LEO T. NEU JR., M.D., F.A.C.P.; JIM R. WATERFIELD, M.D.; CHARLES J. ASH, M.D.
It is well-established that patients subjected to immobilization are prone to thrombo-embolic phenomena. Postoperative debilitation provides adequate stasis for this complication. In a series of 5,000 postoperative cases studied by Milch, Berman, and Eagan (1), 5 to 10% of fatalities were due to pulmonary embolization. The orthopedic patient should be particularly prone to thrombo-embolic complications as he is subjected to considerable soft tissue trauma, muscular trauma, and lengthy immobilization. Indeed, this is the case. In a series of 389 hip operations reported by Tubiana and Duparc (2), thrombo-embolic complications involved 15% of the patients.
Prophylactic anticoagulant therapy has been found
NEU LT, WATERFIELD JR, ASH CJ. Prophylactic Anticoagulant Therapy in the Orthopedic Patient. Ann Intern Med. ;62:463–467. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-62-3-463
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1965;62(3):463-467.
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