How is deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prevented in patients with West Nile virus infection?

Updated: Apr 02, 2018
  • Author: Jess D Salinas, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Answer

Elderly patients who are severely deconditioned because of West Nile virus encephalitis may be predisposed to deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The inherent risk of having DVT is the development of a pulmonary embolus that can cause death.

Risk factors for DVT may include, among others, decreased mobilization, a history of smoking, and a history of premorbid medical conditions, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, hypercoagulopathy, and peripheral vascular disease.

Prevention strategies include the use of thigh-high compression stockings, pneumatic compression devices, and subcutaneous, unfractionated or low–molecular weight heparins. Early mobilization and ambulation also may decrease the risk of DVT.

Doppler ultrasonography may be used to monitor for DVT, but its accuracy is limited, as has been shown in many studies.


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