Surgery>>>>>Patient Safety
Question 4#

Prophylaxis using low-dose unfractionated heparin reduces the incidence of fatal pulmonary embolisms (PE) by:

a. 45%
b. 50%
c. 60%
d. 35%

Correct Answer is B


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs after approximately 25% of all major surgical procedures performed without prophylaxis, and pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs after 7%. Despite the well-established efficacy and safety of preventive measures, studies show that prophylaxis often is underused or used inappropriately. Both low-dose unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin have similar efficacy in DVT and PE prevention. Prophylaxis using low-dose unfractionated heparin has been shown to reduce the incidence of fatal PEs by 50%.