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Hospitals to receive lifesaving DVT equipment

Hospitals across the UK are preparing to receive potentially lifesaving deep vein thrombosis (DVT) equipment, as part of the national Living Longer Lives programme.

The campaign is to be headed up by NHS Improving Quality and will see stroke units across the country take delivery of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices, which include an air pump and inflatable ‘sleeves’.

Sleeves are wrapped around the legs of people of patients who are unable to walk following a stroke and are alternatively inflated, compressing each leg to keep the blood flow moving.

This movement can potentially prevent life threatening clots from forming that can travel to the lungs or brain.

The initiative has received £1m funding to stimulate the use of IPCs. Its aim is to embed the use of IPC into the care pathway for immobile stroke patients in the long term. 

It is hoped that this major national initiative will improve patient outcomes and reduce death from DVT in stroke patients.

“This initiative is a prime example of how NHS Improving Quality is working alongside key partners to rapidly translate the findings of research into routine clinical practice and drive the roll out of evidence-based, innovative treatments and technologies in the NHS in England at scale and pace,” Hilary Walker, head of the Living Longer Lives programme at NHS Improving Quality.

“IPC sleeves have been used for several years in surgical patients, but this will be the first major use in medical patients.

“It is hoped that the initiative will support the rapid implementation of IPC sleeves in stroke units and improve outcomes for stroke patients.”