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Hospital-Acquired VTE Still a Leading Cause of Death

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2012

To those doctors and hospital administrators who say that they're doing all they can now to prevent VTE, Gross replies, "They used to say the same thing about central line-associated bloodstream infections, that they weren't preventable. And now we've shown that most CLABSI are preventable."

The bottom line, Maynard and Gross say, is that there has to be an institutional will to attack VTE. "It has to be on everyone's radar, to have the institutional will to standardize VTE prophylaxis," Maynard says. "Even if they don't agree with the way I do it, (the Three-Bucket Tool) they need to standardize it and then measure it with whatever standard they put in place."

Of course, I'll never know if doctors had tried harder, my mother's PE wouldn't have occurred. At age 75 with cancer and chemotherapy, she was certainly high risk, perhaps 12 on a scale of 20. But I would sure feel better knowing that for those like her today, the odds have greatly improved. She was not at all ready to die.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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