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Use of anticoagulants in pregnancy


Thromboembolic disease affects between 1 and 3 of every 1000 pregnant women.1 It is the second commonest cause of maternal death after hypertensive disease. Prevention and treatment with anticoagulants poses special problems because of the increase in coagulability and decrease in fibrinolysis during pregnancy and because of the increased risks to mother and fetus.2 Optimal procedures are far from agreed but the management of individual patients will be improved if obstetrician, general practitioner and haematologist work together to an agreed treatment plan. This article discusses how best to use anticoagulants in the management of thromboembolic disease in pregnancy.

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