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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 3021567, 8 pages
Research Article

Does Obesity Predispose Medical Intensive Care Unit Patients to Venous Thromboembolism despite Prophylaxis? A Retrospective Chart Review

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Received 2 August 2016; Accepted 26 October 2016

Academic Editor: Timothy E. Albertson

Copyright © 2016 Bradley J. Peters et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Obesity is a significant issue in the critically ill population. There is little evidence directing the dosing of venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis within this population. We aimed to determine whether obesity predisposes medical intensive care unit patients to venous thromboembolism despite standard chemoprophylaxis with 5000 international units of subcutaneous heparin three times daily. Results. We found a 60% increased risk of venous thromboembolism in the body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 group compared to the BMI < 30 kg/m2 group; however, this difference did not reach statistical significance. After further utilizing our risk model, neither obesity nor mechanical ventilation reached statistical significance; however, vasopressor administration was associated with a threefold risk. Conclusions. We can conclude that obesity did increase the rate of VTE, but not to a statistically significant level in this single center medical intensive care unit population.