Intermittent Pneumatic Compression on the Calf Improves Peripheral Circulation of the Leg

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Purpose:The aim of this study was to examine whether intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) increases peripheral circulation locally in order to assess the use of IPC for prevention of deep venous thrombosis.Materials and Methods:Seventy adult patients receiving major gastrointestinal surgery were studied. On postoperative day 1, calf-length garments were fitted onto both calves and deep temperature thermometers were put on both plantae. The IPC was applied randomly to either the left or right calf under 40 mm Hg pressure for 150 minutes. Bilateral plantar deep temperatures, as a reflection of peripheral circulation in the lower extremity, the tympanic temperature, mean blood pressure, and heart rate were recorded at 15-minute intervals.Results:IPC compression was applied to 31 left and 39 right calves. The plantar deep temperature in the compressed calf was higher than in the noncompressed calf, and increased significantly, whereas the noncompressed calf showed no temperature change. The tympanic temperature, mean blood pressure, and heart rate did not change during the experiment.Conclusions:The results suggest that IPC has the effect of improving peripheral circulation, which supports the use of IPC to prevent deep venous thrombosis. Copyright © 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company

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