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Objective: To audit the prescription and implementation of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis in general surgical patients in a teaching hospital. Methods: All inpatients on three general surgical wards were audited for adequacy of prescription and implementation prophylaxis (audit A). A repeat audit 3 months later (audit B) closed the loop. The groups were compared using the chi-square test. Results: In audit A 50 patients participated. Prophylaxis was correctly prescribed in 36 (72%) and implemented in 30 (60%) patients. Eighteen patients at moderate or high risk (45%) received inadequate prophylaxis. Emergency admission, pre-operative stay and inadequate risk assignment were associated with poor implementation of protocol. In audit B 51 patients participated. Prescription was appropriate in 45 (88%) and implementation in 40 (78%) patients (p<0.05). Eleven patients at moderate or high risk received inadequate prophylaxis. Seven of 11 high-risk patients in audit A (64%) received adequate prophylaxis, in contrast to all high-risk patients in audit B. The decision not to administer prophylaxis was deemed appropriate in 5 of 15 (30%) in audit A compared with 6 of 10 (60%) in audit B. Conclusion: Increased awareness, adequate risk assessment, updating of protocols and consistent reminders to staff and patients may improve implementation of DVT prophylaxis.

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Journal article



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71 - 74