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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Inventor develops anti-DVT device
An amateur inventor from Shropshire has developed a device to combat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in leg surgery patients.

Philip Hankin's Ortho-glide - a plastic disc with a replaceable pad - is designed to help patients exercise during recovery.

Mr Hankin, 66, joined forces with the NHS and private industry to develop the 30,000 device.

It aims to help cut the thousands of blood clot deaths in the UK each year.

The archaic, cumbersome and sometimes expensive equipment used in physiotherapy... set me thinking how it could be improved
Philip Hankin

Medical Devices Technology International Ltd (MDTi) - based in Wolverhampton - and Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust are now launching the product.

Mr Hankin, who runs a courier business in Telford, came up with the idea following his experiences of lower leg surgery.

He made a prototype of the device in his workshop and showed it to his physiotherapist at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

She put him in touch with the Centre for Healthcare, Innovation and Development at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, and it then drafted in MDTi to invest in and market the product.

Mr Hankin said: "The archaic, cumbersome and sometimes expensive equipment used in physiotherapy immediately following surgery set me thinking how it could be improved.

"I came up with the idea for a lightweight, portable device to replace the old-fashioned equipment currently used, which amounted to a doughnut-shaped bandage and a piece of plywood."

He added: "The Ortho-glide fits under the foot so a patient can slide their leg up and down on any surface to exercise and help with rehabilitation."

Yvonne Hague, from the trust's innovation centre, said: "It's a fantastic idea.

"The device is easier for patients and staff to use, more hygienic and cheaper than the method which has been in use for the last 40 years."

More than 25,000 people die of blood clots in the UK every year.

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