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A Journal on Angiology
Official Journal of the , the International Union of Phlebology and the
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,899
International Angiology 2002 March;21(1):78-85
The use of low molecular weight heparins for the prevention of postoperative venous thromboembolism in general surgery. A survey of practice in the United States
Caprini J. A., Arcelus J. *, Sehgal L. R., Cohen E. B., Reyna J. J. *
From the Departments of Surgery, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, IL, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA and
* Hospital de la Axarquía, Vélez-Málaga, Spain
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Background. Even though low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) have become the standard for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in most European countries and Canada, it was not until recently that LMWHs were approved for use in the United States. The main objective of this study was to assess the current preferences and attitudes of United States surgeons toward the prevention of VTE with particular reference to LMWH.
Methods. A survey with questions relative to VTE awareness, risk factors, and prevention practices was mailed to 10,000 Fellows of the American College of Surgeons.
Results. A total of 1,145 (11.45%) usable questionnaires were returned. The vast majority (96%) of respondents use prophylaxis against VTE. Although LMWHs were rated first regarding efficacy and second regarding simplicity of use, conventional unfractionated heparin at fixed doses remains the preferred pharmacological agent for VTE prevention (74%), followed by 2 LMWHs: enoxaparin (34%) and dalteparin (16%). Overall, 52% of surgeons preferred physical methods over pharmacological methods when used separately and 26% of surgeons utilize combined physical-pharmacological modalities.
Conclusions. North American general surgeons have substantially modified their approach to VTE prevention in the last 4 years. Physical methods and unfractionated heparin remain the preferred prophylactic modalities, but LMWHs have gained rapid acceptance since their approval for use for VTE prevention in North America. Even though the results of this survey must be interpreted with caution because of the limited response rate and possible sampling bias, they still reflect the current preferences and attitudes of North American surgeons toward prophylaxis.