Pediatric venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a concern for orthopaedic surgeons. We sought to query the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) members on current VTE prophylaxis practice and compare those results with those of a previous survey (2011).
A 35-question survey was emailed to all active and candidate POSNA members. The survey consisted of questions on personal and practice demographics; knowledge and implementation of various VTE prophylaxis protocols, mechanical and chemical VTE prophylaxis agents, and risk factors; and utilization of scenarios VTE prophylaxis agents for various clinical scenarios. One- and two-way frequency tables were constructed comparing results from the current survey and those of the 2011 survey.
Two hundred thirty-nine surveys were completed (18% respondent rate), with most respondents from an academic/university practice reporting one or two partners (>60%). Half were in practice ≥15 years, and >90% reported an almost exclusive pediatric practice. One-third of the respondents reported familiarity with their institution-defined VTE prophylaxis protocol, and 20% were aware of an institutionally driven age at which all patients receive VTE prophylaxis. The most frequently recognized risk factors to guide VTE prophylaxis were oral contraceptive use, positive family history, and obesity. Respondents indicated a similar frequency of use of a VTE prophylaxis agent (either mechanical or chemical) for spinal fusion, hip reconstruction, and trauma (60% to 65%), with lower frequency for neuromuscular surgery (34%) (P < 0.001). One hundred thirty-seven respondents had a patient sustain a deep vein thrombosis, and 66 had a patient sustain a pulmonary embolism. Compared with responses from 2011, only 20 more respondents reported familiarity with their institution VTE prophylaxis protocol (75 versus 55). In 2018, aspirin was used more frequently than in 2011 (52% versus 19%; P < 0.0001) and enoxaparin was used less frequently (20% versus 41%; P < 0.0001).
Over the past 7 years since the first POSNA survey on VTE prophylaxis, most POSNA members are still unaware of their institution specific VTE prophylaxis protocol. Most respondents agree that either mechanical or chemical VTE prophylaxis should be used for spinal fusion, hip reconstruction, and trauma. The use of aspirin as an agent of chemical VTE prophylaxis has increased since 2011.
Level of Evidence:
Level IV. Type of evidence: therapeutic