MAKING THE MOST OF COMPRESSION STOCKINGS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Graduated compressionstockings havebeen shown to reducethe risk of developingpost thrombotic syndromeafter a deepvenous thrombosis. Thehigh degree of elasticitymakes them difficult forsome patients to put on, however, so properfitting is required. These stockings areexpensive and should be treated with careto extend their useful life, which is typically3 to 6 months. Some insurance plans willcover a portion of the cost, so patientsshould be encouraged to check theirhealth plan regarding reimbursement.

Here are some tips for patients toachieve the best results from thesestockings:

  • Put compression stockings on when gettingup in the morning. Elevate the feetabove the level of the heart for severalminutes prior to putting them on. Doing sowill reduce the swelling in the legs andankles as much as possible.
  • Wear gradient compression socks orstockings every day
  • Use rubber gloves to get a better gripon the fabric when putting them on
  • Wear the stockings for a few hours at atime, and increase the amount of timedaily if unable to tolerate a full day initially
  • Apply cornstarch or grease-free talcumbefore putting on the stockings if theskin is moist
  • Keep the legs and feet warm to promotegood circulation
  • Avoid wrinkles in the stockings
  • Do not cut or alter the stockings
  • Never fold or roll down the stockings
  • Remove the stockings if prolongednumbness or tingling occurs or if bluishdiscoloration develops

Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitionerat Cornerstone Health Care in HighPoint, NC.