How effective are lower extremity compression devices for reducing DVT risk after a stroke?
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Graduated compression stockings (GCS) and intermittent pneumatic compression devices (IPC) are equally effective for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis after acute stroke (SOR: A, meta-analysis). However, thigh-length GCS have a 5% risk of skin breakdown in patients without known peripheral vascular disease (SOR: B, RCT). Guidelines recommend using IPC or prophylactic-dose heparin for patients with acute stroke and restricted mobility (SOR: B, evidence-based guideline).
Evidence Based Practice 16(8): 08-09.