Complete risk assessment avoids your patient being a stranger regarding health issues. Then protect your new friend using appropriate “risk score” based thrombosis prophylaxis. Disease-a-Month article: Post-operative VTE is associated with multiple short and long-term complications.
One May Conclude That the Administration of Heparin or LMWH to Jane Doe Would Have Saved Her Life. It is hoped that going forward Jane’s physician will gain valuable insight from this tragic outcome and address assessment of future patients in a more dynamic fashion. It is hoped that the department chairman will organize a grand-rounds to discuss these issues regarding thrombosis prophylaxis in surgical patients, covering the principles discussed here.
Fatal pulmonary embolism is the number one preventable cause of death postoperatively. Anticoagulant prophylaxis for those “at risk” can prevent most deaths. It’s important to provide prophylaxis for the entire period of patient risk.
Fatal pulmonary emboli are the number one preventable complication postoperatively.
Most fatal pulmonary emboli but not all non-fatal VTE events can be prevented with appropriate anticoagulant prophylaxis.
The Caprini score is recommended as one approach to achieve this goal.
Overall combining the inherent risk of thrombosis associated with the surgical procedure with the individual patient’s risk factors is critical to achieve this goal. In the final analysis there is no substitute for a thorough history and physical.