L. M. Batty MBBS, BMedSc; S. M. Lyon MBBS, FRANZCR; A. S. Dowrick PhD; M. Bailey MSc, PhD; P. D. Mahar MBBS, LLB; S. M. Liew MBBS, FRACS.
Pulmonary embolism and the use of vena cava filters after major trauma
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2012
© 2012 The Authors. ANZ Journal of Surgery © 2012 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
ANZ Journal of Surgery
Volume 82, Issue 11, pages 817–821, November 2012
How to Cite
Batty, L. M., Lyon, S. M., Dowrick, A. S., Bailey, M., Mahar, P. D. and Liew, S. M. (2012), Pulmonary embolism and the use of vena cava filters after major trauma. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 82: 817–821. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2012.06192.x
This manuscript was based on research presented at the 2009 RACS ASM.
- Issue published online: 4 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 DEC 2011
- major trauma;
- pulmonary embolism;
- vena cava filter;
- venous thromboembolism
Major trauma patients are at significant risk of developing pulmonary embolism (PE). We aimed to (i) analyse the current incidence and timing of PE after injury; (ii) identify risk factors that predispose major trauma patients to the occurrence of PE; and (iii) describe the use of vena cava filters (VCFs) following major trauma.
Prospectively collected data from The Alfred Hospital's Trauma Registry were used to identify all major trauma patients admitted over a 7-year period. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with the occurrence of PE. A similar model was developed to identify factors associated with the use of VCFs inserted at the discretion of the treating clinician.
A total of 6344 major trauma patients were treated during this period, with 73.2% male, mean age of 44.2, 90.2% with a blunt mechanism of injury and mean injury severity score of 24.3. Prophylactic VCFs were inserted in 511 patients (8.1%), with a mean time to insertion of 3.6 days after injury. There were 45 PE, 2 of which were fatal. The mean time to PE was 12 days post-injury. Three variables were independently associated with the occurrence of PE: the absence of a VCF; number of injuries to the lower limb; and central venous catheterization.
The PE rate was 0.71%. Lower limb injuries and central venous catheterization are independently associated with a higher risk of PE after major trauma and VCFs are associated with a reduced risk.