WARNING: SPINAL/EPIDURAL HEMATOMA
Epidural or spinal hematomas may occur in patients who are anticoagulated with low
molecular weight heparins (LMWH) or heparinoids and are receiving neuraxial anesthesia
or undergoing spinal puncture. These hematomas may result in long-term or permanent
paralysis. Consider these risks when scheduling patients for spinal procedures.
Factors that can increase the risk of developing epidural or spinal hematomas in
these patients include:
- Use of indwelling epidural catheters
- Concomitant use of other drugs that affect hemostasis, such as non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), platelet inhibitors, other anticoagulants
- A history of traumatic or repeated epidural or spinal punctures
- A history of spinal deformity or spinal surgery
Monitor patients frequently for signs and symptoms of neurological impairment. If
neurological compromise is noted, urgent treatment is necessary.
Consider the benefits and risks before neuraxial intervention in patients anticoagulated
or to be anticoagulated for thromboprophylaxis.