Caesarean section (CS) is a significant risk factor for venous thromboembolism; however, the optimal method of thromboprophylaxis around the time of CS is unknown.
To examine current thromboprophylaxis practice during and following CS in Australia and New Zealand, and the willingness of obstetricians to participate in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing different methods of thromboprophylaxis after CS.
Materials and Methods
An online survey was sent to fellows and trainees of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
There were 488 responses from currently practising obstetricians (response rate 23.4%). During CS, 48% and 80% of obstetricians recommended intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) and elastic stockings (ES), respectively. Following CS, 96–97% of obstetricians recommended early ambulation, 87–90% recommended ES, 23–36% recommended IPC, and 42–65% recommended low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) depending on clinical factors. Increased BMI (OR 3.42; 95% CI 2.87–4.06), emergency CS (OR 1.88; 95% CI 1.67–2.16) and older maternal age (OR 1.37; 95% CI 1.26–1.49) were associated with more frequent LMWH use. Of obstetricians who prescribed LMWH, 70% adjusted the dose depending on maternal weight. LMWH therapy was most commonly recommended until discharge from hospital (31%), <5 days (24%) and 5–7 days (15%). Most obstetricians (58–79%) were willing to enrol women in a RCT, but less likely if the woman had an increased BMI or emergency CS. Conclusions There is considerable variation in clinical practice regarding thromboprophylaxis during and following CS. Obstetricians support a RCT to assess different methods of thromboprophylaxis following CS.