Patient safety alert – Harm from using Low Molecular Weight Heparins when contraindicated

A patient safety alert has been issued by NHS England 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 NHS England’s 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.

Read the full patient safety alert on harm from using Low Molecular Weight Heparins when contraindicated.

One comment

  1. Sarah says:

    My mother was admitted to a Gloucestershire hospital last week due to fainting. As a precautionary measure she was admitted for ops and we now know given herapin as a routine !

    We visited at 3pm and found her mouth full of blood so much so I had her head over a bowl. The staff were not concerned, I asked repeatedly for a doctor none came and the nurse passed on that a Dr had prescribed mouthwash! I looked on the Internet later and thought she may have leukaemia. We returned at 6pm, she had still not seen a doctor despite her worsening state. I asked a junior doctor to come but didn’t return. Upon leaving at 8pm I checked for rashes. To my horror I found rashes all over her legs and her left leg had ballooned . I again called to a Dr none came. At 6am the following morning I was awoken by a nurse at the hospital to say that she had been bleeding from her nose backside and mouth……
    It was not until 3.30pm that the consultant arrived despite being advise in the morning of her condition………..treatment ensued ….initially denied herapin even though the nurse had confirmed it….was challenged .. Admitted … Then re diagnosed when I said we were going to complain…..discharged 7 days later ….my mother is no longer my mother ….she understands nothing and just says yes or no. Like a cabbage. This drug is dangerous and the nhs staff are clearly not aware of the dangers. It took me onwe minute to find the side effects on the Internet, the most serious being sever bleeding and yest she was left for 24hours on a ward ! shame on you.