TED hose are among the many compression stockings available to help reduce leg swelling and prevent the formation of blood clots. The method by which TED hose work to reduce and prevent swelling is also the method that deters the formation of blood clots.
TED hose, short for thrombus and embolus deterrent, are stockings that range in length from below the knees to those that cover most of the thighs. Health-care providers may prescribe or recommend them in a number of different situations and conditions, with the goal of preventing the formation of both stationary and mobile blood clots.
As your heart pumps blood throughout the body via arteries, your veins return that blood to the lungs for oxygenation. The veins in your legs, particularly the areas farthest from your heart, are working against gravity for the blood's return journey. Arteries have the force of your heart pumping which keeps the blood moving; the muscle movements in your legs help veins move blood. TED hose apply gradient pressure to your legs, helping the veins return the blood to the lungs. When the blood does not make the return journey as quickly as it should, this can lead to swelling in the lower extremities, especially the feet and ankles. The gradient pressure of TED hose helps to prevent the swelling resulting from the venous blood pooling, or staying too long in your lower extremities. Gradient pressure means that TED hose have a graduated system of pressure, with the most pressure at the feet and ankle area, then diminishing in the upper parts of the hose. This is like a substitute for your body's normal muscle activity in the legs.
TED hose may be ordered by your health-care provider in situations where you may be immobile for a period of time, such as after surgery or with a leg, hip or pelvic injury. If you've lost muscle tone in your legs or are diagnosed with poor circulation, your health-care provider may also recommend the use of TED hose.
TED hose come in variety of lengths and sizes. It is important to know what length your health-care provider recommends and to take measurements of your legs to ensure you are purchasing the correct size TED hose. In the hospital, the health-care staff will take care of both of these concerns, ensuring you receive the correct size. For use at home, you can ask your health-care provider which measurements are necessary for proper fitting, or consult the staff at a pharmacy or medical supply store.
Your health care provider likely will recommend that you wear the TED hose daily, perhaps removing them at night for sleep, or keeping them on at all times. For this reason, you should purchase at least two pair of TED hose so that while one pair is being laundered, you'll have the other pair to wear.
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