Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sham: Use of Blood Thinner Drugs Dangerous in Some Cases

Drugs like heparin or warfarin are often prescribed after surgery. In at least one type of surgery, researchers are finding that this is a very dangerous practice. Some doctors are now saying that the U.S. guidelines to give drugs to prevent blood clots in joint surgery patients should be changed.

UPI is reporting that Dr. Nigel Sharrock and a team of colleagues at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York reviewed 20 studies involving a total of more than 28,000 patients and found patients receiving powerful anti-coagulants were 60 percent to 70 percent more likely to have a non-fatal embolism.

Many say that the current guidelines to prescribe anti-coagulants have been developed to avoid potential litigation. It is now clear that these drugs could be doing more harm than good, and it is wise to review the practice before more people suffer an untimely death.

The research was specific to those having joint surgery. Those patients had been treated with either a potent anti-coagulant like heparin or an anti-coagulant like warfarin were more than twice as likely to have died than those having joint surgery with local spinal anesthesia, pneumatic compression and an aspirin regimen.

Good old, reliable aspirin!

The paper was published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. As a side note, this news has shown up with a very low profile, and when seen in newspapers, it is generally buried somewhere way back in the paper. Just imagine the news coverage that this article would have had if it were an herb that caused this HUGE rate of increased morbidity. It would have been on the radio and front page news in most markets because pharmaceutical company doctors would be pushing it hard -- real hard.


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