Glossary of Terms

Ambulation: To walk or move about. Lack of ambulation may lead to potentially life-threatening blood clots.

Anticoagulants: Often referred to as “blood thinners,” these medications work to help prevent blood from clotting (or coagulating).

Blood Clot (Thrombus): A blood clot is the product of blood coagulation or pooling, which is the body’s response to an injury to help prevent bleeding or inactivity, but can be harmful when clots obstruct blood flow through the veins. When a clot forms within a deep vein (usually in the legs or sometimes arms) it is referred to as a Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.

Cold and Compression Therapy: Treatment that combines two of the principles of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to reduce pain and swelling from injury to soft tissues and recommended by orthopedic surgeons after surgery. Ice or cold packs are used to reduce pain, and compression is effective in improving circulation and mitigating swelling, helping to shorten healing time. Intermittent, pneumatic compression is most effective in pushing edema out of the affected site and toward the core of the body.

Cold Compression Device: A device that delivers both cold and compression therapy to aid in the reduction of pain and swelling.

Compression Sleeves (DVT Sleeves): Sleeves that wrap around the calf (or sometimes full leg or foot) and connect to a compression pump to help prevent DVT.

Compression Therapy: A treatment to improve circulation, often to prevent the formation of blood clots, as well as reduce swelling in injuries.

Compression Wrap: A garment to be wrapped around an injured part of the body to reduce swelling.

DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis): Occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more deep veins in the body, usually in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling and must be treated immediately. DVT can cause severe breathing problems or death if the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, creating a PE (Pulmonary Embolism).

DVT Prevention: Preventative therapy (or prophylaxis) for Deep Vein Thrombosis. This may include a blood thinner regimen and/or utilizing SCD sleeves with a compression device.

DVT Prophylaxis: Preventative therapy for Deep Vein Thrombosis. This may include a blood thinner regimen and/or utilizing SCD sleeves with a compression device.

DVT Pump: A sequential compression device that utilizes gradient compression sleeves to pump air and squeeze intermittently, mimicking ambulation and improving circulation to prevent DVT.

Gel Pack: A re-usable, freezable pack that is filled with gel to be malleable when frozen. Gel packs usually may also be heated.

Ice Therapy Unit: A machine that uses ice and water to pump into a compression wrap, giving cold therapy to an injured area.

Intermittent Pneumatic Compression: A therapy used in medical devices that include an air pump and inflatable sleeves or boots to improve venous circulation in the limbs of patients who are at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).

Mechanical Prophylaxis: Non-pharmacological DVT prevention method using a mechanical pump to inflate sleeves worn on the calves to keep blood from clotting.

PE (Pulmonary Embolism): Occurs when one or more pulmonary arteries in your lungs become blocked. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or rarely other parts of the body (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT).

SCD Sleeves: Sequential Compression Device sleeves, also another term for DVT sleeves.

Sequential Compression Device (SCD): These devices use sleeves with separated areas or chambers of inflation, which works to squeeze from distal to proximal (or from the outer areas of the extremity toward the core of the body) to improve circulation and simulate ambulation. The most outer areas will inflate first, and the subsequent chambers will follow in the same manner.

VTE (Venous Thromboembolism): When a DVT forms that causes a Pulmonary Embolism, this event is referred to as a VTE.