Community nurse resource implications for a change in heparin prophylaxis policy

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Community nurse resource implications for a change in heparin prophylaxis policy

  • Parker, Martyn J.
Published Article
EDP Sciences
Publication Date
Jun 05, 2015
DOI: 10.1051/sicotj/2015013
EDP Sciences
  • Original Article


Introduction: A review was undertaken for a consecutive series of hip fracture patients for the year before and then after a change in low dose heparin prophylaxis policy. Patients and methods: For the first year heparin was administered in hospital for a maximum of 14 days only. Patients sent home before this time were not discharged taking heparin. For the second year heparin was administered as recommended by NICE guidelines for 28 days from admission regardless of whether the patient was discharged. Results: For the first year 486 patients were treated with a mean of 10.4 doses of heparin per patient. For the second year 465 patients were treated with a mean of 24.3 doses per patient. In total an extra 6,464 doses of heparin were administered. 33.8% of patients were unable to administer their heparin at home therefore a district nurse administered 2,284 of these doses of subcutaneous heparin at the patient’s home. The increased cost associated with the change in policy was estimated to be £161 per patient, with over 90% of this increase being incurred by the district nurse expense. If applied nationally for the England, using extended heparin prophylaxis for hip fracture patients would cost in excess of 12 million pounds each year. Conclusion: Whilst the necessity for and duration of thromboembolic prophylaxis for these patients remains undetermined, there is a need to re-evaluate the cost effectiveness of the current recommendations for hip fracture patients.

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