The term venous thromboembolism refers to a spectrum of disease that includes deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Both deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are often clinically silent and thus difficult to diagnose, which leads to a substantial delay in treatment that results in high rates of morbidity and mortality. The purposes of this article are to help physicians determine the proper venous thromboembolism prophylaxis and to simplify the complex problem of treating venous thromboembolism. The tools provided in this article will help expedite and clarify the decision-making process.
From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center.
Received for publication November 11, 2002; revised April 18, 2003.
Steven Paul Davison, D.D.S., M.D.
Division of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3800 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Identify the risk factors associated with venous thromboembolism. 2. Categorize a patient’s individual risk as low, moderate, high, or highest. 3. Understand the available medications and devices that prevent venous thromboembolism. 4. Have a working algorithm of the appropriate prophylaxis options for each risk group.