Texas Health Dallas Part of Landmark Study on Treatment for Deadly Blood Clots
04/04/2008

DALLAS — Researchers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas participated recently in a landmark study that sheds light on how best to assess and treat hospital patients for a potentially deadly-type of blood clot.

Texas Health Dallas researchers
From left, Dr. Gary Weinstein, chief of critical care medicine at Texas Health Dallas, Tammy Chung, Pharm.D., a critical care and cardiovascular pharmacologist, and Dr. Mark Feldman, chair of internal medicine.
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Texas Health Dallas is the only North Texas hospital and one of only three in Texas to participate in the study, which appeared in the journal The Lancet.

Called the ENDORSE trial, the study looked at 68,000 patients in more than 350 hospitals in 32 countries. Researchers found that almost half of hospitalized patients are at risk for developing of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which causes deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the leg or pelvis) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the arteries leading from the heart to the lungs).

"In addition to shedding light on the risk for the condition, the research shows that preventative measures, which have been shown to be effective, aren't utilized enough," said Tammy Chung, Pharm.D., a critical care and cardiovascular pharmacologist at Texas Health Dallas. "Hospitals in the United States are slightly better than other countries, but there is still huge room for improvement."

At Texas Health Dallas, patients are assessed for VTE risk and appropriate measures are taken for those determined to be at high risk.

According to the paper, non-surgical patients participating in the study were less likely to receive proper assessment and preventative treatments for VTE than surgical patients. Chung added that the study revealed even more room for improvement among U.S. hospitals when they were rated against hospitals in European countries and other nations with comparable health systems.

Researchers say they hope the findings convince more hospitals to implement strategies to assess all patients for VTE risk and to take appropriate action to prevent the condition.

"Preventing venous thromboembolism involves simple, inexpensive steps that all hospitals around the world should implement," said researcher Dr. Gary Weinstein, a pulmonologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas and medical director of critical care medicine. "That's the good news: This research further shows that we have the tools to accurately predict who is at risk for VTE, which can help us better prevent it."

Dr. Mark Feldman, chairman of internal medicine and medical director of research at Texas Health Dallas, served as the principal investigator for the ENDORSE trial at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.

"The significance of this paper is that complications can be reduced if hospitals implement these steps," he said. "That could lessen how long people are in the hospital, reduce mortality and improve outcomes."

The ENDORSE trial (Epidemiologic International Day for the Evaluation of Patients at Risk of Venous Thrombosis in the Acute Hospital Care Setting) was a multinational, observational, cross-sectional survey led by researchers at King's College Hospital in London.

Texas Health Dallas enrolled 263 patients in the study.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 866-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/dallas.