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Symptomatic venous thromboembolism in Asian major trauma patients: incidence, presentation and risk factors



Symptomatic venous thromboembolism in Asian major trauma patients: incidence, presentation and risk factors



European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 39(5): 495-500



Trauma patients are known to be at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), and pulmonary embolism (PE) is one of the preventable causes of mortality in trauma patients. The incidence of VTE in Asian populations was believed to be lower than in Caucasians, but the recent literature suggests that this is not the case. The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence of VTE in Asian major trauma patients and to examine the manner of presentation, use of prophylaxis and risk factors for VTE. While other studies of VTE have addressed general and high-risk populations within Asia, our study is one of the few to examine Asian major trauma patients. Data for all patients with VTE were extracted from the Singapore General Hospital trauma database over a 10-year period from 1998 to 2007. Patient profiles and clinical factors were compared to patients without a diagnosis of VTE admitted with injuries in the same time period. There were 8,615 patients entered into our database in this 10-year period. Thirty-four patients had VTE, with an overall incidence of 0.39 %. Thirteen patients had pulmonary embolism, an incidence of 0.15 %. Of note, 30 % of patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) presented with fever alone without limb symptoms. Almost all 34 patients who developed VTE had either head injury, a spinal cord injury or a pelvic/extremity injury. Eighteen patients had head injury, 22 patients sustained pelvic or extremity injury, and three patients had spinal cord injury with paraplegia. Head injury and spinal cord injury with neurologic sequelae were statistically significant risk factors for VTE (p < 0.05). The incidence of symptomatic VTE in the Asian trauma population is no lower than in the West. The incidence found in this study is similar to the incidence of VTE according to a study using data from the American national trauma data bank using similar study methods and with a similar study population. It is also higher than the incidence in the literature for general post-surgical Asian patients. Fever was the presenting factor in some patients and screening for VTE should not be forgotten when assessing fever in the trauma patient. The strong association between head injury, spinal cord injury and VTE confirms that we should pay special attention to VTE prophylaxis for our patients with these injuries.

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Accession: 058949576

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26815446

DOI: 10.1007/s00068-013-0292-4


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