(VTE) is one of the most common postoperative
complications and prophylaxis
(prevention) is the most effective
strategy to reduce complications and/or death. VTE
is a condition where a blood clot (thrombus
) forms in a vein.
This clot can limit blood flow causing swelling, redness and pain. Most commonly,
clots occur in the legs, thighs, or pelvis. If a part, or all, of the clot breaks off from where it was formed, it can travel
through the veins. The part that breaks off is called an em bolus
. If the em bolus
lodges in the lung, it is called a pulmonary embolism
, a serious condition that
can cause death.
Why is it important?
Certain types of surgery can increase the risk of blood clots forming in
the veins because the patient doesn't move much during and, usually,
after some surgeries. A number of factors can increase a patient's risk
of developing blood clots, but
a doctor can order a prophylaxis to reduce the risk. Prophylaxis
may include blood-thinning medications, elastic support stockings, or
air stockings that promote circulation in the legs. .
The chart above indicates how often surgery patients' doctors ordered treatment to prevent
blood clots from forming in the veins after certain surgeries.