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The Current Status of Thromboprophylaxis after Trauma: A Story of Confusion and Uncertainty

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It is difficult to support a standard of care for venous thromboprophylaxis after trauma when there is no convincing research that any of the currently used methods is consistently effective. Because many conclusions from the nontrauma literature have been misleadingly extrapolated to trauma patients, this review focuses exclusively on trauma articles. These articles present variable results. The rates of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are widely different even among similar trauma populations. The heparin-unfractionated or low-molecular-weight and calf compression methods fail to show a reproducible effect in decreasing venous thromboembolic events. The current methods of venous thromboprophylaxis after trauma are inadequate and further research in this area is direly needed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication date: 01 September 2006

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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