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Extended Use Of Anti-Clotting Drug Helps Some Bedridden Patients

Posted Jul 06 2010 3:48pm

A treatment plan used to prevent potentially dangerous blood clots in recovering surgical patients can also benefit some patients immobilized by acute medical illness, doctors have found in a multi-institutional study.

In women, patients age 75 or older, and patients strictly confined to 24-hour bed rest, a month of extended treatment with a blood thinner significantly reduced the chances of blood clots while only slightly increasing the risk of bleeding.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and several other institutions report the results online this week in Annals of Internal Medicine. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was funded by Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of enoxaparin, a form of the blood thinner heparin that was used in the study.

Causes of decreased mobility of patients in the study varied and included heart failure, infections and chronic respiratory disease.

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