Q: What is the difference between (TED) anti-embolism stockings and graduated compression hosiery?
A: Anti-embolism stockings, also called TED stockings, are used in hospitals for non-mobile patients. Doctors prescribe them for those patients who are still in recovery or who are undergoing post-surgical treatment while still confined to a bed. TED stockings, in appearance, are made from white fabric and have an inspection opening just above or below the toes. TED compression is not graduated. They are the same compression level throughout the length of the garment.
Graduated compression hosiery is different because the stockings are designed specifically for people who are capable of moving around – i.e., they are mobile. The hosiery provides more compressive pressure at the lower-end of the garment and gradually decreases towards the upper end of the garment. For example, a 20-30 mmHg garment will provide 30 mmHg of pressure around the ankle and decrease as it goes up the leg, with 20 mmHg of pressure at the top. The graduated compression significantly assists circulation and the return of fluids up the leg.