Keywords: deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, pulmonary embolism prevention, TED stockings, T.E.D.
Things You’ll Need
T.E.D. stockings, or Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent compression stockings, are prescribed by your doctor to prevent the development of blood clots in your legs after surgery, during pregnancy, during long periods of bedrest or if you have a history of blood clots or a condition — such as obesity — that would predispose you to their development. It is not the blood clot, per se, that poses the most danger to you as a patient. Rather, a dislodged blood clot can travel to the lungs and cause sudden death from a condition known as a pulmonary embolism. Thus, it is necessary to follow all instructions regarding T.E.D. stocking use, care and application.
Insert your hand into the T.E.D. stocking “as far as the heel pocket,” according to DHP, a company that ships medical supplies. T.E.D. stockings are designed to compress the legs, either to the knee or to the upper thigh. Thus, they are not as flexible or pliant as usual hose and it usually takes practice to learn to manipulate them.
Hold onto the heel pocket and turn the T.E.D. stocking inside as far as the heel area. This avoids having to push your foot along the entire extended length of the knee-high or thigh-high compression stocking. Instead, you will now be able to unroll the stocking up your leg to its prescribed location.
Manipulate the stocking over your toes and foot, carefully fitting your heel into the T.E.D. stocking heel pocket. Unroll the stocking up your leg, tugging frequently to ensure a uniform fit without creases or folds.
Pull the top of the stocking one to two inches below the knee cap, for knee-length stockings. Pull the top of the stocking band for thigh-high stockings to the crease below the buttocks. With the longer thigh-high stockings, an area of a difference in sheerness should be positioned one to inches below the knee joint.
Put your T.E.D. stockings on while still in bed, or before you have been up and about for a while, so that your edema — or swelling of your legs — is at a minimum.
Avoid the use of lotions and oils in conjunction with your T.E.D. stockings, as they may accelerate deterioration of the elastic threads. Wash the stockings as directed by the manufacturer to increase stocking lifespan. With proper care, T.E.D. stockings can last up to four months before replacement.
Never fold the top of T.E.D. stockings down (doubling the top) or roll the stockings partially down into a thin “doughnut.” Either option negates the purpose of the T.E.D. stockings and can dangerously decrease circulation in your legs.
Elevate your legs on a footstool or ottoman while sitting.