Indexed on: 11 Apr '20Published on: 11 Apr '20Published in: Annals of vascular diseases
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains highly prevalent in medically ill patients, and often leads to increased mortality and cost burden during hospitalization and post-discharge. Nearly half of all VTEs occur during or after hospitalization, with pulmonary embolism accounting for 10% of inpatient mortality. Appropriate prophylaxis in high-risk medically ill patients has been shown to reduce risk of VTE and related mortality. Despite current evidence-based guidelines, VTE prophylaxis has been under-used. This owes greatly to ambiguity and concerns related to appropriate patient and prophylactic agent selection, and duration of prophylaxis. Because many acutely ill medical patients have multiple comorbidities, the risk of major bleeding must be considered when choosing to implement pharmacological VTE prophylaxis. Multiple risk assessment models have been developed and validated to help estimate VTE and bleeding risks in this population. While studies have shown that the risk for VTE often extends far beyond hospital discharge, there is no evidence to support extending prophylaxis after hospital discharge. The appropriate selection of VTE prophylaxis requires consideration for cost, availability, patient preference, compliance, and underlying comorbidities. Our paper reviews the current evidence and reasoning for appropriate selection of VTE prophylaxis in acutely medical ill patients, and highlights our own approach and recommendations. Copyright © 2020 Annals of Vascular Diseases.