“Lymphedema” is the buildup of abnormally thick lymph fluid creating swelling most often in one or both of the arms or legs. This condition typically develops when lymph nodes or lymph vessels have been damaged, removed, are impaired or even missing resulting in the blockage or interruption in the flow of the lymph.

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

• Persistent swelling in part or all of your arm(s) or leg(s) including fingers or toes
• Heaviness, constriction or tightness in the affected limb
• Limited mobility due to swelling
• Aching or discomfort
• Recurring infections or open wounds
• Discoloration, hardening and thickening of skin

Therapists can help manage lymphedema and provide relief from some of the symptoms.  Therapy sessions may include:

• Specific exercises for the affected limb
• Manual lymphatic drainage technique (a form of gentle skin massaging intended to encourage typical drainage of lymph)
• Decongestive therapy with the use of compression stockings or sleeves, or specialized wrapping techniques
• Wound care in coordination with primary care providers
For your certified Physical or Occupational Therapists, please call 712-755-4342.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Immunization Awareness Month 2017 News Graphic

A Healthy Start Begins with On-Time Vaccinations

Immunizations give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before age 2.

To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives—and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need— Myrtue Medical Center’s Department of Public Health is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. The first week of the month focuses on babies and young children and emphasized a healthy start for little ones beginning with on-time vaccinations.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness and of having a severe case,” said Lori Hoch, Public Health Director. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious disease. Talk to your doctor or other health care professionals to make sure your child is up-to-date on all the vaccines he or she needs.”

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, mumps and chicken pox. There are many important reasons to make sure your child is vaccinated:

  • Immunizations can protect your child form 14 serious diseased by age 2.
  • Vaccination is very safe and effective.
  • Immunizations can protect others you care about and the community as a whole.
  • Immunizations can save your family time and money.
  • Immunizations protect future generations by reducing prevalence of serious diseases.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community—including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at or MMC’s Department of Public Health at 712.755.4422.