Author Archives: sam

Facts about compression & leg therapy

  • In a class 1 compression of 20-30 the largest number is at the smallest part of the ankle and the smallest number is at the largest part of the calf. This works with the blood flow as the heart pumps the pressure helps sustain the return flow of the blood to the heart.
  • Beaded top bands with silicone beads, helps to keep the stocking from slipping. A hand or leg lotion will also help the stockings from slipping back down the leg.
  • A by-product of increasing the circulation in the leg is energy. The tired leg syndrome is not as prevalent and this is also why the sports community has adopted the use of compression therapy. This is especially true of professional athletes where any competitive edge is important.
  • When picking the Open Toe and / or the Closed Toe remember if the stocking is folded over this doubles the actual compression in that area and could potentially cut off circulation instead of helping with circulation.
  • Try to measure your ankle and calf in the morning before any swelling occurs or at least the swelling is at its lowest. Put the stockings on in the morning before the leg swells if at all possible.
  • Beware of the low cost alternatives as the compression in these stockings sometimes is lost in a relatively short period of time. We price the quality at compression therapy per day and the Medi Stockings are warranted for 6 months and we have seen significantly longer use at full compression. The low cost alternative could be used for short term such as flying or some other short term use.
  • The thigh high stocking was traditionally used as “Anti Embolism” for bed ridden patients after surgery and maybe even to hold a dressing in place. Anti Embolism is one compression throughout the stocking and is usually 18 compression. The compression in the graduated compression products is different and relatively new to the market. This product works with the movement of the leg, in this case, to help with the return flow of blood to the heart. (circulation) The bigger number on the bottom and the smaller number as you go up the leg to the calf. Very little compression is in the thigh as this would retard the flow of blood not enhance it. Question why a thigh high is being recommended. There may be good reason but the calf high is less expensive and aids in the blood circulation of the leg.

Sports Compression Stockings

The story goes that a manufacturer cut off the foot of a compression stocking and   put the calf high stocking on an Iron Man Competitor at the Iron Man competition in Hawaii. Throughout running and cycling the competitor decreased the time for these two events by approximately 5%. Sports compression was born and could not be ignored. At 5% of 50 miles is like a free 2.5 miles ahead of the competition. The compression in the sports stockings is specialized around the calf now and this is to enhance the working of the muscles against fatigue as well as supporting the circulation. It is hard to see any sports event without seeing some type of compression therapy items in use. You can see elbow, thigh, calf and full leg as well as full arm to name a few. Many of the sports orthopedic devices are similar to the anti embolism stockings and are 18 mmHg through out the item.

Do you need help with information about DME / HME?

Durable Medical Equipment or Home Medical Equipment as it is mainly referred to today, because of so many people that use this equipment in their homes, can be overwhelming. Is it short term or is it long term is it covered by insurance or is it a cash sale. Will the insurance allow for the patient to submit for a claim or like in the case of Medicare or Medicaid this must be submitted by a provider that is both approved and accredited? If you have questions we can help with, just click on the “Contact the Web Site Manager” that is on most pages on the web site and certainly at the top of the home page. We are happy to help and not just sell you things. Our customer service is backed by 2 Pharmacies and 1 HME location and we have a lot of practical knowledge to share with customers.

Can we research a product for you?

We have access to many items not referenced on the web site and have the ability to ship anywhere in the US. Some items can be highly specialized or even esoteric by nature. We have the means to support many things and at least share our knowledge. Give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help or direct you through the maze of what products might work and where to look for them. This might be a new product or a part for a product you might not be able to locate.

Pricing and Sales Models for our Black Oak Home Medical and Web Site

Internet sales have created a new business model that allows for instant feedback on product pricing. With a few clicks or new APS a person can price shop or check pricing at any time on their smart phone. You may be able to scan the bar code and receive pricing information. We do not use interchangeable pricing for products at our stores and on the web site. Remember that the internet sales models can have shipping challenges and return challenges as well as the promise of what sometimes seems to be unreal pricing show up in damaged or old merchandise. They may take 20 or more days to arrive. A retail store has fixed overhead that is different and employs live customer service sales people. Items have to be brought into the store and put on the shelf to be able to sell them.  The customer can put their hands on the product to feel it and try it or fit it. It is not realistic to think the retail model is interchangeable with a web site model. The costs are different the inventory is different and the overhead is different. Central Drug Store, Inc. is a separate business from Black Oak Home Medical or Shady Cove Pharmacy or Black Oak Pharmacy. The two sales models (retail and internet) share the advantage of time tested merchandise while not sharing the same inventory or costs. These are not interchangeable. We do offer some types of umbrella services under the same ownership but not as an interchangeable purchasing opportunity. You may purchase from either but you may not have the pricing or inventory interchangeable. We may be able to offer merchandise returns or even exchanges at our retail stores but both businesses represent distinctly different accounting processes and cost models as well as delivery models and inventory models.

Gel Cushions for Wheelchairs and Affordability

The advent of newer technology has offered an alternative to a more expensive manufactured and traditional technology. The gold standard for permanently bound wheelchair users is made by ROHO and sometimes this is considered the standard like Xerox was to copying. Pressure sores are nothing to fool around with and should be avoided. However the ROHO that uses individual air compartments to relieve pressure points can start at $350 to $400 in price. The combination of foam and gel in the laminate for the Gel Cushions offers an alternative to part time users and/or wheelchairs not used as the primary mobility source such as transport wheelchairs. These cushions do not bottom out and offer a conforming support that gives and holds as they conform. The cost is 4 – 6 times less and the item is very durable. This product is definitely something to try out and consider purchasing. This type of product is also far superior to just foam products.

Transport Wheelchairs and Standard Wheelchairs

The transport wheelchair is a light weight mobility device and easier to move around with compared to the standard wheelchair. Many mobility challenged individuals will keep both the standard wheelchair and the transport wheelchair as a combination of mobility devices. The obvious difference is the size of the back wheel and the weight of the device. The wheelchair is designed to be used by the occupant by rolling the big back wheels and occasionally assisted by pushing from behind. The transport wheelchair is only pushed by a second person from behind. The weight difference alone can be as much as 25 lbs between the full wheelchair and the transport wheelchair. Transport wheelchairs can come with all the wheels the same size, usually 8 inch wheels. Some models have a 14 inch back wheel and 8 inch front wheels. The 14 inch back wheel is almost 3 times easier to push than the 8 inch back wheel. Pushing someone that is light may not make much of a difference but someone in the XL or larger size would make a great deal of difference. Also consider the transport wheelchair options of hand brakes for going down hill as a great safety feature to easily control the weight. Another thing to consider is a desk arm or a standard arm. The desk arm rolls right up under a standard sized table and works remarkably well for seating at restaurants or dining out. It is nice for the individual in the wheelchair to not have to transfer to another chair and be able to sit at the table in comfort.

Bariatric Rated Products and What to Look For

The term “bariatric” can be simply explained as someone who is above normal sizing. This might be an XXL or XXXL as opposed to just the traditional S, M, L, XL. The sizing can go up to 6X and above but the point is weight capacity and safety. The large individual is challenged by mobility and weight. A good way to approach this is when nearing the upper capacity go to the next level up. A walker that is rated at 300 lbs for a person close to 300 lbs is totally maxed out and a 400lb capacity insures proper support and safety. Society keeps getting bigger and we have seen the capacity ratings move upwards when nothing appears to have changed with the item. Walkers and lift chairs are good examples while 10 years ago they were at the 300 lb rating and now frequently are rated at 350lbs and nothing appears to be different. We see inferior products that I would rate at 250 lbs being rated at 350 lbs. When using mobility support devices is not the time to find out if the rating is accurate. Protect the individual and seek something with a higher rating when at 90% or more of the capacity. And if you are suspicious use the 80 / 20 rule. In this case you can trust that 80 % is safe but question when you are in the last 20 %. We use another criterion in our retail businesses that feeds information into our web site business. Ask the question of mobility products as to availability of replacement parts. The availability does not indicate poor construction but rather protection to the investment in well made products.