Subcutaneous administration technique of low-molecular-weight heparins: An integrative review

Júlia Domiciana Franco de Campos, Juliana Bastoni da Silva, Ana Raquel Medeiros Beck, Silvia Regina Secoli, Maria Helena de Melo Lima


Anti-coagulant drugs for subcutaneous injection, like low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH), are increasingly used to prevent and treat thromboembolic events, with local adverse reactions. The aim in this integrative review was to identify and analyze knowledge production about the most appropriate SC injection technique of LMWH to reduce hematomas, bruising and local pain. The following inclusion criteria were used: papers published in English, Spanish and Portuguese; between the first week of August 2001 and the last week of August 2012. Papers in which LMWH was compared with unfractionated heparin in the assessment of the outcomes and papers without statistical data analysis were excluded. The searches were undertaken in the electronic databases PubMed/MedLine, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science and LILACS/IBECS. The quality of the articles was assessed with the critical appraisal tool JBI MAStARI. The incidence of bruising ranged between 20%, when the application time of the injection was 30s, and 88.9% when it took 10s. In 50% of the studies, the authors concluded that LMWH injections taking 30s caused lower levels of bruising, with statistically significant differences, as well as a reduction in pain intensity in the injection site by up to 50%. The group that received LMWH through a prefilled syringe, with or without aspiration, showed lower levels of bruising. The formation of a skinfold, the 90º angle and the abdomen as the application site have been well documented in the literature. These findings are important for clinical nursing practice, as they found the elaboration of evidence-based care protocols and contribute to the improvement of patient care quality.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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