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Cleve Clin J Med. 2008 Apr;75 Suppl 3:S3-6.

An overview of venous thromboembolism: impact, risks, and issues in prophylaxis.

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Department of Medicine, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major cause of cardiovascular death, and its close association with increased age portends an increasing clinical and economic impact for VTE as the US population ages. Studies show that rates of VTE prophylaxis remain inadequate both in the hospital and at the time of discharge. Health care accreditation and quality organizations are taking interest in VTE risk assessment and prophylaxis as a measure for hospital performance ratings and even reimbursement. To set the stage for the rest of this supplement, this article reviews the rationale for VTE prophylaxis, surveys current prophylaxis rates and strategies to increase those rates, and provides an overview of risk factors for VTE and therapeutic options for VTE prophylaxis.

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