THURSDAY, Aug. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing elective or emergency surgery, perioperative or recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with an increased risk for postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published online Aug. 24 in Anaesthesia.

Researchers from the National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery in Birmingham, England, conducted a planned substudy and analysis of data from a prospective cohort study of patients undergoing elective or emergency surgery during October 2020 to examine the risk for VTE. A diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 was defined as perioperative (seven days before to 30 days after surgery), recent (one to six weeks before surgery), previous (seven or more weeks before surgery), or none. Data were included for 128,013 patients from 1,630 hospitals across 115 countries.

The researchers found that the rate of postoperative VTE was 0.5 percent in the 123,591 patients without SARS-CoV-2, 2.2 percent in the 2,317 patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2, 1.6 percent in the 953 patients with recent SARS-CoV-2, and 1.0 percent in the 1,148 patients with previous SARS-CoV-2. Patients with perioperative and recent SARS-CoV-2 remained at higher risk for VTE (adjusted odds ratios, 1.5 and 1.9, respectively) after adjustment for confounding factors. For patients with SARS-CoV-2, mortality without and with VTE was 7.4 and 40.8 percent, respectively.

“Routine postoperative care of surgical patients should include interventions to reduce VTE risk in general, and further research is needed to define the optimal protocols for VTE prophylaxis and treatment for surgical patients in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Medtronic.

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