Patient compliance with extended low molecular weight heparin injections following hip and knee arthroplasty


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Abstract

Abstract.The use of extended duration thromboprophylaxis following hip and knee arthroplasty is becoming widespread. The aim of our study was to determine patient compliance with extended duration thromboprophylaxis using low molecular weight (LMWH) injections following hip and knee arthroplasty.42 consecutive patients undergoing hip and knee arthroplasty were prospectively contacted during their fifth post operative week. A fully anonymised questionnaire was completed by each patient. All patients responded. One was excluded having been prescribed warfarin for pre existing atrial fibrillation. Twenty nine (71%) patients were discharged with the intention of self administering LMWH injections. Eight (20%) and four (9%) patients were discharged with the intention of administration by a relative or district nurse respectively. No patient required the person administering the injections to be changed after discharge from hospital. 90% (n=37) of patients reported not missing any doses. 10% (n=2) of patients missed one dose and 10% (n=2) missed two doses. Patient compliance with extended duration thromboprophylaxis using LMWH injections is extremely high. Oral thromboprophylaxis may be useful in the minority of patients requiring daily visits by a nurse to administer injections.

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