Choosing Wisely:

Don’t recommend bed rest following diagnosis of acute DVT after the initiation of anti-coagulation therapy, unless significant medical concerns are present.

Rationale and Comments: Given the clinical benefits and lack of evidence indicating harmful effects of ambulation and activity, both are recommended following achievement of anticoagulation goals unless there are overriding medical indications. Patients can be harmed by prolonged bed rest that is not medically necessary.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Sources:
  • Systematic review
  • Disciplines:
  • Hematologic
  • References: • Aissaoui N, Martins E, Mouly S, Weber S, Meune C. A meta-analysis of bed rest versus early ambulation in the management of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or both. Int J Cardiol. 2009;137(1):37–41.
    • Anderson CM, Overend TJ, Godwin J, Sealy C, Sunderji A. Ambulation after deep vein thrombosis: a systematic review. Physiother Can. 2009;61(3):133–40.
    • Gay V, Hamilton R, Heiskell S, Sparks AM. Influence of bedrest or ambulation in the clinical treatment of acute deep vein thrombosis on patient outcomes: a review and synthesis of the literature. Medsurg Nurs. 2009;18(5):293–99.
    • Kahn SR, Shrier I, Kearon C. Physical activity in patients with deep venous thrombosis: a systematic review. Thromb Res. 2008;122(6):763–73.

    Email Alerts

    Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

    Sign Up Now