Clinical assessment of venous thromboembolic risk in surgical patients

J. A. Caprini*, J. I. Arcelus, J. H. Hasty, A. C. Tamhane, F. Fabrega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

343 Scopus citations


Prophylaxis against postoperative venous thromboembolism should be tailored according to the patient's level of risk. However, risk assessment is not yet in widespread use in surgical practice. In this study, 538 general surgical patients were prospectively assessed based on a scoring system containing 20 risk factors. Depending on the total risk factor score, the patients were grouped into low (0 to 1, 34.5%), moderate (2 to 4, 48.5%), or high risk (more than 4, 17.2%) categories. Statistically significant (p < 0.0001) correlation was found between our results and those of three existing risk assessment systems. Overall, of the 538 patients, 37.2% received prophylaxis; 10%, 42.1%, and 76% received prophylaxis in the low-, moderate-, and high-risk categories, respectively. Mechanical prophylactic modalities (graduated elastic compression and sequential intermittent compression) were preferred over pharmacologic modalities. These results suggest that implementation of prophylaxis remains underutilized despite published reports, includingf NIH guidelines. Our results indicate that the majority of surgical patients seen in this suburban hospital have two or more risk factors for developing venous thromboembolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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