Rate of wound complications with enoxaparin use among women at high risk for postpartum thrombosis

Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Jan;117(1):119-124. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182029180.


Objective: To estimate the rate of wound complications associated with protocol-driven postcesarean enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis.

Methods: After implementing an Institutional Clinical Practice Guideline for postoperative cesarean delivery thromboprophylaxis among at-risk gravid women (older than 35 years of age, body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2, or both), data on all cesarean deliveries over the first 23 months of guideline implementation were extracted and analyzed. Primary (wound hematoma, separation, or dehiscence) and secondary (venous thromboembolism) outcomes were compared in stratified and multivariable models controlling for potential confounders.

Results: Over 23 months, 2,509 cesarean deliveries were performed. A total of 1,677 (68%) gravid women met criteria for thromboprophylaxis; 653 received enoxaparin per protocol ("cases"), and, at the discretion of the ordering physician, 1,024 did not (at-risk, protocol-noncompliant "controls"). Cases differed significantly by virtue of maternal age, body mass index, and diabetic status. Univariable analysis subsequently revealed a higher rate of wound separation (6.8% compared with 3.6%, P=.003), rehospitalization (2.1% compared with 0.8%, P=.017) and composite score (8.9% compared with 4.8%, P=.002) among protocol-compliant cases, but no increased risk of wound hematoma (P>.06). In multivariable analysis, adjusted odds ratios continued to reveal an association between enoxaparin use and wound separation (OR 1.66, P=.04) as well as higher composite score (OR 1.69, P=.01). However, among the protocol-noncompliant controls, a nonsignificant increase in the rate of venous thromboembolism occurred.

Conclusion: In our series, prophylactic enoxaparin use among at-risk gravid women undergoing cesarean delivery was accompanied by an increased risk of wound separation.

Level of evidence: II.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Enoxaparin / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Puerperal Disorders / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / chemically induced*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin