Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science
Venous Thromboemboli in Critically-Ill and Intensive Care Unit Patients: Risks, Assessment, and Prophylaxis
Dr. Elyse Watkins, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
A patient’s risk for the formation of venous thromboemboli (VTE) is considered on hospital admission. Due to hospitalization increasing risk factors for VTEs, providers must be comfortable determining the best VTE prophylaxis for each patient they care for. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and determine optimal VTE prophylaxis in critically ill patients as these patients are at increased risk for VTE development, as well as, complications due to prophylaxis. PubMed and Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases were searched for articles including prophylactic VTE treatment in hospitalized patients. Particular attention was paid to articles including critically ill hospitalized patients. Articles were chosen that describe the prevalence of VTE in critically ill patients as well as the importance of prophylaxis in these patients. Additional articles were included that evaluate the best VTE prophylaxis treatment in patients that are at higher risk for VTE, but also a higher risk for complications. All articles reviewed were written between 2019 and 2023. Overall, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) has been shown to produce the best results in these patients, however, unfractionated heparin (UFH) is frequently used as well. The use of mechanical prophylaxis is controversial and without well-supporting evidence. We need to continue our research efforts to help improve prophylactic VTE treatment in these patients.
Mallory S. Venous Thromboemboli in Critically-Ill and Intensive Care Unit Patients: Risks, Assessment, and Prophylaxis. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2023; 5(2).
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