Appropriate treatment of venous leg ulcers requires both local wound care and effective compression therapy. Compression therapy reduces the compressive and volume load in the venous system and promotes ulcer healing. Lohmann & Rauscher (L&R) offers the Actico UlcerSys medical compression stocking system as a solution for the acute phase following oedema reduction as well as the maintenance phase. This system ensures greater treatment safety thanks to the even, appropriate distribution of pressure and can encourage patient compliance thanks to its high wearing comfort.
Patients with chronic venous insufficiency have to deal not only with ‘heavy legs’ and oedema, but in many cases also with eczema and painful wounds on the lower legs which are slow to heal. Such wounds include venous leg ulcers (UCV, ulcus cruris venosum), treatment of which commences with preparation and the treatment of the wound bed and should conclude with compression. Compression therapy is essential to long-term healing success and involves the application of pressure to the blood vessels and tissue, thus promoting venous return and lymph drainage.
Compression therapy in two phases
Compression treatment consists of two phases: the acute phase and the maintenance phase. Each of these phases place different demands on compression products, which are met by the basic materials’ different levels of elasticity and their respective resting and working pressures. As a specialist in the field of compression therapy, L&R offers a wide range of compression products with combinable components for every application. For example, during the acute phase, it is usual to use a compression bandage (e.g. Rosidal TCS) that is made up of at least two layers – cushioning and a short stretch bandage (e.g. Rosidal K) – in order to reduce the oedema in the lower leg. Once this has been achieved and there are no longer large amounts of wound exudate, the maintenance phase can commence.
Early involvement of patients in compression therapy
Following oedema reduction, further treatment involves the use of two-component compression stocking systems applied over the treated wound. One such system is the Actico UlcerSys two-layer medical compression stocking system from L&R, which has been available in Germany since June this year, in Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark since September 2017 and will be available in Austria from January 2018. This system is used above all for the treatment and prevention of recurrence of venous leg ulcers and it distinguishes itself among other factors by the fact that it exerts the necessary therapeutic pressure. The liner, which protects the wound dressing and can also be worn at night, exerts a pressure of 10–14 mmHg. Together with the overstocking, which exerts a pressure of 26–34 mmHg, the combined compression pressure amounts to approx. 40 mmHg (compression class III).
The other benefits of Actico UlcerSys include a reduced treatment time thanks to ease of use and fast application4, a choice of two colour combinations, and the ease with which the system can be donned and doffed without the use of any technical aids. Treatment with a two-layer compression stocking system not only reduces recovery times and recurrence rates1-3, it also prepares patients for the maintenance phase with compression stockings4: patients can already be introduced to Actico UlcerSys during the acute phase and learn to use the system independently. In addition, there is the high wearing comfort, which can have a positive effect on active patient cooperation. Patient cooperation is especially vital during the compression phase in order to aid the healing process of the ulcer and to ensure the long-term success of the wound healing process.
In addition to treating venous leg ulcers following oedema reduction, Actico UlcerSys can also be used to prevent recurrence of chronic venous leg ulcers, for stasis dermatitis, for venous oedema, for the treatment of post-thrombotic syndrome, following vein removal for bypass surgery and as follow-up care for atrophy treatment and varicose vein surgery.
Actico UlcerSys is available in two colour combinations (sand/white & black/sand) and a comprehensive sizing system (five sizes and two lengths).
1. Reich-Schupke S, Stücker M. Moderne Kompressionstherapie: Ein praktischer Leitfaden. Köln: Viavital Verlag GmbH, 2013.
2. Heinen MM, van Achterberg T, op Reimer WS, van de Kerkhof PCM, Laat E. Venous leg ulcer patients: a review of the literature on lifestyle und pain-related interventions. J Clin Nurs, 2014; 13 (3): 355-366.
3. Nelson EA, Bell-Syer SEM. Compression for preventing recurrence of venous ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012; 8: CD002303.
4. Ashby RL, Gabe R, Ali S, et al. (2014) Clinical and cost-effectiveness of compression hosiery versus compression bandages in treatment of venous leg ulcers (Venous leg Ulcer Study IV, VenUS IV): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 383(9920): 871-9.
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