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Thromboprophylaxis: the prevention of blood clots forming in the leg or lungs, for patients who do not need to be admitted to hospital.
Why do I need thromboprophylaxis?
You are being offered the option of having daily injections of low molecular weight Heparin because your risk assessment suggests you are at increased risk of developing a blood clot. Heparin is an animal-based product. The aim of these injections is to reduce the chance of you getting this rare but potentially serious complication known as thromboembolism. This happens when blood clots form in your legs and may rarely spread to the lungs causing breathing difficulties and on very rare occasions, death.
How will the treatment be given?
You will receive your first injection in the Emergency Department (ED). If subsequent injections are required over a weekend or Bank Holiday, you will be asked to return to the ED each day to receive further injections.
After that you or one of your relatives will be instructed in the administration of low molecular weight Heparin injections which will need to be given daily, usually into the skin of the abdomen (tummy), for the duration of your plaster cast being in situ (may be up to 6 weeks). Should you decide to have low molecular weight Heparin injections, you will also need to return to the hospital to have blood tests carried out one week and two weeks from the time of your injury to detect signs of thrombocytopenia (a clotting disorder). Your GP will not be able to provide this service you.
The hospital is unable to provide transport for patients attending for injections or blood tests. It is your decision on whether to accept this treatment option and your responsibility to arrange your own transport. Please note you will only be advised if your blood results are abnormal and changes to your treatment need to be made.
How will I be taught to inject myself with low molecular weight heparin? (Daltaparin)
The nurses who run the Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Clinic on The Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit will teach you or your relatives how to give the low molecular weight heparin injections and provide the necessary equipment and injections. The nurses will contact you to arrange a suitable and convenient appointment for you to attend their VTE Clinic. If you have not received a telephone call by midday on the day following your attendance in the Emergency Department, please contact them via switchboard on 01908 660033 and ask for bleep 1852. They will then make the necessary appointment for you.
The Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit is located in The Maple Unit which is next door to the Emergency Department. If you foresee difficulties in attending the clinic, then please discuss this with the ED team before you are discharged.
Are there any potential complications of heparin injections?
If the area where you have injected yourself becomes red, swollen, excessively bruised or very painful, please inform your GP straight away.
If you feel unwell or notice anything unusual, tell your GP as soon as possible.
Remember that this treatment is only for yourself. Only a doctor can prescribe it for you. Do not allow other people to use your medicine.
Do not use heparin after the expiry date given on the label of the syringe.
If you have any queries or concerns regarding your injections, then please contact the VTE nurses on 01908 660033 and ask for bleep 1852.
If you have any further queries, please contact:
• Emergency Department: 01908 995 913 ext. 2409 between 9am and 10 pm
• Hospital switchboard: 01908 660033 between 10pm and 9am
• Call NHS 111
• Your GP surgery