Applied Evidence

Primary prevention of VTE spans a spectrum

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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].


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