Aspirin and Heparin Equally Effective in Preventing Blood Clots Post Surgery

Aspirin and Heparin Equally Effective in Preventing Blood Clots Post Surgery

It is possible for blood clots to form after bone fracture surgery, McKnights reports. According to a study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, aspirin, an over-the-counter drug, may be as effective as heparin, a blood thinner, in helping to prevent such blood clots.

It is common practice for patients to be prescribed heparin after a fracture-related surgery to help prevent blood clots which may be life-threatening.  The study followed over 12,200 patients who suffered fractures to their extremities, pelvic area or to the ball and socket area of the hip joint. After surgery, they were randomly assigned to take either 30 mg of low-molecular-weight heparin or 81 mg of aspirin, both twice daily. Patient outcomes were studied for 90 days.

It was discovered that aspirin was just as effective as low-molecular-weight heparin in preventing death. Robert O’Toole, MD, Chief of Orthopedics at the University of Maryland Medical Center, reported patients who took aspirin had a low 90-day mortality, lower rates of deep-vein thrombosis or blood clots in the deep veins and pulmonary embolism or blood clots in the arteries to the lungs.

Researchers believe these findings will impact the care that is provided after surgery. Dr. O’Toole stated, “Many patients with fractures will likely strongly prefer to take a daily aspirin over receiving injections after we found that both give them similar outcomes for prevention of the most serious outcomes from blood clots.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 900,000 Americans suffer from blood clots of which almost 100,000 die. Half of these blood clots happen during a surgery or hospitalization or within 90 days. CDC advises blood thinners can help prevent these clots. Patients with fractured bones especially of the abdomen, pelvis, knee or hip are at a higher risk for blood clots.

Cornerstone Rehab clinicians provide rehabilitation therapy to older adults in skilled nursing facilities. Patients may be receiving care for a number of health conditions including post-surgery rehabilitation. Our clinicians are skilled to provide physical and occupational therapy to patients who may be recovering from bone fractures.

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