Prescribing Compression Hosiery

Narrowest part of the ankle

Narrowest part of the ankle

Widest part of the calf

Widest part of the calf

Length from floor to below-knee

Length from floor to below-knee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information required:

  • Type (e.g.below-knee, thigh with grip-top, tights);
  • Category British standard or Lymphoedema (sometimes referred to as ‘European’ see below);
  • Compression class (strength) e.g. class 1 – 4 (see below);
  • Size (from measurements as above);
  • Colour (usually beige or black); 
  • Weave flat knit or round knit (further information)

Compression Hosiery is available in two different Categories:

  • British Standard designed for venous disorders giving compression at the ankle of 14mmHg – 17mmHg (class 1) and 18 – 21mmHg (class 2)
  • Lymphoedema garments (‘European’) giving ankle compression of 18 – 21mmHg (class 1); 23 – 32mmHg (class 2); 34 – 46mmHg (class 3);  >49 mmHg (class 4).

Class selection (strength) will depend on chronicity of oedema / skin and tissue changes and arterial sufficiency. In addition, some patients will require a weave called flat knit which can be more expensive but is more effective on some forms of lymphoedema.

Repeat prescriptions: Most garments need replacing at least every 6 months or when the patient condition/size alters.

Measurements – each manufacturer produces a specific measurement chart. Patients falling outside the given ranges will require a custom/made to measure garment (requiring more measurements) see a trained pharmacists, lymphoedema specialist or experienced community nurse.

For further information on compression garment use in lymphoedema see the garment information for nurses.

 

Back to Doctors

Back to Community Nurses