Prevention of venous thromboembolism in the hospitalized medical patient

Amir K Jaffer, Alpesh N Amin, Daniel J Brotman, Steven B Deitelzweig, Sylvia C McKean, Alex C Spyropoulos
Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 2008, 75 Suppl 3: S7-16
Hospitalized acutely ill medical patients are at high risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), and clinical trials clearly demonstrate that pharmacologic prophylaxis of VTE for up to 14 days significantly reduces the incidence of VTE in this population. Guidelines recommend use of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or unfractionated heparin (5,000 U three times daily) for VTE prophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients with risk factors for VTE; in patients with contraindications to anticoagulants, mechanical prophylaxis is recommended. All hospitalized medical patients should be assessed for their risk of VTE at admission and daily thereafter, and those with reduced mobility and one or more other VTE risk factors are candidates for aggressive VTE prophylaxis. Based on results from the recently reported EXCLAIM trial, extended postdischarge prophylaxis with LMWH for 28 days should be considered for hospitalized medical patients with reduced mobility who are older than age 75 or have a cancer diagnosis or a history of VTE.

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