Thigh-high surgical stockings ‘best in fight against DVT’

September 21st, 2010 - 4:56 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sep 21 (ANI): A new study has discovered that replacing knee-high socks with thigh-high surgical stockings while treating patients in hospital can reduce life-threatening clots.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh concluded that knee-high stockings are less efficient to protect stroke patients against deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a life-threatening form of blood clot that can travel up to the heart and lungs.

The Clots (Clots in Legs Or Stockings after Stroke) research found that the clot rate in stroke patients was higher among those fitted with the shorter rather than longer stockings.

The study involved more than 3,000 patients recovering from strokes from 112 hospitals in nine countries and found that stroke patients fitted with below-the-knee stockings were 30 per cent prone to develop DVT in comparison with patients fitted with thigh-length stockings.

“Although we have shown in previous work that thigh-length stockings are not very effective in reducing the risk of DVT after a stroke, we believe that the results of this trial may have important implications for the millions of patients undergoing surgery each year,” the Scotsman quoted Martin Dennis, professor of stroke medicine at the university, as saying.

“Millions of patients worldwide are fitted with stockings. Unless reliable evidence emerges that short stockings do actually reduce the risk of DVT, long stockings should always be used in preference,” he added.

The university team is now working on a three-year project testing another type of device which actively massages the legs to keep the blood moving which they hope will prevent clots in stroke patients. (ANI)

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