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Heparin Prophylaxis for Medical Patients?

Frank A. Lederle, MD
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Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Minneapolis, MN 55417 Requests for Reprints: Frank A. Lederle, MD, Department of Medicine (III-0), Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(9):768-770. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-128-9-199805010-00011
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Pulmonary embolism causes or contributes to 200 000 deaths each year in the United States and is considered the most common preventable cause of hospital deaths [1]. Because the first manifestation of venous thromboembolism is often fatal pulmonary embolism and because most deaths occur within the first half hour, mortality is not sufficiently improved by therapy begun after diagnosis. Prophylactic measures against deep venous thrombosis and associated pulmonary embolism have therefore been advocated for many groups of hospitalized patients.



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