University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Does Timing of Inferior Vena Cava Filter Retrieval Planning Impact Retrieval Rates? A Comparison of Planning Before or After Hospital Discharge

Benjamin Parsons, DO; Peter J. Polewski, MD; Angela L. Smith, MA; Andrew J. Borgert, PhD; Ezana Azene, MD; Kurt Ziegelbein, MD; Mason Fisher, MD; Andrew Horstman, PA-C; Shannon Brozak, PA-C; Paul J. Escher, BA

WMJ. 2019;118(1):30-34.

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Introduction: Indwelling inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are associated with complications, and the US Food and Drug Administration recommends their prompt removal when no longer indicated. Therefore, assessing strategies for increasing retrieval rates is warranted.

Objective: To analyze the variability of IVC filter retrieval rates within our institution based on 2 separate, pre-existing processes in which IVC retrieval is planned for before or after hospital discharge.

Methods: Retrospective chart review was completed for all IVC filters placed in adults between January 2005 and March 2015. Demographics and clinical data related to filter placement and retrieval were abstracted. Patients were classified into 2 groups: patients who had a trauma consultation trauma and nontrauma medical and surgical patients medical. The trauma group patients were subject to a 2-layer tracking process, in which retrieval planning was done before discharge, versus the medical group with a single-layer tracking process and retrieval planning done after discharge.

Results: Of the 588 filter placements analyzed, 236 were placed in trauma patients and 352 were placed for medical reasons. The retrieval rate of the entire cohort was 45% (262/588), with the rate among trauma patients more than double that of medical patients (155/236, 66% and 107/352, 30%; respectively, P<0.0001).

Conclusion: IVC filter retrieval rate was increased when filter removal was included in discharge planning versus postdischarge tracking. A systematic, multidisciplinary strategic approach to IVC filter management has great potential to improve filter utilization, resource allocation, patient safety, and filter retrieval.

Author Affiliations: Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, Wis (Parsons, Polewski, Azene, Ziegelbein, Fisher, Horstman, Brozak); Gundersen Medical Foundation, La Crosse, Wis (Smith, Borgert, Escher).
Corresponding Author: Benjamin Parsons, DO, Mail Stop EB2-001, 1900 South Ave, La Crosse, WI 54601; phone 608.775.5768; email
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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