Pump For Joy

Compression pump eases limb swelling, pain from lymphedema, venous insufficiency.

Fueled by her earnest desire to care for others, Delores Silverstein spent 40 years as a certified nursing assistant. Most of that time – nearly 35 years – she served patients in the Naples area, including Marco Island and Bonita Springs. 

“I worked in private homes and for private companies,” shares Delores, 77. “I also worked for individuals who hired me directly to take care of loved ones. Over the years, I tended to elderly people in nursing homes and cared for young people. I also took care of special needs children. I loved my patients. Many of them became like family to me.”

Concerned that she was no longer capable of treating patients properly, Delores retired seven years ago. A few years ago, Delores found herself in need of care in much the same manner that she once provided.

“I had been suffering with severe lymphedema in my legs, particularly around my ankles and knees, for about three years,” she laments. “Lymphedema is pretty common in my family. I have two sisters that have it, and my mother had it really bad.

“I also have neuropathy in the bottoms of my feet, and my kidneys don’t work as well as they should, causing me to retain a lot of fluid in my body. Then last year, my doctor told me I have venous insufficiency.

Lymphedema causes fluid accumulation in the limbs and abnormal swelling in the legs or arms. It is often caused by venous insufficiency, a condition that causes the one-way valves in leg veins to fail and the blood that is supposed to flow back to the heart to pool in the lower legs.

“I experienced severe swelling from my ankles all the way up to my knees,” Delores describes. “There was such heaviness in my legs that it was difficult to stand or walk. I was almost at a point where I thought I would have to use a walker to get around.

“But one day while visiting my specialist’s office, I read an article about compression pumps for lymphedema in Florida Health Care News. I thought, This sounds like me. I talked to my doctor, who referred me to Acute Wound Care.”

Rhythmic Pattern

Acute Wound Care is a fully accredited home medical equipment provider specializing in hospital-grade compression devices and specialty wound-care dressings. The compression pumps from Acute Wound Care are designed to improve circulation while decreasing swelling. The pump helps the limb remove fluid that has accumulated in a patient’s legs or arms. The equipment is approved by most insurers.

“The pumps have limb-sized sleeves that gently massage the limb, draining any excess fluid back into the body’s circulatory system so it can be naturally eliminated,” describes Alyssa Parker, a certified compression therapist with Acute Wound Care. “This alleviates swelling and many painful symptoms.

“The pumps are highly effective and noninvasive, and for the legs, they are much easier to use than compression stockings.”

Each pump sleeve contains four or eight chambers. During treatment, each chamber fills with air. The chamber then releases the air, and the pattern repeats in a rhythmic fashion, moving excess fluid out of the limbs.

The safe, painless compression pumps not only reduce fluid retention in the limbs, they also improve blood flow. By circulating healing factors in the blood, they can even help heal the chronic wounds and ulcers that often come with venous insufficiency.

“The pump boosts circulation by contracting the calf muscles, assisting blood flow back toward the heart,” Alyssa explains. “Better blood flow helps prevent ulcers, infections of the skin and other wound care problems due to venous insufficiency.

“For patients who have open wounds, the pumps can still be used as long as the wounds are covered.”

How often a patient uses the pump depends on the severity of the condition. 

“For most cases, the initial recommendation is for patients to use the pump daily for a minimum of 45 minutes to a maximum of 90 minutes. Typically, this is done twice a day, in the morning and evening,” Alyssa observes. “While using the pump, patients simply sit back with their limbs elevated through the treatment session. 

“Results are often apparent immediately. Many patients see a noticeable difference in the swelling and the size of their limbs after their first 45-minute pumping session.”

Physicians throughout Florida have been recommending Acute Wound Care’s compression pumps for years. And for decades, patients have been getting great results. 

“Many doctors encourage patients to use the pumps to reduce limb swelling and improve circulation,” Alyssa states. “The compression pumps are a safe, noninvasive prescription device. They are a great treatment option when conservative options have not provided relief.”

“A Miracle to Me” 

After receiving a compression pump prescription from Delores’ doctor, the staff at Acute Wound Care helped Delores complete the necessary paperwork with her insurance provider. A compression therapist from Acute Wound Care was then sent to Delores’ home to set up the pump and give a tutorial.

“Acute Wound Care’s compression therapists go to the patents’ homes and sit down with them while they complete their first session using the pump,” Alyssa reports. “We go over the operation of the pump step-by-step and give them instructions on how to use it so they can get the best outcome. 

“We set the pressure based on the severity of the condition and the physician’s prescription,” she continues. “We then adjust the pump so the patients are comfortable and will meet the requirements of the treatment, so they can achieve the greatest results.”

As instructed, Delores uses her pump in the morning and in the evening.

“I feel really good after using my pump in the morning,” Delores enthuses. “Then I work throughout the day. I do laundry, go to the grocery store and perform other necessary tasks. In the evening, I stand in the kitchen and make dinner. By that time, I’m ready to sit down and relax with my pump.”

Delores achieves excellent results from her compression pump. She reports that the swelling and discomfort in her legs decrease substantially after each session.

“The swelling in my feet and ankles, and especially around my knees, is almost depleted,” Delores describes. “Anyone looking at me would not know I have lymphedema. I know the pump is for the swelling, but it also helps my neuropathy. I wish I could use it for my arms and hands because I have neuropathy in my hands as well.

“The heaviness and pain in my legs also subside a lot. I can stand to cook and walk through the grocery store without help. The pump has been a miracle for me. 

“I absolutely recommend Acute Wound Care’s compression pumps and already have. My advice to anyone hesitating to get one is this: Just try the pump. It will provide life-changing results.”

© FHCN staff article 

Photo courtesy of Acute Wound Care

As seen in North/West Palm Beach and South Palm Beach

editions of Florida Health Care News

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    • Acute Wound Care

      Acute Wound Care is conveniently located in the heart of Bonita Springs and has been serving wound care, lymphedema and venous insufficiency patients in the Southwestern part of Florida for many years. Their team has more than 25 years of exper... Read More