Applying Intermittent Pneumatic Compression in Surgery Centers: Q&A With Jan Davidson of AORN

Jan Davidson, RN, MSN, is the new AORN perioperative education specialist who has a focus on ambulatory surgery centers.


Q: I am trying to determine what the best practice is relative to applying IPC (intermittent pneumatic compression) in the ASC setting. Specifically, if the surgery is 30 minutes, should it be used? Or 45 minutes? Or an hour?


Jan Davidson: There is not a black and white answer to this question. Much depends on the patient's risk factors. If the patient is an otherwise normal, healthy person and is having a 30-minute procedure, then they probably are not indicated. If, however, the patient is obese, has a history of varicose veins, is going to be having pelvic surgery and positioned lithotomy, for example, then you would probably want to use them, irrespective of the length of time the surgery is planned. If your better judgment tells you to use them as a prophylaxis, then use them.


That's where your critical thinking skills come into play. The key is correct placement of the IPCs and documentation that they were used.


Learn more about AORN.


Read more from AORN:


- 6 Common Misconceptions About Surgery Center Sterilization


- AORN Releases Learning Module to Assess Knowledge of Retained Surgical Items Prevention


- Sharps Injuries Still High Despite Legislation and Improved Technology

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