SOLMED™ is pleased to be able to offer our Customers the Vienna™ range of Graduated Compression Stockings from Multigate. These Compression Stockings help the prevention of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Shop our range now by clicking the link below.
What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis refers to a blood clot that develops inside a larger vein - usually deep within the lower leg or thigh. DVT strikes about half a million Americans every year and causes up to 100,000 deaths. The danger is that part of the clot can break off and travel through the bloodstream, where it can lodge in the lungs causing a blockage in blood flow, organ damage, and death. In the UK, 25,000 people die each year from preventable hospital-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE). Clinical observations have shown that while DVT may not be as common in the Asian populations as in the Caucasian populations, it is certainly not rare and is indeed on the rise. This is more commonly seen than thought and is seen across all disciplines of clinical practice from post-surgical patients, cancer patients, pregnant women to healthy individuals. DVT is a preventable disease and a better understanding of its epidemiology, patient risk factors and biological risk factors will enable better preventive measures.
Dangers of DVT: Pulmonary Embolism
If part of the clot breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream, the results can be life-threatening. A clot that blocks the blood supply to the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms include trouble breathing, low blood pressure, fainting, faster heart rate, chest pain, and coughing up blood. If you have any of these symptoms, call Triple 0 (000) or go to the emergency room.
DVT mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh, almost always on one side of the body.
What Causes DVT?
Anything that damages the inner lining of a vein may contribute to DVT, including surgery, injury, or an immune system response. Blood that is thick or flows too slowly is more likely to form a clot, especially in a vein that is already damaged. Other things that increase risk for blood clotting include genetic disorders, hormone changes, and lack of movement.
Who’s at Risk for DVT?
People with a higher risk of DVT include: People who have cancer, People who have had surgery, anyone on extended bed rest, the elderly, smokers, long-distance travellers, people who are overweight or obese, Oestrogen- (pill, HRT), Varicose Veins, Dehydration, Critical care admission, previous DVT episodes, Thrombophilia.
DVT and Pregnancy
Women have a greater risk of developing DVT during pregnancy and the four to six weeks after giving birth. This is due to higher levels of oestrogen, which may make blood easier to clot. The pressure of an expanding uterus can also impede blood flow of the veins as well. Certain blood disorders can boost the risk even more.
DVT and Hormonal Birth Control
Like pregnancy, hormonal birth control and post-menopausal hormone therapy change blood chemistry and may increase risk of DVT, even in women who don't have blood disorders.
DVT and Travel
Travelling to new and faraway places can be exciting. Squishing into a coach or economy class seat for a long international flight is not. Studies show long-distance travel lasting more than four hours doubles your risk of developing DVT. This includes travel by air, bus, train, or car. Not moving around in these cramped conditions can cause sluggish blood flow.
One of the most successful ways to help prevent DVT is the use of Graduated Compression Stockings.
Graduated Compression Stockings are designed in such a way that they create varying amounts of Pressure to the Ankle, Calf and Thigh to assist in the return of blood from the extremities when little movement is contributing to the potential risk of DVT. Each Compression Stocking has a graduated strength of compression. The strongest compression is at the ankle, with a gradual decrease as you go up the leg. The level of compression is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Stockings have different grades of compression.
Class 1: Moderate compression (15-20mmHg). For aching legs, minor ankle, leg and foot swelling and minor varicose veins and long Distance Travel where immobility is expected..
Class 2: Firm Compression (20-30mmHg). For aching legs, moderate varicose veins, pregnancy, moderate swelling, superficial thrombophlebitis, helps prevent venous ulcers.
Class 3: Extra Firm Compression (30-40mmHg). For serious conditions including severe varicose veins, lymphoedema, post sclerotherapy/vein surgery, healing venous ulcers, deep vein thrombosis or chronic venous insufficiency.
Not all stockings are reliable and consistent with their stated pressure ranges, and the term "Caveat Emptor" (Let the buyer beware) should be applied when purchasing these types of products.
You need to know that a good manufacturer of these types of stockings will utilise the Sigel compression profile which is the standard of measured pressure at the Ankle, Calf, Knee, Lower & Upper Thigh.
Vienna™ anti-embolism stockings have the following Features:
- Inspection opening on ball of foot allowing feet and toes to be easily accessible for hygiene, peripheral circulation and skin integrity checks.
- Polyamide and Lycra Elastane knit with superb wicking properties to move perspiration away from patients skin keeping patient cool and comfortable.
- Colour coding to easily identify the size and length of the stocking
- Colour matches to sizing chart
- Latex Free
- Complies with Sigel Profile for Anti-Embolism Stockings (International Standard)
- Testing Unit in-house to ensure consistent calibrated compression profile on batches.
Measuring your correct size: Measurement of Anti-embolism Stockings
When possible measure for AES in the standing position. However, if this is position is unsafe for any patient, then measure in the lying position with the knee bent. Where possible, the measurement should be taken early in the morning when swelling is minimal. Using the a tape measure, take the following measurements, as indicated by the stocking manufacturer:
Knee Length AES
i) Measure the narrowest ankle circumference
ii) Measure the largest calf circumference
iii) Measure the length from the bottom of the heel to the knee crease
Thigh Length AES
i) Measure the narrowest ankle circumference
ii) Measure the largest calf circumference
iii) Measure the largest thigh circumference
iv) Measure the length from the bottom of the heel to the gluteal crease (fold of the buttock)
- Anti-Embolism Stockings AES should be worn for up to 23½ hours, and removed for at least 30minutes to inspect skin condition.
- Monitor AES use daily. AES must be removed daily for at least 30minutes to allow for skin care, hygiene purposes and to inspect skin condition, e.g. pressure ulceration.
- Discontinue AES use if the following are identified: marking, blistering, swelling, skin discolouration over heels and bony prominences and pain or discomfort.
- Provide patients with information and show them how to use mechanical thromboprophylaxis.
- Educate patients on how long to wear AES for, when and how often to remove AES, what symptoms they should report and symptoms of DVT and PE.
- Advise patients not to turn the tops of stockings down as this may constrict the circulation. Tell patients that when sitting out of the bed, ensure AES are not restricting your circulation at the knee.
- Ensure correct fitment and check AES are fitted smoothly as wrinkles can cause constriction and tissue damage.
SEEK ADVICE FROM YOUR GP ABOUT WEARING COMPRESSION STOCKINGS!
Morris C (2009). Guidelines for Best Practice: The Nursing Care of Patients Wearing Anti-Embolic Stockings.
In association with the British Journal of Nursing
NICE (2010). Venous thromboembolism: reducing the risk. NICE Clinical Guideline 92.
National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical practice guideline for the prevention of venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) in patients admitted to Australian hospitals. Melbourne: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2009.
The Cochrane Institute Library
TGA Listed, In House Testing, Batch Tracking, Consistent Compression, High Quality, Size Options, all add up to a reliable consistent product!
How to put on Compression Stockings
- Apply stockings first thing in the morning, before rising, to prevent swelling making the application more difficult.
- Do not apply oils or creams to the legs. Cover any wounds with a simple dressing.
- Take care not to snag the stockings with long fingernails, toenails or jewellery.
- Dust some talc onto your skin to make it smoother. Rubber gloves may improve your grip.
- If the stockings are open-toed, put the satin foot cover over your toes.
- Gather the stocking as much as possible. Don't try and force your leg into a straight stocking.
- Point your toes and direct your foot into the stocking foot until it reaches the end.
- Pull the stocking over your foot, ensuring the stocking heel is positioned over your heel.
- Fold the top of the stocking back onto itself. Grab the top of the fold and pull the stocking up the leg. Repeat the fold back and pulling procedure again until the garment is positioned correctly on your leg.
- Pull the satin slip out through the open toe.
- Smooth out any wrinkles.
- If a waistband is used, attach the stockings to the waistband.
Caring for Compression Stockings
With good care, your Stockings will last a long time. When they become loose and easy to apply, they will need replacing.
- Wash daily in lukewarm water with a mild laundry detergent. Do not bleach.
- Dry flat in semi-shade. Do not place near direct sunlight, fireplaces, heaters or clothes driers.
- Store flat. Do not roll them up in each other or tie into knots.