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Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. 2011 Dec;58(10):602-10.

[Thromboprophylaxis in multiple trauma and head injury patients].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Servicio de Anestesiología y Reanimación, Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, Area de Traumatología, Barcelona. mjcolomina@vhebron.net


Venous thromboembolic disease (VTD) is a frequent condition with serious clinical consequences and elevated mortality related to underdiagnosis or undertreatment, especially in patients with multiple trauma. The incidence of VTD in these patients ranges from 5% to 58% and thromboprophylaxis is considered essential for proper management. Traditionally, pelvic and lower extremity fractures, head injury, and prolonged immobilization have been cited as risk factors for VTD; however, how these factors combine with others to predict high risk is still unclear. The best way to approach VTD prophylaxis in multiple trauma patients is currently unclear. Both mechanical and pharmacologic means are available. The main clinical practice guidelines recommend thromboprophylaxis with low-molecular weight heparin, which can be started 48 hours after trauma, unless patients are still bleeding, in which case mechanical compression is recommended in spite of the limited effectiveness of that measure. Compression is maintained until the risk of hemorrhage has diminished. There is insufficient evidence to support routine use of ultrasound imaging or venography. In patients with head injury who are at risk for intracranial bleeding, the use of low-molecular weight heparin should be delayed until risk disappears but mechanical prophylaxis (compression) can be considered according to clinical status.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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