Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Orthopaedic surgeons and thromboprophylaxis.

British Medical Journal 1991; 303 doi: (Published 07 September 1991) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1991;303:549
  1. M D Laverick,
  2. S A Croal,
  3. R A Mollan
  1. Queen's University of Belfast, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Musgrave Park Hospital.


    OBJECTIVE--To assess attitudes to the use of thromboprophylaxis among orthopaedic surgeons in the United Kingdom. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS--Single page postal questionnaire to all 926 active orthopaedic surgeons who are members of the British Orthopaedic Association. RESULTS--The response rate was 70% (659 surgeons), of whom 595 (90%) used some form of prophylaxis. Most (548; 83%) used drugs but 47 (7%) used only elasticated stockings. A history of thromboembolic disease, hip surgery, and obesity was seen as the main risk factor. Ineffectiveness was the principal reason for not using prophylaxis. CONCLUSIONS--Most orthopaedic surgeons use regimens of thromboprophylaxis, though many of these are of limited value. Improvements in the efficacy and safety of prophylactic agents, combined with ease of administration, would increase the use of such agents and make orthopaedic surgery safer for the patient.