A Medical Device Sales Specialist Gains Firsthand Experience with Medela Healthcare NPWT – By Using It Herself

When Jennifer Calhoun – a medical device sales specialist with Apria Healthcare – was told to educate clients on the benefits of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT), she received a unique opportunity to become a true NPWT expert.

Requiring surgery to remove chronic boils, Jennifer ended up using Medela Healthcare’s Invia Motion® pump for herself, helping her live the patient experience firsthand. 

“When my doctor recommended negative pressure wound therapy to help close my wound, he was surprised that I already had a device sitting right outside in my car.”

An Elegant Solution for a Chronic Problem

“When my doctor recommended [NPWT]…he was surprised that I already had had a device sitting right outside in my car.”

Jennifer has suffered from recurring boils for years, but she suffered from a particularly serious flare-up in 2019. At her physician’s recommendation, she underwent surgery and healed quickly, only to see the boils return for the worse four months later.

“The boils were in the crevice of my neck, where I tilt up and down and side to side. My physician told me we weren’t playing around with this one,” says Jennifer, whose wound measured approximately 4cm long, 1.5cm wide and 2.5cm deep. Her doctor explained that the wound care needed would be significant, and that healing would require NPWT.

Jennifer, in the process of onboarding NPWT technology at Apria, offered to show her doctor a specific pump she happened to have on hand: the Invia Motion NPWT device from Medela Healthcare.

“The doctor said, ‘wait…you have a pump with you now?’ When my husband and I fetched it from the trunk of my car, he was intrigued.” 

While inspecting the wound vac pump, her doctor immediately took notice of the device’s convenient features. “He was fairly impressed that the Motion weighs less than a pound without cartridge and has completely interchangeable tubing. This was a big factor for him, as he could use the tubing kits he was already using for other Medela NPWT pumps.”

Jennifer’s Firsthand Experience with Medela NPWT

At the start of her wound care treatment using Medela NPWT, Jennifer was thrilled to immediately return to work, thanks to the device’s easy use and low profile.

“When I met with my general manager, I asked him if he could see my ‘new apparatus.’ He thought I was crazy until I pulled the pump out of my pocket. He told me: ‘I’ve been sitting next to you for about half an hour, and I never heard a thing.”

"He thought I was crazy until I pulled the pump out of my pocket. He told me: ‘I’ve been sitting next to you for about half an hour, and I never heard a thing.”

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Jennifer checked in with her wound care clinic to ensure healing was on course. During that time, Jennifer had no major complications with her wound care device. She was able to shower and use computer monitors with ease, and even continued her normal back sleeping regimen. At work, she was able to do her job without any “poking, prodding, or anything uncomfortable.”

“I would close suction, take a bath, hook back up after I got out of the bathtub and then keep on going. Out of the three weeks that I wore the device, never once did I go back early to the wound care clinic with an issue. I didn’t lose suction or need to manipulate the Invia FitPad® or dressing.”

Additionally, her physician was just as impressed by the Invia Motion’s results as he was with its design. “The wound ended up healing within three weeks, which he loved. He told me that he couldn’t believe what was happening, given how small it was and how well it worked.”

Living – and Showing – the Patient Experience

“The wound ended up healing within three weeks, which he loved. He literally told me that he couldn’t believe what was happening, given small it was and how well it worked.”

When Jennifer’s Invia Motion NPWT pump was applied, she had yet to possess a thorough technical understanding of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy systems and their care benefits. Fortunately, her direct experience with the pump – as well as the support and educational resources offered by Medela Healthcare – helped her understanding of the advantages of negative pressure firsthand. She then used this experience to further educate and advocate for Medela’s NPWT devices and support with her team and her customers.

“All five reps on my team were able to run with it pretty fast,” says Jennifer, “because it’s really easy to use. We were able to get everyone to the point where they could confidently educate clinicans.”

Using the educational resources available to patients and physicians, Jennifer learned tips and tricks to both use her own pump and train wound care nurses at her customers’ facilities. And when Jennifer or her team had questions, Medela’s 24-hour support service provided timely knowledge and support .

“There was a definite ‘wow factor’ when I pulled the device out from under my shirt to show it first-hand. Doctors and nurses were surprised Negative Pressure Wound Therapy could be so discreet, and even more surprised at how fast I was healing, given how difficult the wound area was. I had one woman in a wound clinic that saw it, and told me I immediately needed to go over to her staff center and show them. They were all excited about it.”

For clinics experienced with the Invia Liberty™ and looking to add the more portable Motion® , she also notes that the transition couldn’t be easier. “The interchangeable tubes and familiar interface make it easy to adopt, since the basic operation is pretty much unchanged – you get the same great wound care in a much smaller, more flexible package.”

Embracing Medela NPWT for the Foreseeable Future

Jennifer’s direct experience with the Invia Motion® may not be over. “I’m going to need another surgery at some point soon, and it’s a guarantee that I’ll be requesting the Invia Motion as my device of choice,” she says. “No matter how difficult your wound is, the Invia Motion will get you there.”

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

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