Call to Action to Prevent Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalized Patients: A Policy Statement From the American Heart Association

Circulation. 2020 Jun 16;141(24):e914-e931. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000769. Epub 2020 May 7.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major preventable disease that affects hospitalized inpatients. Risk stratification and prophylactic measures have good evidence supporting their use, but multiple reasons exist that prevent full adoption, compliance, and efficacy that may underlie the persistence of VTE over the past several decades. This policy statement provides a focused review of VTE, risk scoring systems, prophylaxis, and tracking methods. From this summary, 5 major areas of policy guidance are presented that the American Heart Association believes will lead to better implementation, tracking, and prevention of VTE events. They include performing VTE risk assessment and reporting the level of VTE risk in all hospitalized patients, integrating preventable VTE as a benchmark for hospital comparison and pay-for-performance programs, supporting appropriations to improve public awareness of VTE, tracking VTE nationwide with the use of standardized definitions, and developing a centralized data steward for data tracking on VTE risk assessment, prophylaxis, and rates.

Keywords: AHA Scientific Statements; epidemiologic studies; inpatients; pulmonary embolism; risk assessment; venous thromboembolism; venous thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Congresses as Topic
  • Disease Management
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Premedication
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism / diagnosis
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / therapy