The cost and benefit of prophylaxis against deep vein thrombosis in elective hip replacement. DVT/PE Prophylaxis Consensus Forum. Academic Article uri icon

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  • UNLABELLED: A consensus forum was convened to evaluate the economic considerations associated with prophylaxis against thrombo-embolic disease in patients undergoing hip replacement therapy in South Africa. This forum consists of orthopaedic surgeons, vascular surgeons and a statistician. METHODS: The forum was instructed to evaluate the economic costs of the commonly used forms of prophylaxis of thrombo-embolism in patients undergoing hip replacement surgery in South Africa, looking at short-term events only. The methods used for the prophylaxis of thrombo-embolism in South Africa were determined by a postal survey. A decision tree was constructed to determine the events that will occur after a clinical decision to use no prophylaxis. The probabilities of these events were then determined. Protocols for and costs of prophylaxis and treatment were established. With the decision tree and these costs, the cost of the various modalities of prophylaxis was then determined. RESULTS: The probability, determined by the forum, of developing a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) when no prophylaxis is used was 0.5, with a mortality rate of 2.1%. The cost of this decision was R875. No prophylaxis given, but a venogram performed on day 7, reduced the mortality rate to 0.7%; however, this cost R3 017. The cost of low-molecular-weight heparin was R1 223 (probability 0.26, mortality rate 1.1%), while unfractionated heparin with a graduated compression stocking (GCS) cost R1 351 (probability 0.24, mortality rate 1%). Aspirin with a GCS cost R777 (probability 0.35, mortality rate 1.5%).


  • Abdool-Carrim, T
  • Adler, H
  • Becker, P
  • Carides, M
  • Ginsberg, Jeffrey
  • Golele, R
  • Grobler, G
  • Immelman, E
  • Louwrens, H
  • Lukhele, M
  • Veller, M
  • Watt, K
  • Weber, F
  • Williams, E

publication date

  • May 1997