DVT/PE Risk Versus THA/TKA Patient Awareness
DVT is widely recognized as a major risk factor facing patients who undergo THA/TKA. Without prophylaxis, up to 80% of orthopedic surgical patients would develop DVT, and up to 20% would develop PE. DVT and subsequent PE remain the most common cause for emergency re-admission and death following joint replacement.
While 97% of surgeons surveyed said they provided DVT risk information to patients, and 80 percent of the 250 THA/TKA patients surveyed said they received information from their doctors, the survey suggests that this information was not retained. Despite being at increased risk for DVT/PE, the results of this survey demonstrate that DVT/PE awareness among THA/TKA patients is low: Just 29% of patients surveyed say they are aware of a condition called DVT, when that term is used, and just 19% are aware of a condition called PE, when that term is used. Conversely, however, most THA/TKA patients (77%) say they know what a blood clot is, and virtually all of them (97%) recognize that blood clots can be life threatening.
Patient Perceived Treatment Barriers
In this study, nearly half of the 250 THA/TKA patients surveyed reported warfarin use, with 22% saying warfarin is very or moderately difficult to use, and 18% saying they needed assistance with the therapy. More than half of these warfarin users said that remembering to take the medicine, dosing changes and dietary restrictions were the primary barriers they experienced. Among all THA/TKA patients surveyed, 58% reported LMWH injection use, with 31% of these patients saying LMWH is moderately or very difficult to use. Difficulty with injections was the primary treatment barrier cited by LMWH patients.
The NBCA DVT/PE Awareness Survey was made possible by a grant from Ortho-McNeil™, a Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.