Editorial Commentary

Intermittent pneumatic compression plus pharmacological thromboprophylaxis to prevent deep vein thrombosis

Luis Jara-Palomares, Samira Marin-Romero, María Isabel Asensio-Cruz, Teresa Elias-Hernandez, Remedios Otero-Candelera


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a disease that comprises pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), being a preventable cause of mortality and morbidity (1). Pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) or unfractionated heparin (UFH), in trials, have shown a reduction of the incidence of DVT nearly 50% (2). Due to evaluation of bleeding, many physicians perceive that the harm of thromboprophylaxis is higher than VTE risk, and for that reason thromboprophylaxis is underused (3,4). Intermittent pneumatic compression devices (IPCD) sporadically apply external pressure on vasculature and calf muscles. IPCD are recommended in patients in whom pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis is contraindicated (5,6).

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