Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blood clot is formed in one or more of the deep veins of the body - typically the legs. The clot can detach and travel through the bloodstream to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow. This condition, called pulmonary embolism, can damage the lungs and other organs in the body and cause significant morbidity or death. DVT is often cause by immobility of the limbs such as recovery from surgery or even traveling that requires prolong sitting. Predisposing conditions include obesity, age, cancer and the abnormalities of the normal clotting cascade. In the hospital, electric sequential pneumatics devices are used to prevent DVT by applying compression/decompression pressure to the limb thereby facilitating blood flow. However, these devices are expensive and are not portable. They not used once the patient is discharged from the hospital thereby increasing the possibility for the onset of DVT and increasing perioperative risks of readmission, morbidity and mortality. Given the frequency of DVTs associated with hospitalization and the ongoing need to transition patients more responsibly while maintaining preventative measures, there is an urgent need for an effective, patient centered non-pharmacologic device to decrease DVT formation post hospitalization outside of the acute care setting. Unlike existing devices that are used in the hospital, a device for home use needs to be user friendly, transportable, and cost effective allowing physicians and hospitals to engage patients, extenders and care givers in DVT prophylaxis in multiple post-acute care settings. Moreover, current post-hospitalization pharmacologic anti-DVT prophylaxis measures such as enoxaparin are expensive, painful, inconvenient, may increase the risk of bleeding and are contraindicated in many patients.
Dr Robert Uzzo, Chairman of the Department of Surgical Oncology the Fox Chase Cancer Center has developed a compression device to extend DVT prevention in the post hospitalized and/or outpatient setting. The device easily attaches to the limb and is operated manually to generate sequential compression/decompression pressure without the need for electronic or pneumatic actuation. The user, extender or care giver attaches the device to the limb through a flexible material that wraps around the limb. On the side of the flexible material that is in contact with the limb are a series of compression units which are protrusions from the surface of the material. As the patient operates the device by sliding the flexible wrapping along the limb, sequential compression/decompression pressure is applied to the tissue to increase blood flow. The device is made with inexpensive material and its uncomplicated design makes it cost effective for hospitals to prescribe to their discharged patients empowering them to continue DVT prophylaxis while in transitions of care.
Patent Status: Patent pending
For Licensing/Partnering information, please contact:
Inna Khartchenko, MS, MBA
Director, Technology Transfer
Department of R&D Alliances
Fox Chase Cancer Center