The American Medical Association has warned against using medical compression equipment that may reduce oxygen delivery to the brain.
A growing body of research has suggested that such devices may actually prolong or even reverse brain injury.
The AMA, which represents the nation’s medical professionals, said in a statement that “there is insufficient evidence to determine whether compression garments are safe or effective in treating the effects of cerebral hypoxia, as measured by oxygen saturation, brain oxygen consumption, and oxygen demand.”
The statement said the devices were “unscientific” and “have not been proven safe or efficacious.”
The AMA added that there are “no current evidence-based guidelines for use of these devices, and further research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of these garments.”
A study published last year in the journal Lancet showed that the use of medical compression gear can increase the chance of patients getting trapped in the brain when an oxygen-deprived brain cannot be controlled.
The researchers said that patients with hypoxemia, who have lost their oxygen, are at higher risk of having their brain compressed and can even die if the compression does not stop their brain from rapidly contracting and losing blood.
They also said that the devices are associated with more trauma and brain damage.
A 2015 study by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a national medical group, concluded that using medical compressors in the first place could lead to more injury than expected, because the devices do not protect the brain from injury.