Society of African Journal Editors

East African Medical Journal

Awareness of Venous thromboembolism among doctors in a Nigerian tertiary centre

Authors: KI Korubo, ON Ekeke, HE Omunakwe

Journal: East African Medical Journal

Background: Venous thromboembolic (VTE) is a preventable leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is a cause of sudden death. Awareness of VTE among doctors will reduce the incidence of unexpected deaths in hospitalised patients. Objective: To assess doctors’ awareness of venous thromboembolism in our centre. Design: Cross sectional questionnaire based study. Setting: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Subjects: One hundred and twenty four doctors attending a hospital grand-rounds session were recruited. Results: The response rate was 82.7% (124 of 150 questionnaires). Almost half (n=57, 46%) correctly identified VTE, but two (1.6%) did not know what VTE was and 27 (21.8%) stated it to be normal haemostasis. Commonly identified risk factors included: increased body mass index 113 (91.1%), diabetes mellitus 105 (84.7%), pregnancy 105 (84.7%), age 104 (83.9%), and immobility 104 (83.9%). Although clinical features were identified, VTE was acknowledged to be asymptomatic by 62 (50%) responders. About 68 (54.8%) did not know of a VTE risk stratification model and only one (0.8%) had used a model in practice. Responders commonly prescribed anticoagulants for prophylaxis. Although most had come across VTE in practice, 15 (12.1%) had not seen a case of VTE. Conclusion: The knowledge of VTE was average. There was a gap between knowledge and practice for this preventable disorder. Patients in our centre were not routinely risk stratified for VTE. Updating of medical knowledge is encouraged.