Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a term used collectively for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. Without prophylaxis, the incidence of documented DVT in the orthopaedic surgery patient is reported in the range of 50%–60%. A multimodal approach to DVT prophylaxis is the standard of care for all patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. At our local hospital, low-risk patients are being sent home with aspirin as the medication for VTE prophylaxis. This article will provide an overview of the pathophysiology of VTE and the current prevention guidelines including the use of aspirin.
Brenda K. Snyder, MSN, RNC, ACNS-BC, Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery, St. Vincent Health Center, Erie, PA.
The author has no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.