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Venous Thromboembolism

Updated Management Guidelines

Roberts, Sarah Hudson, DNP, MSN, RN; Lawrence, Sherry Motes, DNP, MSN, RN

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: May 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 5 - p 38–47
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000516249.54064.53
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Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Each year, more than 10 million cases of VTE are diagnosed; studies suggest there are as many as 900,000 cases per year in the United States. The condition is estimated to cost the U.S. health care system between $7 billion and $10 billion annually. In February 2016, the American College of Chest Physicians released the 10th edition of the Antithrombotic Therapy for VTE Disease: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report. After providing an overview of VTE pathophysiology, risk factors, signs, symptoms, and key clinical assessments, this article details recommendations from the new guideline, which incorporates the most up-to-date treatment options for patients with VTE. The authors highlight key changes from the 2012 guideline, particularly those related to nursing practice, patient education, care coordination, patient adherence, medication costs, follow-up appointments, and diagnostic testing.

This article presents an overview of venous thromboembolism—including its pathophysiology, risk factors, symptoms, and key clinical assessments—and summarizes recommendations from the new American College of Chest Physicians guideline.

Sarah Hudson Roberts and Sherry Motes Lawrence are assistant professors at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing in Mobile. Contact author: Sarah Hudson Roberts, sroberts@southalabama.edu. The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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