 (7.8 percent) of 664 patients. The post-intervention participants were more likely to use compression stockings and less likely to take medications that were not recommended by the guidelines, especially if they were patients for whom drug therapy was not recommended under the guidelines.

“Changes in the prophylaxis means measured can only partly explain the decrease in the rate of DVT observed in our study. The most important change in prophylaxis consisted of an increased use of graduated compression stockings, while the change in pharmacologic prophylaxis use was modest and not statistically significant,” the authors write.

“These observations together suggest that our multifaceted intervention not only altered the use of measured prophylaxis means but also improved physician and nurse awareness of patients at risk for venous thromboembolism and eventually increased the use of additional prophylactic measures including early ambulation and physical therapy, which were addressed by our intervention but not investigated in our study,” they continue. Additional efforts should be undertaken to ensure that physicians and nurses comply with evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of DVT, they conclude.

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