DVT can be fatal if the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). They can also cause severe leg swelling and ulcers – a condition known as post-thrombotic syndrome.
While DVTs have grabbed media attention when they occur in people who have sat in cramped conditions (e.g. economy class syndrome), they are much more common in patients undergoing surgery, hospitalised with severe illnesses or with leg fractures. Most occur in the legs. Healthcare providers often recommend anticoagulant medications such as heparin, which thin the blood, as preventative measures for patients at high risk of DVT. Alternatively, using a pump to inflate an airtight bag around the leg can also prevent blood “pooling” and reduce the risk.
By analysing data from eleven trials involving 7,431 patients, Cochrane Researchers found that a combined approach to prevention reduced the risk of DVT from 4 in 100 to less than 1 in 100 when compared to anticoagulants alone. When compared to compression alone, the risk of DVT was reduced from 4 in 100 to 1 in 100.
“Our results support guidelines that already recommend the combined use of medication and leg compression to prevent deep vein blood clots,” says lead researcher, Stavros Kakkos of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
There is, however, still some uncertainty as to whether the combined approach reduces a patient’s risk of a life-threatening pulmonary embolism caused by a clot travelling to the lungs.
“If these clots get into the lungs they can be fatal. We urgently need more studies to find out whether combined preventative approaches are also useful in preventing pulmonary embolism,” says Kakkos.
Jennifer Beal | alfa
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25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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