Thromboprophylaxis after cesarean delivery: a decision analysis.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare 4 strategies for managing patients after cesarean delivery.

METHODS

Using decision analysis, we compared universal subcutaneous (SC) heparin prophylaxis, heparin prophylaxis only for patients with a genetic thrombophilia, use of pneumatic compression stockings (PCS), and no thromboprophylaxis. Outcomes included heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), HIT-related thrombosis, major maternal bleeding, and venous thromboembolism (VTE).

RESULTS

Use of PCS was the strategy with the lowest number of adverse events. With heparin prophylaxis, 13 cases of HIT-induced thrombosis and hemorrhage would occur per VTE prevented. When heparin prophylaxis is administered only to thrombophilia-positive women, 1.2 cases of HIT-induced thrombosis and bleeding would occur per VTE prevented. In sensitivity analyses, the model was stable across virtually all variable ranges.

CONCLUSION

Use of PCS after cesarean delivery is the strategy with the lowest number of adverse events. Universal prophylaxis with SC heparin is associated with an excess risk of HIT-induced thrombosis and bleeding per VTE prevented compared with PCS use. Until future studies are completed, postcesarean thromboprophylaxis with PCS should be used if the clinician elects to provide prophylaxis.

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