Compression bandaging for chronic oedema: applying science to reality

Br J Community Nurs. 2015;20(5 Suppl):S4-7.


Among other risk factors, chronic venous insufficiency predisposes an individual to chronic oedema. The use of compression bandaging in the intensive phase of treatment is indicated to reduce distortion, lymphorrhoea, and achieve wound healing. When applying a compression bandage, it is essential that the clinician considers the laws that underpin the theory of compression. Owing to the physical properties of the bandages, the use of inelastic compression is favoured for the management of chronic oedema, in view of the high static stiffness index achieved on application. It is essential that the bandaging regime is individualised to meet the specific needs of the patient. This includes the frequency of bandage change, while considering the extent of oedema reduction and holistic needs of the patient.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Compression Bandages*
  • Compressive Strength
  • Edema / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Varicose Ulcer / nursing*