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Inferior Vena Cava Filter Use in Trauma

Bosarge, Patrick MD; Costantini, Todd W. MD; Bansal, Vishal MD; Coimbra, Raul MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0b013e31822afc19

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are significant causes of morbidity and mortality in trauma patients. Management of DVT is complicated in the trauma population, as these patients often have contraindications to systemic anticoagulation due to their associated injuries. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have become an attractive alternative strategy for prophylaxis against PE in patients unable to receive systemic anticoagulation. This review focuses on the use of IVC filters in trauma patients and discusses indications, management, and complications of their use.

Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Burns, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, California.

Correspondence: Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, FACS, 200 W Arbor Dr, #8896, San Diego, California 92103, (

© 2011 Society of Trauma Nurses