Clinical question: Can a low-risk patient newly diagnosed with VTE in the ED be immediately discharged home on a direct factor Xa inhibitor?
Background: Studies have shown that rivaroxaban incurs a risk of 2.1% in VTE recurrence and of 9.4% in clinically relevant major and non-major bleeding (in an average 208 days follow-up). More information is required to determine if similar success can be achieved by discharging low-risk patients from the ED.
Study design: Prospective, observational study.
Setting: EDs at two urban, teaching hospitals.
Synopsis: After fulfilling the criteria for low risk, 106 patients were discharged from the ED with DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), or both. Most patients were 50 years or younger and had unprovoked VTE. Three of the 106 patients had recurrence of VTE (2.8%, 95% CI=0.6% to 8%) at a mean duration of 389 days. No patient had a major bleeding event.
In this small study, fewer than 80% of patients discharged had at least one clinic follow-up; the majority of these patients (75%) followed up in a clinic staffed by ED physicians. Therefore, ability for close follow-up must be taken into consideration prior to discharge from the ED.
Moreover, one to two days post-discharge, a member of the care team called the patient to confirm their ability to fill the rivaroxaban prescription and to answer other questions related to the new diagnosis.
Bottom line: With close follow-up and confirmation of the ability to fill a rivaroxaban prescription, patients with low-risk VTE may be discharged home from the ED.
Citation: Beam DM, Kahler ZP, Kline JA. Immediate discharge and home treatment with rivaroxaban of low-risk venous thromboembolism diagnosed in two U.S. emergency departments: a one-year preplanned analysis. Acad Emerg Med. 2015;22(7):788-795.