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Heparin's Benefit Doubtful For Bedridden Patients

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Routine use of heparin to prevent thrombosis doesn't reduce mortality among bedridden medical patients, say two French researchers. Their study of 2,472 patients in 39 internal medicine departments revealed that 10% died during treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin (0.3 mL nadroparin, once daily for up to 21 days), compared with 10.3% in the placebo group. Giving bedridden patients heparin may reduce the risk of thrombophlebitis, the researchers say, but it seems to have little benefit against fatal pulmonary embolism.

Source: Lancet 348:205-206, July 20, 1996 (letter)

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.


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