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“Few complications in medicine and surgery are as unpredictable, treacherous and
dramatically tragic as the thromboembolic phenomena” wrote DeBakey et al in 1943 in
JAMA.1 Recumbency and inactivity
characteristic of hospitalization have long been known as risk factors for venous thromboembolic
(VTE) disease. Because little can be done regarding inactivity of very ill patients, efforts to
prevent VTE have long been directed at anticoagulation. “Until recently, combative measures in
pulmonary embolism have been singularly ineffective,” continued DeBakey and colleagues.
Livingston EH. Postoperative Venous Thromboembolic DiseasePrevention, Public Reporting, and Patient Protection. JAMA. 2013;310(14):1453-1454. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280049