Trauma: VTE risk increases with severity
Trauma increases the risk of VTE considerably. A national study showed that 1.5% of admitted trauma patients experienced VTE during hospitalization and that 1.2% were readmitted for VTE within 1 year.49 As many as 32% of trauma patients admitted to the intensive care unit experience VTE despite appropriate prophylaxis.50 A Cochrane Review51 found that:
- prophylaxis significantly reduces DVT risk
- pharmacotherapeutic prophylaxis is more effective than mechanical prophylaxis
- LMWH is more effective than LDUH.
Guidelines recommend that major trauma patients receive prophylaxis with LMWH, LDUH, or IPC.46
Michael J. Arnold, MD, CDR, MC, USN; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Jacksonville, FL 32214; [email protected].