Thromboembolic Disease during Pregnancy and the Puerperium, Obstetrics

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Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major cause of maternal death in the United Kingdom. Pregnant women presenting with a suspicion or symptoms of VTE, regardless of gestation, should be referred to an obstetrician. Women who are collapsed or shocked should be referred to Emergency Medicine and be reviewed there by an obstetrician. (for QEUH see Appendix 1) Clinical assessment and diagnosis of women presenting with suspected VTE in pregnancy is unreliable and therefore it is imperative that a clinical suspicion is always confirmed by appropriate objective testing. Acute VTE should be suspected during pregnancy in  women  with symptoms and signs consistent with possible VTE, particularly if there are other risk factors for VTE (see table 1). The symptoms and signs of VTE include leg pain and swelling (usually unilateral), lower abdominal pain, low grade pyrexia, dyspnoea, chest pain, haemoptysis and collapse.

NOTE: this guideline is hosted on the NHSGGC Obstetrics & Gynaecology Handbook website. Clicking on the link below will open the guideline in a new window.


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