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Risk Factors Associated with Venous Thromboembolism in Isolated Blunt Chest Trauma

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Isolated chest trauma is not historically considered to be a major risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). After blunt chest trauma, VTE may be underappreciated because pain, immobility, and inadequate prophylaxis as a result of hemorrhage risk may all increase the risk of VTE. This investigation determines the predictors and rate of VTE after isolated blunt chest trauma. A review of patients admitted to a Level I trauma center with chest trauma between 2007 and 2009 was performed. Demographics, injuries, VTE occurrence, prophylaxis, comorbidities, Injury Severity Score, intensive care unit/hospital length of stay, chest tube, and mechanical ventilation use were recorded. VTE rate was compared between those with isolated chest injury and those with chest injury plus extrathoracic injury. Predictors of VTE were determined with regression analysis. Three hundred seventy patients had isolated chest trauma. The incidence of VTE was 5.4 per cent (n = 20). The VTE rate in those with chest injury plus extrathoracic injury was not significantly different, 4.8 per cent (n = 56 of 1140, P = 0.58). Independent risk factors for VTE after isolated chest trauma were aortic injury (P < 0.01, odds ratio [OR], 47.7), mechanical ventilation (P < 0.01; OR, 6.8), more than seven rib fractures (P < 0.01; OR, 6.1), hemothorax (P < 0.05; OR, 3.9), hypercoagulable state (P < 0.05; OR, 6.3), and age older than 65 years (P < 0.05; OR, 1.03). Patients with the risk factors mentioned are at risk for VTE despite only having thoracic injury and might benefit from more aggressive surveillance and prophylaxis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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