What Are Ted Stockings?

Updated July 19, 2017

Ted stockings, also known as teds or T.E.D. (Thrombo Embolic Deterrent) stockings, are anti-embolism stockings for the legs that help prevent blood clots. They are used primarily for bedridden patients and postsurgical patients. Teds are made of elastic fibres that squeeze the legs, which promotes healthy blood flow.


When a person is recumbent, or bedridden, blood clots can form due to impaired venous return. Blood clots are a high cause of death and disease in adults. A blood clot can travel to different parts of the body including the lungs or brain. A blood clot in the brain can cause a stroke. Ted stockings put pressure on the leg muscles, thus promoting venous return and preventing blood clots.


Ted stockings come in different lengths and pressures. Medical professionals determine if the patient requires knee-high or thigh-high stockings and the compression needed. Most Teds also have a hole in the toe area. This allows medical professionals to check the temperature, colour, and pulse in the feet.


Before Ted stockings are applied, a medical professional will assess the patient. The skin and circulation to the legs and feet will be checked. Once it is determined that the patient can use the Teds, the medical professional will measure the legs to determine the proper size stockings. Each stocking will then be applied by folding the leg partly inside-out to get the foot in, and then slide the stocking up the leg. The stockings should be smooth and fully extended.


There are some circumstances when Ted stockings should not be used. Recent skin grafts or skin conditions such as dermatitis,open sores and gangrene are contraindicated. Teds should also not be used if there is a severe vascular disease and may not be used in the case of extreme swelling of the legs.


When wearing Ted stockings, there are some warnings that should be heeded. The legs cannot be massaged or crossed. Wrinkles should be avoided. If sitting, the legs need to be elevated. The patient should also check for any allergic reactions or irritations.

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Reagan Elizabeth Doran is an independent contractor, proofreader and freelance writer with an education and background in business management, finance, health and information technology. As a proofreader, she has proofed and edited multiple published books. She began writing professionally in 2008. As a writer, she is published on sites such as,, and eHow.