Your doctor might have recently ordered some ted hose for you. Here are a few things to know about TED hose.
What Are TED Hose Meant For?
Ted Hose, or Thrombo-Embolytic Deterrent Hose, are essentially ordered by physicians for clients/patients who are bedridden. The tight elastic hose provides pressure to key spots in the legs, in order to help circulation and to prevent blood pooling that could lead to clotting.
DVTs, or “Deep Vein Thrombosis”, are clots that form in the deep veins, usually in the legs (calves) when blood is not circulating as it normally should. If you are bedridden or become paralyzed, being in a sitting or lying position almost all of the time can cause this to happen. These clots are life-threatening. Many, many people have died after a blood clot that formed in the calf broke off, and landed in the lung, brain, or heart. This clot then causes stroke, heart attack, or respiratory distress. This more often than not leads to sudden death.
So, if you thought that the goofy-looking thigh-high TED hose were part of a joke that your doctor decided to play on you, think again. Those TED hose might save your life.
TED hose are usually coupled with compression devices that inflate and relax intermittently on your lower legs for a few days after major surgery, or while you are bedridden. You might also be given blood-thinning medicine to further prevent any clots from forming.
Prescription Level Protection From DVT
TED hose retain their tight, therapeutic elasticity for about three weeks before they should be replaced. They come in knee-high or thigh-high styles. Although compliance went up (especially in men) after the knee-high TED hose were introduced as a new choice for post-operative care, the thigh-high hose still offers slightly better protection against DVT.
They should always be fitted by a professional nurse or someone with training in fitting TED hose. The compression amount for the hose is also prescribed. It usually comes in 15 -20 mm/Hg, 20-30 mm/hg, 30-40 mm/hg, and higher. The highest compression types require a prescription, but some of the lower compression types can be bought over the counter.
Another reason you might be getting TED hose is to help treat symptoms of CHF (congestive heart failure) or circulatory issues that have caused edema (swelling) to the legs. These tight, therapeutic hose can help push extracellular fluids back into the circulation, which helps lessen the effects of CHF to a slight degree.
Problems To Watch Out For
If TED hose are too tight, they can actually compromise circulation. If your toes become pale, white, cool, or cold, or if you lose sensation in your toes or feet, make sure you tell your nurse, and that he or she removes your hose to check the pulses in your feet. If any symptoms of poor circulation develop while wearing TED hose, the blood flow and neurological status needs to be assessed by a professional to make sure you aren’t developing compartment syndrome or any other serious issues. Although TED hose are a great preventative measure for blood clots, they are very tight, and they need to be accurately fitted to work well. They should be tight, but not so tight that you have tremendous pain, neurological deficits, or changes in circulation to the toes.
There should never, ever be any wrinkles or folds in ted hose while they are on your skin. That can cause ulcers to form that can become very serious. If there are any wrinkles or fold in your TED hose, make sure a nurse or tech helps you reapply your hose so there are no longer any folds or creases.