Trust us on this one: deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in legs is a common exit pathway for lots of patients. Any effort that can decrease incidence of blood clots in the legs, and the resulting embolism to the lungs, can potentially save many lives. Here is a system, developed at the University of Manchester, that promises to knit made-to-order compression stockings for patients suffering from venous diseases such as leg ulcers, and may potentially be used to prevent DVTs:
Currently the only treatment for venous leg ulcers is to apply constant pressure by tightly wrapping elastic bandages around the affected area of the leg. These are often uncomfortable and have to be applied by trained medical staff weekly.
The Scan2Knit system produces stockings made from unique combination of fibres designed for comfort which can be slipped on and off like conventional stockings.
The system uses a 3D limb scanner to measure the size and shape of the lower leg and foot. This information is then transmitted to a dedicated electronic knitting machine in the WLIC which produces a bespoke stocking designed to apply a prescribed three-dimensional pressure profile to the leg.
Dr Tilak Dias, Head of the WLIC, said: “Sustained graduated compression is the key to healing a venous ulcer. Currently this involves four layers of compression bandaging which needs to be reapplied weekly or twice weekly.
“Scan2Knit allows the doctor to prescribe the desired pressures for differing clinical applications. It produces a bandage which is seamless, fits precisely and can be delivered to the clinic for simple fitting.”
The Scan2Knit system has been developed in partnership with the Vascular Studies Unit at South Manchester University Hospital which is directed by Professor Charles McCollum and with major funding from the Wellcome Trust.
The press release…