The Management of Suspected Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia in US Hospitals
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis-Hemostasis
Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) vary between hospitals. Recent guidelines recommend initiating alternative anticoagulant therapy in patients with suspected HIT while awaiting laboratory test results confirming the presence of heparin-PF-4 antibodies (PF-4). This retrospective chart review was designed to assess the current state of management of patients with thrombocytopenia suspected to be due to HIT at 26 US hospitals. Most hospitals (25 of 26; 96.2%) had guidelines in place for the management of suspected HIT, with 7 (26.9%) having a halt heparin, test, and await results (ie, test and wait) policy. One-third of hospitals had a wait time for obtaining PF-4 antibodies of 3 days or more. Hospital guidelines for the management of HIT may actually discourage the use of optimal HIT management strategies.
School of Medicine
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