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Device Found as Effective as Heparin for Clot Prevention

And fewer major bleeding events after hip arthroplasty seen with mobile compression device

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a mobile compression device for the prevention of thromboembolic disease after total hip arthroplasty is likely just as effective as low-molecular-weight heparin treatment but safer, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Clifford W. Colwell Jr., M.D., of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues randomized 410 patients (414 hips) who had undergone a total hip arthroplasty to receive prophylaxis with use of a mobile compression device that began intraoperatively and continued for 10 days, or low-molecular-weight heparin, started 12 to 24 hours post-surgery, for 10 days.

The researchers found that the rate of distal deep venous thrombosis was 3 percent in both groups, while the rate of proximal deep venous thrombosis was 1 percent in patients who received heparin compared with 2 percent of patients who used the mobile compression device. The rate of pulmonary embolism was 1 percent in both groups. However, the rate of major bleeding events was significantly lower among patients who received the mobile compression device compared to those who were prescribed low-molecular-weight heparin (0 versus 6 percent).

"When compared with low-molecular-weight heparin, use of the mobile compression device for prophylaxis against venous thromboembolic events following total hip arthroplasty resulted in a significant decrease in major bleeding events," the authors write.

One or more of the authors disclosed financial ties to Medical Compression Systems, and one or more of the authors disclosed financial ties to Sanofi-Aventis and Zimmer.

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