- Poster presentation
- Open Access
Safety of heparin prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism in patients with neurotrauma
© BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
- Published: 1 March 2010
- Venous Thromboembolism
- Intracranial Haemorrhage
- Brain Death
- Unfractionated Heparin
Patients with neurotrauma are at high risk for VTE. The safety of early anticoagulation for neurotrauma has not been established. Our study was based on the hypothesis that unfractionated heparin can be safely administered to most patients with neurotrauma for VTE prophylaxis.
Prospective, single-cohort, observational study. All adult patients with neurotrauma admitted to a tertiary care teaching hospital in India from March to December 2007 received unfractionated heparin beginning approximately 24 hours after hospital admission until discharge. Brain CT scans were performed at admission, 24 hours after admission, and at variable intervals thereafter based on clinical course. Patients were excluded for coagulopathy, expected brain death or discharge within 48 hours. Complications of heparin prophylaxis were defined as expansion of existing intracranial haemorrhage or development of a new haemorrhagic lesion on follow-up CT after beginning heparin use.
Distribution of CT findings and heparin therapy
Heparin can be safely used for VTE prophylaxis in patients with head injury when started 24 hours after hospital admission.