In hospitalized medical patients, randomized trials have established that anticoagulant prophylaxis has an acceptable benefit-to-risk ratio: ie, it lowers the incidence of clinically silent and symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE), including fatal pulmonary embolism, more than it raises the risks of bleeding and other complications. However, no similar trials have been done in long-term care residents. More research is needed to ascertain which long-term care residents would benefit most from VTE prophylaxis. In the absence of evidence-based guidelines, we advocate a selective approach.
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