To evaluate the prehospital use of direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) agents on the outcomes of early surgical fixation of a geriatric hip fracture.
Case control study.
Two academic Level 1 trauma centers.
Early (<48 h) surgical fixation of a geriatric proximal femur fracture.
Nineteen patients receiving Pradaxa (dabigatran), Eliquis (apixaban), or Xarelto (rivaroxaban) who underwent surgery between 2010 and 2015 and 74 control patients.
Main Outcome Measurements:
Time to surgery, transfusion rates, changes in hemoglobin levels, postoperative complications, readmission rates, and survival out to 1 year.
There were no differences in transfusions, changes in hemoglobin levels, wound complications, or survival at any time point. Patients on DOAC had a longer delay to reach the operating room (28.9 h v 21.4 h P = 0.03) and were more likely to undergo readmission within 30 days (21% vs. 5.3% P = 0.05). No readmissions occurred for a complication of the surgical site, bleeding, or a venous thromboembolic event.
Geriatric patients with hip fractures receiving DOAC before admission did not demonstrate worse outcomes with early surgical intervention. The increased readmission rate in this population seems attributable to the underlying cardiac conditions for which the patients were receiving anticoagulation. These results suggest that the delay recommended for patients using a DOAC before elective procedures may be unwarranted in the surgically urgent setting of a hip fracture. Additional studies will be necessary for appropriate meta-analysis.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.