Surgical Stockings Found Ineffective at Preventing Blood Clots for Stroke Patients

In a study published this week in The Lancet, a British research team found that surgical stockings given to stroke patients for prevention of blood clots do not work, reports Sam Lister of UK’s Times.

The compression stockings provide graduated pressure and should reduce swelling in the legs. Studies have shown that, for patients immobilized after surgery, these stockings effectively reduce formation of blood clots, which can be deadly when the clots travel up to the heart or lungs and obstruct blood flow.

However, in the new Lancet paper, scientists followed 2,500 stroke patients in Britain, Italy and Australia, and found that the use of compression stockings made no significant difference in the occurrence of DVT (deep vein thrombosis, the blood clots in the deep veins of the legs that can travel to the heart or lungs). Patients who wore the stockings actually suffered additional symptoms that include skin breaks, ulcers and blisters.

The results of the study were also presented at the European Stroke Conference on May 27 in Stockholm. Researchers believe this study conclusively shows compression stockings should not be recommended to stroke patients.

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