STOP Leg Clots - study

The risk of blood clots is dramatically increased during lower leg immobilization following injury and/or surgery. Unfortunately, the usual pharmacological blood clotting inhibitors do not work effectively, probably due to impaired blood circulation in the immobilized leg. Therefore, there is a need for new treatment strategies.

Mechanical blood clot-prevention with so-called intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) is a relatively new treatment method used in hospitalized patients to stimulate blood flow in order to reduce the risk of blood clots. Whether IPC can inhibit blood clot formation among outpatients with lower leg immobilization and at the same time possibly improve healing, is still unclear.

For this reason, we intend through a national multicenter study including 1400 patients, to investigate whether supplementation with IPC, to the standard of care, for patients with lower leg immobilization can reduce the risk of blood clot formation and stimulate healing. Targeted IPC therapy can prove to be an effective treatment that may quickly be translated into increased patient safety and reduced costs of injury requiring outpatient immobilization.

The study is supported by the Swedish Orthopedic Traumatological Society (SOTS) and funded by the Swedish Research Council.