Heparin, a natural glycosaminoglycan, was first discovered in 1916 by Mclean and initially was used as an anticoagulant in 1935.1 Today, the use of unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin remains widespread for the treatment and prevention of various thromboembolic disorders. Benefits of unfractionated heparin include its quick onset of action, short half-life, ease of monitoring, and reversibility.2 Low-molecular-weight heparin has the additional advantages of more predictable anticoagulant activity, less frequent monitoring, and potential use in the ambulatory setting.1 Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a potentially life-threatening complication of heparin exposure associated with potential thrombosis, limb gangrene and amputation, and death.3,4 The incidence of HIT ranges from less than 0.1% to 5% of patients and varies according to patient factors.3 The risk is highest in patients receiving unfractionated heparin (as opposed to low-molecular-weight heparin), those undergoing cardiac surgery, and those receiving therapeutic doses.4–...
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Drug Update| September 15 2023
Update on the Treatment of Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia
Sheriff Gbadamosi, PharmD, BCCCP;
AACN Adv Crit Care (2023) 34 (3): 173–178.
Sheriff Gbadamosi, Kristin L. Feick; Update on the Treatment of Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia. AACN Adv Crit Care 15 September 2023; 34 (3): 173–178. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/aacnacc2023462
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