Heparin is commonly used to prevent thrombosis in patients undergoing surgery and in nonambulatory patients in critical care units. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a rare and serious complication associated with the use of heparin.11–,33 HIT can be divided into 2 clinically separate types (Table 1). Type I (HIT-I) occurs in 10% to 20% of patients receiving heparin and typically is manifested by a mild reduction in the platelet count 1 to 4 days after initiation of heparin therapy. The underlying cause of HIT-I remains unknown but is believed to involve a direct reaction of heparin with platelets that leads to platelet clumping.11,33 HIT-I is benign and usually resolves without further sequelae after heparin therapy is discontinued.11,33 Type II (HIT-II) occurs in 1% to 3% of...

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