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life
magazine 2012/2
35
MEDICAL
the experts who are qualified to deal with
their requirements.” The ALA also has a key
role to play in raising public awareness of
the crucial importance of diagnosing and
treating lymphedema at an early stage. “This
was part of our highly successful inaugural
Lymphoedema Awareness Campaign in 2012,
which received extensive coverage in the
media – both on television and in the local
and national press – as well as on our own
Facebook page,” says Penelope Sanderson.
“The essential points were to provide the
public with information about the first
warning signs of lymphedema and about how
important it is to start treatment early, to
prevent the condition from progressing.”
Financial support program
For those affected by lymphedema, however,
early treatment by lymphedema practitioners
is only the first step. In the next stage, as
part of their therapy, they may also need to
wear compression products that they can rely
on. Due to the nature of their design, these
compression products only have a limited
serviceable life, which means that they must
be replaced every six months on average.
Penelope Sanderson, who is Manager of the
Mercy Health Lymphoedema Clinic in Mel-
bourne, Victoria, heads up a multidisciplinary
team specializing in treating lymphedema
patients. “Here at the Mercy Health Lymph-
oedema Clinic, we often found that, while
patients were certainly willing to undergo
treatment, they could not afford the costs of
compression products on a long-term basis,”
says Penelope. “ Together with our patients
and the Lymphoedema Association of Victo-
ria (consumer group) we lobbied the govern-
ment to set up a fund to finance the costs
of compression products for lymphedema
treatment. We had to apply a bit of pressure
before the government eventually decided,
after the completion of a pilot scheme, to
provide long-term financing for such a fund.
The result is the Lymphoedema Compression
Garment Program (LCGP) set up to address
the issues for patients on low incomes to
receive financial assistance for compression
stockings.”
It is important that the funding is used to
promote effective and targeted therapy.
Products endorsed by the LCGP therefore have
Bauerfeind has been established in the
Australian market for almost five years
and in this time has worked closely
with the LCGP. The VenoTrain curaflow
product range has been widely used and
been approved to provide patients with
high-quality custom-made lymphatic
treatment. The strong, finely meshed knit
of these garments combines excellent
elasticity with optimally controlled sur-
face pressure. Thanks to its high micro-
fiber content, latex-free materials and
special comfort zones, VenoTrain curaflow
sets new standards in patient-friendly
lymphatic therapy.
Lymphatic compression
treatment in Australia
VenoTrain curaflow
For further information please visit:
www.lymphology.asn.au
(ALA website)
www.nlpr.asn.au
(NLPR website)
MAS Medical, the exclusive Bauerfeind distributor:
www.bauerfeind.com.au
to fulfill certain criteria. They must be shown
to exert controlled pressure in accordance
with the RAL quality assurance standards, for
example. Their quality also has to be verified
in accordance with the Oeko-Tex Standard
100 or an equivalent standard. Lymphedema
patients who reside permanently in the state
of Victoria and receive a pension or only a
low income are eligible for financial support
from the program. Depending on a number of
factors, the LCGP covers part of the costs of
the compression products.
Children as lymphatic patients
In her work, Penelope Sanderson focuses
particular attention on lymphological
treatment for children. “In recent years,
more and more children and young people
have come to us with lymphatic problems.
In numerical terms, they still don’t make up
a large proportion of our patients, but these
young people have to undergo treatment for
the rest of their lives,” she says, outlining
the situation. “That’s why it is important
for treatment to begin at an early stage,
and for the children and their families to
be provided with training and support in
handling compression products. Those
affected are often completely overwhelmed
at first when they find out that this is a
chronic condition. Here at the clinic, we
provide psychological support, as well as
advising families on how to deal with a
healthcare system that is sometimes far
from straightforward.”
“It is important that the funding
is used to promote effective and
targeted therapy.”
(Penelope Sanderson)