Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis practice and its association with outcomes in Australia and New Zealand burns patients

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Background: Patients with burn injuries are considered to have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). While untreated VTEs can be fatal, no studies have examined chemoprophylaxis effectiveness. This study aimed to quantify the variation in prevalence of VTE prophylaxis use in patients in Australian and New Zealand burns units and whether prophylaxis use is associated with in-hospital outcomes following burn injury. Methods: Admission data for adult burns patients (aged ≥16 years) admitted between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2018 were extracted from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand. Mixed effects logistic regression modelling investigated whether VTE prophylaxis use was associated with the primary outcome of in-hospital mortality. Results: There were 5066 admissions over the study period. Of these patients, 81% (n = 3799) with a valid response to the VTE prophylaxis data field received some form of VTE prophylaxis. Use of VTE prophylaxis ranged from 48.6% to 94.8% of patients between units. In-hospital death was recorded in <1% of patients (n = 33). After adjusting for confounders, receiving VTE prophylaxis was associated with a decrease in the adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.07-0.63; p = 0.006). Conclusions: Variation in the use of VTE prophylaxis was observed between the units, and prophylaxis use was associated with a decrease in the odds of mortality. These findings provide an opportunity to engage with units to further explore differences in prophylaxis use and develop future best practice guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbertkaa044
Number of pages10
JournalBurns & Trauma
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2021


  • Australia
  • Burn injury
  • New Zealand
  • Prophylaxis
  • Venous thromboembolism

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