THE PREVENTION OF DEEP VENOUS THROMBOSIS IN NEUROSURGERY: AN UPDATE FROM OUR INSTITUTION

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Leonello Tacconi, Roberto Spinelli, Paolo Manganotti

Prophylactic low weight molecular subcutaneous heparin combined with mechanical devices and elastic stockings has already been correlated to a low incidence of deep venous thrombosis. However, there is still concern with the use of heparin in the neurosurgical field due to the potential hemorrhagic risks. We would like to update this topic with new data coming from a larger cohort of patients operated on at our Department in the last 8 years both for cranial and spinal procedures. We collected information on 5347 patients: 1497 were cranial and 3850 were spinal cases. We recorded 35 clinically symptomatic DVTs (0.6%) and 18 cases (0.3%) of hemorrhagic complications and no cases of pulmonary embolus. It is our opinion that the protocol we have implemented in our Unit for the prevention of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus is safe and effective and  does not seem to increase the incidence of hemorrhagic complications.

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