BACKGROUND: Pharmacological prophylactic anticoagulation in many countries, including South Africa, is under-prescribed. This has
resulted in unacceptable rates of morbidity and mortality.
METHOD: The Southern African Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis held a meeting to update the previous guideline and review new
literature including guidelines from other societies. The following specialties were represented on the committees: anaesthetics, cardiology,
clinical haematology, critical care, obstetrics and gynaecology, haematopathology, internal medicine, neurology, orthopaedic surgery and
pulmonology. A draft document was presented at the meeting, which was then revised by consensus agreement. To avoid local bias, the
guideline was adjudicated by recognised international external experts.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: A concise, practical updated guideline for thromboprophylaxis and treatment in medical and surgical patients has
been produced for South African conditions. It is hoped that this guideline will continue to improve anticoagulation practice in this country,
which we believe will directly benefit patient outcomes.