With UK clinicians highlighting the increased blood clot risk in the most critically ill Covid-19 patients, NHS Supply Chain has placed a significant order for an innovative medical device to be used to help prevent severe blood clotting.

Emerging data is pointing to a faulty blood clotting system in the most critically ill Covid-19 patients. Patients with underlying health problems are presenting a severe risk of VTE (blood clotting) – previously an unknown risk factor – as well as an increased bleed risk. Responding to this challenge, the NHS Supply Chain has now placed a significant order, some 4,700 so far, for an innovative British medical device – the geko™ – to help prevent severe blood clotting in its Nightingale Hospitals.

A retrospective study in Shanghai, China, was the first to report the high VTE risk and bleed risk – data showed a 20 per cent incidence rate of VTE in critically ill Covid-19 patients. The report, which is gaining further traction globally, calls for more effective risk assessment and prevention strategies.

Typical VTE prevention methods include intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) sleeves or pharmacological intervention (blood thinning drugs). The geko™ device is to be used in combination with drugs or when drugs and other methods are impractical or contraindicated. For example, some patients may not be suitable for compression devices if they have fragile skin, a recent wound, ulcer or graft, or an allergy to the materials.

Bernard Ross, Founder & CEO at Sky Medical Technology, said: “We are grateful to the NHS for all that they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances, and incredibly honoured to support this national effort against the clinical impact of Covid-19, which is made extremely complicated by an abnormally high VTE risk and high bleed risk in immobile, critically ill patients. It’s like nothing that has been seen before.

“The urgent need now is for thorough and effective risk assessment, and clinicians are working hard to determine the best way to prevent and manage clot formation in the most critically ill Covid-19 patients, using safe and effective methods.”