Study: Stockings for stroke patients don't work

  1. LONDON -- Special stockings commonly given to stroke patients to prevent blood clots don't work, a new study reported Wednesday.

    Doctors often prescribe the tight, thigh-high stockings to patients who have suffered a stroke, seeking to prevent blood clots in patients' legs _ which could prove fatal if they break off and reach the heart or lungs.

    About two-thirds of stroke patients can't walk when admitted to hospital, and up to 20 percent of those patients develop a blood clot in their legs. The stockings squash the legs and force the blood to circulate better, and can be used in place of, or alongside, anti-clotting drugs like heparin.

    But in a study of more than 2,500 stroke patients in Australia, Britain and Italy, doctors found the stockings did nothing to reduce the chances of a clot. Not only that, but they caused problems like skin ulcers and blisters.

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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,418; Likes: 16,382 founder; from US
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  3. by   pennyaline
    Most of us who have used anti-embolism stockings on our patients have probably seen the complications they cause. Inevitably, they end up causing constriction at their highest points on the legs simply because they roll no matter what we do to try and stop it. They are difficult to apply, sometimes resulting in bruises, abrasions, skin tears... and if clots already exist, the manipulation involved in getting these things on could possibly be enough to dislodge it. They slip and wrinkle, causing pressure areas, and I've seen blisters and pressure sores on toes, ankles, popliteal spaces and the backs of the thighs. They are difficult to size, especially for very small and very large patients. And that's just above the knee hose. Don't get me started on the problems of BELOW the knee!
  4. by   vashtee
    I'd like to email this study to every physician I know that prescribes those stupid hose!
  5. by   Hygiene Queen
    Good! I always hated putting those stupid things on!
  6. by   oramar
    Not to mention there are all kinds of legs and those things don't fit half of them. They are more likely to cause problems when they are not applied correctly. It is impossible to get them on oddly shaped legs correctly.
  7. by   WalkieTalkie
    I've been saying this for years, and it's pointless (and extremely DIFFICULT) to take these off and on. Just give me the SCDs that actually work and everyone will be happy!
  8. by   psalm
    I've had patients curse me while I appllied the below the knee TEDS. I agree that SCDs are the better way.
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    If I never had to fight with those ridiculous stockings again, it would still be too soon.

    Patients hate them because they're tight, hot, uncomfortable, and they cause all manner of skin problems to boot. We hate them because it's about as easy to put them on someone who's just had a bath as it is to dribble a football (and wastes just as much time). SO......if they don't serve their intended purpose, let's get rid of 'em once and for all!!
  10. by   Reno1978
    This is great news! Ted hose ruins my life!!! I hate putting them on - so much that it's probably my #1 thing to delegate to my CNA or tech! Seriously!
  11. by   Hygiene Queen
    And what about if the pt has only one or two (if you're lucky) pairs of those dumb things and the staff doesn't rinse them out and hang them to dry every night? Yuck!
    Then, because it's an order and you HAVE to do it, you end up putting on some knarly hose because some dumb-bell didn't rinse them and there is not another set of hose to found.
    Then, YOU get stuck having to clean those suckers after they'd been neglected for two days... oh yay!
    I say we collect them all up and take them out and burn 'em in protest!!!
  12. by   pshs_2000
    I like to read about these kinds of things straight from the source. You can go here to read the article from the journal. You have to sign up, but you can read the full article for free.
  13. by   talaxandra
    Although they're a pain to use, I've only seen a small handful of toe wounds from TEDS. We use knee-highs on every stroke patient and pretty much every other kind of reduced mobility patient and I haven't ever seen any other issues with them. That said, I wouldn't be sad to see them go.
  14. by   catshowlady
    I hated them until another CNA showed me a trick to put them on: Take a hose & turn it inside out from the top down, stopping at the heel. Put the foot on (you can puff some baby powder into the foot and along the leg, if available & OK w/ the pt). Then you pull the cuff up to the knee or thigh. It's the reverse of peeling them off from the cuff down. Works like a charm.

    That said, I'm glad we use more SCD's than TEDs.