[Thrombophlebitis: bed rest or walking exercise?].

It is a common tradition to admit patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to the hospital and put them to bed for several days because of fear from pulmonary embolism, even if they are mobile. Between May 1994 and December 1997 929 patients were admitted to our department who were treated by subcutaneous injections of low-molecular-weight heparin (mainly 200 IU dalteparin per kilogram body-weight per 24 hours), got firm compression bandages and were encouraged to walk as much as possible. On admission DVT propagated into the pelvis in 268 patients, into the thigh in 480 and below the popliteal level in 181 patients. V/Q-lung scans were performed at baseline and repeated after 10 days on average. In these three groups primary pulmonary embolism was diagnosed in 49.4%, 50% and 34% respectively, new emboli after 10 days were found in 6.1%, 5.7% and 3.9%. Only one third of the patients with embolism on admission and 5 from 50 patients who developed new emboli showed some dyspnoea. 12 patients died and underwent autopsy, 3 fatal events were caused by pulmonary embolism. With out management the incidence of thromboembolic complications is statistically significantly lower than data from the literature. Preliminary results from an ongoing randomised trial comparing bed-rest, compression bandages and compression stockings in the acute phase of proximal DVT demonstrate faster improvement of swelling and of pain in the compression-groups. Low-molecular-weight heparin has greatly facilitated therapy of DVT since effective anticoagulation can be obtained by subcutaneous injections of fixed doses without the need of laboratory monitoring. For the future development of conservative management mechanical prophylaxis of thrombus extension by acceleration of venous flow using leg compression and walking will probably become as important as exact anticoagulation.
AuthorsH Partsch
JournalWiener medizinische Wochenschrift (1946) (Wien Med Wochenschr) Vol. 149 Issue 2-4 Pg. 50-3 ( 1999) ISSN: 0043-5341 [Print] AUSTRIA
Vernacular TitleBeinvenenthrombose: Bettruhe oder Gehübungen?
PMID10378323 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, English Abstract, Journal Article, Multicenter Study, Randomized Controlled Trial)
Chemical References
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages
  • Bed Rest
  • Cause of Death
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight (administration & dosage)
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Embolism (mortality, prevention & control)
  • Survival Rate
  • Thrombophlebitis (mortality, rehabilitation)
  • Walking

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