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Device to revolutionize preventive blood clot care after joint replacement surgery
Date:4/6/2010

ated compression device that people can wear that allows for its use outside of the hospital. The sleeve fits over a patient's calves in a form fitting manner and is secured with Velcro. The mobile device is smart in that it applies intermittent, sequential pressure to the leg in correlation with the patient's respiratory cycle, maximizing blood flow to reduce the risk of clot formation. The device is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

"The other devices that are available are stationary. These are mobile," said Dr. Padgett. "Back in the day, people used to stay in the hospital for upwards of 10 days, but we are in a whole new day and age now. Patients are leaving the hospital after 48 hours after hip replacement, but it is still the same operation."

To test the effectiveness and safety of the mobile compression devices, investigators recruited 410 patients who were undergoing hip replacement from a number of hospitals, including Hospital for Special Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Scripps Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. Patients were randomized to either the compression device, use of which started during surgery and then for 10 days after surgery, or low-molecular-weight heparin, a commonly used blood thinner, for ten days. At ten days, most patients are ambulatory and do not need the device. Of the patients who consented, 392 patients were evaluable in terms of safety and 386 patients were evaluable in terms of efficacy. Doctors could tell whether patients were actually wearing the device by checking the internal timer in the pump unit. The timer detects the amount of time that the device is properly functioning and is actually being worn by the patient.

To look for deep vein blood clots, doctors conducted ultrasounds on patients' calves and thighs 10 to 12 days after surgery. The investigators found that in patients taking heparin, major bleeding occurred in 6 percent whereas no patients using the mobile device developed major blee
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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
fisherp@hss.edu
212-606-1197
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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