Bri­tish mother is first to test ‘clot catcher’ de­vice

Daily Mail - - Life - Daily Mail Re­porter

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.

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