Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/15/2016 -- The use of pneumatic compression devices is associated with improved health and reduced cost of care in lymphedema patients, according to a recent study.
Dr. Pinar Karaca-Mandic, PhD, conducted a retrospective analysis of the health records of 718 lymphedema patients spanning 12 months before and after the use of pneumatic compression therapy. The study was published online in JAMA Dermatology.
Greg Grambor was pleased to see that the study used extensive real-world data in its analysis. Grambor is president of Vascular PRN, a distributor of pneumatic compression therapy devices.
"The doctors at the hospitals and nursing homes I work with are big believers in compression therapy," Grambor said. "But the fact is, hard scientific data on the efficacy of these devices is still somewhat lacking. I'm always glad to see studies like this, which will help bring this valuable and cost-effective therapy to more patients."
The study sample consisted of 374 patients whose lymphedema was cancer related and 344 non-cancer patients. In both groups, pneumatic compression therapy was associated with significant reductions in the rate of cellulitis infections and the cost of outpatient care. Cellulitis infection rates were found to have decreased in the cancer and noncancer groups by 79% and 75%, respectively. Outpatient costs, excluding equipment costs, decreased by 37% and 36% for the two groups.
"These numbers represent huge decreases in cost, complication, and patient discomfort," Grambor added.
Grambor also echoed researchers' calls for randomized, controlled trials, as well as the development of specific dosage recommendations for duration and pressure.
"Any formal study of this therapy is encouraging, but formal, randomized trials and dosage guidelines are what we need to really bring pneumatic compression therapy into the mainstream," Grambor said.