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Heparin, Coumadin and other popular anti-coagulant drugs for years, have been the mainstay in prevention of VTE (venous thromboembolism) which can manifest itself as DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or PE (pulmonary embolism) in some unfortunate patients. However these mainstay, standard, or “go to” medications cannot be used in all cases making investigating and developing other forms of therapy critical. Some patients are either allergic, or for other medical reasons, cannot be exposed to these anticoagulant drugs. Because there are some dangerous or unwanted side effects, some choose to avoid the risks associated with potentially experiencing some of these dangerous side effects. There are scores of pharmacologic prophylaxis models that produce unwanted side effects for patients which leaves doctors in a conundrum far too often.
Some of the side effects for example associated with Heparin prophylaxis are:
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
- Blood in urine or stool
- Chest pain, pressure or squeezing discomfort
- Coughing up blood
- Sudden loss of balance
- Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
When a patient is undergoing major orthopedic surgery or joint replacement, they are at a highly increased risk for bleeding with any type of anticoagulation treatment. If the bleeding is unchecked or reaches a high enough level of severity, the situation can be fatal. Namely, cerebral hemorrhaging can cause brain death and is an unfortunately dreadful possibility when using Heparin. Heparin prophylaxis is not the only type of anticoagulation therapy with unwanted side effects. All anticoagulants come with an increased risk of bleeding in patients, or some sort of side effect.
With those types of risks possible using drug therapy, it certainly warrants researching some of the non-invasive, non-pharmacologic means to prevent DVT and PE. At the least, investigating those types of treatments can lead an individual or physician’s practice to a higher point of familiarity with treatments that are proven to aid in the prevention of DVT and or PE at much less risk.
Used alone or in combination with drugs, SCDs (sequential compression devices) like the VenaPro and VenaFlow systems manufactured by DJO Global and proudly distributed by Capital Medical Corporation have gained widespread acceptance and prominence in the world of VTE prevention. Both devices promote healthy vascular functions such as high venous velocity and proper blood flow. Review the full line of SCDs for DVT / PE prevention available at Capital Medical Corporation by following this link: https://www.capital-medical.com/products/deep-vein-thrombosis-dvt/
In other cases, studies have shown and continue to show results leading the medical community to believe that, combining mechanical prophylaxis, or the use of devices like SCDs with anticoagulant drug treatment will lessen a patient’s chances of suffering or even dying due to complications generated from a PE or DVT. Much conversation without consensus exists about how much, or exactly all of the details in how SCDs specifically help patients, but an overwhelming amount of research is piling up showing that the adding of SCDs on top of anticoagulant drug therapy, if possible, creates one of the best environments to assure recovery after major surgeries like joint replacement for a patient, without fear of VTE.