Evolution of TED Stockings

Thromboembolic deterrent stockings, more popularly known as the TED stockings, are widely used for various medical purposes. TED stockings are typically worn by patients to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), promote an increase in blood flow and provide good circulation of blood especially in the leg area (Miller, 2011). According to Walker and Lamont (2007), the use of TED stockings began after it was acknowledged by medical experts and physicians as an effective pharmacological intervention alternative that prevents the occurrence of thromboembolic types of diseases especially among patients who have undergone operative procedures. The use of compression stockings such as the TED hose is prevalent among patients who have just undergone surgery as it helps prevent deep vein thrombosis by means of improving and supporting the lymphatic and venous drainage in the leg (Morris & Woodcock, 2004).

            Similar to how the gradient compression stockings function, TED stockings put the right level of compression on the ankle and in the upper part of the leg which aids in the circulation of the lymph and blood fluids throughout both legs (Walker & Lamont, 2007). Based on clinical studies, TED stockings are effective in the reduction of DVT cases for up to 50% and are considered to be useful in increasing the velocity of the blood flow in the legs of patients (Covidien, 2010). However, one critical aspect of ensuring the effectiveness of TED stockings is measuring the leg size of the patients as it has an effect on the pressure patterns that are applied on them (Covidien, 2010).

It is interesting how the use of TED stockings evolved throughout the years of medical research and continued exploration on its other purposes and functions. Originally, compression stockings were used for non-medical related purposes such as preventing the formation of varicose veins and alleviating the tired and achy feeling in the legs as a result of standing for very long hours (Blättler & Zimmet, 2008). At present however, TED stockings have already undergone many changes not only in its function but also in its appearance and variety.

Whereas before, TED stockings were made up of heavy, orthopedic-type of material; today, TED stockings are almost indistinguishable especially when compared to the regular stockings and hosiery. TED stockings at present also come in various colors, lengths and sheerness (Blättler & Zimmet, 2008). In addition, TED stockings also vary in terms of compression levels. Its various types include the (1) light support compression, (2) moderate compression, (3) heavy compression and (4) anti-embolism compression (Blättler & Zimmet, 2008). Each of these types of TED stockings are intended for different purposes although its primary use is to enhance blood circulation and prevent the occurrence of life-threatening conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (Blättler & Zimmet, 2008).

The evolution of TED stockings continues up until today particularly in terms of the garment and material being used in creating this compression wear. More studies and research are also being performed to explore other possible uses of TED stockings outside of its role as an effective pharmacological intervention alternative (Walker & Lamont, 2007).



Blättler, W. & Zimmet, S. (2008). Compression therapy in venous disease. Phlebology, 23 (5), 203–205.

Covidien. (2010). T.E.D. anti-embolism stockings. http://www.covidien.com/imageServer.aspx/doc233679.pdf?contentID=28692&contenttype=application/pdf

Miller, J. (2011). Use and wear of anti-embolism stockings: A clinical audit of surgical patients. International Wound Journal, 8(1): 74-83.

Morris, R. & Woodcock, J. (2004). Evidence-based compression. Ann Surg. 239(2): 162–171.

Walker, L. & Lamont, S. (2007). The use of antiembolic stockings: Part 1 A Literature Review. British Journal of Nursing, 16(22): 1408-1412.


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