New Approach to Prevent Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalized Patients Recommended by ACP

American College of Physicians. "New Approach to Prevent Venous Thromboembolism In Hospitalized Patients Recommended by ACP." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 1 Nov. 2011. Web.

In a new clinical practice guideline published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that doctors assess the risk of thromboembolism and bleeding in patients hospitalized for medical illnesses, including stroke, before initiating therapy to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE).

VTE, comprised of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT), is a serious, common clinical problem. Because most hospitalized patients have at least one VTE risk factor, many hospitals routinely give patients blood thinners. However, these medications increase the risk of bleeding.

"The evidence does not support routine VTE prophylaxis in patients hospitalized for medical illnesses, including stroke," said Amir Qaseem, MD, FACP, PhD, MHA, Director of Clinical Policy at ACP. "If a patient is at risk for VTE, the American College of Physicians recommends that physicians prescribe heparin or related blood thinners, unless the assessed risk of bleeding outweighs likely benefits."

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