Harm from using Low Molecular Weight Heparins when contraindicated

A stage one warning has been issued to raise awareness of harm from using Low Molecular Weight Heparins (LMWHs) where a situation, patient’s condition, or the use of other medications mean the LMWHs could cause harm or death.

Low Molecular Weight Heparins (LMWHs) are frequently used for treatment and to prevent a variety of thromboembolic conditions (i.e. blood clots).

There are important benefits from the use of LMWHs, however, it is vital to assess each patient individually as to whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

It is apparent from medication safety incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) that there have been missed opportunities to appropriately risk assess the patient for pharmacological or clinical contraindications to the use of LMWHs.

Patient safety alerts are shared rapidly with healthcare providers via the Central Alerting System (CAS).

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