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Prophylactic treatment of venous thromboembolic disease in palliative care. A survey about four different clinical cases

Prophylactic treatment of venous thromboembolic disease in palliative care. A survey about four different clinical cases

Presse Medicale 38(9): 1235-1239

There are no specific studies evaluating the benefit/risk of antithrombotic prophylactic treatment in patients hospitalised in a palliative care unit. So, the aim of this study was to evaluate the clinicians attitudes about antithrombotic prophylaxis for patients in palliative care units and the elements which determined their decisions. The clinical data of 4 terminally ill patients were extracted from database of a Palliative Care Unit in France. These 4 patients were selected as they represented several different situations according to the presence or not of major thrombotic risk factors, bleeding risk factors, and request of compassionate care. Through an open questionnaire, fourteen clinicians usually in charge of palliative care patients were individually interviewed about antithrombotic prophylactic therapy for each case of patients. except in the case of a patient with major thrombotic risk factors, no bleeding risk factor and wishing to receive active care, both the attitudes of clinicians to initiate or continue a prophylactic therapy and the elements which lead to their decisions were heterogeneous at least. the absence of recommendations based on validated clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of thromboembolism prophylactic treatment in palliative care patients lead to uncertain decisions for clinicians. Added to an objective evaluation of thrombotic and hemorrhagic risks factors, the wish of patient to receive or not active care is probably the most important element to consider.

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Accession: 055231946

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PMID: 19375271

DOI: 10.1016/j.lpm.2008.11.021

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