Dipping your toes into compression

For those of us who may be new to the world of compression, you may be overwhelmed with what it is and why it’s so good for you and your body.

What are compression socks?

Compression socks are specifically designed to hug your legs by applying graduated pressure to your ankle and then up your leg to improve circulation. By graduated, we mean that the pressure is strongest at your ankle and gradually decreases as it goes up your leg. There are various levels of compression, stated as numerical ranges, and the amount of compression is measured by millimeters of mercury, or mmHg.

How does compression help my body?

Our circulatory system works hard every day to move our blood from our hearts, to our toes and then back again continuously. No matter what we do, from day to day, this function happens. We may be super active and on-the-go one day, and on those days, our calf muscles flex and pump the blood back up to our legs. But on other days, we may be taking it easy, sitting for long periods of time, which can cause the blood to pool in our ankles. Compression socks can help when we’re taking it easy, as they keep the blood circulating, energizing your legs and reducing fatigue and heaviness.

Why should I wear compression?

For those with a medical condition that requires compression (like those with venous insufficiency), lymphedema or deep vein thrombosis, wearing these stockings are a daily part of life. But medical compression stockings are not just ideal for those who’s doctors require it – it is even good for those who want overall wellness and better feeling legs. A growing number of people wear compression for preventative measures and to improve their overall health. The includes:

  • Pregnant women who may be retaining water in their ankles/feet and want to decrease swelling
  • Athletes who want to improve their athletic performance, reduce injury and heal quicker
  • Anyone who sits or stands for an extended period of time to alleviate swollen ankles and tired, achy legs

Can I still be stylish?

Compression stockings have come a long way. Many people may picture their grandma in her beigey yellow knee-highs back in the day. But fear no more. medi’s Rejuva® brand is a fashion-forward line of compression legwear that complements products from our more traditional mediven® line. These are fun, medical support socks with a wide variety of designs, prints, colors and patterns that add a pop of flair to any wardrobe while also providing functional therapy.

And, Rejuva even has a new length to offer first-time compression wearers – the crew cut! The feet is where edema (swelling) typically starts and where the compression is most helpful. So even though these new stockings don’t go all the way to the knee, the benefit is still there and provides a great entry-level dip into the compression pool. The crew cut socks are also the perfect length for fall’s favorite footwear – the boot/bootie.

Don’t delay on improving your health and wellness. Try out compression and see how it can be a part of your life (even if not your whole life!)


The original Compression Wrap

circaid®: inspired by nature

The idea and development of circaid products is founded upon the giraffe, the tallest animal in the world. The founder, Frank Shaw, created the first inelastic compression device based upon the anatomy of the giraffe leg.

In contrast to humans, the skin of giraffes does not expand on the legs.1 Due to the high density of inelastic collagen fibers and the relatively thick top layer of skin, the tissue pressure of giraffes is increased, promoting lymphatic and venous return flow. Giraffes thus carry permanent natural compression.2

Easy. Measurable. Effective

circaid is the original compression wrap dating back to 1991. circaid products offer measurable compression that is instantly adjustable and an easy application that makes for good compliance.

circaid juxtalite – the compression alternative

The juxtalite products make up the venous health segment of the circaid portfolio. They are the perfect alternative to elastic compression due to the juxtaposed application straps. These soft and comfortable bands can be wrapped around the leg, versus being pulled over the foot and up the leg like traditional compression. It is this ease of application that makes it the most popular compression wrap in wound care.

Giraffe skin is inelastic

Accurate compression

The level of compression for juxtalite products is measured through a Built-in Pressure System™ (BPS™) that ensures accurate compression prescribed by a clinician. An added bonus – the level of compression can be adjusted throughout the day and by the wearer themselves. The inelastic bands can be adjusted as needed to provide consistent gradient compression for proper dosage.

Inelastic Material

The lightweight, inelastic fabric can be worn discretely underneath clothing, for day or nighttime use. The Clima Fresh prevents odor and propagation of bacteria. The material provides the dynamic compression necessary for faster healing rates that ultimately enhance compliance.

Clinically proven

The circaid juxtalite is clinically proven to treat venous disease.3 circaid products address the underlying cause of venous insufficiency. Thus, compression garments must be used indefinitely or ulceration can reoccur. Check out the study for more information.

To learn more about the circaid line of inelastic products, visit https://www.mediusa.com/healthcare-professional/venous-health-solutions/products-for-venous-health/circaid-2/

References:

1 Sathar F, Ludo Badlangana N, Manger PR. Variations in the thickness and composition of the skin of the giraffe. Anatomical record 2010;293(9):1615-1627.

2 Giraffen. Online published at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffen (latest access 30-8-2019).

3 Inelastic compression legging produces gradient compression and significantly higher skin surface pressures compared with an elastic compression stocking. Kline CN, Macias BR, Kraus E, Neuschwander TB, Angle N, Bergan J, Hargens AR. Published in Vascular, Volume 16, No. 1, 2008


Test, Trigger, Treat

Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) represents a major source of morbidity among breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different kinds of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States (some kinds of skin cancer are the most common).

Each year in the United States, about 264,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,400 in men. About 42,000 women and 500 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer.

Causes of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL)

If breast cancer spreads, it tends to move into the underarm lymph nodes because these nodes drain lymph from the breast. That’s why breast cancer surgeons often remove at least two or three lymph nodes from under the arm — called a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB).

When surgeons have to remove many or most of the underarm nodes, it’s called an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). These surgeries can cut off or damage some of the nodes and vessels that make up the pathways that lymph moves through. Over time, lymph can build up and overwhelm the remaining pathways, resulting in lymphedema — sometimes months or even years after breast cancer treatment ends. Radiation treatments also can affect the lymphatic system. The risk of radiation-related lymphedema is highest in people who receive radiation directly to the underarm because it’s where most of the lymph nodes are located. 1

Lymphedema is abnormal swelling that happens when too much lymph collects in any part of the body. Lymph is a thin, clear fluid that circulates through the lymphatic system to remove waste, bacteria and other substances from the body’s tissues. Edema is the buildup of excess fluid.

Twenty- five percent of individuals with axillary lymph node dissection have a lifetime risk of developing lymphedema.

Is BCRL preventable?

A recent study, the PREVENT study2 published in May of 2019 in the Annals of Surgical Oncology demonstrates clear clinical evidence that the early use of the Bioimpedance screening surveillance and utilization of compression garments is an effective tool in lymphedema prevention.

Bioimpedance Spectroscopy (BIS) is a technique used for estimating body composition that utilizes a weak electric current which flows through the body and the voltage is measured in order to calculate impedance (resistance) of the body.

As for the compression garment used, the innovative mediven® harmony arm sleeve was used in the study. Specifically, a mediven harmony 20-30 mmHg arm sleeve and a 20-30 mmHg gauntlet or glove was prescribed for those in the study who TRIGGERED positive. Patients who immediately entered compression therapy treatment and were compliant with the protocol, significantly reduced their chances of late-stage lymphedema.

Use of the mediven harmony arm sleeves and gauntlets assisted in preventing the progression of subclinical lymphedema in the largest randomized controlled trial focused on lymphedema prevention.

Therefore, it’s clear that early detection and compression prevents! All patients who have had breast cancer intervention are at risk for lymphedema.

References:

1. Breastcancer.org.

2.  Original Publication: A Randomized Trial Evaluating Bioimpedance Spectroscopy Versus Tape Measurement for the Prevention Of Lymphedema Following Treatment for Breast Cancer: Interim Analysis Journal: Annals of Surgical Oncology Publication Date: May 2019 Authors: Ridner et al


Restless no more

Willis-Ekbom Disease, also known as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by the irresistible urge to move one’s body to stop uncomfortable sensations. It is estimated that between 7-10% of the US population is living with RLS today. It is most frequently diagnosed in middle-aged people, but it can affect all ages, even children. Many who may have venous conditions can also experience RLS symptoms.

Do you think you may have RLS? If you answer “yes” to any of the below questions, you may have RLS:

  • When you sit or lie down, do you have a strong desire to move your legs
  • Does the desire to move your legs feel impossible to resist?
  • Would you describe the sensations in your legs as: unpleasant, creepy-crawly, itchy, tugging?
  • Does your need to move your legs often occur when you are resting or sitting?
  • Does moving your legs help soothe or calm your symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms worse in the evening or night than during the day, or only occur in the evening or night?
  • Do you ever have involuntary leg movements while you are awake?
  • Do any of your family members have similar symptoms?
  • Has a discussion with your health care professional not revealed any other physical cause for your discomfort (i.e. Leg cramps, arthritis, leg swelling)?

RLS in pregnancy

It is estimated that between 10 and 25% of pregnant women report symptoms of RLS.

The symptoms typically peak at around the 7 or 8-month mark and often disappear altogether by the time the baby comes or within a month afterward. For women who already have RLS, it usually gets worse during pregnancy.

No one knows why women who’ve never had RLS develop it during pregnancy, but there are a number of theories. Iron deficiency, folate deficiency, hormonal changes (specifically a rise in estrogen), and circulatory changes are all possible reasons as to the development of RLS.

Help is here at medi:

Here at medi, we have a revolutionary, drug-free therapy for restless legs syndrome that promotes a gentle, relaxing pressure on specific parts of the foot to help reduce uncontrollable impulses to move the legs.

restiffic® RLS is a revolutionary wrap consisting of a compressive pad and a hook and look system designed to exert gentle, relaxing pressure on the strategic muscles in the foot. It is FDA cleared for prescription use to support positive RLS diagnosis. restiffic RLS is a prescription-only device in the USA and can be purchased on our web shop, over the phone or at pharmacies nationwide.

Click here to upload your prescription and get one step closer to a better night’s sleep!

restiffic relief is a compression foot wrap for tired, painful or aching feet and legs. The wearer can adjust the compression level to apply firm pressure to the bottom of the foot to stimulate acupressure points known to improve wellbeing. This foot wrap does not require a prescription and may reduce anxiety, relieve stress, ease foot pain and improve circulation and sleeping.

To learn more about restiffic relief, click here.

Find out more about both products at https://www.restiffic.com/


Women & Peripheral Arterial Disease

Women are often overlooked when it comes to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) as these issues are generally regarded to primarily affect men, but this is not the case. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is no exception and women are at greater risk of misdiagnosis or even delayed diagnosis. This can lead to greater morbidity and mortality.

PAD is a common yet underdiagnosed circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to the limbs. When PAD develops, the extremities, and in particular the legs, don’t receive enough direct blood flow to keep up with demand.

More recent studies have indicated that not only is the prevalence of CVDs and PAD similar for both genders, but it is higher in women (1, 2, 3, 4). When it comes to women, studies have indicated that women are more likely to have asymptomatic PAD then their counterparts (5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Additionally, women are more likely to present with atypical symptoms that could be attributed to other medical conditions, delaying accurate diagnosis despite possible inclusion in risk groups (10).

Women are more likely to have only PAD in the absence of other CVDs (1). Compounded with common asymptomatic presentation, this leads to a greater chance of missed diagnosis and delayed treatment. In other words, women often don’t even receive a simple screening, despite the simplicity and low cost of some diagnostic methods.

How can you screen for PAD?

There is a quick, non-invasive method to screen for PAD called an Ankle Brachial Index, or ABI. medi has a diagnostic device called the MESI ABPI which gives patients a reliable reading on extremities to help identify PAD in as little as a minute. Along with being extremely quick, the device delivers accurate results without any serious consequences, eliminates human error, and provides a clear, proper treatment plan.

Are women with PAD undertreated?

In practice, many patients, male or female, aren’t receiving proper treatment. Studies have found that patients with only PAD were less likely to receive treatment with either statins, ACE inhibitors, or antiplatelet agents than those with both PAD and CAD (11, 12). In those cases, women were even less likely than men to receive those drugs.

Women, especially older ones, are at greater risk of PAD-related morbidity and mortality due to the frequently asymptomatic nature of the disease and consequently delayed diagnosis. Possible solutions are increased screening of elderly patients, particularly those in risk groups, and aggressive treatment and risk factor modification in those with a positive diagnosis.

As September is PAD Awareness Month, it is even more important to know your risks of developing PAD and test to rule out an unknowing illness. Visit our PAD landing page to learn more and stay safe.

References:

(1) Peripheral Arterial Disease Detection, Awareness, and Treatment in Primary Care > https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/194205

(2) A population-based study of peripheral arterial disease prevalence with special focus on critical limb ischemia and sex differences > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17543683

(3) Prevalence and prediction of previously unrecognized peripheral arterial disease in patients with coronary artery disease: The peripheral arterial disease in Interventional Patients Study > https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ccd.21969

(4) Particularities of peripheral arterial disease managed in vascular surgery in the French West Indies > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18391869

(5) Prevalence and correlates of lower extremity arterial disease in elderly women > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8465807

(6) Women and peripheral arterial disease: same disease, different issues > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18334893

(7) Asymptomatic Peripheral Arterial Disease Is Independently Associated With Impaired Lower Extremity Functioning > https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.cir.101.9.1007

(8) Arterial vascular disease in women > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17950570

(9) Peripheral Arterial Disease in the Elderly > https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.atv.18.2.185

(10) Sex differences in peripheral arterial disease: leg symptoms and physical functioning > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12558719

(11) Risk factor profile, management, and prognosis of patients with peripheral arterial disease with or without coronary artery disease: results of the prospective German REACH registry cohort > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19221687

(12) Incidence of peripheral vascular disease in women: is it different from that in men? > https://www.jtcvs.org/article/S0022-5223(03)01814-2/fulltext


How to use Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) in wound care?

The exact definition of a chronic wound varies between various national and international medical organizations, but it is generally described as a wound that does not heal in a predictable length of time.

There were at least 8.2 million patients with chronic wounds in 2018, up from 6.5 million in 2009, but those numbers include only national health insurance program (Medicare) beneficiaries, excluding those insured by other health insurance companies or with no medical insurance [1].

Differentiating between the two types can be difficult without proper diagnostic tools that can help clinicians identify the underlying cause. There are several modern methods available, but none as cost-effective and convenient as the ABI (Ankle-Brachial Index) assessment. Namely, arterial wounds are caused by PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease), which by itself is a largely asymptomatic disease and can only be reliably diagnosed with an ABI assessment [2-6].

The ABI, a ratio between the blood pressure at the ankle and arm, is markedly different in those with healthy arteries but with venous issues, and those with PAD, making it an excellent indicator of ulcer’s etiology. There are also in-between values in those with both types of ulcers that require a comprehensive, balanced approach to treatment [7].

The answer to the question “Is it possible to measure the ABI on patients with wounds?” is, therefore, a resounding YES and the reason why it is used in numerous epidemiological (and other) studies of lower extremity ulceration. They likewise include a study conducted in India that wanted to evaluate the association between abnormal ABI and clinical outcomes in patients with lower limb ulcers and the differences between prevalence rates in India and worldwide [8].

They found that 84% of examined ulcers were of vascular origin and that 52% of them were arterial ulcers — in contrast to the estimated worldwide prevalence of between 10% and 30% [15]. Additionally, researchers noted that the majority of those patients were males with a history of smoking, which is not surprising given its role as the single most prominent modifiable risk factor for PAD, adding further credibility to the recommended preventive screening for PAD, with special emphasis on patients in risk groups [9-12].

Use of ABI measurement in chronic wound assessment should be a prerequisite step before deciding on the proper treatment regimen, particularly in cases of ulcers with mixed etiology.

At medi, we have the MESI ABPI, which gives patients a reliable reading on extremities to identify PAD in as little as a minute. This method is accurate without serious consequences, eliminates human error and provides a clear, proper treatment plan.

mediven angio compression sock

And, if that treatment plan includes medical compression, we now have the mediven® angio, the only clinically proven medical compression stocking that fits the safety requirements for mid-to-moderate PAD patients with therapeutic treatment needs for chronic venous disease.

References:

[1] An Economic Evaluation of the Impact, Cost, and Medicare Policy Implications of Chronic Nonhealing Wounds > https://www.valueinhealthjournal.com/article/S1098-3015(17)30329-7/fulltext

[2] Peripheral Arterial Disease Detection, Awareness, and Treatment in Primary Care > https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/194205

[3] Leg Symptoms in Peripheral Arterial Disease > https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/194250

[4] Reliability of ankle:brachial pressure index measurement by junior doctors > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8156330/

[5] Detection of peripheral arterial disease with an improved automated device: comparison of a new oscillometric device and the standard Doppler method > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973721/

[6] Comparison Of Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) Measurement Between A New Oscillometric Device (MESI ABPI Md®) And The Standard Doppler Method In The Diagnosis Of Lower Extremity Arterial Disease (LEAD) > http://www.heraldopenaccess.us/fulltext/Non-Invasive-Vascular-Investigation/Comparison-of-Ankle-Brachial-Index-ABI-Measurement-between-a-New-Oscillometric-Device-MESI-ABPI-Md-and-the-Standard-Doppler-Method.php

[7] Doppler assessment and ABPI: Interpretation in the management of leg ulceration > http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/march/Vowden/Doppler-assessment-and-ABPI.html

[8] Role of Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) in Management of Non-Healing Ulcers of Lower Limb > https://www.jusurgery.com/universalsurgery/role-of-ankle-brachial-index-abi-in-management-of-nonhealing-ulcers-of-lower-limb.php?aid=21788

[9] The Influence of Smoking Cessation on Hemodynamics and Arterial Compliance > https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003319706293119

[10] Relationship of smoking and smoking cessation with ankle-to-arm blood pressure index in elderly Japanese men > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16575279

[11] Influence of smoking on incidence and prevalence of peripheral arterial disease > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15622370

[12] Medical management of claudication > https://www.jvascsurg.org/article/S0741-5214(17)30915-1/fulltext

[20] Smoking Cessation in Peripheral Artery Disease > https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2020/03/05/07/53/smoking-cessation-in-peripheral-artery-disease


Compression and Pregnancy

It’s hard business growing a little human. As your baby grows, more pressure is placed on the veins and lymphatic vessels in the pelvis and lower body. When you combine this with hormonal changes and increased blood volume, there can be a backup of fluid in the legs and pelvis, and this fluid has a harder time traveling back up against gravity.

Mild-to-moderate swelling during pregnancy is common, especially in the lower extremities. You may even notice varicose veins appearing in the legs as well. Luckily, most of this swelling isn’t serious and can be managed with a combination of lifestyle strategies combined with maternity compression socks.

Compression socks = healthier mom-to-be

Did you know that the risk of developing a blood clot during pregnancy increases 4-5 times more compared to women who aren’t pregnant? When the circulatory system gets backed up, the risk of blood clots increases. If you already have a genetic predisposition, and a history of blood clots developing, then you should speak with your healthcare provider to reduce your risks while pregnant.

What are the signs that might indicate a problem?

  • Rapid progression of severe swelling
  • Swelling accompanied by headaches, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light
  • Severe swelling in the hands and face
  • Swelling that occurs in one leg and not the other, or accompanied by redness, heat, or pain
  • Swelling accompanied by chest pain or difficulty breathing

Swelling that is moderate, present in both legs and stable during the day but reduces at night when you are able to put your feet up, isn’t usually a cause for concern. A great way to manage swelling like this is with compression stockings.

Feel better with compression

Medical compression stockings work in a simple but ingenious way.

Without any side effects, compression stockings help prevent varicose veins, spider veins and water retention during pregnancy. Their defined pressure distribution keeps the veins in shape. The pressure is strongest at the ankle and decreases towards the thigh. This pressure helps reduce the enlarged veins, making the valves more effective in transporting blood to the heart. The result is reduced swelling and legs that feel better.

It is recommended that compression stockings be worn from the third month of pregnancy until two months post-partem or until the end of breastfeeding. The stockings will:

  • Promote venous blood flow return to assist with venous health
  • Help alleviate symptoms associated with pregnancy:
    • swollen feet
    • swollen ankles
    • tired and achy legs

What type of compression is best for me?

The level of compression can vary, as does the style of compression stockings. There are knee-high, thigh-high and full waist-high stockings. The best option for you will be whatever provides you the most support. Well-fitted and lightweight compression is generally not harmful and can protect your blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, reduce the risk of a blood clot and provide you more comfort throughout your day.

Make sure that the compression you use is graduated (tighter at the ankle and reduction of compression as it progresses up the leg.) It usually only needs to be worn during daytime hours, as your body has an easier time with blood circulation when you’re lying down.

Pregnancy should be a joyful experience, but make sure it’s also a healthy one for you and for baby!

To learn more about pregnancy and compression, visit here.


Camp WatchMe

Summer camp. We all have the image in our heads of bunk beds, cabins, bon fires, and most importantly, fun and safe outdoor recreational activities that foster youth development and personal growth. While most kids are excited to see friends and just have some fun, they aren’t yearning for a summer camp experience based around inclusivity and a bit of normalcy where their differences aren’t reviled but rather embraced. This is Camp WatchMe.

Camp WatchMe is the first and only summer camp in North America for children between ages 5 and 17 who have lymphedema. It provides the same “summer camp experiences” noted above, but it also provides free treatment from certified lymphedema therapists to its campers. Daily treatment and educational sessions are given to both campers and parents alike, ranging from MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) basics to nutrition for lymphedema.

Lymphedema, or localized swelling of a part of the body, has two main types. Primary, when chronic swelling occurs because the lymphatic system did not develop correctly and secondary, when damage or trauma occurs to the lymphatic system.

For Brittany Williams, founder of Brylan’s Feat Foundation, her daughter Brylan’s swelling appeared on the top of her foot at just 1 month of age. Due to the fact that primary lymphedema is extremely rare, with only 1 in 100,000 children being diagnosed with primary onset lymphedema a year1, it took ten months of visiting dozens of different specialists all across the country before the diagnosis of lymphedema could be given, at 11 months of age.

“I started doing my own research and after seeing too many photos of lymphedema cases with those who lacked proper care, it was motivation for me to say, ‘that is never going to by my kid,” Brittany said. “I felt there had to be some sort of research for children with lymphedema – but there was none that I could find.”

Lymphedema is a progressive, chronic disease that currently has no cure, but can be managed with treatment.

After 4 years of diligent work, Brittany created Brylan’s Feat Foundation, a non-profit organization that originally started as a garment fund for children in the US but quickly transformed into an international non-profit with over 130 recipients in over 22 countries worldwide serviced today. Its mission is to assist in providing necessary treatment for pediatric lymphedema patients who are in financial need, as well as to help raise awareness and promote education of the disease.

Effective lymphedema management consists of a combination of treatment methods, such as combining garments with nightly short-stretch bandaging, which helps reduce swelling. Customized compression garments must be properly sized and replaced every 4-6 months. As children grow more quickly through their early years, garments are often switched out even sooner to ensure a proper fit. Despite being quite expensive, they are not covered by insurance.

The high cost of care led Allie Prelaske to seek out assistance online for her daughter, who was diagnosed with lymphedema at the age of 11, right around the time of puberty.  She stumbled upon Brylan’s Feat as she researched pediatric lymphedema and soon discovered Camp WatchMe and immediately registered her daughter, Mady. Although originally it was the financial burden of care maintenance that initiated her research, she soon found that the connections she and her daughter would gain from the camp was really what they were longing to find.

“The first year we attended was pretty amazing for Mady’s psychological and psychosocial development,” Allie said. “Her face lit up when she saw that there were other kids with garments on, wearing them so confidently. It gave her the confidence to wear her garments and to show off her legs.”

Julie Cohen, mother to Ruby who was diagnosed with primary lymphedema at the age of 6, also sought inclusivity for her daughter to feel like everyone else. She notes that when she and her daughter arrived at the Denver airport in route to Camp WatchMe, they spotted a fellow camper who was wearing compression garments. Having only been in clinics surrounded by adults with lymphedema, Ruby had never seen another child like her wearing garments. Ruby suddenly ran into a bathroom with her carry-on bag.

“Ruby came out of that bathroom wearing shorts – and she had not worn shorts all year in public,” Julie exclaimed emphatically. “All it took was seeing a fellow child in garments  – that symbolized the camp for me in a nutshell and we hadn’t even arrived at the camp yet.”

In the case of early onset primary lymphedema, support is not only beneficial but required for both children and parents alike. Camp WatchMe enlists therapists from all across the country, who volunteer their time and are designated to each family and provide morning and evening treatments, explaining the basics of care, like the gold standard of short-stretch bandaging.

Christopher Miles, a lymphedema specialist for over 19 years and the Director of Wound Care at medi® USA, saw first-hand as he attended the 2022 Camp WatchMe, the amazing experience it provides campers and parents.

“This event really opened my eyes to how isolated both the children and parents are in their communities. It is uncommon that a primary lymphedema child or parent for that matter, would interact with others in their community in a similar situation,” Christopher explained. “I can only imagine how this weighs on their minds as they attempt to navigate through the many lymphedema management challenges. But with this camp, the kids can interact, play and just do ‘kid stuff’ while the parents benefit through the network of support they receive.”

It’s the education and treatment aspect of Camp WatchMe that truly differentiates the camp from other summer camps, as Brittany explained. “The hope is that, especially for first-time families who attend, they come and they learn and then they go home and they implement it.”

Lymphedema is a progressive disease and does not go away. Children who do not receive proper care are more likely to suffer from life-threatening issues later in life.2

Houda Crable, mother of 9-year-old Reid who was diagnosed at 2 months old with primary lymphedema, credited the excellent care provided by their personal CLT at the camp who made each treatment a positive experience.

“Their treatments were done in such a fun atmosphere that it truly helped create positivity around the care. And it’s continued since we’ve been home! Reid will say, ‘OK, mom, when are we going to bandage – it’s not something that he dreads or fights me on – he encourages and even asks for it.”

And while all of the parents who attend Camp WatchMe with their children have a great understanding of lymphedema and practice proper care from their own personal research, even they learn and take something away from camp that they didn’t know before.

Kerri Kulesza Rossi, who’s daughter Drew was diagnosed with primary lymphedema around 1.5 years old, and is a nurse practitioner herself, said she learned so much from every lecture she attended while at the camp.

“The people there, from every rep to the surgeon who spoke, provided a wealth of knowledge and information,” Kerri said. “There were experts there who understood lymphedema but who also truly cared. You could see they wanted our kids to succeed and get the best standard of care for their lymphedema. I could cry just thinking about it again – it has even motivated me as a medical professional to get certified in lymphedema therapy . I see the need and I want to make an impact.”

The camp is special because it brings together various vendors to help educate and train these families. As Brittany exclaimed, “We are stronger together and we want to give parents as many resources as possible to make the best decisions for their child’s care.”

Erik Berens, who attended Camp WatchMe as a vendor supporter for the medi for help foundation and assisted with fittings and the delivery of needed compression garments, realized that while those garments were important, they were just the cherry on top of the sundae that is Camp Watch Me.

“The real benefit of Came WatchMe is the education and training at a very high-level that the children and their parents receive. I would like to think that even without any clinical training, I still brought some level of value with local knowledge of each child’s market to help them continue their success with treatment and supplies when they return home.”

Mady, Allie Prelaske’s daughter, is now at the age where she does a lot of her own care herself, and her mother credits the camp with fostering that.

“The level of independence in care she has personally gained from camp – the tools, the techniques – it’s amazing,” says Allie. “She was and still is so proud anytime she wraps herself.”

That independence and foundation of self-care was crafted at the camp, and Allie notes that the camp’s name is rather fitting.

“Mady was never told that she couldn’t do something because of her illness while at camp. She could ride a horse; she could swim in the pool – it was overwhelming for her emotionally. She would say to me, “Watch me do this now, mom!”

In the past 4 years, there have been 3 camps, and according to Brittany, she doesn’t plan to stop them any time soon.

“The camp experience is life-changing for so many families. I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure that this camp is available for these families every summer.”

Even beyond camp, though, Brittany and the team behind Brylan’s Feat Foundation is a continual support system.

“We are not a community that just stops when the camp stops. We don’t ever want anyone to feel like they no longer have the support they need once camp ends. We are still here and we will keep fighting for them.”

Camp WatchMe 2023 will return to YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Co. bringing together first-time campers, alumni (second-time campers) and the “reunion crew” or those who are returning for 3 or more camps.

To learn more about pediatric lymphedema or Camp WatchMe, visit www.brylansfeat.org.

To learn more about medi for help, visit https://www.medi-for-help.com/en/

1 & 2.    www.brylansfeat.org/lymphedema-facts


The Technology behind circaid® – Easy, Measurable, Effective

Our full line of inelastic compression therapy wraps, circaid®, provide treatment of venous health and lymphatic conditions, for measurable, adjustable compression that is ideal for both day and nighttime use.

What are inelastic compression wraps?

Inelastic products offer very little to no stretch.  The compression therapy is delivered by the person conducting the application. The more tension that is applied, the greater the compression therapy. The compression alternative, circaid, has a plethora of amazing technologies that benefit the patient.

So, what are these amazing technologies, you may be asking yourself?

Built-In-Pressure System™

Our circaid® line of products have a patented technology that allows the garment to be set to a specific compression range called the Built-In-Pressure System™ (BPS™). Using this technology and the provided BPS™ card, patients are able to set their prescribed compression range while wearing their garment and readjust during the day as needed. Therefore, the appropriate compression range is ensured throughout the days’ wear – allowing for the proper treatment and management of the patients’ chronic venous disease or lymphedema.

Breathe-O-Prene® technology

Our circaid line of products incorporate Breathe-o-Prene® to create a material that is flexible, breathable and comfortable all at the same time. Even with high temperatures outside this summer, the circaid Breath-o-Prene material allows for improved comfort with a material that won’t weigh patients down.

Juxtaposed Band System technology

The Juxtaposed Band System offers optimal fit and easy handling.  With individually adjustable bands that can be adapted to meet the different needs of patients, the band system can also be easily readjusted. This makes for easy application and instant adjustability without garment removal! Thanks to the high-quality hook and loop fasteners, the products are also extremely durable.

These technologies make it clear that the circaid design enhances patient comfort and compliance as a complement and alternative to elastic compression. circaid is great for patients who have difficulty applying traditional elastic stockings, those who may need additional edema control, those with venous ulcers for easy application over primary dressing, and even for chronic conditions like lymphedema that need 24-hour compression therapy.  

Visit our circaid page to learn more about the compression alternative that offers unique, unmatched quality.


medi® Selected by MAGNET GROUP GPO as Approved Supplier

Medical Device Manufacturer adds Long-lasting Value for GPO Members

Whitsett, N.C. – July 12, 2022– medi®, a leading medical device manufacturer and distributor of medical compression therapy garments and devices, orthopedic bracing, foot insoles and advanced wound care dressings, announced today that it has been selected by the MAGNET GROUP as an approved vendor for its GPO members.

Founded during the 1979 Middle Atlantic Health Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Group Network of Shared Services (MAGNET) was created to develop contracts on behalf of its members in the niche market of capital equipment. Today, MAGNET GROUP serves approximately 9,000 providers, including hospitals, alternate care facilities, and physician practices and clinics with a contract portfolio that includes equipment, services, and select medical commodities.

Participating MAGNET GROUP members can now select from medi’s wide range of medical brands for their facilities. The product portfolio containing the Advancis® wound care dressings, along with the circaid® adjustable compression wraps and the MESI ABPI device for PAD screening provide solutions that benefit the patient, clinician and medical facility.

“The medi USA team is excited for the opportunity to partner with the MAGNET organization,” said John Cody, medi USA President. “We feel strongly that this relationship will enhance our continued commitment to provide industry-leading, premium products for the advancement of improved patient outcomes in the fields of wound care, venous disease and lymphatic disease management.”

About MAGNET GROUP (www.magnetgroup.com)
MAGNET GROUP is one of the oldest and most experienced group purchasing organizations (GPO) in the country, serving approximately 9,000 members. Founded in 1979, MAGNET GROUP is “your other GPO” for simple secondary sourcing of capital and small medical equipment, facilities related products, select medical supplies, and various services. MAGNET GROUP operates in twenty states and the District of Columbia. Participants include all varieties of healthcare providers and non-healthcare entities, such as municipalities and universities. MAGNET GROUP members choose from over 200 no-hassle GPO contracts –without volume compliance or bundled services issues – and never pay membership dues or fees. For information about MAGNET GROUP, contact Diane Mase, President, at dmase@magnetgroup.com.

About medi (www.mediusa.com)
medi is a medical products and technologies company focused on compression therapies for chronic medical conditions, orthopedic bracing and wound-care solutions including distribution of advanced wound care dressings by Advancis. The corporate headquarters is located in Bayreuth, Germany with manufacturing and administrative offices in Whitsett, NC. The company employs more than 2,400 people, has branch offices in 19 countries and exports product to more than 90 countries around the world.