British mother is first to test ‘clot catcher’ device
A BRitisH mother-of-two has become the first patient in the world to be treated with a new device to remove blood clots.
Jackie Field, 55, underwent the procedure after being diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis in her leg.
she was not suitable for treatment with drugs to break up the clot or thin the blood so was offered the chance to test the Vetex thrombectomy Catheter.
it is inserted into the vein and catches the clot in a ‘basket’ before pulling it out in a single procedure. if successful, the device could reduce drug costs for the nHs and cut the time patients spend in hospital.
Deep vein thrombosis affects around 620,000 people in the UK every year, said the charity thrombosis UK. the nHs estimates that 25,000 patients in hospital die from preventable blood clots annually.
Miss Field, of eltham, south-east london, was diagnosed with DVt after noticing swelling in her leg a few weeks after surgery to repair an internal tear in her abdomen.
the new treatment was carried out at st thomas’s Hospital, central london, last november by stephen Black, a consultant vascular surgeon.
He said leaving clots can be harmful as ‘patients can develop post-thrombotic syndrome, a long-term condition that can cause severe pain, mobility problems and, in some cases, ulceration’.
Mr Black added that the Vetex product was a ‘significant improvement’ on existing technology. After being guided to the affected area, it expands to touch both sides of the vein. A combination of rotation and suction allows the surgeon to pull large clots from the walls of the vein, where they are often stuck, and remove them.
Miss Field said: ‘i felt very secure. i just had some pain relief and Mr Black kept speaking to me throughout.’ the trial of the device is continuing at Guy’s and st thomas’s nHs Foundation trust.