Vascular PRN

Follow-Up to Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Study Addresses Effect of IPC Use on Hospital Costs


Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/11/2015 -- In 2013, a collaborative study funded by the National Institute of Health Research in the UK found that intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) reduced the risk of blood clots and improved survival rates in immobile patients with acute stroke.

Recently, the study's author has published a follow-up analysis looking at the secondary effects of IPC use. Among other findings, this second analysis suggests that IPC use tends to increase costs for hospitals, but only because increased survival rates mean that patients stay in the hospital longer. The new report also notes that IPC is generally inexpensive to use as a treatment.

"The results of this analysis suggest to me that many medical centers, including long-term care facilities, can benefit from the use of intermittent pneumatic compression for immobile patients with acute stroke," remarked Greg Grambor, president of Vascular PRN, a company that rents and sells pneumatic compression equipment. "When long-term care facilities reduce the number of blood clots that occur in patients, they can reduce hospital readmission rates, improve reimbursement rates and improve quality ratings."

The original study, known as CLOTS3, was undertaken to study intermittent pneumatic compression because other thromboembolism prophylaxis treatments had drawbacks specific to acute stroke patients.  

The introduction to the follow-up analysis mentions that acute stroke victims have a high risk of bleeding, making pharmacological anticoagulant use problematic. The author also notes that previous studies have shown the ineffectiveness of compression stockings in preventing deep vein thrombosis in immobile patients with acute stroke.

Both the original study and the follow-up were written by Dr. Graeme J. Hankey, a professor of neurology at the University of Western Australia.

"Dr. Hankey's continued focus on providing solid data about the use of IPC is encouraging," commented Grambor. "IPC is one of the safest ways to help prevent deep vein thrombosis, and an increase in scientific knowledge about its uses will ultimately benefit both patients and medical facilities."

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