Use graduated compression stockings postoperatively to prevent deep vein thrombosis

Use of graduated compression stockings to prevent thrombosis

14 November 2012

A doctor patient died last year after slipping on a hospital floor and sustaining a cerebral bleed. He was wearing anti thrombosis stockings but no slippers. Informally one of his clinicians at a different hospital said that the stockings 'can be lethal' and that he always advised patients to wear them from the ankle upwards to avoid slipping. After persistent inquiries by one of us (EP) we understand that the obvious solution - making the soles of anti-thrombosis stockings 'non-slip' - has begun to be investigated in at least two hospitals and that a third and major hospital is considering changing all its anti-thrombosis stockings to the non-slip variety. In the absence of central activity of this kind perhaps individual doctors responsible for prescribing these stockings could be encouraged to specify that the stockings they prescribe should have nonslip soles. As family and friends of a much loved doctor who might well be with us today had he not slipped in his smooth soled anti thrombosis stockings we urge-on behalf of future patients - that one way or another rapid progress is made to abolish the use in hospitals of anti-thrombosis stockings that don't have nonslip soles.

Professor Raanan Gillon, Elizabeth Pimm, Dr Angela Cullum (Angela Andersen), Dr Sarah Andersen, Abi Andersen, Dr David Bacon.
Correspondence to

Competing interests: None declared

Raanan Gillon, Emeritus professor of medical ethics and retired NHS GP

and see letter

Imperial College London, London

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