DVT Presentations to an Emergency Department: A Study of Guideline Based Care and Decision Making.

Pre-test probability scoring and blood tests for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) assessment are sensitive, but not specific leading to increased demands on radiology services. Three hundred and eighty-five patients presenting to an Emergency Department (ED), with suspected DVT, were studied to explore our actual work-up of patients with possible DVT relating to risk stratification, further investigation and follow up. Of the 205 patients with an initially negative scan, 36 (17.6%) were brought for review to the ED Consultant clinic. Thirty-four (16.6%) patients underwent repeat compression ultrasound with 5 (2.4%) demonstrating a DVT on the second scan. Repeat compression ultrasound scans were performed on 34 (16.6%) patients with an initially negative scan, with essentially the same diagnostic yield as other larger studies where 100% of such patients had repeat scanning. Where there is ongoing concern, repeat above-knee compression ultrasound within one week will pick up a small number of deep venous thromboses.