Intended for healthcare professionals


Venous thromboembolism: Stockings are important

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:364
  1. Daniel A Shaerf, preregistration house officer, orthopaedics and trauma surgery (shaerf{at}
  1. Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG

    EDITOR—In two recent articles on venous thromboembolism, only 15 words referred to the use of compression stockings and pneumatic compression devices.1 2 These cheap and completely non-invasive devices should have a more prominent place.

    The evidence behind compression stockings and pneumatic device use is well known. Twenty years ago, controlled trial evidence showed the efficacy of graduated compression stockings with low dose heparin.3 More recently, a meta-analysis showed that graduated compression stockings are a useful adjunct to low molecular weight heparins and reduce the incidence of venous thromboembolism in colorectal surgery.4

    These devices, which are often used as a direct alternative to heparins, deserve more space, especially when the consequences of bleeding are dire.


    • Competing interests None declared.


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