We discussed compression hosiery in the management of venous disorders and oedema in 1982.1 At that time correct prescribing was difficult because no reference standards existed for the compression strength or the durability of elastic hosiery. Standards varied and some stockings did not provide a suitable pressure gradient.2,3 In 1985 the British Standard BS 6612:1985 4 was prepared by the Textile and Clothing Standards Committee which included physicians, surgeons and hosiery manufacturers. This British Standard has led to a revision of the Drug Tariff which now makes it possible to prescribe effective, comfortable and attractive stockings without difficulty.
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