Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in hospitalised surgical and non-surgical patients. Thromboprophylaxis both mechanical and pharmacological has been clearly shown to decrease the incidence of both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The risk of developing VTE can be stratified according to the presence or absence of both individual patient and procedure-related factors. Widely accepted guidelines are available for risk stratification, and can be used to identify high risk patients requiring active prophylactic measures. The use of institutional strategies can improve compliance with protocols and leads to an increase in the proportion of patients receiving appropriate thromboprophylaxis.
The diagnosis and management of VTE will also be briefly discussed.
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