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Review: graduated compression stockings prevent deep venous thrombosis in patients who are in hospital

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QUESTION: Are graduated compression stockings effective and safe for preventing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in hospital patients?

Data sources

Randomised controlled trials were identified by the Cochrane Review Group on Peripheral Vascular Diseases, who searched EMBASE/Excerpta Medica and Medline and handsearched relevant medical journals and Index Medicus. Manufacturers were also contacted.

Study selection

Trials were selected if stockings for the prevention of DVT were studied in any hospital patients, stockings were compared with no prophylaxis or another method of prophylaxis, and outcomes of DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), or complications of stocking use were measured. DVT had to be identified by ultrasound, venogram, or isotope studies, and PE had to be identified by ventilation perfusion lung scan, pulmonary angiogram, or postmortem …

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  • Sources of funding: Department of Health, The Scottish Office UK; Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, UK.

  • For correspondence: Mr T A Lees, Freeman Hospital, Northern Vascular Centre, High Heaton, Freeman Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK. Fax +44 (0)191 223 1225.