Preventing venous thromboembolism

Knowing the dangers, risk factors and prevention strategies will help GPs discuss the topic

There are several strategies to ward off VTE in travellers.

Given the ever-increasing popularity of long-distance travel and the fact that older Australians are travelling more than ever, prevention of venous thromboembolism will be an important topic in many pre-travel health consultations.

Knowing the dangers, risk factors and prevention strategies will help the GP discuss the topic. Recent developments mean that the potential and place of the new oral anticoagulants in VTE prevention may increasingly be discussed.

Fortunately, the overall incidence of VTE related to travel is low. The risk of VTE specifically related to air travel has been estimated to be one in 4656 for flights lasting more four hours, rising to one in 1264 for flights lasting 16 hours or longer.1

Although travel-related VTE has been dubbed the ‘economy class syndrome', there is no clear evidence that

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