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Implementation of best practice evidence in the nursing management of graduated compression stockings (GCS) in the prevention of venous thromboembolism in an adult surgical setting

Li, Goh Mien MHlthSc(Edun), BHSc(N), Adv Dip Nsg(Ortho), RN1,2; Yuan, Tan Min BSc(Nursing), RN3; Qi, Goh Wei BSc(Nursing), RN3

doi: 10.1097/01.JBI.0000419757.35080.e8
Evidence in Action: Peer Reviewed Article

Problem Graduated compression stockings (GCS) are commonly prescribed for surgical patients post-operatively in order to prevent deep vein thrombosis. The nurse's role and responsibility is to ensure that patients receive proper information and effective therapy in the nursing management of GCS.

Significance Proper monitoring of patients with GCS reduces complications such as skin abrasions, redness, and impaired blood circulations. Good knowledge of GCS among patients would help to achieve compliance to the therapy.

Study design This was a quality improvement study. A baseline and post-implementation audit was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the practice change.

Sampling method This study was conducted in two surgical units in a 935-bed acute care tertiary hospital. Surgical Patients are required to wear GCS post-operation and were included in the study. Before wearing the GCS, they received information about the stockings.

Findings The study revealed a lack of standard work process in the nursing management of patients wearing GCS. It was observed that nurses did not regularly monitor patients' neurovascular status or provide related patient education. An information leaflet about GCS was then developed in order to ensure that patients receive correct information.

Conclusion The study was successful; 80% of the patients received an information leaflet about GCS since the audit. They also received regular monitoring when wearing GCS. The nurses provided patient education using the GCS information leaflet.

1Nurse Educator, Evidence-Based Nursing Unit, National University Hospital, National University Health System

2Singapore National University Hospital Center for Evidence-Based Nursing: A Collaborating Center of the Joanna Briggs Institute

3University Surgical Cluster, National University Hospital, National University Health System

Correspondence: 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Main Building, Level 6, Singapore 119074 Telephone: (65) 67724665 Facsimile: (65) 67724032 Email:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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