Tampa, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/25/2013 --New research shows that inexpensive leg compression devices help prevent fatal blood clots in stroke patients.
The thigh-length sleeves promote blood flow by periodically filling with air and gently squeezing the legs. Vascular PRN, based in Tampa, Fla., is a leading national distributor of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) therapy equipment. Greg Grambor, the company's president, commented on the study.
“Compression therapy has been around for over 20 years,” Grambor said. “Many doctors have already come to rely on this equipment for safe, effective, and affordable prevention of deep vein thrombosis. I'm glad this new research was done, and I hope it will help convince more doctors to give it a try.”
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot inside a vein deep within the body. It is common in stroke patients and immobile patients and can also occur in healthy people on long flights where movement is restricted. When a clot detaches, it can then become lodged in the arteries of the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
The study involved nearly 3,000 stroke patients at over 100 hospitals across the United Kingdom. Results showed 8.5 percent of patients treated with compression devices developed blood clots, versus 12.1 percent of patients who received alternative treatments.
“Many patients at risk of DVT are prescribed blood thinning drugs,” Grambor added. “But these drugs increase the risk of bleeding, which is quite dangerous for stroke patients as it may lead to bleeding in the brain.”
So far, no study has conclusively shown that blood thinners increase the survival rate of stroke patients. Doctors at the European Stroke Conference, held in London on May 31, 2013, discussed the study's findings. Professor Martin Dennis of the University of Edinburgh said that the UK's guidelines for treatment of stroke should be revised to recommend IPC treatment for all patients at high risk of DVT. Currently, they only recommend it in cases where blood thinners are unsuccessful or too risky.
Each year, some 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. One third of strokes are fatal and another third result in permanent disability.
Learn more at http://www.vascularprn.com