Medical Compression Hosiery, Quality Assurance RAL/GZG

Have you ever wondered the difference between Medical Compression Stockings produced according to the RAL/GZG quality guidelines and other compression or support stockings available on the market?

In the following article, you will learn why controlled graduation according to the RAL/GZG norm is so important and that only Medical Compression Stockings that comply with this norm guarantee a constant product quality and compression pressure. To understand the importance of mentioned RAL/GZG guidelines, it is also important to know the principle behind the treatment with Medical Compression Stockings.

The principle of Medical Compression Stockings (MCS)

Compression treatment is the basic therapy for chronic weakness of the veins. The principle is as simple as it is effective: through carefully-controlled pressure on the tissues and blood vessels, the veins are squeezed back to their normal diameter. The functioning of the undamaged valves in the veins is supported, the speed at which blood flows through the veins increases, and circulation is improved. This decreases the risk of blood clots forming in the veins. The most important effect of compression stockings is that of providing support for the “calf-muscle pump.” They apply a counter-pressure onto the calf muscles being moved, which intensifies the flow of blood back to the heart. In order to produce this effect, medical compression stockings must meet special requirements.

Controlled graduation according to the RAL/GZG

A special knit ensures controlled graduation of the pressure exerted on the leg, decreasing upwards from the ankle to the thigh (see figure). To guarantee this reproducible digressive compression pressure for each stocking size, SIGVARIS Medical Compression Stockings comply with the guidelines of the RAL/GZG norm. According to mentioned RAL standard (established by the “Gütezeichengemeinschaft Medizinische Kompressionsstrümpfe e.V.”), a constant product quality and pressure cannot be assured as long as a medical compression stocking does not comply with the GZG RAL certification1. Therefore, the effectiveness and impact for patients’ health as well as a constant product quality and constant pressure gradient can be assured by SIGVARIS. Furthermore, medical studies about compression therapy and its effectiveness refer to international standards (most of them to the German GZG RAL norm), and since all SIGVARIS MCS have this certificate, all of them guarantee its medical proven evidence.

1(http://www.gzg-kompressionsstruempfe.de/index.php?id=307)

Benefits of RAL/GZG stockings for patients
  • Official monitoring of the product quality carried out by German authorities
  • Guaranteed quality of compression garments
  • Guaranteed reproducible degressive pressure values for each stocking size
  • Guaranteed fit of the products to the leg
  • Constant pressure over 180 days in case of daily use

Medical compression hosiery that complies with the quality conditions according to the extensive quality guidelines of the Gütezeichengemeinschaft Medizinische Kompressionsstrümpfe e.V. (Quality Mark Association for Medical Compression Hosiery), can be marked with the quality mark illustrated below.

The wording and symbols of the Gütezeichengemeinschaft Medizinische Kompressions strümpfe e.V., Düren, apply exclusively to the use of the quality mark.

History of RAL/GZG

The “Reic hsau ss chuss für Lieferbedingungen” (RAL) - Committee of the German Reich for Terms and Conditions of Sole -was founded in 1925 as a combined initiative of the German private sector and the German government of that time. The joint aim was the standardization and clear definition of precise technical terms of delivery. For this purpose, fixed quality standards and their control were needed - the system of quality assurance was born. lts implementation required the creation of an independent and neutral institution as a self-governing body of all parties active in the market. That was the moment of birth for RAL and ever since that time it has been the competent authority for the creation of quality labels.

RAL/GZG Today

RAL acts as an independent service provider in its fields of activity. lt is recognized as a non-profit organization and organized in the legal form of a registered association. Its orga ns are Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, General Assembly of Members and the management.

RAL's independent and neutral position finds expression in the fact that the principles of its activities are established by the Board of Trustees which is composed of representatives from the leading organizations representing industry, consumers, agriculture, the federal ministries and other federal bodies. They have a permanent seat and vote on that body. In addition to them, the General Assembly of Members elects four quality assurance associations on the Board of Trustees as representatives of the RAL members.

Source: Medical Compression Hosiery, Quality Assurance RAL-GZ 387/1, Edition January 2008

Medical Compression Hosiery, Quality Assurance RAL/GZG

To read more about the RAL/GZG quality assurance and guidelines, please contact NovoMed Incorporation Pvt. Ltd.