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Compression stockings are not needed to help prevent blood clots after surgery, new research shows 

Compression stockings are not needed to help prevent blood clots after surgery, new research shows

  • Anti-clotting drugs alone just as effective as prescribing them with stockings 
  • Imperial College London say results show that guidelines should be updated
  • Graduated compression stockings designed to help promote circulation in legs

Compression stockings are not needed to prevent blood clots after routine surgery, a study has found.

Anti-clotting drugs alone were found to be just as effective as prescribing them with the stockings.

Researchers from Imperial College London say their results show that guidelines should be updated.

Researchers from Imperial College London said anti-clotting drugs alone were found to be just as effective as prescribing them with the compression stockings. (Stock image)

Graduated compression stockings are designed to help promote circulation in the legs and prevent serious blood clots – or venous thromboembolism.

But rates of VTE after surgery have fallen significantly because of improved medical care and drug therapy.

The Imperial study looked at 1,858 patients at moderate or high risk of VTE who had non-emergency surgery at seven UK hospitals. 

Around half of the patients were told not to wear compression stockings and the other half were given them during their hospital stay.

Both approaches produced practically identical results in terms of preventing clots – drug treatment on its own proved ‘non-inferior’. 

The study found that the rates of venous thromboembolism after surgery have fallen significantly because of improved medical care and drug therapy. (Stock image)

The study found that the rates of venous thromboembolism after surgery have fallen significantly because of improved medical care and drug therapy. (Stock image)

Little or no differences between the two groups were found in relation to quality of life, adverse drug reactions or premature deaths.

The researchers concluded: ‘These findings indicate that graduated compression stockings might be unnecessary in most patients undergoing elective surgery, and current guidelines based on historical data should be revised.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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