Thromboprophylaxis for intensive care patients in Australia and New Zealand: a brief survey report

D James Cooper, Nicole Bishop, John Cade, Simon Finfer, Alex Gallus, John Myburgh et al.
Journal of Critical Care 2005, 20 (4): 354-6

PURPOSE: Internationally, there is practice variation concerning optimal thromboprophylaxis for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The current practice in Australia and New Zealand is unknown.

METHOD: We conducted a self-administered e-mail survey of 22 Australian and New Zealand ICUs expressing interest in participating in a proposed international randomized trial (PROphylaxis for ThromboEmbolism in Critical Care Trial).

RESULTS: Our response rate was 95.4% (95% CI, 77%-100%). Of participating ICUs, 90.5% (95% CI, 70%-99%) used subcutaneous unfractionated heparin for routine thromboprophylaxis in ICU patients. Low-molecular-weight heparin was reserved for specific high-risk patients in many units.

CONCLUSION: Routine thromboprophylaxis for ICU patients in Australia and New Zealand is similar to Canada but different to France. Optimal thromboprophylaxis for ICU patients is currently unclear in the absence of randomized trial data.

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