BACKGROUND: The practicability and acceptance of written information about heparin thrombosis prophylaxis and the associated risk of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) was evaluated in a pilot study.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients consecutively admitted to the department of trauma- and reconstructive surgery at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Greifswald, Germany, with an indication for heparin thrombosis prophylaxis were give written information about thrombosis prophylaxis and the undesired drug effect HIT. After this, acceptance was evaluated using a standardized questionnaire. Primary endpoint was refusal of heparin for thrombosis prophylaxis, secondary endpoint acceptance and comprehensibility of the information.
RESULTS: None of the 460 patients included in the study subsequently refused thrombosis prophylaxis with heparin. The majority welcomed the information and thought it should be given to all patients that are about to be treated with heparin. Only 0.9 % of patients judged comprehensibility of the information to be insufficient. Anticipation of imminent heparin therapy (good/very good in 90 %) and appreciation of the quality of care was not judged to be unacceptable by any patient.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that giving information about heparin-induced thrombocytopenia during explanation of the risks and benefits of heparin thrombosis prophylaxis is feasible. This information--given in writing in our pilot study--was judged by patients to be comprehensible and necessary and did not lead to refusal of treatment. Lower incidence of HIT with use of low molecular weight heparins should be considered in the choice of drug for thrombosis prophylaxis.
2003. Vol. 128, no 42, 2184-8 p.