Prophylaxis for Venous Thromboembolism

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Venous thromboembolisms are major risk factors for many of our hospitalized patients. These events, however, can be prevented with prophylactic measurements when administered appropriately and on a timely basis. As patients are admitted, discharged, transferred, and scheduled for procedures on an hourly basis, anticoagulation and deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis are held or discontinued in anticipation for possible procedures. This results in delay of care and intervals where patients may not be covered with any prophylactic measurements. Similarly, alterations in clinical status can quickly change such as an increase in creatinine levels or the development of a new bleed, thus requiring a revision in their deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis. Nurses, therefore, play an integral role in not only administering the medicine but also routinely assessing the patients' clinical status and, therefore, their deep vein thrombosis prophylactic regimens as well. This article will review the indications, scoring systems, common prophylactic methods, and special populations at increased risks for venous thromboembolisms.

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