A one year audit of patients with venous thromboembolism presenting to a tertiary hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Introduction: Given the growing burden of venous thromboembolism (VTE) worldwide and the paucity of data from the developing world, the aim of this study was to audit the characteristics, risk factors and length of hospital stay of patients with VTE presenting to a tertiary hospital emergency centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Methods: The study was a retrospective record review of all patients who presented with VTE to a tertiary academic emergency centre in Johannesburg, South Africa from 1 April 2012 to 30 March 2013. Results: Venous thromboembolism was identified in 74 patients; 56 (75.7%) with isolated deep vein thrombosis, 13 (17.6%) with pulmonary embolism and five (6.8%) who had a concurrent deep vein thrombosis with pulmonary embolism. The median age of the patients was 40 years old (range 19–90). The female to male ratio was 2:1. HIV infection, tuberculosis and history of immobilisation were the most common risk factors. The median duration of hospital stay was 14 days (range 4–36). A therapeutic International Normalised Ratio at discharge was only reached in 36.5% of patients. Conclusion: Venous thromboembolism presentation to the emergency centre is not common, but the risks associated with the morbidity and mortality related to it makes it important despite its relative scarcity. The prevalence of HIV infection amongst patients with VTE is concerning – not only related to the frequency of the pathology but also due to HIV not being factored into the common VTE risk stratification scores.