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J Burn Care Res. 2011 May-Jun;32(3):442-6. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e318217f966.

Temporal changes in deep venous thrombosis risk after electrical injury.

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Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA.


Previous work has used the National Burn Repository to examine deep venous thrombosis (DVT) after electrical injury. However, these studies were limited and could not examine when DVT occurs after electrical injury. In addition, the utility of risk assessment models for DVT risk stratification has not been examined in this patient population. The authors performed a retrospective chart review of electrically injured patients at a single, American Burn Association- and American College of Surgeons-verified burn center over a 9-year period. Risk factors were identified and used to calculate Caprini scores at baseline and time of discharge. Outcomes of interest included symptomatic DVT or pulmonary embolism and time to DVT or pulmonary embolism. A total of 77 electrically injured patients were identified. DVT incidence was 6.5%. Patients with DVT had significantly higher TBSA (27.8% vs 3.8%), mean number of operations (4.8 vs 0.3), central venous catheter insertion (100% vs 5.3%), ventilator days (16.2 vs 0.3), intensive care unit days (24.4 vs 0.9), and mean change in Caprini score (18.6 vs 1.3) during hospitalization. Baseline Caprini scores were low, and DVT events occurred only after multiple risk factors were present; the average time-to-event was hospital day 17. Among patients with Caprini score >8, DVT incidence increased to 62%. In our single-center experience, the Caprini score was able to quantify DVT risk after electrical injury. In our series of 77 patients, the overall incidence of DVT was 6.5%. However, among patients whose Caprini score reached >8 during hospitalization, DVT incidence increased to 62%.

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