Heart & Circulation

Cochrane Vascular needs a Consumer Reviewer to comment on a protocol that plans to investigate vena caval filters for preventing blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)

Skills / interests: Consumer (public, patient, carer) input

Blood clots (venous thromboembolism) can form anywhere in the venous circulation. Clots within a deep vein (known as deep vein thrombosis - DVT), may break up and travel through the blood system, lodging in the small blood vessels in the lungs. This is known as acute pulmonary embolism (APE) and can cause serious illness and death. The first-line treatment for above-knee DVT and APE is anticoagulation or thrombolysis.  It is not safe to give some people these treatments and these people represent a significant clinical challenge on how they can be best managed. One option is to trap the clots before they reach the lungs using a filter placed into a blood vessel (the vena cava). This can be associated with device and procedure-related costs (insertion and removal), and short- and long-term complications related to the filter and interruption of normal blood flow.  It is important to know if vena caval filters are safe and effective in preventing APE in specific clinical situations where standard first-line treatments are not appropriate. This systematic review plans to find and summarise all the best evidence about this to help healthcare professionals and people at high risk of APE make decisions on what treatment options are best for them. If you have personal or carer experience of this condition your comments would be very helpful. Systematic review methodology expertise is not needed. If you are interested, we will send you the protocol and a comments checklist.  This task will take between two to three hours.  

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