VTE: The Basics
Venous thromboembolic disease consists of both deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) and represents a serious risk to all ICU patients. Three key elements contribute to the development of DVT and PE:
- Venous stasis
- Venous Injury
Up to a third of ICU patients will develop DVT or PE without appropriate prophylaxis. The development of VTE has been shown to increase the duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU and hospital length of stay. Furthermore, the development of PE may cause cardiac or respiratory failure or even death.