Hope for stroke patients
Stroke patients at risk of blood clots and death could be helped by a compression device that wraps around the legs. Researchers have shown for the first time that by gently squeezing the legs, the risk of dying after stroke is reduced.
It is thought that the compression reduces the risk of clots in the veins of the legs by increasing blood flow.
The results of the trial reveal that thigh-length intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which commonly affects stroke patients. Until now, no treatment has been available that safely reduces the risk of the blood clots in the legs and the risk of dying.
More than 2800 stroke patients across the UK were involved in the randomised trial, which took place between 2008 and 2012. Hundreds of researchers from more than 100 hospitals took part.
The IPC sleeves, which cost the NHS as little as