Heparin was given in fixed doses intravenously during unilateral primary total hip-replacement operations in a prospective, double-blind trial to assess the effect on the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis. One hundred and fifty patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups before the operation. Twenty-four patients were excluded from the study, leaving 126 patients. Group I consisted of sixty-six patients who received saline solution intravenously, and Group II comprised sixty patients who received heparin. All patients had epidural anesthesia with controlled hypotension. Fixed doses of heparin were administered five minutes before the operative incision was made and every thirty minutes throughout the operation. Mean arterial pressures were maintained at between fifty and sixty millimeters of mercury in all patients. Ascending venography was done on the seventh day after the operation. The incidence of deep-vein thrombosis was 24 per cent (sixteen of sixty-six patients) in Group I and 8 per cent (five of sixty patients) in Group II; the difference is significant (p = 0.03). The intraoperative loss of blood averaged 220 ± 79 milliliters in Group I compared with 269 ± 109 milliliters in Group II. An average of less than one unit of blood was transfused for each patient in each group. Postoperatively, there was no difference between the groups with regard to the amount of drainage that was collected in a Hemovac device or the values for hematocrit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine