Prevention of deep vein thrombosis in potential neurosurgical patients. A randomized trial comparing graduated compression stockings alone or graduated compression stockings plus intermittent pneumatic compression with control
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In a randomized trial of neurosurgical patients, groups wearing graduated compression stockings alone (group 1) or graduated compression stockings plus intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) (group 2) were compared with an untreated control group in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In both active treatment groups, the graduated compression stockings were continued for 14 days or until hospital discharge, if earlier. In group 2, IPC was continued for seven days. All patients underwent DVT surveillance with iodine 125-labeled fibrinogen leg scanning and impedance plethysmography. Venography was carried out if either test became abnormal. Deep vein thrombosis occurred in seven (8.8%) of 80 patients in group 1, in seven (9.0%) of 78 patients in group 2, and in 16 (19.8%) of 81 patients in the control group. The observed differences among these rates are statistically significant. The results of this study indicate that graduated compression stockings alone or in combination with IPC are effective methods of preventing DVT in neurosurgical patients.
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