18% of PAD patients readmitted within 30 days of revascularization

More than one in six patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who undergo revascularization procedures to restore blood flow to blocked arteries are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, according to research published Dec. 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study included nearly 62,000 hospitalizations for PAD patients who were discharged alive after peripheral arterial revascularization from January through November 2014. A total of 17.6 percent of those patients were readmitted within 30 days, most commonly for procedural complications (28 percent), followed by sepsis (8.3 percent) and complications due to diabetes (7.5 percent). Twenty-one percent of the rehospitalized patients required subsequent revascularization and 4.6 percent died.

“Procedure- and patient-related factors were the primary reasons for readmission,” wrote first study author Eric A. Secemsky, MD, MSc, and colleagues. “Readmission rates varied moderately between institutions after hospital case mix was accounted for, suggesting that differences in hospital quality may only partially account for readmission.”

PAD currently affects approximately 8.5 million Americans, according to a press release issued by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), whose researchers led the study.

"In this new work focused on patients with PAD, we confirmed that not only are readmissions expensive, averaging $11,000 per patient, but they also leave patients at risk for the development of further complications and potential setbacks to their recovery,” said senior author Robert Yeh, MD, MSc.

"Moving forward, as clinicians and researchers, we need to recognize the special needs of the PAD patient population. If we can find ways to identify patients at highest risk of readmissions, we can implement practices or develop programs to help them better manage their condition outside the hospital and avoid the need for readmission."