Compression stockings to prevent post-thrombotic syndrome: A role for anticoagulation clinics?

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Anticoagulation clinics are increasingly used to manage oral anticoagulant therapy in patients with venous thromboembolic disease (VTE). Such clinics may be in a position to assume greater responsibility for other aspects of the long-term management of VTE, including prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). Current guidelines suggest use of graduated elastic compression stockings with a pressure of 30–40 mm Hg at the ankle for 2 years following the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to prevent PTS. A survey of anticoagulation clinic providers was conducted to determine to what extent patients with DVT are prescribed compression stockings and by whom, and the degree of compression and duration of therapy prescribed. Survey results show a very low rate of use of compression stockings in patients with DVT, and limited adherence to current recommendations for strength and duration of use. We believe that healthcare providers practicing in anticoagulation clinics should be encouraged to expand their scope of practice into a more comprehensive model of antithrombosis care, including prevention of PTS. By doing so, the extent of use of compression stockings might be increased, and adherence to current guidelines for strength and duration of compression might be improved.

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