Prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism in the critically ill

Sarah M Adriance, Claire V Murphy
International Journal of Critical Illness and Injury Science 2013, 3 (2): 143-51
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a frequent complication in critically ill patients and is associated with increased rates of morbidity and mortality. The use of thromboprophylaxis to reduce the risk of VTE in this patient population is the standard of care. This review will summarize the recommendations set forth in consensus guidelines for the prevention and treatment of VTE across subgroups within the critically ill patient population. In addition, the drug properties of the recommended pharmacologic agents for thromboprophylaxis will be highlighted including their pharmacokinetics, dosing and complications. The critical care practitioner may also encounter novel oral anticoagulants with increasing frequency. These agents will be briefly reviewed in terms of their approved and investigational indications and the clinical concerns related to their use will also be discussed.


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