(MENAFN Press) Conference told that new guidelines would improve assessment
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in acute medical patients remains underutilised in the Gulf. This was the message heard by delegates when the Sixth Gulf Initiative on Antithrombotics (GIANT) took place recently in Beirut.
Five speakers and 37 physicians gathered for two days at the event, organised by sanofi-aventis, to investigate whether the healthcare industry in Gulf countries could do better in VTE prophylaxis. Over the past five years, GIANTâ€™s main aim has been to develop VTE prophylaxis in Gulf countries, where National epidemiologic registries suggests that much more can be done in this field.
Through newly developed Gulf Thrombosis Collaboration (GTC) guidelines for the management of VTE, delegates were shown how better risk assessment models and improved recommendations would now lead to the more complete identification of patients at risk.
Two parallel sessions were held during the convention: one for Internal medicine speciality and the other for specialists in obstetrics and gynaecology.
While the internal medicine session looked at the prevention of VTE in acute medical patients, the O&G meeting observed the first local guidelines in Gulf countries for VTE management during pregnancy, and also considered positive recommendations for the use of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) during pregnancy.
More than 55 per cent of pregnant women who were at risk of developing VTE in the UAE and other Gulf countries did not receive recommended thromboprophylaxis as per international guidelines last year. With the new guidelines in place, the hope is that these women, and all other VTE sufferers, will have better access to the most effective LMWH drugs.
These guidelines come on the back of recently updated Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommendations from November 2009, which favoured the use of LMWHs for VTE prophylaxis during pregnancy especially in ante partum management, the duration of treatment and more risk factors such as obesity, which require prophylaxis.
But first, it is important for doctors to consider numerous assessment models to identify risk factors for VTE among medically ill patients. With VTE prophylaxis underutilised among Gulf countries, there is a strong need to develop a formal active strategy that addresses the prevention of VTE here, done in partnership with the various health authorities. Furthermore, programmes aimed at increasing awareness and educating physicians and patients are needed, while the GTC guidelines should be adopted in all hospitals across the region.