Prevention of deep vein thrombosis in medical patients by low-dose heparin

J. J. F. Belch, G. D. Lowe, A. G. Ward, C. D. Forbes, C. R. Prentice

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    220 Citations (Scopus)


    A randomised trial was undertaken in one hundred patients with heart failure and/or chest infection to determine whether low-dose subcutaneous heparin induced the frequency of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs. Heparin, (5000 units 8 hourly) significantly reduced the frequency of DVT, diagnosed by the 125I-fibrinogen scan technique, from 26 to 4 per cent (p less than 0.01). Heparin was started within 12 hours of admission to hospital and continued until the patient was fully mobile. Heparin did not cause bleeding problems except for a 20 per cent incidence of injection site bruising. We therefore recommend prophylaxis with low-dose subcutaneous heparin in patients with heart failure or chest infection who require more than three days bed rest.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-117
    Number of pages3
    JournalScottish Medical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1981


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