Medical Equipment Blog

Questions You Might Want To Answer BEFORE You Shop for EMS & Ambulance Backboards: Part 2

Friday, June 06, 2008

Do I Need a Special EMS & Ambulance Backboard for Wilderness Rescues? When you are included in wilderness rescues, you will probably need a narrower board to make sure you can move a patient through tight spaces. And you will also want an EMS & Ambulance backboard setup that allows you to strap them in tight so that they don’t move at all. This is especially important when you need to maneuver patients or when you need to airlift them out of a wild area. What Features Should I Look for That Will Protect the Patient's Spine? High quality EMS & ambulance backboards will include not only separate holes through which to thread head straps, but also cushions for the sides of the head to prevent movement of the head, no matter how much the patient moves. This feature is crucial for those transporting patients in an emergency setting as some patients can become disoriented and might thrash around uncontrollably. Where Should I Store EMS & Ambulance Backboards? This answer is quite self-explanatory if you are in an emergency capacity – in the vehicle itself. But for transporting patients from room to room in a hospital, you might want to store these with the stretchers and the beds as this is where you will be doing most of your patient transfers and the location makes practical sense.

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Questions You Might Want To Answer BEFORE You Shop for EMS & Ambulance Backboards

No matter if you're buying an EMS & ambulance backboard for your rig or you're thinking about bringing in new EMS & ambulance backboards for your paramedic fleet, you need to make sure you are choosing the best boards for your patients and for those carrying them. Here are questions you need to answer before you start shopping. What Materials are EMS & Ambulance Backboards Made Of? You can find a wide range of materials for your EMS & ambulance backboard. From Marine plywood to aluminum to polyethylene, you have your choice of strengths, prices, and finishes. Some in the paramedic community are a little concerned about using wooden boards as they aren't as easy to sterilize and they can crack and break, but they are also the standard for many EMS units, so they are trusted and utilized often. What Size EMS & Ambulance Backboard Should I Have? Because you can't necessarily guess the type of patient you will be transporting on an EMS & ambulance backboard, you might want to opt for a larger size of backboard as well as a narrow backboard and child sized backboard. This sounds like a lot, but you need to be ready for multiple patients as well as for multiple body weights. In order to fully support someone, you need to have EMS & ambulance backboards that support them from head to toe, from one side to the next. You also need to account for room for your hands as you carry them onto the stretcher. If you tend to remove patients from their apartments, you might also find that a narrower backboard is the best choice for your needs.

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Laboratory Incubators Provide The Environment Your Tests Need, But Do You Know Everything You Need to Know?: Part 2

What Temperatures Can a Laboratory Incubator Create? In order to provide the right climate for the cultures or for the other materials you might be storing in laboratory incubators, you will want to choose a model with a wide range of temperature possibilities. Good models can give you temperature ranges from 5 degrees Celsius to 70 degrees Celsius. This allows you the opportunity to nearly freeze items as well as to heat them to higher temperatures. What's more is that most incubators are now equipped with digital readouts of the interior temperature, in addition to programming features that allow you to change the temperature as needed for your storage or for your testing parameters. How Easy are Laboratory Incubators to Sterilize? With the slick surfaces on the interior of a laboratory incubator, you will be able to simply wipe down the surfaces with a medical grade disinfectant. This also ensures that you won't have to worry about contaminants getting into the samples you are storing or 'cooking.' In addition, the glass windows are simple to clean so as to keep them transparently clear, but also to prevent contamination from a researcher's hands or another outside source. Make sure to clean the incubator regularly if you are concerned about contamination or if you want to ensure that your samples are in the cleanest environment possible. Just have two incubators - one for storage and one extra to make sure that you are keeping one completely clean at all times. What Kind of Warranty Should I Expect? With new models of laboratory incubators, you might be able to get up to a 5 year parts and service warranty, but with a used laboratory incubator, you might only get a one year parts and service warranty. That said, used incubators are a great value as they can be much less expensive and still work for years after their purchase.

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Laboratory Incubators Provide The Environment Your Tests Need, But Do You Know Everything You Need to Know?

The idea of putting something into a laboratory incubator makes most people think of cooking and mad science. But for medical, laboratory, and other industry professionals, laboratory incubators provide the best possible environment for all of your testing needs. Here are the details you need to know to choose the right one for your lab. What Are Some of the Uses of Laboratory Incubators? There are a number of uses for a laboratory incubator: egg incubation, cultures, microbiology, and biology uses. These laboratory incubators provide sterile and enclosed testing conditions for researchers as well as for those who are use chicken eggs in their professional capacity. The climate conditions provide the best situation for storing and holding samples as well in order to test at a later time. How Many Samples or Tests Can You Fit Into a Laboratory Incubator? With different sizes of laboratory incubators to choose from, your overall capacity to do tests is limited only by your budget. The most popular sizes for incubators are 27, 50, 80, 150 and 300 liters, but most medical suppliers are more than happy to accommodate larger requests for an additional fee. You can store literally hundreds of tests and cultures in a laboratory incubator, depending on your needs.

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Questioning the Fire Blanket and Its Ability to Save Property and Lives: Part 2

What Safety Features Do Fire Blankets Include? In addition to undergoing rigorous testing, a fire blanket will also have additional features that prevent it from becoming damaged and unusable. For example, some blankets will come with chemicals in the wool that prevent rust and dust from getting into the blanket itself. If the blanket is exposed to other materials, after all, the flames then might be able to refuel on these materials. There are also some blankets that have additional protection from corrosion, either in their packaging or in the blanket itself. How Should the Fire Blanket Be Stored? If you are looking to add a fire blanket to your medical office, laboratory, industrial setting, fire rig, or ambulance, you have a number of different ways to store the blanket, depending on the space you have available and the uses that you will have for the blanket itself. If you want to have the blanket be portable, you can find bags that contain the lightweight blanket. This way, the blanket can come with you. If you need something a little sturdier, there are also steel boxes in which you can store the blanket. And if you want to have a blanket available for a person to use, these can be stored in a PVC tube and then have a large ring attached to the end. This way, the person can grab the ring with one arm and twirl around to cover their body and extinguish the flames.

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Questioning the Fire Blanket and Its Ability to Save Property and Lives

When it comes to fire blankets, you need to know exactly what you're using and dealing with before you ever put this in your medical office, hospital, ambulance, lab, or fire truck. This way, when you need to take action, you can be assured that you're giving your patient or the victim the best help possible. What are Fire Blankets Made From? When the fire blanket was first created, it was made from asbestos fibers. Once it was realized that asbestos was actually harmful to those who inhaled it, this process was stopped. However, if you run across an older fire blanket, you might want to double check the material content before you use it. It will still work, of course, but it might be harmful to the user at the same time. Today, most fire blankets are 100% wool and may or may not be coated with fire resistant materials. Other fire blankets that are smaller might be made of fiberglass, but the larger wool ones are made for professional settings. How Are Fire Blankets Regulated? Under the Federal Flammable Fabrics Act CS-191-53, each fire blanket is tested for its ability to put out fires as well as to contain heat. Here are the three main tests that are performed to ensure this:
  • Flame Resistance - This measures how well the material can hold up in the presence of flames
  • Thermal Protective Performance - This measures how much heat is transferred through the blanket
  • Heat and Thermal Shrinkage - This measures how well the blanket can stand up to extreme temperatures

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There's No Time to Think with Emergency First Aid Kits - Here are Quick Answers to Questions You Might Have: Part 2

How Would a Hiking Emergency First Aid Kit Differ? If you tend to get out hiking a lot, you need different items in emergency first aid kits. While the basic equipment is the same, you also need to include ways of contacting others for help, as well as additional gauzes and bandages to stop any bleeding that might be hard to control until you get help. It can also help if you add a roll of duct tape to act as heavy duty pressure for traumatic injuries like breaks and deep cuts. After placing something clean on the wound, you can then wrap the material with duct tape to keep it in place until you can get the person to safety. Where Should I Put My Emergency First Aid Kits? Since some of the items in your emergency first aid kit may be fragile and subject to problems when placed in the sun or in hot conditions, you need to keep your kit in a cool and dark place - if possible. You will also want to keep it in a hard case that prevents the items from getting wet and contaminated in any way. Should I Get Trained in First Aid? Ideally, you will want to get some sort of first aid training in order to properly utilize your emergency first aid kit. This way, you can know how to use the items right and how to know when to take someone to the hospital. In some cases, all the emergency first aid kits in the world can't help - you just need to get an ambulance to the place of the accident.

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There's No Time to Think with Emergency First Aid Kits - Here are Quick Answers to Questions You Might Have

There's nothing better than being prepared for the surprised in life. With an emergency first aid kit, you can make sure that you are not only prepared for life's accidents, but that you can treat them. Though emergency first aid kits are not designed for larger trauma cases, they can still provide the backup you need. What Should My Emergency First Aid Kit Be Able to Handle? If you are keeping basic emergency first aid kits at home and at work, you will need to make sure they can handle: cuts, lacerations, burns, bruises, injuries that need splinting or a sling, insect bites, CPR (if you have been trained), diabetic emergencies, and temperature related disorders - heatstroke or frostbite. What Do I Need in My Emergency First Aid Kit? The list things emergency first aid kits should include is vast, and depending on who you ask, you might get different responses. In general, you should include: different sizes of adhesive bandages, medical tape, gauze, antiseptic ointments, burn ointments, materials for slings or splints, hydrocortisone for itching, CPR barrier or mask, glucose tablets or candies, blankets, ice packs, etc. You might find that you also need additional equipment for the special needs of your family - epinephrine pens, for example, to help stop allergic reactions to bees or peanuts. Add to your kit latex-free gloves as well to stem any contamination from your hands.

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The Top Four Questions You Need Answered about Insulin Resistance: Part 2

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Who is Most Likely to Get Insulin Resistance? You are more likely to have insulin resistance is someone else in your family has already been diagnosed with it, as there seems to be a genetic component. In addition, those who smoke, are sedentary, and who eat high carbohydrate diets also seem to be at a greater risk. Are There Any Medications that Help Insulin Resistance? Right now, there are only a few medications that are being used to help those with severe cases of insulin resistance. These medications help to treat type 2 diabetes and the way the body responds to insulin: biguanides and thiazolidinediones. Of course, most doctors are more supportive of changing the lifestyle first before using medications for insulin resistance. What Tests Will My Doctor Do to Confirm Insulin Resistance? If you are concerned you might have insulin resistance, you can ask your doctor for the following tests:
  • Blood glucose – This will set the control point for the other tests. You will have your blood drawn to see how high your sugar levels are.
  • Insulin levels – This is also a blood test that checks your insulin levels.
  • Glucose tolerance – You will be asked to drink a very sweet drink and then your blood sugar will be tested at regular intervals to see if it remains high
  • Fasting glucose – After not eating overnight and before the test, your blood is tested first thing in the morning to see how low or high your sugar level is
Each of these tests will see what your body is doing in relation to sugar and in relation to insulin. If your body is not responding normally, you might be diagnosed with insulin resistance or even diabetes.

The Top Four Questions You Need Answered about Insulin Resistance

Getting any new diagnosis can be a scary situation, even if it is something that's completely treatable – like insulin resistance. But whether you've been diagnosed or someone in your family has, you need to know the answers to these four common, yet crucial, questions. What are the Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?

If you're already concerned about insulin resistance, you might want to look out for these symptoms:

  • Brain fog – You might not be able to concentrate as well during routine tasks. You might find yourself feeling 'out of it.'
  • Depression – Some patients with insulin resistance report having troubles with their moods. They might feel down about their lives and about the way they feel.
  • Fatigue – When your body can't process sugar in the normal manner, you can have troubles with sleepiness and fatigue.
  • Bloating – Since you might not be able to process sugar in the proper way, your intestines might be more susceptible to problems with flora and natural bacteria, leading to belly bloating.
  • Weight gain around the middle – If you find that you are gaining weight around your middle more than other parts of your body, this might be a sign of IR.
  • Higher blood pressure readings – Since your body is taxed from trying to break down the sugar, your blood pressure can increase.
  • Higher triglycerides – The less your body can break down things in the bloodstream, the more likely you are to have higher triglyceride counts.
  • Low blood sugar – When you don't eat regularly, the overproduction of insulin in the body can create times of low blood sugar.

The Essential Answers You Need When You're Using a Blood Glucose Meter? : Part 2

How Quickly Will I Get a Reading? Different blood glucose meters will produce readings at different speeds, but it's common to see a blood glucose meter reading after just 10 seconds. This allows you to quickly assess any steps that need to be taken – more sugar, more insulin, etc. How Can I Monitor My Health with a Blood Glucose Meter? Many blood glucose meters will now store information about previous readings. This allows you to spot patterns and to see where you might need to make changes in your diet and exercise plans. If your meter does not offer this option, keep a journal of your readings to show your doctor at follow up appointments. Do I Need any Equipment Along with My Blood Glucose Meter? You will need testing strips for most blood glucose meters. When you initially buy the meter, you might get strips in the package, but double check to ensure that you do. These strips are what you feed into the meter in order to get a reading. How Do I Pay for My Blood Glucose Meter? Most insurance companies will cover some, if not all, of the costs of blood glucose meters. You might want to check with your health insurance company first before you head to the store to see whether they will reimburse you or if you need to shop at a certain supplier to get the equipment you need.

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The Essential Answers You Need When You're Using a Blood Glucose Meter

Learning that you need to use a blood glucose meter can be scary enough for someone who might be afraid of getting their blood taken. Thankfully, technology has created blood glucose meters that are easy to use as well as quick and painless. If you're nervous about this new daily routine, you can ease your worries with these answers. How Often Do I Need to Use a Blood Glucose Meter? The answer to this question is only something your doctor can give. Much of their decision will depend on your current eating habits, exercise habits, as well as your diabetes history. If you've had troubles maintaining your blood sugar, you might need to keep track of your levels more often, while those who have not have blood sugar troubles might not need to check as often. For most people, at least 5 times a day is the standard schedule. Will I Need to Switch Fingers? If you've already been using a blood glucose meter, you might have noticed that older models took a bigger chunk out of your finger, and thus the skin hardened after a while, requiring you to switch fingers from time to time. This is typically not an issue with modern blood glucose meters. Because these take less blood and require a smaller prick, you can easily use the same finger again and again without troubles. Can I Use a Blood Glucose Meter on Different Parts of my Body? This depends on the type of meter you choose. Many newer models are able to not only prick your finger for a reading, but also your forearm. Make sure to check the blood glucose meters you look at to see what options you might have.

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The Most Important Questions You Forgot to Ask About Blood Glucose Monitors: Part 2

Why are Blood Glucose Monitors Recommended Over Blood Glucose Meters? Because you can only prick and stick your finger so many times during the day with a meter, a blood glucose monitor is much more reliable in terms of its results. To get the same sort of accuracy, you will need to make sure you were checking your blood with a meter at the exact same time each day, under the exact same conditions, etc. This tends to be too much for the busy patient and well as producing inaccurate results for the doctor. When are Blood Glucose Monitors Recommended? If you're having troubles keeping your blood sugar level, your doctor might recommend a blood glucose monitor test. This can be done as many times as necessary over the course of your treatment, and it can pinpoint lifestyle changes that might need to be made or medication changes that might be required. It is essential that you follow the doctor's orders specifically to ensure they are seeing the numbers they need to see. You should realize that this is not meant to be a daily device or testing option. And you will still need to use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar levels as indicated by your doctor. It's not one or the other. This testing should also be covered by your health insurance policy. What is the Future of Blood Glucose Monitors? The general thought is that eventually a blood glucose monitor could work in conjunction with an insulin producing device, like an artificial pancreas. For those with diabetes, this could help to ensure a normal life and a lower risk of long term health effects. Instead of having to take medications or monitoring their diet, they could eat normally and exercise without worrying about the influence of insulin on the body.

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The Most Important Questions You Forgot to Ask About Blood Glucose Monitors

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

When your doctor recommends that you use a blood glucose monitor for a few days, you might be a little shocked by the suggestion. To make sure you are making the best decision for your health as you can, here are questions that most patients forget to ask about blood glucose monitors. How Will The Blood Glucose Monitor Be Attached to Me? While each blood glucose monitor is different, the procedure is basically the same. A small glucose sensing device will be inserted into your abdominal skin. This happens quickly and then the sensor is taped into place. It will not hurt in most cases. The insertion can be done in your doctor's office or it might be done in a specialty clinic. What Will Blood Glucose Monitors Do? Again, this varies from device to device, but in most cases, the blood glucose monitor will check your sugar levels every 10 seconds or so, giving averages every five minutes. This gives your doctor a precise idea of how your blood sugar levels are varying over the next 72 hours or so, depending on how long your doctor wants you to wear the device.

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