A 12 month review of a modified protocol using low dose Dabigatran Etexilate in postoperative thromboembolic prophylaxis in joint replacement surgery
1 North East Thames London orthopaedic rotation, Current hospital: Whipps Cross Hospital, Whipps Cross Road, London E11 1NR, UK
2 Core Surgical Trainee Year 1, Milton Keynes Hospital, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, MK6 5LD, UK
3 Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon, Milton Keynes Hospital, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, MK6 5LD, UK
Thrombosis Journal 2012, 10:14 doi:10.1186/1477-9560-10-14Published: 17 August 2012
Venous Thrombo-embolic disease is currently a hot topic especially in the UK. 25,000 patients per year die of Pulmonary Emboli (PE) in the United Kingdom (UK). Hip and knee arthroplasty surgery is associated with an increased rate of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE). The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines introduced in January 2010 recommended use of subcutaneous heparin or an oral anticoagulant (Dabigatran or Rivaroxiban) for 10-14 days post knee and 28-35 days post hip arthroplasty. In our unit we were keen on the advantages of an oral anticoagulant post arthroplasty in terms of patient compliance, and avoiding the need for self administered injection in the community.
We analysed all the notes, blood results and imaging of patients undergoing total hip or knee arthroplasty and present 1 year’s data using a regime of subcutaneous Dalteparin whilst an inpatient, followed by discharge on oral Dabigatran at a low dose (150 mg once daily).
There were 337 patients over 1 year with hip and knee arthroplasty, with a 1.19% rate of DVT with no PEs and 1 death due to an unrelated cause. There was a transfusion rate of 11.57% with 1.19% patients taken back to theatre for evacuation of haematomas. There were no reported adverse effects of Dabigatran.
Our treatment protocol is a novel practical approach for VTE prophylaxis in hip and knee replacement patients. This approach shows promising data but no definitive evidence to warrant wide-spread use of this new regime. This data can act as a foundation for larger randomised clinical trials.