Researchers studied 11 clinical trials involving 7,431 patients. They found that combining short periods of leg compression with medication, such as heparin, significantly decreased DVT in high-risk patients compared with either method alone.
The ‘belt-and-brace’s approach reduced DVT risk from four in 100 patients to fewer than one in 100, compared with anticoagulants alone, and from four in 100 to one in 100 patients compared with compression alone, the researchers said.
‘We urgently need more studies to find out whether combined preventative approaches are also useful in preventing pulmonary embolism,’ the authors said.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2008) 4