Consensus Guidelines for Australian Clinicians for the usage of anti-coagulants during heparin-based product shortages

Aim of consensus guidelines

Guidelines to assist with contingency planning to manage the clinical implications of a shortage of heparin based products.

Page last updated: 16 July 2008

PDF printable version of Consensus Guidelines for Australian Clinicians for the use of anti-coagulants during heparin-based product shortages (PDF 135 KB)

The AHPC group has constructed on a consensus basis and using the best available evidence- based information (Appendix 1, 2 and references) the following guidelines for usage in the event of a shortage of heparin based products in Australia. The Department of Health and Ageing will update regularly about the availability of stock and whether there is a need to shift to the prioritising strategies outlined below.

The principle underlying the strategies is that prioritisation is according to clinical need. That is, if supply diminishes, those patients most in need of anticoagulant will have the highest priority.

More formally, the aim of these guidelines in the event of a heparin based products shortage is:

  • To extend the availability of all heparin based products by prioritisation of their usage according to clinical need across medical, surgical and investigative indications;
  • By appropriate prioritisation and usage, ensure there are no increases in preventable morbidity and mortality; and
  • To facilitate national consistency in the utilisation of heparin based products.