The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), in conjunction with the Cardiovascular & Pulmonary and Acute Care sections of APTA, have developed this clinical practice guideline to assist physical therapists in their decision-making process when treating patients at risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) or diagnosed with a lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (LE DVT). No matter the practice setting, physical therapists work with patients who are at risk for or have a history of VTE. This document will guide physical therapist practice in the prevention of, screening for, and treatment of patients at risk for or diagnosed with LE DVT. Through a systematic review of published studies and a structured appraisal process, key action statements were written to guide the physical therapist. The evidence supporting each action was rated, and the strength of statement was determined. Clinical practice algorithms, based on the key action statements, were developed that can assist with clinical decision making. Physical therapists, along with other members of the health care team, should work to implement these key action statements to decrease the incidence of VTE, improve the diagnosis and acute management of LE DVT, and reduce the long-term complications of LE DVT.
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