Prevention of venous thrombosis with small, subcutaneous doses of heparin
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The effect of low-dose heparin prophylaxis on venous thrombosis and bleeding after major elective surgery was studied in a prospective controlled study of 820 patients. The total incidence of venous thrombosis detected with leg-scanning using fibrinogen labeled with radioactive iodine (125I) was reduced from 16.0% in the control group to 4.2% in treated patients. More important, the incidence of popliteal or femoral vein thrombosis was reduced from 2.9% to 1.0%. Prophylaxis resulted in a slight increase in bleeding-minor wound hematoma, mean volume of blood transfused, and a post-operative hematocrit fall in treated patients. However, increased bleeding was clinically minor, and prophylaxis was well tolerated.
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