Pulmonary embolism and the use of vena cava filters after major trauma

Lachlan M Batty, Stuart M Lyon, Adam Stuart Dowrick, Michael John Bailey, Patrick Mahar, Susan M Liew

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Background: Major trauma patients are at significant risk of developing pulmonary embolism (PE). We aimed to (i) analyse the current incidence and timing of PE after injury; (ii) identify risk factors that predispose major trauma patients to the occurrence of PE; and (iii) describe the use of vena cava filters (VCFs) following major trauma. Methods: Prospectively collected data from The Alfred Hospital s Trauma Registry were used to identify all major trauma patients admitted over a 7-year period. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with the occurrence of PE. A similar model was developed to identify factors associated with the use of VCFs inserted at the discretion of the treating clinician. Results: A total of 6344 major trauma patients were treated during this period, with 73.2 male, mean age of 44.2, 90.2 with a blunt mechanism of injury and mean injury severity score of 24.3. Prophylactic VCFs were inserted in 511 patients (8.1 ), with a mean time to insertion of 3.6 days after injury. There were 45 PE, 2 of which were fatal. The mean time to PE was 12 days post-injury. Three variables were independently associated with the occurrence of PE: the absence of a VCF; number of injuries to the lower limb; and central venous catheterization. Conclusion: The PE rate was 0.71 . Lower limb injuries and central venous catheterization are independently associated with a higher risk of PE after major trauma and VCFs are associated with a reduced risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817 - 821
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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