Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis on discharge

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This policy is based on recommendations in SIGN Guideline 122, Prevention and management of venous thromboembolism.

All patients should be considered for extended VTE prophylaxis on discharge from hospital and the decision to continue prophylaxis should be documented in the immediate discharge letter.

  • For orthopaedic patients discharged following elective hip or knee arthroplasty surgery, pharmacological prophylaxis should be continued for a total duration of 6 weeks from the date of surgery in the absence of any contraindication.
  • In all other patients extended VTE prophylaxis should be considered on an individual case-by-case basis dependent on an assessment of the relative risk-benefit ratio.

This guidance should be applied in conjunction with the NHS Highland Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Assessment Protocol contained in common admission documents which describes contraindications to VTE prophylaxis and provides guidance on enoxaparin dosing in patients with reduced renal function and in patients with low body weight.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 06 October 2016

Next review: 06 October 2019

Author(s): VTE prophylaxis working group

Approved By: High-UHB.tam@nhs.net

Reviewer Name(s): Dr Ken McDonald