Blood Clot and DVT

A blood clot is the product of blood coagulation, which is the body’s response to an injury to help prevent bleeding, but can be harmful when clots obstruct blood flow through the veins. When a clot forms within a deep vein (usually in the legs or sometimes arms) it is referred to as a Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.

When a clot forms within a deep vein (usually in the legs or sometimes arms) it is referred to as a Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.

DVT risk factors include (but are not limited to) age over 40, obesity, immobility, surgery, smoking, varicose veins, taking oral contraceptives, chemotherapy and recent stroke. People recovering from total hip or total knee surgeries are among the highest risk of DVT, and risk is greatest 5-10 days after surgery. To learn your risk, click here to take the self-evaluation.

DVT prevention methods include taking anticoagulant medications as well as utilizing mechanical prophylaxis (compression sleeves connected to a DVT pump.) There are many potential drug interactions concerning anticoagulant medications, making mechanical prophylaxis a safe and effective prevention method. Patients may also be prescribed anticoagulant medications (blood thinners) in conjunction with mechanical prophylaxis based on their level of risk.

Taking blood thinners can help prevent a clot from growing and breaking off, causing a life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism. Heparin may be administered intravenously in the hospital, and then continued at home. However, they will not dissolve an existing clot. Your body may eventually dissolve the clot, however there are risks that the clot could damage the vein over time. Doctors may recommend a clot-busting drug, however the treatment is administered in the hospital and carries risk of bleeding problems and stroke.

Warning signs include pain or tenderness in an extremity or groin, sudden swelling of the leg, warmness of the skin, and change of color in the leg. If you suspect you have a DVT, call your surgeon or healthcare provider immediately.

Patients who have had DVT — deep vein thrombosis — may be at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke, especially during the first year after diagnosis, according to a recently released Danish study that followed DVT patients for a 20-year period. Typically, doctors see heart attacks that are caused by blood clots in arteries, not veins. However, new research in the study shows DVTs can move to arteries even years after initially discovered, which then can cause heart attacks or strokes.

DVT patients are encouraged to listen to their doctor and follow all guidance on how best to lower their individual chances for heart attack and stroke after a DVT.

Pulmonary Embolism and VTE

A Pulmonary Embolism, or PE, occurs when one or more pulmonary arteries in your lungs become blocked. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or rarely other parts of the body (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT).

Risks of PE are similar to risks of DVT, since most PEs develop as a result of DVT. Such risks include (but are not limited to) family history, age over 40, obesity, immobility, surgery, smoking, varicose veins, taking oral contraceptives, chemotherapy and recent stroke.

When a PE is life threatening, an emergency treatment called Thrombolytics can quickly dissolve the clot, however can cause sudden bleeding. In other scenarios, a catheter is inserted through the groin and up to the lung to deliver medicine to dissolve the clot. In some cases, surgery may be required.

When a DVT forms that causes a Pulmonary Embolism, this event is referred to as a VTE, or Venous Thromboembolism.

Preventing VTE begins with DVT prevention. DVT prevention includes taking anticoagulant medications as well as mechanical prophylaxis (compression sleeves used with a DVT pump.) There are many potential drug interactions concerning anticoagulant medications, making mechanical prophylaxis a safe and effective prevention method. Patients may also be prescribed anticoagulant medications in addition to mechanical prophylaxis based on their level of risk.

Compression Sleeves

Compression sleeves are made of soft fabric and wrap around the calf. They are often used in conjunction with a mechanical pump to inflate the sleeves intermittently from bottom to top to simulate ambulation when someone is not active, or are at risk for DVT. The inflation squeezes the calves so that circulation is increased, keeping clots from forming.

SCD sleeves are short for Sequential Compression Device sleeves. This more pointedly implies that the sleeves are used with a compression pump, not to be confused with compression socks or stockings, which are not inflated mechanically.

Compression sleeves push blood from distal to proximal intermittently, which mimics ambulation (or moving about). This increase in blood flow keeps the blood from pooling (most often in the leg), causing it to clot.

Compression Device

Compression devices are used in conjunction with calf, foot or leg sleeves to prevent DVT. Compression devices can also be used with orthotic joint wraps to reduce swelling at surgery or injury sites.

Compression devices come in a variety of sizes and weights. Hospital grade pumps are larger and usually hook onto the hospital bed. Take-home compression devices like the Triple Play VT are small enough to fit in one had and weigh less than a pound, making it convenient to use anywhere.

Compression devices connect to calf sleeves and push blood from distal to proximal intermittently, which mimics ambulation (or moving about). This increase in blood flow keeps the blood from pooling (most often in the leg), causing it to clot.

Compression devices, when connected to joint orthotic wraps, pump air intermittently to squeeze out swelling from the affected site. When cold is combined with this compression it helps minimize pain as well.

A DVT pump is a type of compression device. All DVT pumps are a type of compression device, but compression devices can also be used for purposes other than DVT prevention. A compression device can be used to help reduce pain and swelling for joint or muscle recovery.

DVT Prevention

DVT prevention methods include taking anticoagulant medications as well as utilizing mechanical prophylaxis (compression sleeves connected to a DVT pump.) There are many potential drug interactions concerning anticoagulant medications, making mechanical prophylaxis a safe and effective prevention method. Patients may also be prescribed anticoagulant medications in conjunction with mechanical prophylaxis based on their level of risk.

People are at particularly high risk of DVT after surgery, (hip and knee surgeries being the highest). Risk is highest five to ten days following surgery, most likely when patients are recovering at home. This makes DVT prevention at home a vital part of patient care. Other risk factors of DVT include age over 40, obesity, immobility, surgery, smoking, varicose veins, taking oral contraceptives, chemotherapy and recent stroke.

Since risk of DVT is highest five to ten days following surgery, this is the period most patients are recovering at home.

Compression devices connected to calf sleeves (referred to as “mechanical prophylaxis”) push blood from distal to proximal intermittently, which mimics ambulation (or moving about). This increase in blood flow keeps the blood from pooling (most often in the leg), causing it to clot.

Patients with a blood clot should not use mechanical DVT prevention. Please consult your physician.

Triple Play VT

Triple Play VT from Compression Solutions is a portable, hand-held mechanical compression device to use at home after surgery or when on bed rest. The device connects to calf sleeves that inflate and push blood from distal to proximal intermittently, which mimics ambulation. This increase in blood flow keeps the blood from pooling (most often in the leg), causing it to clot.

Wrap the DVT-EZ sleeves around the calf, and connect the hoses to ports 1 and 2 on the DVT pump. Press and hold to turn the pump on, then press and release the “mode” button until ports 1 and 2 are illuminated. For full instruction for our products, click here.

The Triple Play VT is most often prescribed after surgery. In the cases of orthopedic surgery, joint orthotics with cold therapy may also be prescribed and used in the AUX port of the TPVT. Triple Play can also be used when a patient is on bed rest, or non-ambulatory.

Many insurance providers will cover the cost of mechanical DVT prophylaxis. In cases when insurance does not cover it, the patient may be billed a small amount for DVT prevention therapy, or for DVT prevention with the cold compression orthotic.

Yes, the Triple Play VT is a prescriptive device only.

As long as you have a prescription from a physician, you can purchase a Triple Play home unit for $495 directly from the manufacturer. Call 800-994-0464 for more information.

Have your doctor visit our website at www.CompressionSolutions.us, or call us at 800.994.0464.

Triple Play has three ports for compression – two for the DVT calf wraps, and one auxiliary port for optional cold orthotic wraps. The orthotic wraps come with malleable re-freezable gel packs that fit inside the wrap for cold therapy.

Triple Play Pro

Like the Triple Play VT, the Triple Play Pro is a sequential compression device that connects to calf sleeves that inflate and push blood from distal to proximal intermittently, which mimics ambulation. This increase in blood flow keeps the blood from pooling (most often in the leg), causing it to clot. The Triple Play Pro is our hospital grade product that is larger and more robust, allowing it to work with foot and leg wraps which are used on certain patients.

The Triple Play Pro is used in the hospital or surgical facility during, and when recovering from surgery, or when a patient is confined to their bed.

Nurses will operate the Triple Play Pro in the hospital. The TP Pro is as easy to use as the Triple Play VT, where calf and in some cases orthotic wraps are connected to the three ports on the device. One button automatically sets the DVT wraps (simply choose between leg or foot), and the other operates the wrap connected to the aux port.

Like the Triple Play VT, the Triple Play Pro has three ports for compression – two for each DVT wrap, and one auxiliary port for optional cold orthotic wraps. The orthotic wraps come with soft re-freezable gel packs that fit inside the wrap for cold therapy.

Your doctor may prescribe the DVT Home Care Kit from Compression Solutions, which includes the Triple Play VT pump and a pair of calf wraps. Use the kit at home during the prescribed period, then simply mail the pump back to Compression Solutions in the included, pre-paid envelope.

Cold and Compression

If a cold and compression wrap is prescribed, simply freeze the gel pack for at least one hour before re-attaching it to the inside of the wrap. Secure the wrap as indicated in the included instructions sheet, and then connect the hose to the third port on the Triple Play. Press the Mode button until the blue AUX light is illuminated, then adjust the pressure with the up and down arrows to your comfort level. For complete instructions for each product, click here.

Cold and compression orthotic wraps are most often prescribed for orthopedic surgery patients. Utilize the wraps as instructed by your doctor.

Triple Play has three ports for compression – two for the calf wraps, and one auxiliary port for optional cold orthotic wraps. The orthotic wraps come with malleable re-freezable gel packs that fit inside the wrap for cold therapy.

The Triple Play orthotic wraps come with a hand pump you may use to inflate the wrap after returning your pump, if desired. Simply cut the tubing with a scissors just below the insertion into the wrap, then insert the barbed connector on the bulb into the tubing, and squeeze and release the pump to inflate the wrap.

Compression alone is shown to be effective in reducing swelling and edema. Active compression, which compresses intermittently, pushes that swelling out of the injured site and to the body’s core so it can be disposed of through the lymphatic system. This type of compression also aids in enhancing the body’s blood flow, which helps deliver more oxygen to the injured area. Cold therapy has also been proven to reduce pain and swelling, making your recovery faster and more comfortable. Doctors have recommended 20 minutes of cold therapy at a time, alternating between cold and warm or room temperature. We recommend using your Triple Play gel pack after it has been initially frozen for one hour, then placing it on your affected area for 20 minutes, and returning it to the freezer while your body rests from the ice. Contrary to an assumption of “the colder, the better,” therapeutic cold has been shown to be between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Studies find that when active compression is coupled with cold therapy, it results in increased blood flow, and decreased swelling. Applying ice or cold to your injury also makes recovery less painful and more comfortable.

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