European guidelines on perioperative venous thromboembolism prophylaxis: Neurosurgery

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Abstract

Although there are numerous publications addressing venous thromboembolism and its prevention in neurosurgery, there are relatively few high-quality studies to guide decisions regarding thromboprophylaxis. In patients undergoing craniotomy, we recommend that if intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) is used, it should be applied before the surgical procedure or on admission (Grade 1C). In craniotomy patients at particularly high risk for venous thromboembolism, we suggest considering the initiation of mechanical thromboprophylaxis with IPC preoperatively with addition of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) postoperatively when the risk of bleeding is presumed to be decreased (Grade 2C). In patients with non-traumatic intracranial haemorrhage, we suggest thromboprophylaxis with IPC (Grade 2C). For patients who have had non-traumatic intracranial haemorrhage, we suggest giving consideration to commencement of LMWH or low-dose unfractionated heparin when the risk of bleeding is presumed to be low (Grade 2C). We suggest continuing thromboprophylaxis until full mobilisation of the patient (Grade 2C). For patients undergoing spinal surgery with no additional risk factors, we suggest no active thromboprophylaxis intervention apart from early mobilisation (Grade 2C). For patients undergoing spinal surgery with additional risk factors, we recommend starting mechanical thromboprophylaxis with IPC (Grade 1C), and we suggest the addition of LMWH postoperatively when the risk of bleeding is presumed to be decreased (Grade 2C).

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