Saturday, May 2, 2020


Q: How intermittent pneumatic compression prevents deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Answer:  Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) popularly known as SCDs (Sequential Compression Boots) prevents DVT via two mechanisms. The objective of this question is to highlight the less well know second mechanism

1. Enhance blood flow in the deep veins of the legs, and prevent venous stasis 

2.  Reduce plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), thereby increase endogenous fibrinolytic activity 



1. Roberts VC, Sabri S, Beeley AH, Cotton LT. The effect of intermittently applied external pressure on the haemodynamics of the lower limb in man. Br J Surg 1972; 59:223. 

2. Comerota AJ, Chouhan V, Harada RN, et al. The fibrinolytic effects of intermittent pneumatic compression: mechanism of enhanced fibrinolysis. Ann Surg 1997; 226:306.

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