Velcro compression devices
Many are still unaware of this type of compression device, an excellent alternative to compression bandages and medical-grade compression stockings. Velcro compression garments allow for individualization of the pressure applied. With some training, the patient can easily adjust the intensity of the pressure applied. We like to have this available for patients who do not like compression bandages or stockings. Velcro compression bandages are the most expensive alternative for compression and will not be an option for most African patients. But maybe one day, a producer will also develop an affordable variant that can be available to more patients in Africa.
When it comes to compression, you will find a considerable variation in patient preferences - it is quite a complex field. Some patients will, for example, prefer a compression stocking because it builds less volume to the leg ( slim trousers can still fit) and may find them more aesthetic.
We usually use velcro compression devices for patients who are not happy with compression bandages or stockings. Often these are patients who have some degree of pain when using compression and would like an alternative where they themselves can adjust the intensity of the compression throughout the day.
Note: velcro compression bandages come in two pieces. The lower part ( the foot part) is like a sock and resembles a short compression stocking but is much easier to put on. The leg piece is the part made with velcro.
Here is a summary of some of the advantages of velcro compression:
It is easier to apply (fewer user mistakes)
For most patients, it is easier to apply this sort of compression. Many patients struggle, for example, with putting on compression stockings. Velcro garments are effortless to use also if the patient is stiffer in the joints.
If the patient does not tolerate compression well due to pain, velcro bandages are an excellent option as the compression intensity can be individualized.
Because the patients can easily slacken the velcro bandage at night, they may choose to keep it on at night, which may be advantageous in many cases of venous compression. However, be aware that patients with, for example, arterial insufficiency or neuropathy should not use compression at night.
Velcro bandages possibly give better patient compliance because it is more comfortable for the patient and easier to apply.
Figure 1 Both Jobst/BSN Medical and Medi have a range of velcro compression bandages. Click on the images above to get to the producers' websites for more information on these bandages.
Video 1 and 2. Demonstration of Jobst Farrow Wrap (Video 1) and Medi Juxtacare velcro compression bandages