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New app helping stop blood clots
AN Oxford nurse and her team has won an award for a new mobile phone app that helps prevent patients developing blood clots.
The app gives patients advice, information and exercises to prevent a condition known as venous thromboembolism (VTE).
It was designed by a team at the Churchill Hospital, including senior nurse Penney Clarke and haematology consultant Dr David Keeling, working with developer Incuna.
They received a £10,000 education grant to develop the app, which has now won a prize at thrombosis charity Lifeblood’s national awards.
Dr Keeling, 54, said: “When people come into hospital there is a serious risk of getting blood clots [because of a lack of mobility]. The hospital has to have a way of reducing that risk.
“As we move into a new era, this app is part of a wider picture as we offer the patients as much as possible to reduce the risk.
“It gives them exercises they can do when they are lying in bed which will help them stay mobile.”
VTE is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the vein. It most commonly occurs in the deep veins of the leg, causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
The app provides simple visual moving images which demonstrate exercises to reduce these risks.
The exercises can be carried out while immobile in a hospital bed or at home.
Also offered is advice for patients’ friends and families, people about to come to hospital and people being discharged .
The app can be downloaded for free on both mobile phones and tablets.
Mrs Clarke and Dr Keeling received the best VTE patient information in content, presentation and delivery award on Monday.
Mrs Clarke, 47, said: “As a team we wanted to raise the profile of the danger of blood clots.
“The idea came from a meeting where we were talking about trying to get the message out. By embracing new technology we are able to provide a new way to help inform and educate our patients.
“The app is very visual and shows exercises people can do – for instance, breathing and their rib cages or their ankles.”
Patients are at risk of a blood clot for up to 90 days following a surgical procedure.
Dr Keeling stressed it is a complement to other equipment used by the hospital, including elastic compression stockings.
It will also complement information leaflets available on the wards.
He added: “There’s a section for people to do when they get home from hospital.”
- People can download the app at http://vte-prevention.co.uk