Medical Equipment Blog

Sphygmomanometer Calibration

Monday, January 23, 2006

I accidentally dropped my sphygmomanometer last week and the calibration is off. Do you know how I can fix it? Thanks. It’s recommended that you seek the assistance of someone who has first-hand maintenance experience with aneroid blood pressure machines / sphygmomanometers. However, in the case this isn’t an option for you, carefully follow the instructions below. Be sure to make each adjustment in small increments. Remember to check each adjustment you make in order to assess the effects.
  1. Make sure the pointer is on the zero mark.
  2. Remove the glass.
  3. Carefully remove the pointer and lift the dial. You should now see the triangle with concave sides, on one side of which is a pin. In order to correct a non-linear error, very slightly bend the pin away or towards the side of the triangle.
  4. Replace the dial and pointer.
  5. Run the calibration check again.
  6. Repeat this operation until the error has gone.
  7. When correcting a linear error, very slightly bend the pin along the line of the triangle side.
  8. Run the calibration check again and keep adjusting until the error is gone.

That should help you.

Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Friday, January 20, 2006

I was recently diagnosed with hypertension and told to monitor my blood pressure on a routine basis so I bought a digital blood pressure monitor. But I can’t find the instructions, can you tell me how to use? Before you use your digital blood pressure monitor, the FDA recommends the following guidelines: · Read the labeling to familiarize yourself with its operation. · Have the device calibrated/validated according to the manufacturer's instructions. Below are general instructions to follow:
  1. Sit in a comfortable position, with your legs and ankles uncrossed and your back supported.
  2. Place your arm, raised to the level of your heart, on a table or a desk, and sit still.
  3. Wrap the cuff around your upper arm.
  4. Turn the power on, and start the machine.
  5. If you have an automatic model, the cuff will inflate by itself with a push of a button.
  6. On other models, inflate the cuff by squeezing the rubber bulb.
  7. When the cuff is finished inflating, the cuff pressure will slowly reduce.
  8. Ensure the cuff fits snugly. There should be just enough room for a fingertip to slip under the cuff. If the cuff doesn’t fit properly, the digital blood pressure monitor can underestimate the pressure. Inappropriately low blood pressure, or clinical shock, is a medical emergency. Inappropriately high blood pressure indicates hypertension.
  9. Be certain that the bottom edge of the cuff is 1 inch above the crease of your elbow.
  10. Look at the display screen to see your blood pressure results.
  11. The machine will show your systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
  12. Write down your results, putting the systolic pressure before the diastolic pressure.
  13. Press the button to deflate the cuff.
  14. Wait 2 to 3 minutes before re-testing.
Hope that helps.

Bariatric Beds & Wheelchairs

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What is the criteria for choosing a bariatric bed/sleep surface and wheel chair for a patient? Before you purchase any piece of bariatric equipment, it's vital to understand the following:
  • the patient's weight
  • the patient's height
  • the patient's girth
  • the patient's range of independent mobility
  • the equipment's weight capacity and other dimensions
Below are few models of bariatric beds that you should evaluate: Heavy Duty Full Electric Bed Dimensions:
  • Bed end weight: 59 lbs.
  • Head frame weight: 55 lbs.
  • Foot frame height: 104 lbs.
  • Fabric height: 16in. - 24 in.
  • Overall width: 42 in.
  • Overall length: 88 in.
  • Weight Capacity: 600 lbs.

48 in. Bariatric Full-Electric Hospital Bed Dimensions:

  • Bed end weight: 73 lbs.
  • Head frame weight: 162 lbs.
  • Foot frame height: 134 lbs.
  • Fabric height: 17 in. - 24 in.
  • Overall width: 48 in.
  • Overall length: 88 in.
  • Weight Capacity: 800 lbs.

54 in. Bariatric Full-Electric Hospital Bed Dimensions:

  • Bed end weight: 86 lbs.
  • Head frame weight: 178 lbs.
  • Foot frame height: 150 lbs.
  • Fabric height: 17 in. - 24 in.
  • Overall width: 54 in.
  • Overall length: 88 in.
  • Weight Capacity: 1000 lbs.

60 in. Bariatric Full-Electric Hospital Bed Dimensions:

  • Bed end weight: 42 lbs.
  • Head frame weight: 238 lbs.
  • Foot frame height: 219 lbs.
  • Fabric height: 17" - 24"
  • Overall width: 60"
  • Overall length: 88"
  • Weight Capacity: 1000 lbs.

For more specific information on how to size and fit a bariatric wheelchair for a patient and to evaluate different models, click the link below: Bariatric Wheelchairs Hope that helps.

Medical Exam Tables

Our practice is looking for an efficient table to do minor surgical procedures in our office. Such as lacerations (whole body), partial amputations, or workers compensation injuries. Please reply if you have any suggestive equipment that would be helpful in my search. Thank you for your time. There is a wide variety of medical exam tables that are sure to meet your needs and fit your budget. Below are a few product suggestions that might meet your request: Crank Hydraulic Treatment Table Features:

  • Adjustable height hydraulic cylinders are built into each (4) corner steel leg.
  • "Hands Free" foot control activation.
  • Apron and shelf are almond laminate.
  • Black powder coated legs with levelers.
  • Available in 10 vinyl colors.
  • Also available in a left hand model.

Exam Table 5190 Features:

  • Comfort Top (vacuum formed and seamless).
  • Easy glide comfort stirrups.
  • Upholstered removable leg rest.
  • Pelvic lift 7.5 degrees.
  • Pull-out SS non-slip step (7.75"H).
  • Paper roll holder.
  • Hospital grade outlet.
  • Plastic 9 in. x 9 in. drip pan.
  • 2 storage doors.

H-Brace Treatment Table Features:

  • All steel, heavy duty construction.Leveling glides.
  • Comfort Top - Fixed position (vacuum formed and seamless).

Hi-Line Medical Treatment Table Features:

  • Fully enclosed all laminate cabinet with (2) hinged doors and concealed, self closing Euro-hinges.
  • Laminate interiors with (1) adjustable shelf.
  • Black laminated plywood base.
  • Hausmann Space-Saver Tables meet your needs for a full size table in a compact space.
  • When closed, tables are only 52 in. long.
  • When open, they extend to a conventional 72 in.
  • Full width 20 in. long foot end folds down to reduce table length to 52 in.
  • Positive action locking device allows the foot end to be easily elevated into three positions: 55, 75 and 90 degree angles.
  • 2 in. High-Density urethane foam top.
  • Resist-All vinyl upholstery finish.

MD3 Standard 27 Features:

  • 2 in. high density foam
  • 21 in. paper attachment and cutter guide
  • 27 in. or 30 in. lengths available

Hope that helps.

How to Use a Nebulizer

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I just bought a nebulizer for my daughter from another supplier and there were no instructions. Can you help me? Are there general instructions for nebulizer use? I appreciate it. Read the equipment instructions completely before you use a nebulizer. Even if you received personalized home instruction prior to use, follow these directions before you use a nebulizer as they will vary from one manufacturer to another. Follow these steps to use a nebulizer: 1. Wash your hands thoroughly before you use a nebulizer and make sure the equipment is clean. 2. If using a multi-dose bottle of medicine when you use a nebulizer, use a dropper to administer the correct dosage of medication into the cup with saline solution. If the medicine is in single-use vials, twist the top off the plastic vial and squeeze the contents into the nebulizer cup. 3. Connect the mouthpiece, or mask, to the T-shaped elbow. Fasten the unit to the cup. For children older than 2, using a mouthpiece is recommended because it will deliver more medication than a mask. 4. Connect the nebulizer tubing to the port on the compressor. 5. Turn the compressor on and check the nebulizer for misting. When using a finger valve, cover the air hole to force air into the nebulizer. If you are not using a finger valve, the nebulizer will mist continually. 6. To use a nebulizer correctly, hold it in an upright position. This will prevent spillage. 7. When you use a nebulizer, sit in a comfortable, upright position. Place the mouthpiece between your teeth and close your lips around it. When using a mask, be sure it fits well so the mist doesn’t get into your eyes. 8. Gently exhale. As the mist starts, inhale slowly through your mouth. Take over three to five seconds for each breath while keeping your finger over the valve hole. 9. Hold your breath for up to 10 seconds before exhaling. This allows the medication time to deposit in the airway. 10. At the end of a deep breath, uncover the finger valve hole to stop the mist. 11. When you use a nebulizer, occasionally tap the side of the nebulizer to help the medication drop to where it can be misted. 12. Continue until the medicine is gone from the cup. The nebulizer will most likely begin sputtering when it is empty. Hope that helps.

Cervical Traction Unit

Is there a neck traction apparatus that consists of a neck brace that attaches to a cord then to a weight (a bag with water in it) to stretch the neck and relieve pressure on pinched nerves? It comes with the brace, a cord, some pulleys with hooks that attach to the ceiling and a bag that you put water in to get the amount required for the desired weight? I had one some time ago but have been unable to find one since. There are a number of Cervical Traction Units designed to meet your specific requirements. Follow the links below to evaluate some of these items: Deluxe Over-Door Traction Kit This item features:
  • Sturdy chrome-plated steel construction.
  • Vinyl water bag is double-seated for durability; has 20 lbs. capacity marked in 2 lbs. increments .
  • Include universal-sized heavy-duty head halter with metal support rings and Velcro closure. * Complete with vinyl weight bag, over-door clamp, pulley assembly, adjustable 12" spreader bar, 8" traction rope and "S"-hook.

Exo Overhead Traction Unit This item features:

  • Features 20 lbs. Water Weight Bag.
  • Two inch nylon pulleys with polypropylene cord assure smooth, resistance-free action.
  • Includes Diskard head halter, spreader bar, rope and instructions.

Neck Pro Over Door Cervical Traction Unit This item features:

  • Precision made compression spring and unique ratcheting device deliver a more precise amount of cervical traction tension.
  • Each click of the ratchet signals a 1lb (0.5 kg) increase in the tension being applied, which allows patients to monitor and track their settings, thus providing a positive outcome.

Traction Set This item features:

  • Over-the-door style. 20 lb heat-sealed latex water bag.
  • Velcro head halter.

Hope that helps you.

Wheelchair Safety

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I recently purchased a wheelchair for my father. Can you provide some tips about wheelchair safety? I can relay this to him and it will be useful to me and other family members. I appreciate your help. A general rule to follow regarding wheelchair safety is: prevent accidents before they happen. Keep this in mind as you and your father become familiar with the wheelchair’s accessibility, maneuverability, and maintenance. This is a universal guideline for wheelchair safety:
  1. Read the Operator’s Manual. Observe all precautions.
  2. Regular maintenance is very important. Keep the wheelchair in good repair and you’ll prevent many accidents and malfunctions.
  3. Always lock the brakes before getting in and out of the wheelchair.
  4. Lift the footplates up before getting in or out of the chair.
  5. If you have a wheelchair with removable arms or leg rests, make sure they’re secure by lifting the arms and gently trying to swing the leg rests away from the chair. Do this before each use.
  6. Avoid putting heavy loads on the back of the wheelchair. It may tip backwards.
  7. When sitting in the wheelchair, be careful when pulling doors open. Sudden, aggressive pulls may tip the wheelchair backwards.
  8. Keep loose objects or lap covers away from wheel spokes.
  9. Avoid going up or down steep inclines. You may lose control or tip over.
  10. Beware of caster flutter. This is the side-to-side motion of the caster which usually happens at high speeds. If the casters flutter, repair them immediately.
  11. If you have a power wheelchair, be sure the power is off when getting in or out of the chair.
  12. Don’t allow children to play on or with the wheelchair and don’t let them play with the controls.
  13. Program your power wheelchair so that it won’t go faster than the operator can handle, especially in reverse.
  14. If riding in the streets, use a flag.
  15. If riding at night, use headlights and flashing taillights.
  16. Avoid riding in the rain. This is not safe in general, but if the controls get wet on your power wheelchair, it may malfunction. As well, wheels lose traction on wet ground, especially urethane tires.

Finally, instead of just being more careful, think of ways to prevent problems before making a mistake. While indoors, don't use high-speeds as a mistake could send you into a wall at full speed. Plan ahead of time for emergencies, such as brake failures, tipping backwards, or a power wheelchair moving by itself. Hope that helps.

Cleaning a Nebulizer Machine

Friday, January 06, 2006

I lost the instructions that came with my nebulizer breathing machine and I need to clean it. Do you have some general cleaning information I can use? Thank you. Follow the list of instructions below and you’ll be able to clean your nebulizer in a satisfactory manner. However, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer of your nebulizer. The manufacturer should be able to provide you with the owner’s manual and/or instructions. You’ll need these to follow specific cleaning instructions for your specific model. In the meantime, following these instructions will be sufficient:

  1. Remove the mask or mouthpiece and T-shaped elbow from the cup of your nebulizer machine. Remove the tubing and set it aside. The tubing should not be washed or rinsed.
  2. Rinse the mask or mouthpiece and T-shaped elbow in warm, running water for 30 seconds. Use distilled or sterile water for rinsing, if possible.
  3. Shake off excess water and air dry on a clean cloth or paper towel.
  4. Put the mask or mouthpiece and T-shaped elbow, cup, and tubing back together, and connect the device to the compressor. Run the nebulizer machine for 10 to 20 seconds to dry the inside of it.
  5. Disconnect the tubing from the compressor. Make sure every part of the nebulizer machine is dry before storing it.
  6. Place a cover over the compressor.

Hope that helps. If you need further instructions, click the link below:

How to Clean a Nebulizer Machine

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Hospital Bed Safety

Thursday, January 05, 2006

What should I know about using electrical outlets and extension cords for my hospital bed? Refer to the list below for tips on safely using electrical outlets, power cords, and extension cords for your hospital bed:
  • Check the bed's power cord for damage. It may be crushed, pinched, sheared, cut, or worn through. Avoid placing or rolling the bed over the power cord.
  • Do not allow clothing, sheets, blankets, books, or anything else to be in contact with a wall outlet. This is a fire hazard.
  • Do not place a rug over the power cord of the bed. Carpets and rugs may cause the cord to heat up, which is another fire hazard.
  • Do not place the cord in a location where people walk, as this may cause falls and damage the power cord.
  • Plug the power cord directly into an outlet on the wall. The plug, or prongs, should fit tightly into the outlet. The plug, outlet and wall plate should not be chipped or cracked. If there are any defects, have a professional check the outlet to see if it is working correctly.
  • When adjusting the head, foot, or any part of the bed, be sure the hospital bed is able to move freely. The hospital bed should extend to its full length, and adjust to any position. Bed movement should not affect the bed's power cord, plug, or outlet. As well, bed movement should not pinch or damage these cords. Hand control and power cords should not be threaded through moving parts of the bed. Watch the hand control cables and the power cord as you are adjusting the bed.

Hope that helps.

Nebulizer & Compressor Machines

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My daughter has asthma and our family doctor suggested that I get a breathing machine. Do you have any suggestions which would be the best for her? There is a large variety of nebulizer & compressor machines designed to meet your daughter’s needs. Whether she needs a breathing treatment at home or while she’s on the go, there are different models made for just about any setting you can think of. Click the links below to evaluate some different nebulizer & compressor machines: Aero-Mist LT Nebulizer/Compressor Machine This model provides treatments at 30-35 PSI and 11 LPM and features thermal protector to prevent overheating. With electrical requirements of 110 volts and 60Hz, it can be used safely just about anywhere. Freeway Freedom Nebulizer This model offers the convenience and freedom to treat whenever and wherever. It reduces treatment time by delivering medication faster and with higher quality aerosol, small particle size gets medication deep into lungs. It uses AC, 12 volt DC or battery power. It comes with a rechargeable battery pack that delivers as many as six treatments in a single charge and 2,000 treatments before replacement. MICROAir Ultrasonic Nebulizer This model is tubeless and cordless, providing unmatched portability and ease of operation. Mini Plus Nebulizer/Compressor Machine This model is perfect for pediatric patients on the go. Featuring 35 psi and a 17 lpm maximum flow, this unit provides shorter treatment times and greater patient compliance. This model comes complete with filters and a start-up nebulizer circuit. To evaluate a wide variety of nebulizer & compressor systems, follow the link below: Nebulizer & Compressor Machines Hope that helps.

Hospital Bed Safety

Monday, January 02, 2006

Is there anything I need to know about safety while using my hospital bed? There are a number of things to keep in mind regarding safe operation and maintenance of your hospital bed. Please refer to the list below and if you have a more specific question, please ask and it will be addressed later.
  • Follow the specific manufacturer's instructions for using the bed. Learn to use the control pad and practice the different positions. Test the bed's controls to be sure the bed is working correctly. Some hospital bed controls may be locked so that a person in bed cannot change bed positions themselves. If the bed has this feature, test it to be sure its working correctly.
  • Keep the wheels of the bed locked at all times. Unlock the wheels only to move it.
  • Put a bell and a telephone within reach of the bed. These should be available so the person may call for help when needed.
  • Keep the side rails up. If there is danger of the person falling off the bed, keep the rails up at all times.
  • Never light matches, candles, or smoke while in or around the bed.
  • Put night-lights in the room. They may help prevent falls.
  • Put the bed control pad within easy reach for the person to adjust positions.
  • Check for cracks and damage to the covering of the bed controls. If the covers are damaged, liquids may get into the controls and damage them.
  • Keep the floor beneath and around the bed clean and free from dust and lint build-up.
  • Call the bed manufacturer or another professional if there are unusual sounds coming from the bed. Call if the bed controls are not working correctly or if there are any other defects in operation.

Hope that helps.