Q: I have been in practice for about 20 years. In my previous practice, we did not use sequential compression devices (SCDs) in patients with deep venous thrombosis, but recently I’ve been told that it is safe and even beneficial. I am now with my father in another intensive care unit, and he had heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and clots develop and bled after receiving subcutaneous anticoagulation, so I requested SCDs for him. The doctors say no because of the clots. Is there evidence to support the use of SCDs with known clots?

A: Suzanne C. Ashworth, MSN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS, replies:

This is a great question and one that comes up frequently. Sequential compression devices (SCDs) are well documented as preventing development of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in hospitalized patients. However, what happens to these “lifesaving” compression devices when a patient has DVT diagnosed?...

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