Does Early Ambulation Increase the Risk of Pulmonary Embolism in Deep Vein Thrombosis?: A Review of the Literature

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Therapeutic measures targeting deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are often aggressive to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE). Once receiving anticoagulation therapy, however, there are different viewpoints on whether patients should remain sedentary or be allowed to ambulate, particularly in the home setting. The current literature was reviewed in a systematic fashion to ascertain the risks and benefits of activity level in patients with DVT with regard to PE formation. All studies uniformly demonstrated at least no significant differences in PE formation with either activity level in these DVT patients. There is no evidence to suggest that ambulation by anticoagulated DVT patients in the home setting increases the risk of PE development.

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