Publication Date

Spring 4-18-2012


College of Arts and Sciences


Nursing (B.S.N.)

Primary Subject Area

Gerontology; Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery; Health Sciences, Nursing; Health Sciences, Pharmacology


clopidogrel, Plavix, hip fracture, surgery, surgical delay


Geriatric Nursing | Other Nursing | Perioperative, Operating Room and Surgical Nursing | Pharmacy Administration, Policy and Regulation



Hip fractures in elderly patients have very high postoperative mortality rates and the number of hip fractures in the United States is expected to increase exponentially before 2030. Early surgery is essential to improve outcomes, but patients on clopidogrel (Plavix) have a high risk for increased bleeding if surgery is performed within the usual 72 hour window. This paper presents literature and research addressing the dangers of delaying surgery versus undergoing surgery before the effects of the clopidogrel are gone. Based on articles published after 2006, most researchers advocated earlier surgical intervention than previously recommended and emphasized an individualized approached based on the clients’ comorbidities and susceptibilities to select postoperative complications.