BBC News - Leg Wraps Raise Hopes of Saved Lives


Posted By Sushma  On June 1

Cheap inflatable leg wraps may save the lives of patients after a stroke, according to research in Scotland.The devices regularly squeeze the legs to keep blood flowing and prevent formation of fatal blood clots. The Stroke Association said the results were "extremely encouraging" and had the potential to save thousands of lives.


A clot in the leg, a deep vein thrombosis, is normally associated with long flights, but is a problem for hospital patients unable to move. Doctors at Western General Hospital and the University of Edinburgh said compression socks did not improve survival and clot-busting drugs led to other problems, including bleeding on the brain.

They tested the devices, which fit around the legs and fill with air every minute. They compress the legs and force the blood back to the heart.

They were worn for a month or until the patient recovered and was able to move again.
In the study, 8.5% of patients using the compression device developed blood clots, compared with 12.1% of patients who were treated normally.

Prof Martin Dennis said: "At last we have a simple, safe and affordable treatment that reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis and even appears to reduce the risk of dying after a stroke.

He said the system should also be tested in other immobile patients, such as those with pneumonia.
Dr Dale Webb, of the Stroke Association charity, said: "The results of this research are extremely encouraging and show that using a compression device on the legs of patients at risk of developing blood clots could be a more effective treatment.




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