April 1975

What Kind of Elastic Stocking?

Arch Surg. 1975;110(4):449. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360100091020

To the Editor.—In your editorial, "News on Thromboembolism from London" (Arch Surg 109:477, 1974), you called attention to an article by Browse et al (Br J Surg 61:219, 1974) that alleges that elastic stockings are ineffective in preventing thrombi in calves of patients undergoing major surgery. Before such a conclusion can be accepted, it is important to consider how this compression affects venous blood flow velocity.

Elastic compression in that study was provided by a single layer of tubular stockinette (Tubigrip), size G4RT 6.75 cm, applied from the ankle to below the knee. No evidence was presented that this increased linear flow velocity in deep veins. Browse et al cite an article by Makin et al.1 However, Makin et al used a double layer of Tubigrip and measured venous circulation time, not linear velocity per se. Furthermore, there are features of single-layer Tubigrip that indicate that it may

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