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Swell to Well: Wound Management for Clients Living with Lymphedema

Swell to Well: Wound Management for Clients Living with Lymphedema
Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP
September 15, 2020

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Introduction

I am very pleased to be here today. A couple of housekeeping items that I want to introduce before starting the actual content of the session. First, I just wanted to mention that there are many different backgrounds and experience levels on this call. I have tried to be very thorough when presenting the information today, so I apologize if I repeat a basic concept. I want to make sure that everyone on the webinar today has working baseline knowledge of the information. Also, there is no way that I can adequately cover wound care or lymphedema management in a two hour period. Both of these topics are really large, thus my intent today is to introduce you to the concept of wound care for clients living with lymphedema. If you are interested in this topic, I would encourage you to pursue more education, maybe even certification in wound care and lymphedema. 

Background and Physiology of the Lymphatic System

Let's start with the background in the physiology of the lymphatic system. While we cannot spend hours and hours on this topic to have true mastery of the lymphatic system, we are going to take a look at a global level.

What is the Role of the Lymphatic System?

  • A drainage system
    • Brings substances from the tissues back to the circulatory system

The lymphatic system functions as a drainage system in the body. I like to think of it more as an irrigation system (Figure 1).

The lymphatic system

Figure 1. The lymphatic system (NIH/Public domain).

I am going to explain this analogy in just a few slides.

Lymphedema 

This quote is by Casley Smith, a very well known clinician in the lymphedema arena. She says that "lymphedema is the accumulation of excessive lymph fluid and swelling of subcutaneous tissues due to obstruction, destruction, or hypoplasia of lymph vessels."

Lymphatic System Anatomy

  • Initial lymph capillaries
  • Pre-collectors
  • Perforating pre-collectors
  • Collectors
  • Lymph nodes
  • Trunks

 

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neely sullivan

Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP

Neely Sullivan, PT, CLT-LANA, has worked with diverse client populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric in a variety of clinical settings.  These experiences and multiple courses on the topic have allowed her to treat and develop client care programs for clients living with lymphedema and wounds. She has served in multiple levels of regional and corporate management positions. In these positions, Neely has developed policies and worked closely with interdisciplinary teams to ensure that clients living with lymphedema and/or wounds have the opportunity to attain their highest level of function and quality of life. She is a certified lymphedema therapist and has most recently been responsible for the identification, implementation, and evaluation of clinical programs in long-term care settings.  Neely currently provides educational support to 13,000+ therapists nationwide as an Education Specialist for Select Rehabilitation. Neely has lectured nationally and at the state level on the topics of Lymphedema and Wound Care Management. She has authored publications focusing on edema and lymphedema management. 



Related Courses

Swell to Well: Wound Management for Clients Living with Lymphedema
Presented by Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP
Video
Course: #9457Level: Introductory2 Hours
This seminar will describe the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system in relation to risks for developing wounds. This session will also focus on different types and stages of wounds commonly occurring and outline wound management interventions for individuals living with lymphedema.

Reducing Opioid Use: The Role of Therapy in Managing Pain
Presented by Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP
Video
Course: #9544Level: Intermediate2 Hours
Understanding and addressing chronic pain before it is treated pharmacologically may be an important first step in addressing opioid misuse. By attending this course, therapists will gain a better understanding of the scope of opioid use and abuse as well as the role that therapists can play in identifying and addressing addiction and pain.

The Impact of Functional Interventions and Client Advocacy on Wound Healing
Presented by Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP
Video
Course: #9509Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This session will review the foundations of client advocacy for individuals at risk for skin breakdown and introduce strategies for implementing client-centered treatment interventions across rehab settings. Learners will review common wound management interventions and then apply components of advocacy to this client population using case examples.

Wound Care Documentation Across the Multidisciplinary Team
Presented by Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP
Video
Course: #9510Level: Intermediate2 Hours
When it comes to regulatory audits and denials of reimbursement, being proactive is the key. This session will address pertinent topics such as components of resident-centered collaboration between therapy and nursing in wound care, common errors and key elements in wound care documentation in preventing denials, and principles of effective documentation for nursing and therapy to support skilled wound care services.

Management of the Client with Compromised Respiratory Function
Presented by Neely Sullivan, MPT, CLT-LANA, CDP
Video
Course: #9521Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This seminar reviews the background and scope of respiratory illness (including COVID-19) and introduces strategies for assessing and implementing treatment interventions designed for clients with compromised lung function. Finally, this course includes reimbursement and documentation principles to ensure efficacy in this area by therapy providers.

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