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Compression bandaging - 1

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VOL: 96, ISSUE: 45, PAGE NO: 43

JUNE JONES, CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST IN LEG ULCERS, CHURCHTOWN COMMUNITY CLINIC, SOUTHPORT, MERSEYSIDE

External graduated compression is regarded as the single most important element in the conservative management of venous leg ulcers (Alexander House Group, 1992). Failure to use compression represents inadequate treatment. A recent systematic review (NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, 1997) summarised the central role of compression in the management of venous leg ulcers, although it did not recommend one bandage regimen over another.

External graduated compression is regarded as the single most important element in the conservative management of venous leg ulcers (Alexander House Group, 1992). Failure to use compression represents inadequate treatment. A recent systematic review (NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, 1997) summarised the central role of compression in the management of venous leg ulcers, although it did not recommend one bandage regimen over another.

Since three-layer, four-layer, and short-stretch bandage regimens will achieve the required graduated compression when applied correctly, the choice of regimen should be made according to what would be best for each individual patient.

It is vital that nurses receive adequate training in bandage technique so that sufficient (but not excessive) pressure is applied (RCN Institute, 1998). Compression bandages should be applied only by nurses who have been appropriately trained. It has been shown that inexperienced nurses or those without additional training in compression bandaging apply bandages at inappropriate and widely varying pressures.

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