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October 9, 2013

Postoperative Venous Thromboembolic Disease: Prevention, Public Reporting, and Patient Protection

Author Affiliations
  • 1Deputy Editor, JAMA, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2013;310(14):1453-1454. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280049

“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.