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Researchers Find That Thromboembolism Can Be Safely Treated At Home

Researchers have stated to find in their study that blood clots can be effectively managed at the homes of the patients.//

According to a study that was led by Clive Kearon, professor of medicine at McMaster University that has been published in the August 23 issue of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association the treatment of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs or the lungs with an older and less expensive form of an anticoagulant heparin might be as safe as and effective as the newer and more expensive heparin.

When injected subcutaneously (beneath the skin), unfractionated (regular) heparin was shown in a randomised trial to work just as well as subcutaneous injection of the more expensive, low-molecular weight heparin in the treatment of venous thromboembolism. Traditionally, when unfractionated heparin is used in treatment, it is administered intravenously and accompanied by coagulation monitoring, which requires hospitalisation. This standard approach includes ongoing dose adjustment in response to measurement of the APTT, a test that measures how fast the blood clots in a test tube under certain conditions.

The newer low-molecular weight heparins, which are administered by injection in fixed-weight doses, have gradually been replacing unfractionated heparin.

Kearon and colleagues conducted a randomised trial to study how fixed-dose, subcutaneous injection of unfractionated heparin compared to injection with the newer heparin in the treatment of blood clots in the legs or lungs.

The study was conducted from September 1998 through February 2004 at six university-affiliated clinical centres in Canada and New Zealand. Patients in the trial received either unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin administered subcutaneously every 12 hours. About 70 per cent of both groups were treated as outpatients. All patients received three months of warfarin (an anticoagulant drug) therapy. <
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