Pneumatic Compression Equipment Helps Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis in Stroke Patients, Study Shows

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 31, 2013 – A recently published study demonstrated the efficacy of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

DVT is a common complication in acute care settings because patients are immobilized. Stroke victims are frequently placed in such a setting, putting them at high risk for DVT. The efficacy of IPC and other physical DVT prevention methods is becoming more widely acknowledged. However, just three years ago, a Cochrane review noted a lack of large, randomized trials that demonstrate the benefits of IPC among stroke patients.

“This new study is good news for stroke patients,” said Greg Grambor, president of Vascular PRN, a leading distributor of intermittent pneumatic compression equipment. “Many doctors are already convinced of the value of these devices in preventing DVT. Hopefully this study will encourage many more doctors to give it a try.”

The study, called CLOTS 3 (Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke), was presented at the European Stroke Conference in May 2013 and published in The Lancet. The University of Edinburgh’s Professor Martin Dennis presented the study on behalf of the CLOTS Trials Collaboration.

The study was a controlled, randomized, multicenter trial enrolling 2,876 immobile stroke patients. The use of IPC was found to reduce the risk of DVT by 2.6 percent. Additionally, IPC was found to reduce mortality, although the reduction was statistically insignificant (11 percent versus 13 percent). IPC patients had an increased risk of skin breaks (3 percent versus 1 percent).

The findings are especially important because of the increased bleeding risk associated with anticoagulants, another leading measure used to prevent DVT.

Stroke care doctors were excited to learn of the results of the study. Professor Tony Rudd of the UK Royal College of Physicians called it “one of the most important research studies” in stroke medicine in recent years.

“IPC is equally important in the post-acute-care setting as in acute care,” added Grambor. “Any time mobility is restricted, pneumatic compression can help restore blood flow. Vascular PRN has intermittent pneumatic compression equipment available for purchase and very affordable short-term rental options,” said Grambor.