Pulmonary embolism, Retrievable IVC filters, Venothromboembolic prophylaxis



  1. FitzPatrick, Mary Kate RN, MSN, CRNP-BC
  2. Reilly, Patrick MD, FACS
  3. Stavropoulos, S. William MD


ABSTRACT: Prevention of venothromboembolic complications remains a challenge in trauma care. Guidelines for prophylaxis published by the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma stratify patients by risk and recommend therapies based on scientific evidence. New innovations such as retrievable inferior vena cava filters are being used by trauma surgeons for patients at risk for pulmonary embolism but in whom anticoagulation is contraindicated. Some available devices offer a limited timeframe for retrieval beyond which the device becomes permanent. The increased utilization of this technology presents case management challenges to trauma teams. Patients who are unreliable or may be difficult to track posthospitalization (homeless, migrant workers, prison system, etc.) run the risk of not having their filters removed as initially intended. Nurses can play a critical role in helping to manage and direct the discharge plan and case management of trauma patients with retrievable inferior vena cava filters.