Compression hose

Specialized hosiery designed to help prevent the occurrence of, and guard against further progression of, venous disorders.

Designed to prevent edema, phlebitis and thrombosis.

Elastic garments worn around the leg compress the limb and reduces the diameter of distended veins and increases venous blood flow velocity and valve effectiveness.

Compression hose therapy decreases venous pressure, prevents venous stasis and impairments of venous walls, and relieves heavy and aching legs.

Knee-high compression stockings are used to help increase circulation, help prevent the formation of blood clots in the lower legs.

Knee-high compression stockings aid in the treatment of ulcers of the lower legs.

Compression stockings use strong elastics to create significant pressure on the legs, ankles and feet.

Compression stockings are tightest at the ankles and gradually become less constrictive toward the knees and thighs.

By compressing the surface veins, arteries and muscles, compression stockings force circulating blood through narrower channels.

As the arterial pressure is increased, more blood is returned to the heart and less blood to pool in the feet.

There are two types of compression stockings, gradient and anti-embolism.

They are usually prescribed by a physician to relieve all manifestations of chronic venous disease and prevent venous troubles.

Compression stockings are recommended for:

Tired, aching legs


Chronic venous insufficiency Varicose veins

Spider veins

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when blood flow decreases, causing blood to pool, especially in the legs, and leading to blood clot formation.

Evidence does not suggest a benefit in post thrombotic syndrome rates following DVT.

Compression stockings are beneficial in reducing deep vein thrombosis among airline passengers flying for 7 hours or more.

Pharmacological agents, warfarin, unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin and mechanical measures such as graded compression stockings, intermittent pneumatic compression devices, and venous foot pumps are used to prevent venous thromboembolism in clinical practice.

In patients in which the bleeding risk is high and pharmacologic measures are contraindicated, the use of mechanical prophylaxis is recommended.

Graduated compression stockings can effectively prevent VTE in hospitalized patients by applying different pressure to the leg.

Graduated compression stockings decrease risk of developing VTE by 68% compared to placebo.

Graduated compression stockings are effective in deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis in post-surgical patients.

Combining graduated compression stockings with other mechanical and pharmacological measures can increase the effectiveness of VTE prophylaxis by 60%.

Yet a French study involving 407 ICU patients showed no difference in the effectiveness of the VTE prevention for patients who used compression stockings alone or in combination with intermittent pneumatic devices.

Economy class syndrome refers to deep vein thrombophlebitis that occurs on long flights, due to traveler’s inactivity, gravity, and cramped seating.

Hormones released during pregnancy and pressure on the inferior vena cava by the uterus can affect leg veins.

Compression stockings can reduce volume variations during standing hours, and their use for the entire day is more effective than just half the day or not using compression stockings at all.

Wearing elastic compression stockings has no additional benefit after the application of elastic bandaging for three days in post-operative care following the stripping of the great saphenous vein.

Caution should be used in regard to wearing compression stockings in patients with peripheral obstructive arterial disease, heart failure, septic phlebitis, dermatitis and peripheral neuropathy.

Proper size stocking is determined by measuring the legs, when the patient is placed in the supine position in bed for fifteen minutes prior to measuring allowing for venous return and stability before measuring.

Compression stockings are best applied upon waking before venous stasis or edema has had a chance to develop.

Compression stockings are incorrectly sized in just under 30% of the cases.

These stockings are designed to remedy impaired by incompetent leg vein valves.

Compression level is highest around the ankle and lessens towards the top of the hose.

These stockings are recommended for patients prone to blood clots, lower limb edema, and blood pooling in the legs and feet from prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity.

Help calf muscles to perform their pumping action more efficiently to return blood to the heart.

Worn by those at increased risk of circulatory problems, such as diabetics, whose legs are prone to excessive swelling.

Commonly prescribed for chronic peripheral venous insufficiency, caused by incompetent perforator veins.

Ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) must be >1.0 per leg to wear compression stockings, otherwise the stockings may obstruct the patient’s arterial flow.

Compression stockings must be properly sized.

The compression should gradually reduce from the highest compression at the smallest part of the ankle.

Firm gradient stockings (20–30 mmHg and 30–40 mmHg) should generally be worn only on medical advice.

The graduated compression stockings and anti-embolism compression stockings come in knee-high and thigh-high length.

A systemic review reveals that there is a 6% risk of developing deep vein thrombosis when wearing knee-high stockings and 4% when wearing thigh-high stockings.

There is no significant difference in the length of compression stockings when used for deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis.

It is suggested that knee-high compression stockings be the first choice for the deep vein thrombosis prevention in medical and surgical patients, as they are more comfortable, easier to apply, and wearing them increases patients’ compliance.

In addition, knee-high stockings are easier to size for limb measurement than thigh-high compression stockings.

Thigh-high compression stockings may create a tourniquet effect and cause restriction.

Redness and itching of the skin is reported in 41% of patients wearing thigh-high and 27% in patients wearing knee-high compression stockings.

Compression stockings are constructed of elastic fibers or rubber.

The unit of measure used to classify the pressure of the stockings is mmHg.

Higher pressure stockings require a prescription and a trained fitter.

Higher pressures range from 20-30 mmHg to 50+ mmHg.

Commonly used terms:



TED thromboembolism-det2242ent

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