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Caprini Risk Assessment Tool Helps Predict a Plastic Surgery Patient’s Blood Clot Risk

Apr 7th 2012 at 6:25 AM

According to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the Caprini Risk Assessment Tool can help diminish the likelihood of a fatal blood clot (pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis) in patients following plastic surgery. The Caprini Risk Assessment Model is a standard tool used to measure the probability that any given patient will develop a dangerous blood clot in the deep veins of the legs or the lungs following surgery. The tool is useful and effective at predicting the likelihood that a thromboembolism or clot following plastic surgery will cause a fatal threat to a patient.

The Caprini Risk Assessment Tools takes a number of risk factors into account including age, medical history, and a variety of specific risk factors like varicose veins, or recent stroke or heart attack.  The factors are categorized according to the amount of risk that they pose to patients who are undergoing elective plastic surgery. Certain factors pose a higher risk for patients. For example, the older a patient is, the more likely they are to suffer from a blood clot. Having a high Body Mass Index (BMI) above 25 puts patients at slightly increased risk, but a patient who has recently suffered a broken leg or hip bone is at even great risk of having a fatal blood clot develop. Lower level risk factors include abnormal pulmonary function and congestive heart failure, for example.

Patients who have higher scores on the Caprini Risk Assessment Tool are more likely to develop problems associated with blood clots than patients with lower scores, but that doesn’t mean that patients with high scores can’t undergo plastic surgery. It simply means that doctors must administer the right medication in order keep the risk of blood clots to a minimum during recovery. Patients who are at high risk for blood clotting may be given compression garments to wear that help their bodies resist the development of blood clots. Heparin, Enoxaparin, and Lovenox are drugs that are also used by doctors to help keep blood clot risk to a minimum even among the group of individuals who are at particularly high risk.

Because blood clots in the lungs or deep vein thrombosis in the legs can be fatal, use of the Caprini Risk Assessment Tool is a breakthrough for plastic surgeons. Research indicates that it can help predict which patients will be most likely to have trouble with blood clots, thus providing doctors with the opportunity to prescribe the necessary medications that will thin the blood. By using special anti-coagulating medications doctors can manage the blood clotting risk level for certain patients following surgery. At the same time, however, doctors do not have to needlessly thin out the blood supply in patients who are less likely to end up with a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis. Following surgery, it is often best to refrain from blood thinners unless they are absolutely necessary because the risk of bleeding to death is increased when patients take medications that make it harder for the blood to coagulate.


NOTE : This Article Is originally published by cosmeticsurgerynews.

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