Compression stockings are plastic wraps that are placed around a
patient's legs in order to decrease the chance of blood clot
formation. They have compartments that inflate and deflate, gently
squeezing the muscles of the legs. The stockings are connected to a
small compressor that controls the timing of the inflation/deflation
cycles. The squeezing action of the compression stockings improves
the circulation in the leg veins, thus decresing the chance of clot
formation. Most ICU patients have an increased risk of blood clot
formation and compression stockings are one of the measures used to
decrease this risk. Unfortunately, no measure is 100% effective at
preventing the formation of blood clots in the leg veins of ICU
How long are compression stockings used?
The stockings should be worn as long as patient is at increased risk
of forming blood clots. They should remain on the patient as much as
possible, both day and night. The stockings need to be worn to be
Are there any complications associated with
use of compression stockings?
Complications associated with use of compression stockings are very
Do the stockings hurt?
Not usually. Some patients complain that the stockings are too warm.
Compression stockings on both legs