A multicenter review of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis practice patterns for blunt hepatic trauma

Datta, Indraneel; Ball, Chad G.; Rudmik, Lucas R.; Paton-Gay, Damian; Bhayana, Deepak; Salat, Peter; Schieman, Colin; Smith, Dean F.; vanWijngaarden-Stephens, Mary; Kortbeek, John B.
January 2009
Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes;2009, Vol. 3, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Non-operative management of blunt hepatic trauma is successful in the majority of hemodynamically stable patients. Due to the risk of recurrent hemorrhage, pharmacologic deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis is often delayed. The optimal timing of prophylaxis is unclear. A multi-centre, retrospective review of patients with blunt hepatic injuries presenting between 2000 and 2004 was performed. All patients had an ISS ⩾ 12 and a CT scan confirming hepatic trauma. Patients were categorized into: (1) early DVT prophylaxis (⩽ 48 hrs of admission), (2) delayed prophylaxis (>48 hrs), and (3) no prophylaxis. Methods and results: Thirty-seven (25%) and 45 (42%) patients received early and delayed DVT prophylaxis respectively. The remainder (32%) received none. Mean hepatic injury grades were lower in the early prophylaxis group (II) compared to the delayed and no prophylaxis cohorts (III)(p = 0.002). The number of patients requiring post-admission blood transfusions was highest in the delayed group (44%) compared to the early (26%) and no prophylaxis (6%) groups (p = 0.03). No patient in the early prophylaxis cohort developed a DVT or required delayed angiographic or operative intervention. Two patients in the delayed group failed non-operative management. Eight (18%) patients in the delayed group developed a clinically significant DVT; 1 (2%) progressed to a PE. Conclusion: Practice patterns indicate that chemical DVT prophylaxis initiated within 48 hours of admission may be safe in patients with significant blunt hepatic trauma. Delays in prevention result in venothromboembolic events, but not in fewer blood transfusions or a decreased need for subsequent angiographic or operative therapies.


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