There are several health problems that necessitate the need for compression garments like TED hose. Very common conditions like edema and also deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are examples.
The basic principle of compression garments is to apply additional pressure to the outside of the body in a way that supports greater internal pressure. This promotes better movement of certain bodily fluid like blood but also includes water.
Conditions like DVT are dangerous. In fact, as many as 900,000 people in the U.S are affected by DVT every year. It is alarming that sudden death is the first symptom in about 25% of the affected population.
You may also be surprised to learn that between 10 and 30% of diagnosed patients will die within one month of diagnosis. Also, about a third of patients will have a recurrence within 10 years.
These statistics emphasize not only the importance of diagnosis but also of correct management early on. It is important to choose the right type of compression garment for it to be of any benefit.
In this article, you will learn what is TED hose and how it is different from compression stockings. Knowing the difference could save a life. Maybe yours.
Importance of Circulation
How much water is in your body? You may be surprised to learn that as much as 50 to 65% of your body is in fact water. Approximately 20% of the water is in your blood plasma.
Another telling fact is that about two-thirds of your water is within the cells of your body while the remaining third is outside. It is not difficult to see how important water is for your survival and good health.
Water plays a vital role in transportation in the body and facilitates many chemical reactions. In short, water must be able to circulate and mobilize appropriately throughout your body.
This is achieved through various mechanisms. One of which is related to pressure within the body. If the internal pressure is not correct then water can be retained in areas of the body that was not intended. An example is water retention in the legs or ankles.
This can give the appearance of swelling. Of course, this can in other parts of the body. Most often the cause is quite harmless but it may be indicative of something more serious.
Harmful or Harmless?
A simple way to think about this is to consider external and internal causes of pressure changes within the body. For example, an external force on the body is gravity. Normally, when we are active and moving the effect of gravity on our circulation is healthy.
However, if we are immobilized for a period of time, then the internal pressure may drop in comparison to a relative increase in external pressure. This can cause pooling of fluid in parts of our body. This can manifest as swollen legs and arms or puffiness in parts of the body such as the face even.
The basic underlying cause is external and relatively harmless. It is also temporary and as the external conditions change the body will eventually return to its normal state.
However, if the pressure changes on your body are coming from within then it can be harmful. For example, insufficient pressure in the veins may lead to fluid leaking out into the surrounding tissues. Congestive heart failure is when the hearts contraction is too weak to pump blood around the body properly and so it gathers near the front of the heart.
Your kidneys play a vital role in water regulation within the body. So kidney diseases will diminish this function and can be a cause of edema. There are many other causes. The important thing is to consult your doctor when you get swelling, particularly if you have other health problems.
How Much Compression?
That is the key question. The answer depends on the underlying condition and for that reason, the strength of compression is 'prescribed' by the doctor as they would for medication.
Compression strength can be fairly gentle and start around 20mmHg and increase to 30mmHg and even 40mmHg. It is also possible to have custom compression garments that provide even greater pressure.
The aim of compression is to restore pressure and circulation of fluid within the body which is vital for health. Compression stockings are designed to help this.
TED Hose and Bed-Ridden Patients
Patients who are mobile benefit from the movement they can exert on their body. This naturally aids circulation and helps deliver fluid to the extremities of the body. The challenge can be getting that fluid back to the center again and so compression stockings are well suited to mobile or ambulatory patients.
Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent (TED) hose is designed for non-ambulatory patients. The compression exerted is fairly gentle in comparison to compression stockings. TED hose is designed to assist the patient's blood flow so that blood does pool and clot in the legs.
It is sometimes appropriate to use TED hose for patients post-surgery while they are still recovering. When patients return home, if there are concerns about blood pressure, check out this article here on tips for regulating blood pressure at home.
What Do You Need?
In this article, you have read about the principles of circulation as they apply to the choices you might make about using TED hose or compression stockings. What is it that you need?
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