Uncertaintyg the optimal evaluation of suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) results in wide variations in practice, even within the same institution. To address variation in practice while maximizing the efficiency and quality of care, our institution developed a critical pathway guideline for the emergency department evaluation of patients suspected of having DVT. We present the critical pathway and the clinical rationale underlying its recommendations. The critical pathway was developed by a multidisciplinary team using chart review of practice at our institution, benchmarking at other institutions, and review and discussion of the medical literature. Consensus was achieved for the selection of ultrasound as the primary imaging test for all patients and for recommending initial doses of heparin sodium that are higher than the current norm at our institution to reduce the length of time required to achieve therapeutic anticoagulation. A total time for patient evaluation of 5 hours or less was established as the target. Controversy arose in two key areas: (1) the treatment of patients with normal ultrasound scans when high clinical suspicion for DVT exists and (2) the evaluation and treatment of suspected isolated calf-vein DVT. In its final form, the critical pathway recommendations seek to balance the benefits of standardization with the prerogatives of physicians to make decisions tailored to individual patients.
(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:1773-1778)
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.