Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

AHRQ Publishes Summary of the Evidence for the Prevention of Thromboembolism after Injury

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Press Release Date: November 16, 2000

A new study conducted for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center found that there is insufficient evidence to establish whether therapies used to prevent blood clots in trauma patients are better than one another or better than no therapy. The most frequently used methods for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis are sequential compression devices, pumps applied around the calf for mildly squeezing the muscle; low-dose and low-molecular weight heparin, a blood-thinning drug; and vena cava filters, devices designed to capture clots to prevent travel to the lung where they can be fatal.

Because the quantity and quality of the published evidence neither proves that there is a benefit from prophylaxis, nor does it exclude a clinically important benefit, the authors suggest directing future research at identifying the appropriate groups of trauma patients in need of venous thromboembolism prevention and evaluating the safety and efficacy of the various methods of prophylaxis for trauma patients.

The summary of Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism After Injury is available online at Printed copies are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by writing to P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907, or by phoning (800) 358-9295. Copies of the full report are expected to be available in early 2001.

For more information, contact AHRQ Public Affairs (301) 427-1364: Bob Isquith, (301) 427-1539 (

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care