Current practice acknowledges that a reduction in venous stasis of the lower limb reduces DVT incidence in acute stroke patients1. It is also recognised that DVT is a blood clot that most commonly forms in the deep veins of the calf2.
A study performed by Labropoulos et al demonstrates that isolated calf DVT was detected in 282 limbs of 251 patients examined. The peroneal veins were most frequently involved with 115 limbs affected (41%). Posterior tibial and gastrocnemius vein involvement accounted for 37% and 29% respectively2.
Publication of a study by Professor Andrew Nicoladies and Dr Maura Griffin measured the effect of the geko™ device on blood flow in the deep veins of the calf3. The study shows statistical significance (P<0.001-0.05), with significant volume and velocity increases in the gastrocnemius, peroneal and posterior tibial veins. This is the first time that a mechanical device has been able to demonstrate enhancement to blood flow for the prevention of stasis in the deep veins of the calf. The findings are of clinical relevance to the unmet need of DVT prophylaxis.
Current practice is also based on the CLOTS-3* study, which reports that only around 31% of stroke patients had perfect adherence to intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC). In addition to contraindications to IPC, patients also become intolerant to IPC. These patients, who received only standard of care treatment without a mechanical intervention, carried a 8.7% risk of developing a symptomatic VTE4. This suggests a significant level of unmet need and associated clinical burden.
Through a prospective clinical audit of 1000 patients, Firstkind partnered with a major NHS trust to assess use of the geko™ device for VTE prophylaxis in the acute stroke pathway.
The real world data collected has shown that 29.5%1 of stroke patients, who required mechanical prophylaxis, were contraindicated or became intolerant to IPC. It is to this unmet need patient group that the geko™ device was evaluated.
The geko™ device is cost saving
NICE guidance (MTG19) recommends use of the geko™ device when other prophylactic methods cannot be used and estimates a cost saving of £237 per patient when the device is used for a period of 9 days6.
*The CLOTS-3 paper provided the evidence underlying the NICE guideline recommendation for IPC as first line VTE prophylaxis.