Outcomes of Protocol-Driven Venous Thromboembolic Chemo-Prophylaxis in Trauma Patients: A Trauma Quality Improvement Project Analysis

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Surgery, Trauma & Acute Care Surgery

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The American surgeon


INTRODUCTION: Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is the standard for venous thromboembolic (VTE) chemo-prophylaxis in trauma patients; however, inconsistencies in the use of LMWH exist. The objective of this study was to assess VTE outcomes in response to a chemo-prophylaxis protocol guided by patient physiology (eg, creatinine clearance) and comorbidities. METHODS: ACS TQIP Benchmark Reports at a level 1 trauma center using a patient physiology and comorbidity directed VTE chemo-prophylaxis protocol were analyzed for Spring 2019 to Fall 2021. Patient demographics, VTE rates and pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis type were collected for "All Patients" and "Elderly" (TQIP: age ≥ 55 years) cohorts. RESULTS: Data was analyzed for 1919183 "All Hospitals" (AH) and 5843 patients single institution (SI) using the physiologic and comorbidity guided VTE chemo-prophylaxis protocol. Elderly subgroup had 701965 (AH) and 2939 (SI) patients. Use of non-LMWH chemo-prophylaxis was significantly higher at SI: All patients = 62.6% SI vs 22.1% ( < .01); Elderly = 68.8% SI vs 28.1% AH ( < .01). VTE, DVT, and PE rates for All Patients and Elderly subgroup were significantly reduced at SI, except Elderly PE which was statistically equivalent. CONCLUSIONS: Protocol-driven VTE chemo-prophylaxis was associated with significantly lower LMWH use accompanied by significant reductions in All VTE, DVT, PE, and Elderly VTE and DVT with no difference in Elderly PE rates. These results may imply that adherence to a physiologic and comorbidity directed chemo-prophylaxis protocol, rather than LMWH, reduces VTE events in trauma patients. Further investigation to elucidate best practice is warranted.

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