Interventions which aim to reduce the risk

Testing your knowledge about interventions to reduce the risk of DVT after stroke

Avoid dehydration

Although not based on reliable evidence there are studies which suggest that if patients are dehydrated their risk of DVT is increased.

Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH)

Anticoagulation reduces the risk of DVT and PE, but they increase risk of bleeding & RCTs have not shown improved survival or recovery

Early mobilisation

Immobility is an important risk factor for developing DVT and therefore it makes clinical sense to mobilise the patient early. However there are risks associated with this i.e. falls.

Constipation

There is no evidence or plausible reason that relief of constipation reduces the risk of DVT.

Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC)

IPC has been shown in the CLOTS 3 trial to reduce the risk of DVT in stroke patients and to improve their chances of survival. SIGN guidelines recommend for immobile stroke patients

Graduated Compression Stockings (GCS)

The CLOTS 1 trial showed that applying GCS did not reduce the risk of DVT in stroke patients, and it did cause some skin breaks on the legs. They are not recommended in stroke guidelines.

Page last reviewed: 22 Apr 2020