Original Research Article| Volume 224, ISSUE 6, P1473-1477, December 2022

The safety of continuous fascia iliaca block in patients with hip fracture taking pre-injury anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet medications

Published:September 06, 2022DOI:


      • Continuous fascia iliaca block is an effective method to treat pain in adult trauma patients with hip fracture.
      • The complication rate in patients taking pre-injury anticoagulants or antiplatelet medications however is not well known.
      • We've demonstrated a low rate of infectious or bleeding complications with early use of fascia iliaca block.
      • Fascia iliaca compartment block can safely be considered in these patients.



      Fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB) is an effective method to treat pain in adult trauma patients with hip fracture. Of importance is the high prevalence of preinjury anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications in this population. To date, we have not identified any literature that has specifically evaluated the safety of FICB with continuous catheter infusion in patients on antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant therapy. The purpose of this study is to quantify the complication rate associated with FICB in patients who are actively taking prescribed anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet medications prior to injury and identify factors that may predispose patients to an adverse event.


      This retrospective study included consecutive adult trauma patients (age ≥18) with hip fracture who underwent placement of FICB within 24 h of admission and had been taking anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet medications pre-injury. Patients were excluded if their catheter was placed more than 24 h post-hospital admission. Patients were evaluated for demographics, injury severity, laboratory values, medication history, receipt of coagulation-related reversal medications, and complications related to FICB placement. Complications included bleeding at the insertion site requiring catheter removal and 30-day catheter site infection. The incidence of complications was reported and risk factors for complications were identified using univariate and multivariate statistics.


      There were 124 patients included. The mean age was 81 ± 10 years, and the most common mechanism was ground level fall (94%). Most patients were taking single antiplatelet therapy (65%), followed by anticoagulant alone (21%), combined antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy (7.3%) and dual antiplatelet therapy (7.3%). The most common antiplatelet was aspirin (88%) and the most common anticoagulant was warfarin (60%). Of the patients taking warfarin, the average INR on admission was 2.3 ± 0.8. Only 1 bleeding complication (0.8%) was noted in a patient prescribed clopidogrel pre-injury which occurred 5 days post-catheter placement. This same patient was noted to have superficial surgical site bleeding most likely secondary to the use of enoxaparin for post-operative deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis. There were 4 orthopedic superficial surgical site infections (3.2%), all remote from the catheter site. The pre-injury medication prescribed in these patients was aspirin 81 mg, aspirin 325 mg, rivaroxaban and dabigatran, respectively. No factors were associated with a complication thus multivariate analysis was not performed.


      The incidence of complications associated with fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB) in adult trauma patients prescribed pre-injury anticoagulants or antiplatelet medications is low. In this retrospective review, we did not identify any complications that were directly associated with the FICB procedure. Fascia iliaca block with continuous infusion catheter placement can be safely performed on patients who are on therapeutic anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet agents.

      Graphical abstract


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