Determining the effectiveness of inelastic short stretch bandages in sustaining sub-bandage graduated compression
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The aim of this study was to determine whether sub-bandage graduated compression of 30-40mmHg at the ankle was sustained and comfortable when wearing inelastic short stretch bandage systems over a 72 hour bandage wear time period.Thirty two healthy participants were used to determine the compression levels achieved by wearing a three layer inelastic compression bandage system on one leg as compared to a four layer inelastic compression bandage system on the other leg. An experienced bandager applied all bandage systems to all participants. Sub-bandage measurements were taken at spaced intervals at the ankle and the calf over the 3 day bandage wear time period by means of a non-invasive portable pneumatic monitor worn under the bandage systems. In addition, participants recorded their level of comfort against specific activities of daily living using a linear 10 point scale over the 3 days.On application, the three layer bandage system obtained a mean ankle sub-bandage pressure of 48.12mmHg on standing which reduced to 28.75mmHg at 72 hour wear time. A mean standing ankle sub-bandage pressure of 65.74mmHg was recorded on application for the four layer bandage system, which reduced to 35.03mmHg after 72 hour bandage wear time. The compression bandages caused discomfort for the participants throughout the day, both when resting/sleeping as well as during periods of mobility. Participants also reported difficulties in finding shoes to accommodate the compression bandage systems.On the basis of this study’s results it is recommended that a three layer bandage system should be changed at least every 48 hours and a four layer bandage system should be changed at least every 72 hours to maintain optimal sub-bandage ankle pressures of 30-40mmHg. The results also highlighted the need for an assessment tool that can be used in clinical practice to evaluate the effects that treatment interventions have on the quality of life of patients.
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