Paralympian Bert Burns Shares Travel Tips for Wheelchair Users
Calender_icon Thursday, January 21st, 2016
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lisa wells

Courtesy of Wheel:Life

Giving up wasn’t an option for Bert Burns. Thirty-four years ago, Bert was involved in a devastating car wreck and became a C6-7 quadriplegic.  Although life as he knew it was altered forever, Bert refused to slow down and today is changing the way quadriplegics and paraplegics across the nation experience everyday life through the non-profit motivational program he co-founded called Life After Spinal Cord Injury [LASCI].

Prior to starting a leading urology supply company, UroMed, Bert competed for many years as an international wheelchair racer, winning events around the world.  Competing worldwide as a wheelchair racer until 2004, Bert was featured in 15 consecutive issues of SPORTS ‘N SPOKES magazine over the course of his sports career.   However, his greatest achievement in racing came in 1992 as he accepted a gold medal at the Barcelona Paralympics  for the 4×400 relay.

BertRacing

Bert’s racing achievements were featured in 15 consecutive issues of SPORTS ‘N SPOKES during the highlight of his sports career.

A seasoned world traveler, Bert shares his travel advice below.

Q: Bert, what kind of questions do you get from people who are new to using a wheelchair?

A: “During my motivational speaking events, people ask me about everything from wheelchair sports to using a catheter on a plane,” Bert says.  “They’re basic topics, but they’re the kinds of things you don’t even think about until your life is changed forever,” Bert says.   [Bert’s speaking events typically take place in rehabilitation hospitals and other locations to assist disabled youth and adults who have recently learned they will be using a wheelchair.]

Q: What kind of travel destinations do you choose for family vacations or getaways with your wife, Joy?

bert-cabo

Bert and his wife, Joy, love to vacation with friends like they are here in Mexico.

A: “While I maintain my independence and I’m able to do pretty much everything on my own, there are still things I can’t do. So when we go on vacation, walks on the beach and hikes into the mountains are out of the question. But we’ve worked around any can’t-dos with can-dos. Instead, we go on cruises, hang by the pool, scuba dive and snow ski together [via adaptive skiing].”

bert-adaptive-skiing

Q: I have a spinal cord injury, and I’ll be flying next week. What should I know?

A: “I fly a lot, nationally and internationally. The first thing you should always do before getting on bert-family-1the plane? Go pee. Either use a catheter or a leg bag, but go do it. And if you are going to be on a long flight, the night before you leave, do a bowel program.  Your biggest fear on an airplane will always be having a bowel accident.”

“When getting on the plane, you will wheel down the ramp, and they’ll transfer you to an aisle chair. They’ll take you back to your seat. Make sure you take your chair cushion with you.

“Don’t leave anything valuable in your wheelchair, and if you normally keep a bag under your chair, take it with you.”

Also, there is a new kind of leg bag that can help you tremendously when you are travelling. The new Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© empties your leg bag with a push of a button – and it tells you when it’s time.  It eliminates the worry of not having access to a restroom when you need one, and can also alleviate your fears of AD when travelling.”

Q:  Why would wheelchair users be worried about the risk of Autonomic Dysreflexia when travelling?

A: “Autonomic Dysreflexia [AD] is a huge risk for leg bag users. It is often caused by urine backing up into the bladder, when you don’t empty your leg bag often enough. That can happen when you’re on the road and not near a bathroom. I know about this issue personally because I wear a leg bag myself. The Melio system was designed with AD in mind.

“Melio’s alert intentionally goes off when the bag is at 2/3 full because at that level of fullness, it is impossible for the wearer to get AD due to urine backing up into the bladder. In addition, the anti-reflux valve that is built into the system will prevent urine backflow into the bladder.”

Q: When you travel places, are your kids embarrassed because dad is in a wheelchair?

A: “No, not at all! My kids want to know why other dads don’t have a wheelchair. It’s like a great toy for them.  They love riding in my lap, even now that they are nearly teenagers. It’s really opened up their minds to see all the things their dad can do.”

Bert with his son, Will, at an Alabama football game.

Bert with his son, Will, at an Alabama football game.

“One thing though that really helps me avoid embarrassing situations is the Melio leg bag system. That’s another reason why I recommend it while travelling, as you never know when you might need to use a restroom and sometimes that may not be available if you are on a plane or on the road.  Also, because quads like me have more limited hand function, it is often difficult for them to empty their leg bags on their own. That’s why the Melio controller comes with a magnetic bracelet that can be used to activate the self-emptying pump, without the wearer having to press any buttons – no hassle, no mess to clean up.”

Learn more about Melio here.

Q: Any last words of advice for travelers on wheels?

A: “Sure, if you are new to using a wheelchair, always keep this in mind. There are 10,000 things you can do, and in a wheelchair there are 7,000. So are you going to go home and think of the 3,000 things you can’t do? No! Go do the 7000 things that you can do, focus on the positive,” Bert insists.

bert-joy-spain

Bert isn’t afraid to explore the world, and you shouldn’t be either!

More than anything, Bert encourages other friends who use wheelchairs to not be afraid to get out and enjoy life!

“All of us are using a wheelchair now, and a lot of times, it’s not fair,” Bert says. “Once you go home from rehab you have two choices to make – If you go home and say, life sucks, it will. Or you can go home and say, ‘These are the cards I was dealt, and I’m going to make the most of them.’ If that’s the choice you make, you’ll be OK. What choice are YOU going to make?”



Melio User & Quadriplegic Joe Digiorgio Shares His Story
Calender_icon Monday, November 9th, 2015
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lisa wells

Quadriplegic Joe Digiorgio shares his experience with using the Melio Leg Bag System. The Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System is the leg bag that empties at the touch of a button, and tells you when it’s time!



New Mobility Magazine Features Melio in 2016 Consumer Product Guide
Calender_icon Sunday, November 1st, 2015
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lisa wells

New Mobility Magazine has featured Melio Leg Bag Systems in their November 2015 issue that also contains their 2016 Consumer Product Guide. Adaptive products and adaptive lifestyles go hand in hand. The annual Consumer Guide from New Mobility Magazine shows you the tech — and the techniques — for living fully on wheels.

NMNovCover

Look, Ma! — No More Pee Spills!

Jen Lane, 53, of Port Charlotte, Fla., was injured eight years ago and has a C4-6 incomplete injury. She went to Jackson Memorial Rehab in Miami. She uses a wheelchair full-time, has partial use of fingers, good biceps but no triceps, so she fumbles with things from lack of good dexterity. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally dumped my leg bag trying to empty it.”

At first she tried intermittent cathing, had problems with urine backing up, swelling and infections, so she changed to a Foley but had occasional infections with that, too. Her bladder regimen gradually evolved into a hybrid system of wearing a Foley for three consecutive days each week, followed by IC for four days. “Neither system by itself does the job, but the combination of the two works best for me.”

She started using the Melio self-emptying leg bag system with her Foley about a year and a half ago and has no complaints about it. In fact, she says it has made a big difference in her life. “I don’t have to worry about overflowing or leaks, and I don’t have to worry about dumping it on myself. The system makes it easy, no bag rupturing or backing up.” The bag signals when it is time to empty (two-thirds full).

While her Florida Medicaid won’t pay for it, she says, she received a free starter kit and subsequent replacements from Melio for trying out the system and giving feedback and suggestions. “They are nice people who are really concerned about making it the best product it can be.” At first she thought the system wouldn’t work for her because the pump module attached to the bag might weigh too much and make handling difficult. “But that didn’t happen at all,” she says. “When I started using it, I didn’t have any problems.”

She likes the freedom from worry and hassle that the system gives her when she is in a public restroom, or any restroom. “You don’t have to worry about hiking your leg on a toilet, you just free up the discharge tube, aim it at the toilet, press the button and empty.”

Bert Burns, 54, of Suwanee, Ga., is no stranger to NEW MOBILITY readers [“Becoming an Entrepreneur,” March 2013]. A C6-7 quad since the age of 20, Burns started up UroMed in 1996, and later, the nonprofit Life After Spinal Cord Injury. He sold UroMed just last year. Burns also was a gold medalist in the 1992 Paralympics.

Burns opted to have a suprapubic catheter system post-injury. A suprapubic drains an indwelling Foley catheter into a leg bag from a stoma near the belly button. Until he learned about the Melio self-emptying leg bag system, he did the best he could emptying his own leg bag, which strapped to his calf. But limited finger dexterity caused occasionally problems. “Sometimes I would spill pee on myself, usually on my foot. Or I would even lose my shoe in the toilet trying to handle my leg bag, or I would dump pee on the floor.”

Then there was the problem of encountering a nondisabled person camped out in the handicapped stall, forcing use of a urinal. Now with his Melio system he can pull a tube from his waistband, aim it, press a lever-button on his waistband controller and pump a stream of pee directly into the urinal or the toilet. The obvious advantages are greater privacy, less hassle, quick action and little danger of spillage.

Bert-family

Self-Emptying on a Plane
Burns says there is another advantage. During his travels as an inspirational speaker for LASCI, he no longer has to limit his fluid consumption before boarding a plane. “I just put a magazine over my lap or lean to one side and push the controller lever and pee into an empty bottle. No one even notices. I usually bring an empty Gatorade bottle or some colored bottle with me.”

He had a little difficulty at first putting the system on by himself, but with just a few days practice, he got the time down to about two minutes. He says he thinks this system is great for quads in the C5-7 range, or others with less use of their arms and hands who can use an attendant to help.

Burns has done a commercial for Melio and sometimes speaks at rehab centers accompanied by a salesman for AssuraMed (a urological company that sells the Melio system), and he uses a Melio system himself most of the time. “If I wear shorts, I use a sports bag, but with long pants I use the Melio system,” he says.

Joe Digiorgio, 27, of Point Pleasant, N.J., a C5 quad for three years, says the Melio system has improved his quality of life. At Kessler Rehab, he was outfitted with a Foley catheter and a leg bag strapped to his calf. He had difficulty bending over, emptying the bag and sitting upright again. When he went home he was dependent on family members to do it for him. “I didn’t want to be a big bother asking them to get down on one knee and empty it.” He had an attendant for one month, but no more. Not wanting to ask for help from complete strangers in public kept him from going out by himself. He lives with his family at home.

In August of 2014 he saw an ad for the Melio system in NEW MOBILITY and contacted the UK-based company. He purchased a system out of pocket in December 2014 and has been using it ever since. There is a one-time cost for the waistband controller ($109), which lasts for three to five years; two leg bags, two night bags and simple accessories cost him $70 a month. Since May of this year, he says his Medicare coverage has kicked in and he has not yet received any bills.

As for putting on the system and using it, “I am completely independent now, “ he says. “It’s the only reason I leave the house by myself. I take Access Link (call-up bus service) and go wherever I want, but sometimes I don’t get the pick-up time I want.” His worries about having an autonomic dysreflexia incident have been put to rest. “Before, I would worry about not being able to empty my bag and my bladder getting backed up and triggering AD. Now the Melio system signals me when to empty, and I do it with the waistband controller. The other change is I’m not afraid to drink as much water as I want or need. Before I would sometimes get dehydrated from not drinking for fear of having problems.”

Digiorgio is currently going to community college and has plans to attend a university or college and earn an engineering degree. He has his driver’s license for hand controls and is looking forward to being able to purchase his own van with help from voc rehab. “Once I get my own vehicle,” he says, “I’m all set.”

For more info, contact www.meliolegbag.com.

READ FULL STORY VIA NEW MOBILITY MAGAZINE – NOV. 2015

 



New Product Has a Leg Up On Innovation
Calender_icon Monday, September 21st, 2015
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lisa wells

As seen on PN Online

PN

Millions of people wrestle with the challenges that come with wearing a leg bag. Those include unexpected leaks; complications in emptying the bag when you are on the road and other surprises that may literally “pop up.”

Stories abound about leg bags going awry, with fellow wheelchair users sharing a laugh over leaving a trail on the dance floor, or losing a shoe in the toilet as they prop their leg up to empty their system.

There’s a better way to wear your leg bag, a new product that focuses on you as the star of the show while keeping your leg bag where it belongs – discreetly hidden away.

melio natalie 2
The new Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© empties your leg bag with a push of a button – and it tells you when it’s time.  Created by a British inventor who wanted to help his father who had suffered a stroke, Melio was born out of a desire to restore independence and dignity for leg bag users worldwide.

Former Paralympic athlete and Life After Spinal Cord Injury [LASCI] founder Bert Burns discovered Melio during a Medtrade event.

“Melio answers one of the biggest inconveniences of using the bathroom when you’re away from home. It never fails – every time I visit a public restroom, the handicap stall is occupied by someone who is not a wheelchair user,” Burns explains. “With Melio, I don’t have to wait for that stall to free up. I can just roll up to the urinal like any other person and empty the leg bag system straight into the urinal. No mess, no clean up.”

Melio Offers Independence and Convenience

melio-leg-bagBesides its’ obvious convenience, Melio is known to increase independence by:

Eliminating embarrassing drips or leaks – by the push of a button you can empty this leg bag. This way you don’t have to move your leg or get your hands wet.

Eliminating backflow – let the built-in sensor alert you when the bag is full. With this reminder, you can avoid backflows.

Reduce the risk of a UTI – without the hassle of emptying your leg bag, it helps to encourage proper hydration, which in return can reduce the risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Keeping it simple – the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System not only relieves individuals of the everyday struggle of emptying their leg bag, but it helps to improve their quality of life by being discrete and easy to use.

How It Works

The integrated sensor in the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© monitors the urine bag level, sending a signal to the controller when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full.

The controller on your waistband alerts you when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full via a flashing amber light and discreet vibration. You can also turn on an audio alarm. When you’re ready to empty the urine bag, simply push the buttons on the top or bottom of the controller to activate the pump.

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If you have limited dexterity, you can use the magnetic bracelet to activate the pump. Simply hold the bracelet against the front of the controller to activate it.

Get Connected with Melio

Learn more about the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System or try it for yourself. Visit their user-friendly website at www.meliolegbag.com or call 800-482-2907. Or, you can inquire about Melio with your local urological supplies provider who can obtain the product from Independence Medical.

See FULL STORY on PN Online to learn how you can experience the Melio difference



Paralympian Bert Burns Partners with Melio Leg Bag Systems
Calender_icon Friday, August 14th, 2015
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lisa wells

bert melio header

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Paralympian Bert Burns Partners with Melio Leg Bag Systems

Quadriplegic Bert Burns, founder of UroMed and Life After Spinal Cord Injury, recommends Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© for leg bag users who seek home-delivery convenience and insurance reimbursement to support their continence care needs.

[Liverpool, England, UK] August 14, 2015 – Albert Medical Devices, maker of Melio — the revolutionary self-emptying leg bag system that you can control with a touch of a button (and tells you when it’s time), has premiered a new educational video in partnership with Paralympian Bert Burns.

“We are honored to collaborate with Bert Burns to share as his perspective as a leg bag user. Bert’s insight gives leg bag users a better view of the daily benefits and advantages provided by the Melio self-emptying leg bag system. Since launching Melio in the US earlier this year, the customer response to this revolutionary approach to managing leg bag use has been fantastic,” says Dr. Matt Pearce, CEO of Albert Medical.

Urinary leg bags are commonly used by people who have neurogenic bladder due to paralysis, multiple sclerosis or another condition. Most leg bag users don’t realize that new technology exists through Melio that can help empty their leg bag in an easier fashion, while increasing their independence and mobility. Displayed on the Melio website, the new educational video featuring Bert Burns demonstrates the leg bag system’s innovative technology and the positive impact it can have on the daily lives of wheelchair users worldwide.

See the video at: https://youtu.be/oRE5XC-0S7c or at www.meliolegbag.com.

“Melio answers one of the biggest inconveniences of using the restroom when you’re away from home. It never fails – every time you visit a public restroom, the handicap stall is occupied by someone who is not a wheelchair user,” Burns explains. “With Melio, you don’t have to wait for that stall to free up. You can just roll up to the urinal like any other person and empty the leg bag system straight into the urinal. No mess, no clean up.”

How Melio Works

The integrated sensor in the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© monitors the urine bag level, sending a signal to the wearer’s controller when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full.

Worn on the waistband, Melio’s controller alerts the wearer when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full via a flashing light and discreet vibration. The device also features an audio alarm. When the wearer is ready to empty the urine bag, they simply push the button on the top or bottom of the controller to activate the pump.

melio bag

For users with limited dexterity, a magnetic bracelet can be worn and used to activate the pump. Users simply hold the bracelet against the front of the controller to activate it.

Additionally, users can empty the urine bag without raising their leg using Melio’s extended Discharge Tube. Different tube lengths are available to meet individual needs. Both the tube and controller can be worn under clothing or tucked it into the wearer’s waistband for easy access.

The Leg Bag, Pump and Discharge Tube are an integrated, disposable unit. The system’s controller is rechargeable and is designed to last for years with reasonable care.

To learn more or to try the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© for yourself, visit http://www.meliolegbag.com or call 800-482-2907 for immediate assistance.

About Bert Burns

Bert Burns is renowned throughout the healthcare field as the founder of UroMed, an industry-leading catheter supply company that assists thousands of people nationwide with various physical disabilities. Bert founded UroMed more than 16 years ago to help serve people with needs similar to his own with disposable catheters, urological and continence care medical supplies.

When Bert was in his 20s he suffered a life-changing injury after being thrown from his car during an accident. Facing the future as a quadriplegic however was not the end but the just the beginning for Bert. His injury was a blessing in disguise and enabled him to realize dreams that he never would have had before being injured.

bert lasci

Bert’s path to success however started with one person, a recreation therapist during his rehabilitation who introduced him to wheelchair sports. Reluctantly, Bert gave it a try and ended up competing as a wheelchair athlete on a global scale for 15 years, winning numerous international events including a gold medal at the 1992 Paralympics.

His work now primarily centers around UroMed’s non-profit, educational program called Life After Spinal Cord Injury (LASCI), a motivational program that takes place in rehabilitation hospitals and other locations to positively influence youth and adults who have recently learned they will be using a wheelchair. LASCI has more than 48,000 members worldwide.

About Albert Medical Devices

The maker of the Melio leg bag system, Albert Medical Devices, is an award-winning technology company located in the United Kingdom. Melio was created by founder Trevor Wills after his father experienced a severe stroke that required him to use a urinary catheter and urine collection bag. An accomplished inventor and engineer, Trevor decided there had to be a better, more dignified way for his father to manage his continence care.

Since its original development, the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System has undergone extensive user testing and refinement, transforming the lives for catheter users on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Learn more at http://www.meliolegbag.com or call 800-482-2907.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
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Brave New World for Leg Bag Wearers
Calender_icon Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
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lisa wells

As seen on Abilities.com

Abilities Expo

Wear a leg bag? If you run into challenges with managing it while going about your day, read on for some tips on making leg bag use easier and more discreet. Up to 2 million people in the US can benefit from leg bag use, either temporarily or long term. If you’re one of the many people who use a leg bag as part of your continence care regimen, rest assured—you’re not alone.

Urinary leg bags are commonly used by people who have neurogenic bladder due to stroke, paralysis, multiple sclerosis or another condition.

Cheerful young nurse woman with senior man in wheelchair

Like you, scores of people wrestle with the challenges that come with wearing a leg bag. Those include unexpected leaks, complications in emptying the bag when you are on the road and not at home, and other surprises that may literally “pop” up.

You Should Be the Star of the Show, Not Your Leg Bag

Quadriplegic and Paralympian Bert Burns personally understands the challenges that can come with wearing a leg bag. As a past Abilities Expo workshop presenter and the founder of Life After Spinal Cord Injury, Burns has used a leg bag for more than 33 years.

melio-leg-bag

“Right after I got home from rehab for my spinal cord injury, I had a date with a young lady who offered to pick me up in her brand-new car,” Burns shares. “Mind you, this was over 30 years ago before I was married, well before we had the advancements available today in leg bag use.”

When he rolled up to the passenger side of his date’s car, Burns explains, “I was confident I could transfer into her car all by myself. I certainly didn’t want my date’s help to do that! So as I began to swing my leg over into the car, and lift myself up to transfer over, the last thing on my mind was my leg bag resting low around my ankle. Somehow, I grazed the bag as I pulled my leg into the car, and it burst on the spot. I sat there horrified, in the front seat of my date’s new car, as my leg bag emptied out onto her floorboard.”

Fortunately for Bert, his date was forgiving even if his leg bag wasn’t. However, the memory of that unpleasant experience has stayed with him for a lifetime.

melio3WL

Stories abound about leg bags going awry, with fellow wheelchair users sharing a laugh over leaving a trail on the dance floor, or losing a shoe in the toilet as they prop their leg up to empty their system. Most people take it in stride, chalking up those moments as being part of the ongoing dues for this club that no one asked to join—the fraternity of wheelchair users worldwide.

Your leg bag experience doesn’t have to be like that, though. There’s a better way to wear your leg bag, a way that focuses on you as the star of the show while keeping your leg bag where it belongs—discreetly hidden away.

Taking Control of Your Leg Bag with Melio

While many people choose to increase their independence and mobility with discreet, convenient leg bags, most don’t realize that new technology exists that can help empty your leg bag in an easier fashion.

The new Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System empties your leg bag with a push of a button—and it tells you when it’s time! Besides increasing independence the Melio is also designed to:

  • Eliminate embarrassing drips or leaks: By the push of a button, you can empty this leg bag. This way you don’t have to move your leg or get your hands wet.
  • Eliminate backflow: The built-in sensor alerts you when the bag is full. With this reminder, you can avoid backflows.
  • Help reduce the risk of a UTI: Without the hassle of emptying your leg bag, it helps to encourage proper hydration, which in return can reduce the risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
  • Keep it simple: The Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System not only relieves individuals of the everyday struggle of emptying their leg bag, but it helps to improve their quality of life by being discrete and easy to use.

New Jersey native and C5 quadriplegic Joe Digiorgio discovered Melio during a recent Abilities Expo event.

“As a tetraplegic I was unable to manage my own bladder care (emptying my leg bag) which made me nervous to go out in public alone for fear of Autonomic Dysreflexia,” Digiorgio explains. “The Melio leg bag system gave me confidence to go out alone without causing harm by not drinking water. It has also given me independence at home being able to empty the bag myself instead of asking for help, the system greatly improves quality of life for people in my situation.”

Retro Style Women & Men Bathroom Sign

Get In and Go with Melio

How many times have you found the handicap stall occupied in a public restroom? Get in and go without the wait!

“Melio answers one of the biggest inconveniences of using the bathroom when you’re away from home. It never fails—every time I visit a public restroom, the handicap stall is occupied by someone who is not a wheelchair user,” Burns adds. “With Melio, I don’t have to wait for that stall to free up. I can just roll up to the urinal like any other person and empty the leg bag system straight into the urinal. No mess, no clean up.”

How does Melio Work?

The integrated sensor in the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System monitors the urine bag level, sending a signal to the controller when the leg bag is approximately two thirds full.

The controller on your waistband alerts you when the leg bag is approximately two thirds full via a flashing amber light and discreet vibration. You can also turn on an audio alarm. When you’re ready to empty the urine bag, simply push the buttons on the top or bottom of the controller to activate the pump. If you have limited dexterity, simply hold the magnetic bracelet against the front of the controller to activate the pump.

melio1

Melio lets you empty your leg bag with a push of a button—and tells you when it’s time!

You can empty the urine bag without raising your leg using the extended Discharge Tube. Place the tube under your clothing and tuck it into your waistband for easy access. Different lengths are available to meet your needs. The Leg Bag, Pump and Discharge Tube are an integrated, disposable unit. The controller is rechargeable and is designed to last for years with reasonable care.

Caregivers also benefit from the freedom and flexibility that Melio provides.

See FULL STORY on abilities.com to learn how you can experience the Melio difference



U.K. Company Melio Finds U.S. Distributor
Calender_icon Friday, May 22nd, 2015
User_icon
lisa wells

As seen on HME News

hmenewsmasthead

EXTON, Pa. – Albert Medical Devices, maker of Melio, has formed a distribution partnership with ABC Medical, the company announced this week.The Liverpool, England-based company introduced Melio, a self-emptying leg bag system for catheters, to the U.S. market at Medtrade in April.

melio5lowres

“We are delighted to work in partnership with ABC Medical, as this gives more people across the U.S. access to the Melio self-emptying leg bag system through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers,” said Matt Pearce, CEO of Albert Medical, in a release.“Since launching Melio in the U.S. earlier this year, the customer response has been fantastic.” The Exton, Pa.-based ABC Medical is a urological and continence care supplies provider.

Read the FULL STORY on HME News 



Avoiding Accidents & Embarrassment When Wearing a Leg Bag
Calender_icon Monday, May 18th, 2015
User_icon
lisa wells

As Seen On Wheel:Life

wlbanner

Wear a leg bag? If you run into challenges with managing it while going about your day, read on for some tips on making leg bag use easier and more discreet.

More People Wear Leg Bags Than You Realize

If you’re one of the many people who use a leg bag as part of your continence care regimen, rest assured — you’re not alone.

MeerblickUrinary leg bags are commonly used by people who have neurogenic bladder due to stroke, paralysis, multiple sclerosis or another condition.   In the US, studies show that up to 2 million people may benefit from using a leg bag, either temporarily or long-term.

Like you, scores of people wrestle with the challenges that come with wearing a leg bag. Those include unexpected leaks, complications in emptying the bag when you are on the road and not at home, and other surprises that may literally “pop up.”

You Should Be the Star of the Show – Not Your Leg Bag

Quadriplegic & Paralympian Bert Burns personally understands the challenges that can come with wearing a leg bag, as he has used one himself for more than 33 years.

“Right after I got home from rehab for my spinal cord injury, I had a date with a lovely young lady who offered to pick me up in her brand-new car,” Burns shares. “Mind you, this was over 30 years ago before I was married, well before we had the advancements available today in leg bag use.”

As he rolled up to the passenger side of his date’s car, Burns explains, “I was confident I could transfer into her car all by myself. I certainly didn’t want my date’s help to do that! So as I began to swing my leg over into the car, and lift myself up to transfer over, the last thing on my mind was my leg bag resting low around my ankle. Somehow, I grazed the bag as I pulled my leg into the car, and it burst on the spot. I sat there horrified, in the front seat of my date’s new car, as my leg bag emptied out onto her floorboard.”

Yellow is a color best suited for the outside of your car. On the inside? Not so much.

Yellow is a color best suited for the outside of your car. On the inside? Not so much.

Fortunately for Bert, his date was forgiving even if his leg bag wasn’t. However, the memory of that unpleasant experience has stayed with him for a lifetime.

Stories abound about leg bags going awry, with fellow wheelchair users sharing a laugh over leaving a trail on the dance floor, or losing a shoe in the toilet as they prop their leg up to empty their system. Most people take it in stride, chalking up those moments as being part of the ongoing dues for this club that no one asked to join – the fraternity of wheelchair users worldwide.

Your leg bag experience doesn’t have to be like that, though. There’s a better way to wear your leg bag, a way that focuses on you as the star of the show while keeping your leg bag where it belongs – discreetly hidden away.

Taking Control of Your Leg Bag with Melio

While many people choose to increase their independence and mobility with discreet, convenient leg bags, most don’t realize that new technology exists that can help empty your leg bag in an easier fashion. The new Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© empties your leg bag with a push of a button – and it tells you when it’s time!

See FULL STORY on Wheel:Life to learn how Melio is known to increase independence!



Melio Hits US Market with Smart Leg Bag
Calender_icon Friday, April 3rd, 2015
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lisa wells

As seen in HME News

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Friday, April 3, 2015

LAS VEGAS – Melio, maker of a non-proprietary, self-emptying leg bag system for catheters, launched on U.S. soil at Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas last week.

The Liverpool, England-based company launched in the U.S. because of its more advanced distribution network and reimbursement structure, says CEO Matt Pearce.

Dr. Matt Pearce, CEO of Albert Medical - the makers of Melio Leg Bag System

Dr. Matt Pearce, CEO of Albert Medical – the makers of Melio Leg Bag System

“You have six or seven very large DME providers and a whole network of smaller regional providers,” he said. “There are also reimbursed codes for products like this.”

The system was created by Trevor Wills, an electrical engineer, for his father, a stroke victim. The key: a sensor in the bag that sends a signal to a controller on the user’s waistband when the bag is two-thirds full. With the push of a button, the controller activates a small electric pump that empties the bag through an extended discharge tube. The user can tuck the tube into his or her waistbands for easy access.

Melio fills a void in the market for a system that allows catheter users, who often have limited mobility and dexterity, to empty their bags without the help of a caregiver, Pearce says.

“Many users have had spinal cord injuries—they can’t bend over and empty their bags,” he said. “So they rely on caregivers to empty them, and that affects their dignity and independence.”

When you make it easier for users to empty their bags, you also help them avoid complications—a nervous system disease caused by the leg bag overfilling and the catheter blocking; or a UTI from reduced water intake from fear of overfilling, Pearce says.

“It takes away that fear,” he said.

Melio’s plan at Medtrade Spring was to get HME providers to add the system to their product mix—the controller is a cash purchase, but two leg bags per month are reimbursed by Medicare, Pearce says.

“We package the bags as a replenishment pack,” he said. “In there is everything they need—two leg bags, nighttime bags, straps, connectors.”

It’d be a smart move for providers to pick up the system, says Lisa Wells, president of Get Social Consulting, which is working with Melio. An article about the system that she posted to wheel:life, an online community for wheelchair users, got more than 500 click-throughs in two weeks, she says.

“The interest level is definitely there,” she said.

READ FULL STORY ON HME NEWS



The Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System Brings Innovation to a Tedious Task
Calender_icon Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
User_icon
lisa wells

As Seen On Wheel:Life

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Urinary leg bags are commonly used by people who have neurogenic bladder due to paralysis, multiple sclerosis or another condition.

Many people choose to increase their independence and mobility with discreet, convenient leg bags, but most don’t realize that new technology exists that can help empty your leg bag in an easier fashion.

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Have you ever imaged being able to empty your own leg bag with just a touch of a button or a wave of your wrist?

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Welcome to the world of the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System©! This system is known to increase independence by:

  • Eliminating embarrassing drips or leaks – by the push of a button you can empty this leg bag. This way you don’t have to move your leg or get your hands wet.
  • Eliminating backflow – let the built-in sensor alert you when the bag is full. With this reminder, you can avoid backflows.
  • Reduce the risk of a UTI – without the hassle of emptying your leg bag, it helps to encourage proper hydration, which in return can reduce the risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
  • Keeping it simple – the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System not only relieves individuals of the everyday struggle of emptying their leg bag, but it helps to improve their quality of life by being discrete and easy o use.

How does Melio Work?

The integrated sensor in the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© monitors the urine bag level, sending a signal to the controller when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full.

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The controller on your waistband alerts you when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full via a flashing amber light and discreet vibration.  You can also turn on an audio alarm. When you’re ready to empty the urine bag, simply push the buttons on the top or bottom of the controller to activate the pump. If you have limited dexterity, you can use the magnetic bracelet to activate the pump. Simply hold the bracelet against the front of the controller to activate it.

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You can empty the urine bag without raising your leg using the extended Discharge Tube. Place the tube under your clothing and tuck it into your waistband for easy access. Different lengths are available to meet your needs. The Leg Bag, Pump and Discharge Tube are an integrated, disposable unit. The controller is rechargeable and is designed to last for years with reasonable care.

Why People Love the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System

“My name is Joseph and I require the use of a Suprapubic catheter as a result of a C5 spinal cord injury. As a tetraplegic, I was unable to manage my own bladder care (including emptying my leg bag) which made me nervous to go out in public alone. I was afraid of Autonomic Dysreflexia occurring if my leg bag would fill up and my bladder would become distended.

When I would go out, I would limit my fluid intake to next to nothing to avoid this, which is detrimental to any catheter user. The Melio leg bag system gave me confidence to go out without causing harm by not drinking water. It as well gave me independence even at home, being able to empty the bag myself instead of asking for help. The system greatly improves quality of life for people in my situation.”

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“It’s an amazing product. It made me feel better and in control. Before I had all the reasons to stay home and that has really depressed me. I feel better now because I am able to live and act as a normal person.” — 37-year-old female Melio leg bag patient

Below are a few of the more common questions that people ask when they first discover the Melio leg bag system.

Can the Melio leg bag be attached to a night bag?

Yes. Simply attach the discharge tube to your night bag and urine will automatically drain through the Melio system and into your night bag.

Can the Melio leg bag be worn on the thigh?

Wearing the leg bag on thigh is not recommended. The fill sensor will be very inaccurate if the bag is worn on the thigh. A Melio thigh bag is currently being developed.

Can I activate the pump to empty the leg bag any time? Does it require a minimum urine volume to work?

You control the pump, and you can empty the bag any time you choose. The pump will work at very small fluid volumes.

How often do I need to use a brand new leg bag?

The Melio leg bag should be changed every 7 days or sooner, if recommended by your health care provider. This change time helps reduce bacteria build-up in the pump and tubing.

When I change the leg bag, can I keep tubing and connectors in case I need them in the future?

No. Wrap the whole system in paper or place it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash as you would with other household medical waste. Tubing and connectors cannot be reused.

Click here to learn more about Melio & insurance reimbursement.

See FULL STORY on Wheel:life to learn the story behind Melio’s Self-Emptying Leg Bag System