Medical Equipment Blog

Hospital Bed & Side Rails

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I’ve been considering buying a hospital bed for my elderly father and I’ve been making a list of accessories to purchase. What would be the benefits of installing optional side rails on the bed?

There are several benefits to adding side rails to a hospital bed. In fact, in many cases, the addition of side rails becomes a necessity rather than merely accessorizing the hospital bed. To give you an idea, here are a few benefits that side rails provide:

Side rails provide people a stable place to hold on to while getting in and out of bed. • Side rails will prevent the person from rolling out of bed. • Side rails can allow a person in bed to assist with repositioning and turning themselves. • Side rails provide a place to fasten bed controls and other remotes that are within easy reach of the person in bed.

Hope that helps.

Bariatric Equipment

Friday, December 23, 2005

What equipment options can you suggest for someone with obesity? To fully address your question, it would first be necessary to figure out this person’s capabilities regarding mobility. You can determine this, however, on your own. That being the case, there are multiple options to consider. There is specialized bariatric equipment that can be helpful for this individual in both home and healthcare settings. Such options to consider in the realm of mobility aids are bariatric walkers, bariatric rollators, and bariatric wheelchairs. Bariatric wheelchairs are constructed with extra strength components to withstand long term use with minimal maintenance and feature heavy-duty wheels with airless pneumatic tires. Bariatric walkers and bariatric rollators in provide sturdy, dependable support while sustaining the compact, lightweight engineering found in standard models. There are bariatric beds and bariatric mattresses to consider as well. These items will ensure lasting support and comfort without causing wounds related to bed sores and pressure sore ulcers. The use of a bariatric commode may be an option for you to evaluate. For use in showers or tubs, there are bariatric shower chairs and bariatric shower chair commodes to consider. These items provide extra mobility, balance, and support while at the sink, toilet, or urinal. The main issue for someone with obesity is treatment. For treatment options, please seek the advice of a physician or another medical specialist. The longer this person lives with obesity, the more this person is susceptible to life-threatening health conditions. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including the following:
  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Respiratory Problems

Hope that helps.

Ultrasonography vs. Tomography

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What are some diagnostic benefits of Ultrasonography vs. Tomography? Tomography is any of several techniques of roentgenography (or x-ray photography) designed to show detailed images of structures in a selected plane of tissue by blurring images of structures in all other planes. Ultrasonography can photograph the same images but with greater clarity and safety. Due to the nature of the process, tomography exposes the patient to radiation. Ultrasonography uses ultrasound, which poses no threats whatsoever to the patient. To be frank, there is a myriad of advantages to using ultrasonography. Below are some more advantages: Strengths of Ultrasonography
  • It images muscle and soft tissue very well and is particularly useful for delineating the interfaces between solid and fluid-filled spaces.
  • It produces live images enabling the operator to dynamically select the most useful section for diagnosing and documenting changes, enabling swift diagnoses.
  • It shows the structure as well as some aspects of the function of organs.
  • It has no known long-term side effects and rarely causes discomfort to the patient.
  • Equipment is widely available and comparatively flexible.
  • Small, portable scanners are available.
  • Examinations can be performed at the bedside.
Ultrasonography is a useful way to examine the musculoskeletal system to detect problems with muscles, joints, tendons, and soft tissue. Ultrasound images are captured in real-time, so showing movement and function which enable radiologists to diagnose a variety of conditions and assess damage after injuries or illnesses. Ultrasonography is also useful for evaluating the circulatory system. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, monitoring blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body is made easier, as well as evaluating the placement and success of repair for procedures such as arterial bypass surgery. With ultrasound images, radiologists can locate and identify blockages and abnormalities like emboli, blood clots, or plaque and help plan for effective treatment. Baseline ultrasounds, followed by regular ultrasound screenings, may become valuable diagnostic tools in finding early ovarian cancer. Ultrasonography is also relatively inexpensive when compared to other modes of diagnostic investigation through DEXA or MRI. These are only a few of the diagnostic benefits of ultrasonography. There is much more information written on the topic that can be researched and I encourage you to do so. For more information regarding the advantages of ultrasonography and the use of ultrasound diagnostics, click on the following link:

To evaluate different ultrasonography and ultrasound equipment, click below:

Hope that gives you a better idea of the benefits of ultrasonography over tomography.

TENS Therapy

Monday, December 19, 2005

What is TENS Therapy? TENS therapy is useful for virtually anyone experiencing pain. TENS is the acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS Units work by sending slight electrical impulses to certain parts of the body that block pain signals to the brain as well as activating the release of endorphins and encephalins, the body’s natural analgesics. TENS therapy is non-addictive and doesn’t provide dangerous side-effects that are so common with medications and prescribed narcotic pain-killers. To see what these items look like, click here: TENS Units. For more about the benefits of TENS Units, read this information page by clicking here: TENS Units Information. Hope it helps.


Friday, December 16, 2005

How does ultrasonography work? Ultrasonography uses ultrasound to produce images or photographs of organs and tissues. Ultrasonic echoes are recorded as they strike tissues of different densities. Ultrasound itself is made of inaudible sound waves in the frequency range of about 20,000 to 10,000,000,000 cycles per second. Ultrasound has different velocities in tissues which differ in density and elasticity from others. This allows the use of ultrasound in outlining the shape of various tissues and organs in the body. Use of ultrasound for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes requires special equipment. For state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, click here: Ultrasound Equipment Ultrasonography is used in the following medical specialties:
  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Obstetrics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Urology
  • Anesthesia

Hope that helps.

Raynaud's Phenomenon

Friday, December 09, 2005

My 17 year-old daughter was diagnosed with Raynaud’s Phenomenon. She experiences pain doing even the simplest things. We live in Michigan and with the freezing weather we get here, I’m concerned about my daughter. I’m searching for treatment options. To address your concerns fully, let’s expound on what Raynaud’s phenomenon is. Raynaud’s phenomenon is basically defined as a severe sensitivity to cold and it affects nearly 10 percent of the population. Raynaud’s phenomenon has a variation of causes, but it can also strike people without warning or symptoms. For someone with Raynaud’s phenomenon, cold weather can mean excruciating bouts with pain. Exposure to freezing temperatures can bring stinging and numbness to the extremities, especially the hands and feet, making simple tasks such as opening doors or taking out the garbage a battle with pain. Winters can be excessively dreary for someone with Raynaud’s phenomenon, especially for someone living in places where it snows because they could miss out on all the fun that skiing, snowboarding, and snowball fights bring. So how can she beat the pain? There are several ways: Stay Warm This is the obvious solution, of course. Nonetheless, it is very important. Medical studies have shown that body temperatures of people with Raynaud’s phenomenon drop faster than other people. As well, it takes them longer to warm up. Therefore, it’s very important that your daughter protect herself from the cold at all times. Be sure she is properly insulated from cold temperatures outside and inside. It’s imperative to remember to protect the extremities; be sure she wears a hat, gloves, socks, boots, etc. Limit Caffeine Intake Caffeine affects the circulatory system and can render negative effects for someone with Raynaud’s phenomenon. Your daughter may not be a big coffee drinker, but it would be advisable to monitor her intake of sodas, chocolates, and teas. Don’t Smoke If you or your daughter smoke, this can be very harmful to her. Breathing cigarette smoke will constrict her blood vessels and take necessary oxygen from her body, worsening the symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon. Ginkgo Biloba Ginkgo Biloba is an herb that has been used for eons to improve circulation in the extremities. It may help your daughter’s blood vessels stay open which will improve her blood flow to her fingers and toes. Reduce Stress Stress can actually make Raynaud’s phenomenon worse, even when your daughter isn’t cold. Seek stress reduction strategies that will help her relax. TENS Therapy TENS therapy is useful for virtually anyone experiencing pain. TENS is the acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS Units work by sending electrical impulses to certain parts of the body that block pain signals to the brain as well as activating the release of endorphins and encephalins, the body’s natural analgesics. TENS therapy is non-addictive and doesn’t provide dangerous side-effects that are so common with medications and prescribed narcotic pain-killers. For more information on TENS Units, read this information page. Hope it helps.

Torticollis Treatment

I was in a car accident a few months ago and am experiencing pain as a result of spasmodic torticollis. My drug coverage isn’t that great so I’m looking for an alternative way to treat pain. To address this fully, let’s expound on what torticollis is for the benefit of the general public. General torticollis is basically defined as a stiff neck caused by spasmodic contraction of neck muscles, drawing the head to one side with the chin point to the other side. The muscles affected are primarily those supplied by the spinal accessory nerve. It has a number of causes, but whatever they may be, torticollis can be extremely painful. The spasmodic variation is torticollis with recurrent but transitory contractions of muscles of the neck. There are a number of ways to treat torticollis. Below are a few of them:

  • Medication
  • Botulinum Toxin Injections
  • Surgery
  • Physical Therapy

An effective way to treat pain associated with torticollis is via the use of a TENS Unit. TENS Units provide a safe, non-invasive, drug-free, and addiction-free alternative to prescribed drugs and narcotics with no side-effects. For more information on what a TENS Unit exactly is, read this information page. Due to the area affected by torticollis, the head and neck area, it is advisable to seek a physician’s advice before using a TENS Unit. Hope that helps.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I have rheumatoid arthritis and am seeking alternative ways to treat pain. My physician prescribes me Norco, which is a narcotic pain killer, an opiate to put it precisely, which can have devastating side-effects in the long term. As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to experience gastrointestinal problems, hence my seeking alternative measures to manage my pain. What advice can you pass along? I’m glad you asked. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disease that a lot of people don’t know much about. Most people figure it’s the same as arthritis when, in fact, they’re very different from one another and RA is much more severe. RA is considered an auto-immune disease. This means the body literally attacks itself as it would a virus. The white blood cells in the body, that normally hunt harmful bacteria and viruses, assault the soft tissues of the joints causing extremely painful damage. To this day, experts are not sure why the white blood cells do this. Nonetheless, ongoing scientific research is diligently being conducted to find an answer and thereby treat the disease. Unfortunately, with the absence of a cure, many physicians rely on pain management to ease the difficulty of coping with RA. This usually means the prescription of strong medications and narcotic pain killers, as you mentioned above. Such a treatment plan may ease the pain of RA but with damaging side-effects. One way to treat pain associated with RA is through the use of a TENS Unit. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS Units work by sending electrical impulses to certain parts of the body that block pain signals to the brain as well as activating the release of endorphins and encephalins, the body’s natural analgesics. TENS Units therapy works via electrodes. These electrodes are applied to the surface of the skin at the area experiencing pain. When the unit is turned on, a mild electrical current is sent through the electrodes. Just a slight tingling sensation is felt beneath the skin. By effectively managing pain without drugs, TENS allows many people with chronic pain conditions to resume their daily activities. For more information on these products, read this TENS Unit Information Page. Eating foods low in fat and high in fiber will also help to manage your weight, which will keep the pounds off. This leads to better bone health. Eating the right foods, combined with a regular exercise regimen, can make it easier for your body to fight RA. Here are few things to include in your diet that are known to help people with RA.:
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Olive Oil
  • Antioxidants
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Ginger
  • Tumeric

Here are some alternative pain remedies to consider:

  • Exercise (in fact, increase the amount you do)
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Supplements (Bromelain, Boswellia, and Tripterygium)

Hope this helps you.

TENS Units

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What are TENS Units and what are they used to treat? TENS is an acronym for: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation A TENS Unit is a hand-held, portable, battery-operated device that provides a drug-free, non-invasive, and non-addictive alternative to pain management. A TENS Unit has electrodes that are applied to the area experiencing pain. Once the device is turned on, the electrodes send mild electrical impulses to the affected area. This results in blocking the nerve endings from receiving the pain response from the brain. As well, the electrical stimulation triggers the release of endorphins and encephalins. These chemicals are the body’s own analgesics. TENS Units are used for acute pains and chronic pain conditions associated with:
  • ankle pain
  • arthritis
  • acute headaches
  • back pain
  • bursitis
  • cancer
  • causalgia
  • chest pain
  • chronic neck and back pain
  • chronic shoulder pain
  • dental disorders
  • degenerative arthritis
  • diverticulosisdysmenorrhea
  • elbow forearm pain
  • emphysema
  • epicondylitis
  • facet syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • foot pain
  • fractures
  • hand pain
  • headaches
  • intercoastal neuralgia ischialgia
  • IVD syndrome
  • knee pain
  • lumbago
  • lumbar disc with sciatica
  • lumbosacral pain
  • migraines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neuralgia
  • neuropathy
  • peripheral nerve injuries
  • phantom limb pain
  • postoperative pain
  • radiculitis
  • Raynaud ’s phenomenon
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • spondylosis
  • sprains
  • strains
  • suboccipital headaches
  • synovitis
  • tendonitis
  • thoracodynia
  • thrombophlebitis
  • TMJ syndrome
  • torticollis
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • whiplash
  • wrist pain

Here are a few related products:

AdvanTeq 2000 Rechargeable TENS Unit

AdvanTeq II TENS Unit, Dual Channel

Comfort Stim Standard TENS Unit With Timer

Dynatronics TENS Units without timer

Interferential Tens Unit/ Muscle Stimulator

Mobility Products

Due to my worsening arthritis, I’m experiencing considerable mobility problems. I have trouble getting in and out of bed as well as rising from my chair. Sometimes walking can even be painful. I also find it difficult to stand for long times. I do take medication for pain but it’s highly addictive and I’m attempting alternative treatments. Can you give me ideas about what products would be helpful for someone in my condition? There’s a wide variety of Mobility Products for you to consider. Of course, the severity of your condition and your pain threshold are very important factors to account for when determining the exact products that will best suit you. Also take into consideration your lifestyle. Having an active lifestyle or a sedentary one can greatly influence the need for one product over another. Ultimately the decision for your specific needs for mobility products is up to you and your primary care provider. Here is line of mobility products that is certain meet your needs: Walkers Rollators Mobility Scooters Seating Lift Assistants Low Medical Bed For more information on these products, please review the following information pages: Medical Walkers Rollators Medical Beds

What is Pulse Oximetry?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method that allows healthcare providers to examine the oxygenation of a patient's blood. It also measures the pulse and the saturation of hemoglobin in the blood. Pulse oximetry was developed half a century ago. However, widespread clinical use of pulse oximeters only became practical with the advent of digital technology. Pulse oximeters began to be commercially marketed in 1981, however their use was principally restricted to critical care areas. Recently, pulse oximetry has been offering reasonably inexpensive, simple, and dependable means to monitor respiratory function and proper oxygen and hemoglobin saturation of the blood in a wide variety of clinical areas, hospitals, and in the community as well. Today, pulse oximetry is very important for assessing emergency patients, determining the effectiveness of supplemental oxygen or the need for it, for use in intensive care settings, and monitoring patients during anesthesia. Pulse Oximeters are the devices that monitor all of these factors. By using a sensor attached to an extremity, the pulse oximeter yields a computerized readout and will sound an alarm if the blood saturation becomes less than optimal. The sensor is placed on a relatively thin part of the anatomy, usually a fingertip or earlobe or in the case of an infant, the foot. A red and infrared light passes from one side of the sensor to the other. Based upon the ratio of absorption of the red and infrared light caused by the difference in color between oxygen-bound (red) and unbound (blue) hemoglobin in the capillary bed, an estimation of oxygenation is made. This is a measure solely of oxygenation, not of ventilation, and is not a substitute for blood gases checked in a laboratory as it provides no indication of carbon dioxide levels, blood pH, or sodium bicarbonate levels. Hypoperfusion of the extremity being used for monitoring, often caused by the extremity being cold or from vein constriction secondary to the use of a vasopressor agent, may account for falsely low readings. Conversely, falsely high readings may take place when the hemoglobin is bound to something besides oxygen (i.e. cases of carbon monoxide poisoning).