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Venous thromboembolism — a major health and financial burden: how can we do better to prevent this disease?

Beng H Chong, Jeffrey Braithwaite, Mark F Harris and John P Fletcher
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (3): 134-135.
Published online: 4 August 2008

VTE prophylaxis is effective and safe, but grossly underused in Australian hospitals

In this issue of the Journal, Ho and colleagues report their findings from a Perth community-based study of venous thromboembolism (VTE).1 They found an incidence of VTE, which includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, of 0.83 (95% CI, 0.69–0.97) per 1000 population per year. This figure is consistent with hospital discharge data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which predict an estimated 14 716 VTE cases in 20082 or an incidence of 0.74 per 1000. This incidence comes with high costs to Australian society in terms of deaths, morbidity and health care expenditure.

  • Beng H Chong1,2
  • Jeffrey Braithwaite2
  • Mark F Harris2
  • John P Fletcher3

  • 1 Department of Haematology, St George Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: beng.chong@unsw.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We wish to thank Ms Nicola Chapman for her assistance in preparing this manuscript, and the investigators of the Collaboration for Thrombosis and Bleeding Disorders Research and the members of the Australia & New Zealand Working Party for their ideas and comments, which have contributed directly or indirectly to this editorial.

Competing interests:

Beng Chong and John Fletcher are members of the Australia & New Zealand Working Party on the Management and Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism. They have both received travel assistance from Sanofi-Aventis to attend meetings. John Fletcher has also received speaker fees for educational meetings from Sanofi-Aventis.

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