The Consensus Conference statement in this issue of The Journal1 provides a valuable review of what is known about the occurrence of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and their prevention. It will be interesting for all physicians and is particularly important for those in surgical disciplines. Deep venous thrombosis is common, but serious pulmonary embolism is less frequent, occurs episodically, and tends to be forgotten until a disaster occurs.
The conference identified the high-risk groups and sifted through the voluminous literature on prevention. Concise, definite recommendations are given. It is clear that all high-risk groups should be given prophylaxis. The cost-benefit ratio and problems that would be associated with prophylaxis for all surgical patients were not addressed.
A bibliography was gathered from a MEDLINE search of the literature from January 1984 through January 1986 as part of the consensus process. It does not list many of the classic studies
Baue AE. Prevention of Venous Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism. JAMA. 1986;256(6):757. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380060083032