Utilization of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in American hospitalized pregnant women undergoing cesarean section
Background Pregnancy-related venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a leading preventable cause of maternal mortality in the United States; however, American guidelines for pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis remain less aggressive than other developed countries. The Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) combines aspects of American and international guidelines to increase utilization of prophylaxis and thereby decrease incidence of pregnancy-related VTE. Objectives To evaluate the prescribing and administration rates of pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis for women undergoing cesarean section (c-section) when retrospectively applying the SMI recommendations. Setting Large academic medical center in Sacramento, California, USA. Method This was a single-center retrospective cohort study of pregnant women undergoing c-section who would have met criteria for pharmacologic prophylaxis according to the SMI. Main outcome measures Prescribing and administration rates of mechanical and pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis. Secondary outcomes included incidence of thromboembolism within 6 weeks after c-section and thromboembolic associated mortality. Results A total of 616 charts were analyzed. When applying the SMI guidelines for VTE prophylaxis, the prescribing rates for mechanical and pharmacologic prophylaxis were 94.3% and 4.71% of patients, respectively, and 94.9% of ordered pharmacologic prophylaxis doses were administered. The incidence of 6-week post-partum VTE was 0.49%. There were no cases of VTE-associated mortality. Conclusion This study demonstrated that a large population of c-section patients fit the SMI criteria for pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis but did not receive it. We observed a 0.49% rate of VTE, which was slightly higher than the nationally reported average rate of 0.3%. With growing rates of pregnancy-associated VTE in the United States, perhaps a more aggressive guideline is warranted.
KeywordsCesarean section Maternal morbidity Obstetric thromboembolism Venous thromboembolism Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis United States
The authors would like to thank Jana Avila of UC Davis Health for her data abstraction assistance.
No funding was received.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 3.Chang J, Elam-Evans LD, Berg CJ, Herndon J, Flowers L, Seed KA, et al. Pregnancy-related mortality surveillance–United States, 1991–1999. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2003;52(2):1–8.Google Scholar
- 7.Bates SM, Greer IA, Middeldorp S, Veenstra DL, Prabulos AM, Vandvik PO. VTE, thrombophilia, antithrombotic therapy, and pregnancy: antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2012;141(2 Suppl):e691S–736S.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 13.Cantwell R, Clutton-Brock T, Cooper G, Dawson A, Drife J, Garrod D, et al. Saving mothers’ lives: reviewing maternal deaths to make motherhood safer: 2006–2008. The eighth report of the confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in the United Kingdom. BJOG. 2011;118(Suppl 1):1–203.Google Scholar
- 14.RCOG. Reducing the risk of venous thromboembolism during pregnancy and the puerperium. Green-top Guideline. 2015;No. 37a. London: RCOG.Google Scholar
- 15.Horlocker TT, Wedel DJ, Rowlingson JC, Enneking FK, Kopp SL, Benzon HT, et al. Regional anesthesia in the patient receiving antithrombotic or thrombolytic therapy: American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine evidence-based guidelines (third edition). Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2010;35(1):64–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 18.Hameed AB, Friedman AM, Peterson N, Morton CH, Montgomery DM. Improving health care response to maternal venous thromboembolism. (California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative Toolkit to Transform Maternity Care) Developed under contract #11-10006 with the California Department of Public Health; Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division; Published by the California Maternal Qualit yCare Collaborative. 2018.Google Scholar