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Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis for hospitalized medical patients, current status and strategies to improve

Author(s): Abdel-Razeq Hikmat

Journal: Annals of Thoracic Medicine
ISSN 1817-1737

Volume: 5;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 195;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Deep vein thrombosis | heparin | low molecular weight heparin | pulmonary embolism | thromboprophylaxis

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), comprising life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE) and its precursor deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), is commonly encountered problem. Although most patients survive DVT, they often develop serious and costly long-term complications. Both unfractionated heparin and low molecular weight heparins significantly reduce the incidence of VTE and its associated complications. Despite the evidence demonstrating significant benefit of VTE prophylaxis in acutely ill medical patients, several registries have shown significant underutilization. This underutilization indicates the need for educational and audit programs in order to increase the number of medical patients receiving appropriate prophylaxis. Many health advocacy groups and policy makers are paying more attention to VTE prophylaxis; the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission recently endorsed strict VTE risk assessment evaluation for each patient upon admission and regularly thereafter. In the article, all major studies addressing this issue in medical patients have been reviewed from the PubMed. The current status of VTE prophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients is addressed and some improvement strategies are discussed.
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