Aortic Emergency Protocol (Code Aorta)

The aorta is the main artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. Sudden aortic emergencies including dissection and rupture are associated with high mortality rates.

Once patients reach the hospital, outcome is highly dependent on quick diagnosis and treatment. Since these emergencies are relatively rare and require collaboration among multiple disciplines, aortic emergencies are a unique challenge.

Physician leadership at Renown identified aortic emergencies as an opportunity for a multidisciplinary approach to improve coordination and speed of care.

When patients with potential aortic emergencies arrive in the Emergency Room, a "code aorta" is called. This initiates a series of automatic steps by physicians and nursing staff that ensure prompt and effective care.

Outpatient DVT/PE Treatment

Treating patients with blood clots in the veins in the legs (deep vein thrombosis [DVT]) or lungs (pulmonary embolism [PE]) requires use of powerful blood thinning medications called anticoagulants.

In the past, these patient were hospitalized for intravenous blood thinners and oral medication adjustments and monitoring.

New fast-acting oral anticoagulant medications, known as direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) allow for treatment of these conditions outside of the hospital in select cases.

Working across multiple disciplines, we have developed guidelines for appropriate and effective out patient management of appropriate patients with DVT and PE.

IVC Filter Retrieval

Patients with blood clots in the legs or in the lungs (DVT or PE) are usually treated with powerful blood thinners called anticoagulants. However, sometimes patients cannot use these medications due to a high risk of bleeding.

In those cases we will often put a screen or filter into the large vein in the belly called the inferior vena cava (IVC).

These IVC filters are effective in reducing the risk of blood clots in the lungs, but if left in place permanently, these filters can be associated with long-term complications.

Most IVC filters are retrieved within 6-12 months of placement during a simple radiology procedure.

We identify and track all IVC filters placed at Renown and work with each patient’s care team to determine if the IVC filter should be removed and when.

This has led to a substantial improvement in IVC filter removal rates, an accomplishment that is nationally recognized as a model of exceptional care.