Exceeding Patient Expectations with Medela NPWT

Meet Janice Potts, a busy executive from Philadelphia who provides litigation support for law firms. Janice recently endured a wound healing experience that was anything but an open-and-shut case. Treated with both an “industrial-strength” NPWT system in-hospital and a portable one at home, she has reached a clear verdict on what she preferred—and shares her story here.

Janice holding the Medela Invia Liberty system

Janice was left with a 7” x 4” open wound in her abdomen and an open question on her mind: how long will it take me to heal?

Janice Potts holding Invia Liberty NPWT device

Ten days. Two surgeries.

It all started when Janice presented with flu-like symptoms at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. The medical team there quickly determined that Janice had a perforated appendix. They performed emergency surgery within hours of her arrival.

During a follow-up appointment 10 days later, Janice’s surgeon discovered that her wound had become infected. She was sent straight back to the hospital for a second emergency surgery. The team cleaned Janice’s wound, obtained a culture of the infected wound, and determined an appropriate course of antibiotics.

Reeling from an experience that she says “felt like whiplash,” Janice was left with a 7” x 4” open wound in her abdomen and an open question on her mind: how long will it take me to heal?

 

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Unwieldy and uncomfortable

“Every way I moved was super-uncomfortable. I had a large, painful abdominal wound that was really, really tender. It was pretty scary.” - Janice Potts, wound patient

The first answer she heard—6 months—felt to Janice like “getting hit in the face with a frying pan.” But her treatment team quickly told her they could speed up her healing time significantly with the right negative pressure wound therapy device.

During a one-week hospital stay following surgery, Janice was connected to a wound vac machine she describes as “industrial-strength.” Though she does not remember the name of the system (it was not made by Medela), she does remember that it was big, bulky, noisy, and unwieldy. “If I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom,” Janice says, “it was hard for me to detach it from the bottom of the bed. I literally had to drag it with me.”

After 2 more days in the hospital, Janice was taken off this initial wound vac and discharged in a matter of hours. Her doctors told her she would receive a different wound vac system at home and that she’d likely need it for 2 months of continued NPWT in order to recover. They gave her an overview of what to expect as well as an educational brochure and sent her on her way.

Janice was grateful for such a smooth discharge process. She was still suffering a great deal, but was eager to get on with her healing process with the help of an NPWT system that was not big and bulky like the one in the hospital.

 

A thousand times better

"The Medela Invia Liberty was definitely empowering. It enabled me to do things that I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had to stick with that big, bulky machine.” - Janice wound patient

Although she remained uncomfortable due to the size and tenderness of her wound, Janice experienced a better-than-expected recovery period at home, which she credits in large part to the compact design of the Medela device and its comfort and mobility.

Janice describes the system as:

  • Mobile – lightweight and much smaller than the system she tried in the hospital, Janice was able to move freely around her home—she was even able to eventually get her nails done at a local salon
  • Intuitive – the display was easy to read with clear alerts about potential air leaks that cued Janice and her husband to tighten her wound dressings in order to maintain negative pressure
  • Super-quiet – Janice found the Medela negative pressure wound therapy substantially quieter compared with the hospital system, and experienced no noise-related sleep disturbances at home. It was so quiet, that Janice’s nurse once commented that she didn’t think the machine was on—but it was!

Overall, Janice described the Invia Liberty NPWT device as “a thousand times better than the pump I had in the hospital,” largely due to the comfort and mobility it afforded her.

An accelerated recovery

“I twirled around the room like Mary Tyler Moore because I thought it was the greatest thing in the world to have recovered so soon.” — Janice Potts, wound patient

Beyond a better patient experience, the Medela negative pressure wound therapy may also have accelerated Janice’s recovery time. As she recounts it, every time her dressing was changed the visiting nurse commented on the “substantial progress” Janice was making toward healing—progress the nurse attributed to the Invia Liberty NPWT system.

In the end, Janice’s anticipated 2-month recovery was shortened to just 5 weeks. Janice is extremely grateful for her better-than-expected experience and accelerated recovery time. She was back to work supporting litigation teams just 1 week after her wound vac came off.

Every patient deserves a positive NPWT experience

For your patients like Janice who require NPWT devices, consider the compact system specifically designed for ease of use and mobility: the Invia Liberty by Medela.

In addition, Medela also offers another option for your patients with Invia Motion, an ultraportable, single-patient, “full function” NPWT device.

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