Doctors are criticizing a recent recommendation from medical experts to give blood-thinning drugs to nearly all women who give birth by caesarean section, saying the advice may be unsafe and tainted by potential conflicts of interest.
Hospitals across the U.S. have been adopting the recommendation—aimed at preventing fatal blood clots—since it was published in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2016. But many doctors say there isn’t any evidence to support such widespread blood thinner use and it could harm some women.
“This is basically an experiment being done on new moms,”
chief of maternal fetal medicine at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., said in an interview.
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Authors of the article defend the recommendation, saying the advice is safe and effective, and the doctors who have voiced concerns about it in recent interviews said they aren’t aware of any patients experiencing harm so far.
Still, some doctors have denounced the article because the recommendation was developed under the auspices of a group of prominent physicians, called the National Partnership for Maternal Safety, whose parent organization receives funding from makers of blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants.
The article making the recommendation didn’t mention the industry funding. Nor did six other articles from the partnership in the journal.
The official publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the journal disclosed the partnership’s industry funding in a correction published in June but didn’t identify the companies.