Blood clots in patients following major orthopedic surgery is the leading cause of preventable in-hospital death, according to David Zukor, MD, chief of orthopedics at the Montreal, Canada-based Jewish General Hospital.
A clinical trial by Dr. Zukor and fellow researchers showed aspirin's effectiveness in preventing blood clots after major orthopedic surgeries, McGill reports.
Here are six insights about the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
1. Researchers found aspirin was as effective as the standard anticoagulation medication rivaroxaban at preventing postoperative venous thromboembolism, a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the
2. The study was conducted at multiple centers, including Jewish General Hospital. All patients undergoing hip or knee replacement procedures at the hospital were offered the chance to participate.
3. For five days after surgery, the 3,424 patients enrolled in the trial took rivaroxaban before being randomly selected to continue with the standard medication or receive aspirin.
4. Eleven of the 1,707 patients treated with aspirin experienced VTE, compared to 12 of the 1,717 patients who continued with rivaroxaban, meaning the rates of clinically important bleeding didn't differ significantly
between the two groups.
5. Additional clinical trials should involve a randomized group of patients prescribed exclusively aspirin in order to test the medication's effectiveness against a rivaroxaban treatment, researchers said.
6. "Rivaroxaban is known to be effective, but the great advantage of aspirin is that it is far less expensive, easily available, and has an excellent safety profile," said Dr. Zukor.