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Orthopade. 1988 Feb;17(1):110-7.

[Prevention of thromboembolism in surgery].

[Article in German]

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Unfallchirurgische Klinik, Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover.


Thromboembolic complications are one of the most common complications in patients undergoing major surgery or conservative treatment in cast. The incidence of thromboembolic complications is the highest in orthopedic and trauma surgery. Stasis in the deep veins of the lower extremity, intimal damage and disorders in blood coagulation are important factors in the pathogenesis of deep vein thrombosis. The most important predisposing risk factors are age, previous thrombosis, varices and the combination of oral contraceptives and smoking. 50% of thrombosis begins intraoperatively and 80-90% in the first 3-4 days after operation. The incidence of thromboembolic complications was significantly reduced after introduction of low-dose heparin and heparin with dihydroergotamine in the perioperative regimen. Recently various investigations demonstrated that low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is equally as effective as a low-dose heparin regimen in preventing postoperative thromboembolic complications. Our own management of prophylaxis of thromboembolic complications is presented. In a prospective pilot study 100 trauma patients were evaluated. 84 patients received LMWH plus dihydroergotamine (DHE), 12 patients heparin alone because of contraindications for DHE and 4 patients received a low dose continuous intravenous heparin prophylaxis because of high risk. Two deep vein thrombosis occurred, one in a patient with high risk prophylaxis and one in a patient with a subcutaneously heparin prophylaxis. No thromboembolic complications occurred in patients with LMWH + DHE prophylaxis.

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