Background: This guideline addressed VTE prevention in hospitalized medical patients, outpatients with cancer, the chronically immobilized, long-distance travelers, and those with asymptomatic thrombophilia.
Methods: This guideline follows methods described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.
Results: For acutely ill hospitalized medical patients at increased risk of thrombosis, we recommend anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH) bid, LDUH tid, or fondaparinux (Grade 1B) and suggest against extending the duration of thromboprophylaxis beyond the period of patient immobilization or acute hospital stay (Grade 2B). For acutely ill hospitalized medical patients at low risk of thrombosis, we recommend against the use of pharmacologic prophylaxis or mechanical prophylaxis (Grade 1B). For acutely ill hospitalized medical patients at increased risk of thrombosis who are bleeding or are at high risk for major bleeding, we suggest mechanical thromboprophylaxis with graduated compression stockings (GCS) (Grade 2C) or intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) (Grade 2C). For critically ill patients, we suggest using LMWH or LDUH thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2C). For critically ill patients who are bleeding or are at high risk for major bleeding, we suggest mechanical thromboprophylaxis with GCS and/or IPC at least until the bleeding risk decreases (Grade 2C). In outpatients with cancer who have no additional risk factors for VTE we suggest against routine prophylaxis with LMWH or LDUH (Grade 2B) and recommend against the prophylactic use of vitamin K antagonists (Grade 1B).
Conclusions: Decisions regarding prophylaxis in nonsurgical patients should be made after consideration of risk factors for both thrombosis and bleeding, clinical context, and patients' values and preferences.