Administration of low doses of heparin before and after surgery can reduce the incidence of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism during, and after, major operations.1 2 It is acceptably safe, except in patients with bleeding disorders. Traditional multi-dose ampoules of heparin are both inconvenient for this purpose and wasteful, and this may have hindered the widespread adoption of low-dose heparin prophylaxis. Other prophylactic measures include infusion of dextran-70,3 and rhythmical4 or graded static5 compression of the calves.
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