Sequential Compression Device Compliance in Postoperative Obstetrics and Gynecology Patients

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To assess the association of patient and nursing education on sequential compression device compliance in patients who have undergone major obstetric or benign gynecologic procedures.


We performed a prospective observational study on all English-speaking patients who underwent cesarean delivery or benign gynecologic surgery and were prescribed to wear sequential compression devices postoperatively at a university medical center. The 4-month study was divided into 1-month segments. The first month consisted of baseline observations of compliance. The second month was comprised of structured patient education, the third month involved nursing education, and the final month included both interventions. Observations were made twice daily. All educational interventions and observations were performed by two coauthors. A patient was noted to be compliant if she was ambulating, sitting, or lying in bed with sequential compression devices applied, tubing attached, and the machine powered on.


A total of 859 observations was recorded for 228 patients. The number of hospitalization days ranged from 1 to 13 (mean 2.40 days, median 2 days). There was no difference in compliance among the months with 141 of 230 (61.3%), 106 of 194 (54.6%), 155 of 277 (56.0%), and 95 of 158 (60.1%) compliance for each consecutive month (P=.44). Noncompliance increased with each successive postoperative day (odds ratio 1.18 per day, 95% confidence interval 1.07–1.30). The most common patient-stated reason for noncompliance was “the nurse said I don't need them anymore” (82/362 observations [22.6%]). Overall, cesarean delivery was associated with the lowest rate of compliance when compared with gynecologic surgeries (272/519 [52.4%] compared with 225/340 [66.2%], P<.001).


Compliance with postoperative use of sequential compression devices is approximately 58% and did not improve with patient or nursing educational interventions.



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