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Pharmacists' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia
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Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia
Answer: There are generally two kinds of heparin associated thrombocytopenia (low platelets). The first are the idiopathic variety which are not dose-related. These individuals will have massive lowering of their platelets with minimal doses of heparin often that amount necessary to keep catheters from clotting. The second variety is dose-associated and the platelet drop is usually related to the dose of heparin the patient is receiving. Treatment is cessation of the heparin - use of other anti-coagulants such as dextran are necessary if acute anti-coagulation is necessary.