Andrew Gregory, Health Editor. The Sunday Times.
Sunday May 17th 2020.
The NHS has ordered thousands of hi-tech clot-busting devices to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients as it emerged that almost a third are developing dangerous blood clots.
The geko™ devices, which are the size of a small wristwatch, are wrapped around patients’ legs and send out electrical impulses that can reduce the risk of thrombosis.
Medical experts believe that blood clots in infected patients could be causing heart attacks and strokes and contributing to the number of people who are dying.
Hospitals have bought 4,700 of the battery-powered, disposable devices, which they hope will help to increase blood flow in the deep veins of the legs.
The devices can produce about 60% of the increase in circulation achieved by walking, even though the patient does not have to move.
Doctors increasingly report that the most critically ill coronavirus patients are prone to forming blood clots that ultimately increase the risk of death.
The blood vessels in the lungs that collect oxygen and transfer it to the wider bloodstream are so small that they can become blocked with the tiniest of clots. Doctors are urgently trying to figure out if they are a cause, or an effect, of patients’ health deteriorating.