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Home / Medical Supplies Buyer Guides

Medical Supplies Buyer Guides

You may have come across disposable medical supplies such as blood sugar test strips (for diabetes), incontinence products (catheters, disposable underwear), bandages and protective gloves. Often, we leave these up to the medical professional or practitioner to give to us, however, when the time comes to purchase these on your own there is little advice to be found on the internet. Below we have listed a few items from our personal care range with buying tips and advice.

Incontinence Supplies

Although they are at the other end of the cost scale, incontinence supplies are no less important to get right. We offer a range of products, each of which has several varieties and sizes. There are pull-on briefs, adult diapers with different types of tapes and waistbands, night-time briefs, waterproof shields, products for men and women, disposable pads, under pads for bedding or chairs, skin care products, male external catheters, sterile catheters, drainage bags, suppositories and more.

Personal preference plays a large role in making appropriate choices. Some factors to consider are: absorbency, fit, ease of changing and price.  Below we list some of the typical pads you will find to purchase, and what advantages each has.

Classic Rectangular Pads & Booster Pads

Classic Rectangular Pads are primarily designed for use with pouch pants or net/mesh pants, they have a waterproof backing and a ‘stay-dry’ fabric between the pad and your skin and these are designed to ensure that the urine goes into the pad and not through to your skin or clothing. These pads are most suitable for light to moderate urinary incontinence; if you are experiencing more severe symptoms this is not the most appropriate type of pad for you.

Shaped Pads

Shaped Pads fall into two categories, Small Shaped or Large Shaped, and there is a considerable difference in the physical size of the pad between the two. The Small Shaped Pads are for light to moderate incontinence and the Large Shaped Pads for Moderate to Heavy conditions.

These pads are contoured to fit the body thus ensuring a good snug fit and reducing the risk of any leakage.

Pull Up Incontinence Pants

Pull up incontinence pants are a popular choice as they are worn in the same manner as regular underwear. They have a built in absorbent pad and are completely disposable.

A range of absorbency levels are available in this type of product starting from a light/discreet product through to varieties aimed at moderate and heavy conditions. These will also typically have a waterproof but breathable backsheet and ‘lock in’ core providing excellent skin integrity.   It is important get the correct size for the user so you should enquire with your supplier to ensure you get the correct fit.

All-in-one Pads

If you are experiencing severe leakages, these pads are ideal. Suitable for both urinal and faecal leakage, All-in-one Pads are designed much like a nappy. They have adhesive tapes either side - these hold the pad in place. Just like the other pad types that we have mentioned, All-in-one Pads contain a waterproof layer to ensure that your clothing and furniture is well protected should you leak.


Compression Stockings:

Next, we will look at compression stockings. Not all compression stockings are the same. There are 4 main compression levels which are measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The higher the numbers, the higher the compression. The stocking should cover the area on your leg where you're experiencing the problem. Remember it is up to your doctor to decide which level of compression is right for you. You should always consult your doctor or medical professional before wearing compression hosiery. They will assist you with selecting the appropriate level of compression for your condition.

Light Compression (8-15 MMHG)

Light compression therapy is recommended for the relief of:

  • Tired, aching legs
  • Help reduce minor swelling in the ankle and legs
  • Alleviate pain associated with very mild varicose veins
  • Energizes legs fatigued by long periods of sitting or standing
  • Commonly used by people with healthy legs as preventative measure.

Moderate Compression (15-20 MMHG)

Moderate Compression Stockings are recommended for the relief of the following symptoms:

  • Mild to moderate leg swelling
  • Tired, aching legs and mild leg pain
  • Superficial or early varicose veins
  • Slight ankle swelling
  • Mild edema
  • Mild varicosity during pregnancy
  • Spider veins
  • Mild leg swelling after cast removal
  • Post-Operative for less severe procedures

Helps to reduce the risk of circulatory problems such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in normal-risk patients, especially during periods of long travel.

Extra Firm Compression (20 – 30 MMHG)

Extra Firm Compression Hosiery is recommended to treat a number of symptoms for more severe leg disorders:

  • Moderate swelling or edema
  • Mild to moderate leg pain
  • Medium severity varicose veins
  • Chronic ankle swelling
  • Painful varicosity during pregnancy
  • Reversible mild lymphedema
  • To assist fluid dynamics
  • Prevention and treatment of post phlebitis
  • Control of leg swelling after cast removal
  • Post-surgery, including vein stripping, schlerotherapy, and EVLT per a doctor’s recommendation
  • Reduces the risk of circulatory problems such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) especially during periods of long travel
  • Prevention of reoccurrence of venous ulcerations in the leg

Maximum/Surgical Compression (30-40 MMHG)

Maximum or Surgical Compression Stockings should be used by patients with severe circulatory disorders of the legs, including:

  • Severe swelling or edema
  • More severe varicose veins
  • Prevention of reoccurrence of venous ulcerations in the leg
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Distended, tortuous vein stripping, schlerotherapy, and EVLT per a doctor’s recommendation
  • Phlebitis and venous insufficiency
  • Relief of chronic leg fatigue and heaviness
  • Pronounced chronic ankle swelling due to circulatory deficiency
  • Prophylaxis of clotting (thrombosis) after vein stripping
  • Severe lymphedema

Heat Cold Therapy

Heat & Cold therapy are two of the simplest, least expensive and one of the most effective methods of pain relief. With so many options out there now, it can be hard to know which will be the most effective for your injury or pain.

Cold therapy works well after a sudden injury. Cold should be applied when you wish to reduce swelling or a strong pain on an acute injury. The reason behind the swelling of any injury is too much blood is flowing to that spot and you need to restrict the flow to the area which cold therapy does.  See our Poli Aire Ice n Heat Cervical Pillow for quick and firm pain relief.

For muscle aches and pains, applying a heat pack will help bring blood flow to the area, which promotes healing and soothes pain. For example, heat treatment can benefit conditions such as back pain, muscle spasms, and muscular pain. Our Rechargeable Electric Hot Water Bottle is great for relieving pain quickly. 

When looking to buy heat or cold therapy products it is also best to consult your physician or a medical professional before making any big decisions.


If you are looking to make a purchase of the above medical supplies, or any other products on our site, please feel free to get into contact with one of our team who will be happy to help.

Tel: 818-920-8093