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Research paper
Published online: 2021-07-03
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Lymphoedema management during the COVID-19 pandemic

Katarzyna Ochałek, Joanna Kurpiewska, Tomasz Grądalski
DOI: 10.5603/PMPI.2021.0021

open access

Ahead of Print
Original articles
Published online: 2021-07-03

Abstract

Medical care for patients with oedema in the Polish health care system is fragmented and rarely ensures continuity of therapy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of traditional forms is even more difficult, which forces the search for alternative, remote forms enabling early diagnosis and implementation of proper management. Thus article presents a model of management in patients at risk of developing edema and with advanced disease in the pandemic days in the light of the current recommendations. In the lymphedema clinic, a method of questionnaire preliminary qualification of patients reported by phone or e–mail which facilitates distinguishing urgent cases (swelling that is advanced, rapidly increasing, especially despite compression therapy, complicated by skin damage, occurring in children < 12 years old or associated with advanced cancer) was introduced.

Between June 2020 and March 2021, 160 patients usually needing the adjustment of another compression garment continued the therapy, and 94 persons required complex decongestive therapy and then prescribing of compression product to be worn during a day were admitted for the first time. A narrative review of the literature between 2011–2021 including prophylactic recommendations and conservative management of edema in terms of its realistic applicability under the existing restrictions, was carried out. Despite the limitations in the implementation of physiotherapy, the availability of therapy based on education and compression therapy in connection with individually selected, aerobic exercise was maintained in the clinic.

Abstract

Medical care for patients with oedema in the Polish health care system is fragmented and rarely ensures continuity of therapy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of traditional forms is even more difficult, which forces the search for alternative, remote forms enabling early diagnosis and implementation of proper management. Thus article presents a model of management in patients at risk of developing edema and with advanced disease in the pandemic days in the light of the current recommendations. In the lymphedema clinic, a method of questionnaire preliminary qualification of patients reported by phone or e–mail which facilitates distinguishing urgent cases (swelling that is advanced, rapidly increasing, especially despite compression therapy, complicated by skin damage, occurring in children < 12 years old or associated with advanced cancer) was introduced.

Between June 2020 and March 2021, 160 patients usually needing the adjustment of another compression garment continued the therapy, and 94 persons required complex decongestive therapy and then prescribing of compression product to be worn during a day were admitted for the first time. A narrative review of the literature between 2011–2021 including prophylactic recommendations and conservative management of edema in terms of its realistic applicability under the existing restrictions, was carried out. Despite the limitations in the implementation of physiotherapy, the availability of therapy based on education and compression therapy in connection with individually selected, aerobic exercise was maintained in the clinic.

Get Citation

Keywords

lymphedema, edema, lymphatic therapy, COVID-19

About this article
Title

Lymphoedema management during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal

Palliative Medicine in Practice

Issue

Ahead of Print

Article type

Research paper

Published online

2021-07-03

DOI

10.5603/PMPI.2021.0021

Keywords

lymphedema
edema
lymphatic therapy
COVID-19

Authors

Katarzyna Ochałek
Joanna Kurpiewska
Tomasz Grądalski

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