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Sequential Compression Devices

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What are sequential compression devices?

Sequential compression devices (SCDs) are inflatable sleeves that fit around your legs. The sleeves are attached to a pump that inflates and deflates the sleeves. The pumping action acts like your muscles to help blood flow and prevent clots. SCDs are often used after surgery until you can get up and walk.

What do I need to know about SCDs?

  • Wear your SCDs as directed by your healthcare provider. You will need to have them removed before you get up to walk, go to the bathroom, or bathe. Ask for help to take them off. Do not remove the SCDs on your own.
  • Good skin care is important when you wear SCDs. Healthcare providers will remove the sleeves and check your skin frequently. Tell them if you have discomfort or pain while wearing the SCDs.
  • Let your healthcare providers know if the alarm goes off. They may need to make sure the SCDs are attached correctly or adjust the tubing.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.