Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in pediatric patients is controversial and is mainly dependent on protocols derived from adult practices. Our study aimed to compare outcomes among pediatric trauma patients who received low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) compared to those who received unfractionated heparin (UFH).
We performed 2 years (2015–2016) retrospective analysis of the Pediatrics ACS-TQIP database. Pediatric trauma patients (age ≤17) who received thromboprophylaxis with either LMWH or UFH were included. Patients were stratified into three age groups. Analysis of each subgroup and the entire cohort was performed. Outcome measures included VTE events (deep vein thrombosis [DVT] and pulmonary embolism [PE]), hospital and ICU length of stay (LOS) among survivors, and mortality. Propensity score matching was used to match the two cohorts LMWH vs UFH.
A matched cohort of 1,678 pediatric trauma patients was analyzed. A significant difference in survival, DVT events, and in-hospital LOS was seen in the age groups above 9 years. Overall, the patients who received LMWH had lower mortality (1.4% vs 3.6%, p<0.01), DVT (1.7% vs 3.7%, p<0.01), and hospital LOS among survivors (7 days vs 9 days, p<0.01) compared to those who received UFH. There was no significant difference in the ICU LOS among survivors and the incidence of PE between the two groups.
LMWH is associated with increased survival, lower rates of DVT, and decreased hospital LOS compared to UFH among pediatric trauma patients age 10–17 years.
Level of Evidence
Level III Prophylactic.
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Published online: August 31, 2020
Accepted: July 18, 2020
Received in revised form: July 9, 2020
Received: April 10, 2020
☆Presentation: Oral Presentation at the American Surgical Congress; February 2–4, 2020, Orlando, Florida.
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