Preventing Venous Thromboembolism in Critical Care (ICU)

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (PE), is a potentially serious complication that delays recovery and discharge, leads to long-term and often life changing complications, while increasing healthcare cost.1,2


With sub-optimal prophylaxis, the risk of VTE in ICU patients may be as high as 80%.3 Even with preventative measures, up to 15% of patients4 will be diagnosed with VTE, many during their first week of admission.3 However, because the condition may remain clinically ‘silent’,5,6 the actual incidence may be underestimated and the first evidence of a PE may still be at post mortem.7,8 Fortunately, unexpected hospital death from PE is declining,9 perhaps due to diligent prophylaxis, but VTE remains the most common, preventable, cause of inpatient mortality.4

To read more regarding why ICU patients are particularly vulnerable and prevention of VTE in ICU, please download our Clinical Focus brochure. 

Download the VTE Clinical Focus


1. Mahan CE, Borrego ME, Woersching et al. Venous thromboembolism: annualized United States models for total, hospital-acquired and preventable costs utilizing long-term attack rates. Thromb Haemost. 2012: 108(2): 291-3902
2. Ruppert A, Steinle T, Lees M. Economic burden of venous thromboembolism: a systematic review. J Med Econ. 2011; 14(1): 65-74
3. Attia J, Ray JG, Cook D et al. Deep vein thrombosis and its prevention in critically ill adults. Arch Intern Med. 2001; 161: 1268-1279
4. Duranteau J, Taccone FS, Verhamme P et al. European guidelines on perioperative venous thromboembolism prophylaxis. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2018; 35: 142-146