Venous thromboembolism is comprised of pulmonary embolism and deep venous thrombosis and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
Decision on which type of prophylaxis to be given must be individualized for each patient.
All patients admitted for major trauma, surgery or acute medical illness should be assessed for risk of venous thromboembolism and bleeding before starting prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism.
Early mobilization and leg exercises for any patient recently immobilized are recommended. Immobilized patients should also be adequately hydrated.
Intermittent pneumatic compression devices periodically compress calf and/or thighs and stimulate fibrinolysis. It has been shown to be effective in prophylaxis of asymptomatic deep venous thrombosis in surgical patients.
Graduated compression stockings may be used for deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in surgical patients with no contraindication for use.
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