To evaluate the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Asian trauma patients and the relation to use of chemoprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH).
The Tan Tock Seng trauma database between December 2011 and December 2012 was reviewed. All trauma patients with an injury severity score of 9 or more were included. All medical records were screened for Duplex ultrasound (US) of lower limbs, any computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) performed and whether there was use of LMWH chemoprophylaxis. Patients hospitalized for less than 2 days were excluded.
From December 2011 to December 2012 there were 1028 patients who fit our inclusion criteria. Of these patients, 33 (3.2%) received LMWH. All patients received mechanical prophylaxis in the form of pneumatic calf compressors. A total of 5 patients had VTE events. The incidence of VTE was 0.5% in the whole group and 0.8% in those with lower limb or pelvic fractures.
The incidence of VTE in Asian trauma patients is low compared to the west despite the low incidence of LMWH chemoprophylaxis. Mechanical prophylaxis appears to be sufficient in the prevention of VTE.