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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 330-335

The use of thromboembolic prophylaxis by surgeons: A multicentre Nigerian study

Dept of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital,Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
V I Akinmoladun
Dept of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital,Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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BACKGROUND: Despite the well known contributions of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism to perioperative deaths, these major causes of morbidity and mortality appear not to be given adequate attention by surgeons in our environment. OBJECTIVE: To study the practice of thromboembolic prophylaxis among surgeons in some sub-specialties in three Nigerian tertiary institutions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A structured questionnaire was used to collect information from consultants in the surgical sub-specialties on the use of thromboembolic prophylaxis in their practice. RESULTS: Fifty nine adequately completed questionnaires were returned. Of this, only 28 (47.5%) used prophylaxis routinely in major surgeries. Use was most frequent in orthopaedics and least in ophthalmology and otorhinolaringology. Subcutaneous heparin was the most commonly employed agent and the most important indication for prophylaxis was a previous history of thromboembolism. CONCLUSION: The results obtained suggest low use of prophylaxis. Evidenced-based guidelines are available on antithrombotic and thrombolytic therapy with the benefits outweighing risks, burdens and costs. Therefore greater attention should be paid to antithrombotic measures by all the surgical sub-specialties and patients stratified according to risk.

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