Wound Care and Compression: The Basics

Published in Wound Care on October 04, 2022

Heather TrummBy Heather Trumm, Director, VGM Wound Care 

Within the wound care space are many different types of compression that can be used to manage wounds. When looking at which type to use, it depends a great deal on the person’s disease state. The disease state we see most is venous disease.  

Venous Disease 

More than 30 million Americans suffer from venous disease. What is venous disease and why does it involve wounds? Venous disease occurs primarily in older adults, though it can be found in younger individuals as well. The valves of the venous system in the lower extremity are faulty and don’t effectively push the venous blood back to the heart. As a result, pools of blood and fluids in the lower extremities cause inflammation and swelling. The pressure of the fluid can cause a wound, but wounds may also develop from an encounter with an object (coffee table, etc.).  When the wound occurs, it’s difficult for it to heal because of the poor venous blood flow back to the heart. That is where compression comes into play. 

Compression and Venous Disease 

When it comes to compression, there are certain factors that are very important to consider. Ideally, the blood should go back to the heart, but if an individual has other comorbidities or disease states that are happening within the body (such as peripheral artery disease, which means narrowing of the arteries), the compression of an artery must be avoided. The blood must circulate to where it needs to be.  

With compression, there's a measurement called an ankle brachial index (ABI), which essentially gives a measurement of one’s blood pressure of their extremities. It provides a guide for nurses and compression professionals on how much compression should be used in millimeters of mercury (mm) to compress that lower extremity to where it's beneficial, yet not harmful to the patient.  

Because of the complexity of compression and all the factors to consider, it is so important for DME and HME providers to have an educated, trained member of the team who does the fitting of compression.  

Helpful Tools 

If clinicians or podiatrists are struggling with what to do when it comes to compression, the WOCN Society has a VLU algorithm to help the clinician identify the need for compression and which type the individuals need. Click here to learn more.  

For further questions on compression, contact Heather Trumm, Director of VGM Wound Care, at heather.trumm@vgm.com.  


Alavi A, Sibbald RG, Phillips TJ, et al. What's new: management of venous leg ulcers: treating venous leg ulcers. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;74(4):643–666.


  1. hme
  2. vgm
  3. wound care

From Our Experts

Collagen: The Wound Healing Hero thumbnail Collagen: The Wound Healing Hero As HME providers, it is important to remain educated on all aspects of wound care to enhance the level of service to your customers, including how collagen impacts wound healing. Sunset Healthcare ‘Jumps Into' Wound Care thumbnail Sunset Healthcare ‘Jumps Into' Wound Care Sunset Healthcare Solutions credits two partners, VGM & Associates and ZeniMedical, for its ability to seamlessly add wound care to its product portfolio, says PJ Ruflin, vice president of business development. VGM Wound Care Launches Enteral Nutrition Guide thumbnail VGM Wound Care Launches Enteral Nutrition Guide VGM Wound Care is excited to launch the new Enteral Nutrition Guide, a comprehensive resource offering invaluable insights, protocols, and guidance to seamlessly integrate enteral nutrition into an HME provider's wound care business. Unveiling the Healing Power: Revolutionize Your HME Business with Surgical Dressings thumbnail Unveiling the Healing Power: Revolutionize Your HME Business with Surgical Dressings VGM Wound Care has developed a turnkey program specifically designed to assist HME businesses considering adding surgical dressings to their current offerings. How Wound Care Can Help Grow Your DMEPOS Business thumbnail How Wound Care Can Help Grow Your DMEPOS Business June is a special month for the wound care community. Not only is the week of June 12– June 16, 2023, designated as Certified Wound Care Specialists Week, but the American Board of Wound Management (ABWM) Foundation designated the entire month of June as Wound Healing Awareness Month. Save Your Backs thumbnail Save Your Backs Did you know that there is a transfer mechanism in healthcare that requires a no-lifting, multi-functional device to assist caregivers in transferring their patients? It's true! One of our newer vendor partners, Human Care US, offers the Barton Convertible Chair, which enables caregivers to perform safe patient handling practices more efficiently and effectively. While I had heard about this type of transfer device many years ago, it wasn't until I watched the video below that I realized how eas Insights Into Wound Care: Billing, Intake, and Operational Logistics with Industry Experts thumbnail Insights Into Wound Care: Billing, Intake, and Operational Logistics with Industry Experts In today's episode of Industry Matters, Mandi Joyner discusses all things wound care with the Director of Wound Care, Heather Trumm, and Ronda Buhrmester, Sr. Director of Payer Relations and Reimbursement. Building a Robust Wound Care Business: Get Started With Our Directory thumbnail Building a Robust Wound Care Business: Get Started With Our Directory Whether you are just entering the wound care market or looking to grow your business, VGM's comprehensive wound care program provides members with information and materials to build a robust wound care business, including the wound care directory.