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Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) is a safe and effective method for the prevention of Venous Thrombolism (VTE).

It can be used alone or in combination with other prophylaxis methods. In addition, for the 19% of hospital patients with a high risk of bleeding and for whom anticoagulant therapy may be contraindicated (1), IPC represents an ideal solution.

Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) is applied through calf-length, thigh-length or foot-covering garments. These single patient use, circumferential garments are periodically inflated by a pneumatic pump, which applies a gentle intermittent pressure to the limb.

Unlike pharmacological methods, Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) mitigates two of the risk factors associated with Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) development: venous stasis and hypercoagulability.

 IPC not only augments blood flow in the limb, but also elicits a measurable antithrombotic and fibrinolytic effect (2). These physical and biochemical responses are similar to that observed during compression of the vessels within the calf muscles and plantar plexus (foot) during activities such as walking; it is particularly helpful in the treatment of patients for whom early mobilisation is not possible.

The mode of action and supporting evidence is discussed in detail in the Arjo Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Clinical Evidence Document.


1 Cohen AT, Tapson VF, Bergman J-F et al. Venous thromboembolism and prophylaxis in the acute hospital setting (ENDORSE study): a multinational cross-sectional study. Lancet. 2008; 371: 387-394.

2 Chen A, Frangos S, Kilaru S et al. Intermittent pneumatic compression devices – physiological mechanisms of action. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. 2001; 21: 383-392.