Continuing Medical Education

Venous thromboembolism in pregnancy

P F Wessels


Pregnancy-related venous thromboembolic events are important preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in South Africa. All pregnant patients should be evaluated for thrombotic risk at different stages of their pregnancy and appropriate preventive steps taken. Maternal and fetal wellbeing must be kept in mind, as well as physiological changes leading to altered drug pharmacokinetics. Managing the patient with thrombotic risk in pregnancy, diagnosing venous thromboembolism (VTE) during pregnancy and treatment of venous thromboembolic events should be managed by a team. Excellent recent reviews on this subject are available, including risk factor stratification in anticoagulant therapy; managing the patient at time of labour; diagnosing VTE; and managing neuraxial anaesthesia in the pregnant patient on anticoagulant therapy.

Author's affiliations

P F Wessels, Ampath Laboratories; and Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Venous thromboembolism; Pregnancy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(11):824-832. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i11.14365

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-10-31
Date published: 2019-10-31

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