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August 16, 1965

Postoperative Thromboembolic Disease: Computer Analysis Leading to Statistical Prediction

Author Affiliations

From the Galesburg Clinic, Galesburg, Mich, and Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo, Mich.

JAMA. 1965;193(7):576-580. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090070026007

Postoperative thromboembolic (TE) disease is regarded as a major unsolved surgical hazard. Prediction of risk is possible by the application of a TE formula preoperatively. This formula has been developed by comparing two series of cases: (1) surgical patients that became afflicted with TE disease and (2) surgical patients (having the same operations) that had no TE complications. Several factors were important. These included age, weight, preoperative and postoperative immobilization, anesthesia, clotting factors, and previous operations. By giving numerical values to these factors and substituting them in the suggested formula, the likelihood of TE disease can be determined. If this is calculated preoperatively, it can show whether or not the contemplated operation might be followed by a dangerous or even fatal complication. A practical form which simplifies preoperative calculation of the risk for each surgical candidate has been devised. Methods are suggested to reduce these risks.