Prevention of deep vein thrombosis in critically ill patients

Talita Moraes santos, Isabel SF da Cruz


Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) are common complications in critically ill patients. The occurrence of VTE involves a substantial increase in morbidity and mortality of patients hospitalized in intensive care units (ICU). Most critically ill patients at high risk for the occurrence of thromboembolic complications, however, the prevention of VTE is often not performed adequately for this group of patients. Heparin, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) appears to be the most effective pharmacological method for the prevention of VTE in ICU patients. While studies on prophylaxis with mechanical methods show a decrease in the occurrence of VTE in patients with the use of devices for intermittent pneumatic compression for patients who have either not an absolute contraindication to the use of heparin. Whose characteristics lead to specific recommendations regarding the diagnosis and treatment. Conclusions: This review provides an analysis of risk, discusses the main papers published about the prevention and suggests strategies for reducing the incidence of VTE in critically ill patients.


Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices; Low molecular weight heparin; Venous Thrombosis

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