A stroke team has been recognised for the way it is treating patients who could develop a blood clot in their leg.
The team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is within the top ten 10 health trusts in the country for use of a special garment to help prevent the issue.
Intermittent pneumatic compression
The so-called intermittent pneumatic compression sleeves are placed on the leg and help prevent potentially life threatening clots (known as venous thromboembolism or VTE).
They do so by filling with air and squeezing the leg area which helps increase blood flow.
The team, based in the stroke unit at the University Hospital of North Tees, has been asked by the Department of Health and Social Care to share its top tips and areas of good practice.
Dr Ijaz Anwar, stroke consultant, said: “The team have shown fantastic commitment and dedication to help make these improvements for the benefit of our patients.
“Patients who have suffered a stroke can develop a clot in their leg while they are in hospital, mainly due to restricted movement.
“The team have worked tirelessly to ensure the use of the compression sleeves in all patients who have needed it.”
Stroke admission pack
Improvements have included a new stroke admission pack and a section on the VTE risk assessment checklist for the compression sleeves.
The sleeves are also prescribed on an electronic system so they can be easily audited. A patient’s mobility and suitability for compression are also reviewed at weekly meetings and a regular stock take is carried out to ensure all appropriate patients have the right size.
The importance of the sleeves has also been embedded into stroke teaching sessions for any staff working ad-hoc in the unit.
Dr Anwar added: “We are delighted these changes have made such a positive impact on patient care.
“It’s proof that when staff from a range of different specialisms and professions come together we can make real improvements in the lives and health outcomes of our patients. Congratulations to everyone involved.”