BACKGROUND: This prospective observational cohort study evaluates risk-stratified venous thromboembolism (VTE) screening in injured children. While the reported incidence of VTE is 6% to 10% among critically injured children, there is no standard for screening. Venous thromboembolism may have long-term sequelae in children, including postthrombotic syndrome. METHODS: Patients admitted to a level 1 pediatric trauma center were risk stratified for VTE using a validated prediction algorithm. Children at high risk (risk scores ≥523; i.e., ≥1% risk) received screening duplex ultrasonography. Children at moderate risk (risk scores 410–522; i.e., 0.3–0.99% risk) were screened as a comparison/control. RESULTS: Three-hundred fifty-five children were consecutively risk stratified from October 2019 to May 2021. Forty-seven children received screening duplex ultrasounds: 21 from a high-risk cohort and 26 from a moderate-risk cohort. Four children were diagnosed with VTE in the high-risk cohort compared with seven in the moderate-risk cohort (p = 0.53). Total incidence of VTE among screened children was 23.4% (11 of 47). Asymptomatic VTE accounted for 81.8% of all events (9 of 11). Fifty-four percent (6 of 11) of VTE were central venous catheter associated. Venous thromboembolism in surviving children resolved by 3 to 6 months with no symptoms of postthrombotic syndrome after 1 year. No cases of VTE were identified in unscreened children, yielding an institutional VTE incidence of 3.1% (11 of 355). DISCUSSION: Risk-stratified screening demonstrates a significant incidence of asymptomatic VTE in injured children. These results may guide reevaluation of prediction algorithms developed from symptomatic VTE risk and longitudinal study of the sequelae of asymptomatic VTE.
- Pediatric trauma
- deep vein thrombosis
- venous thromboembolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine