World Thrombosis Day – Move Against Thrombosis

World Thrombosis Day – Move Against Thrombosis

World Thrombosis Day – Move Against Thrombosis

Every year World Thrombosis Day takes place on the 13th of October, falling on the birthday of Richard Virchow – a pioneer in thrombosis research and diagnosis. Founded by the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), this year World Thrombosis Day celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The goal of the campaign is to reduce deaths and disabilities caused by thrombosis and related conditions, as well as raise awareness surrounding the risk factors, signs and symptoms. One in four people die from such conditions every year, yet thrombosis is entirely preventable.

Various forms of thrombosis

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is the collective term referring to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which are both conditions involving blood clots. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg. If a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs causing a PE, it can be life-threatening. Thrombosis develops over extended periods of immobilisation, for example when hospitalised patients are recovering from a stroke.

Current standard of care – acute stroke

Based on the results of the 2016 CLOTS-3 study, current UK guidance stipulates standard of care for post-stroke VTE prevention is Intermittent Pneumatic compression (IPC) – a thigh-length cuff that cyclically inflates and deflates to promote venous return and decrease blood stasis. IPC, however, is not suitable for all patients. Approximately 30% are contraindicated or become intolerant to IPC. An alternative method of VTE prevention is therefore required.

Tackling thrombosis with medical innovation

The geko™ device, already in use for DVT prevention under NICE guidance (MTG19),  delivers significant improvement in the reduction of risk of VTE post-stroke, when standard of care (IPC) cannot be prescribed.

The geko™ device clinical evidence

The acute stroke unit at the NHS Royal Stoke University Hospital saw the potential of the geko™ device and implemented a prospective, retrospective audit of clinical practice, reviewing 1,000 immobile acute stroke patients admitted between Nov 2016 and Mar 2018. In line with UK NICE guidance patients unable to mobilise independently were prescribed IPC in addition to standard measures. The data shows 29.5% of patients were contraindicated or became intolerant to IPC. These patients were instead prescribed the geko™ device and would otherwise have received no alternative intervention. A retrospective comparison of the data was made against previous clinical practice. The results showed that the new strategy of increased surveillance of SoC and use of the geko™ device, resulted in a low overall incidence of symptomatic VTE of 1.5% (9 DVT & 6 PE). Retrospective analysis of previous clinical practice showed an overall rate of 28 VTE events or 2.8% (6 DVT & 22 PE) – a significant reduction in the potentially fatal complication of PE. With the geko™ device now in routine service the unit has achieved a 46% reduction in VTE. The data-set also influenced wider NHS stroke units to adopt the geko™ device for VTE prevention, when IPC cannot be prescribed.

Learn more about World Thrombosis Day here.

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