Medical Equipment Blog

What are some important features to consider when selecting infant incubators for standard use?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Besides the standard infant incubator design there are several features to consider. One important and often overlooked feature is the storage capacity of the infant incubator cabinet. Since most are mounted on a mobile counter top style cabinet, it is essential to have some protected storage space for supplies and medical equipment. Many models offer three drawers under the incubator unit with different sizes, perfect for storage of all the basic medical and care supplies for the infant. Since most infant incubators will be mounted on castors, it is essential for all four of the castors to be locking. This provides the greatest stability when the incubator is in use or in storage, but still allows the option for easy, safe and smooth movement of the infant in the incubator when needed. Locking positions of the tabletop area of the incubator is also essential so that both the normal and reverse Trendelenburg positions can be maintained securely for correct positioning of the infant. How do transport infant incubators differ from standard models? Almost all models of infant incubators will be on castors for easy movement; however infant incubators specifically designed for transporting critically ill, newborn or premature babies will have some additional features to ensure they can be used even if the incubator has to be moved by ambulance outside of the health care facility. Transport infant incubators will have their own battery that is located within the base of the unit. These batteries will be constantly charged when the incubator is plugged into a standard outlet and in normal use. When the unit has to be unplugged for transport within or outside of the facility it will automatically switch to battery power. Most transport infant incubators also have the capacity to be plugged directly into the power supply in an ambulance, preventing the need to rely completely on battery power when not in a stationary position or being moved only short distances. What are the safety features found standard on most on infant incubators? An infant incubator is designed specifically to keep the baby's temperature at 37 degrees Celcius as well as a add oxygen and specific levels of humidity to the air to assist the baby in breathing and maintaining a constant environment with in the incubator. Since even a slight temperature change either up or down can be fatal to premature or critically ill babies it is essential for all incubators to have alarms that monitor both the environmental temperatures as well as the actual temperature of the baby. Oxygen and humidity sensors can also signal alarms in some models of incubators. For transport models of infant incubators additional safety features such as a low battery warning are also considered to be standard safety items. These types of incubators will also have specialized access areas on the clear cover of the incubator that can allow the staff to access the baby in transit without having to raise the cover and change the internal temperature and humidity.

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What are the standard measurements for an operating room table?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Since there are different models of operating room tables, there are some variations in the basic measurements. However, in general, most of the various operating room table measurements will range between 20 and 24 inches in width and up to 83 inches in length. Several of the various features that can be found on a specific operating table may make the overall length vary considerably with some tables only measuring 49 inches in length but then an additional 20 inches that can be added as an auxiliary tabletop or surface area by extensions to the leg section for the table. There are several advantageous to a smaller sized operating table. They can be easily positioned within an operating room or patient treatment area and take up much less space in the room, allowing for a greater opportunity for positioning of other equipment. With the option to remove the auxiliary piece or tabletop area, it only has to be used when necessary, allowing for easily movement and access to all sides of the operating room table. Is an operating room table only used specifically in operating theaters and for surgical procedures? With several of the new styles and models available, the typical operating room table or surgical table actually can be used for a wide variety of procedures. The stability as well as increased options such as backrests that can adjust to up to 45 degrees allows the physician to position a patient in the correct placement for several different uses of the chair. Often this type of operating room table is also used in OBGY and birthing units and patient care rooms. The split leg design of many of the tables further enhances its use as a multi-functional type of examination and operating table. Other new designs of operating room table models can also assist in specialized types of surgical procedures. Enhanced Trendelenburg positions prove to be a real asset in cardiovascular, chest, abdominal and urology types of procedures since the patient can be positioned to allow the operating room table to elevate the feet or head, allowing easier access and decreasing the difficulties of surgical procedures on a flat surface. What are some of the typical accessories that are included with the purchase of an operating room table? Although each company and even operating room table model will have slightly different standard accessories, most will have some type of head rest, shoulder supports and/or arm boards, lateral supports and some form of leg rests and stirrups. Additional features that may be found on some models include hand grips, clamps, anesthesia screen, and addition options for operation of the table and positioning. Although not a true accessory, the amount of movement or positioning possibilities of the table from the flat position will also vary from model to model, and may be an important consideration for specialized types of surgical procedures. The lateral tilt, kidney break position and the elevation of the table can all be important factors in choosing one model over another.

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What is the advantage of portable surgical tables over stationary types of surgical tables?

Monday, February 08, 2010

For smaller hospital facilities or for operating rooms that also may have to double as other patient care rooms, portable surgical tables are a great idea. These tables are designed to be easy to move, with large, heavy wheels that provide a smooth and vibration free movement, allowing staff to easily relocate and position the table. There is also a locking mechanism that secures these surgical tables into a stationary position, providing a very solid and secure table for both staff and patient. Generally the portable surgical tables will have the same features as a stationary table including the Trendelenburg positions, lateral tilt and even split leg options with a plus or minus 90 degree range of motion and positioning. However the portable tables may not have quite the height elevation adjustment to ensure a secure and stable base. Generally the height elevation on a portable surgical table will be between 28 and 35 inches, while on stationary surgical tables the elevation can adjust to 31 to 41 inches. How are surgical tables typically positioned and elevated? As with most types of medical equipment there are several different options for designs and mechanisms in surgical tables. One of the most common methods of moving the table up and down or elevating the table with or without the patient on the table is a manual hydraulic pump system. This type of system works similar to other hydraulic cylinders and provides a very smooth, even and non-jarring type of movement. The pressure in the hydraulic cylinder that causes the elevation or lowering of the table is controlled with a foot pedal, typically located under the head section of the table. This provides maximum control of the height positioning of the table, perfect for even a very fine adjustment to meet the staff's needs or to allow the table to be used with specific types of equipment. The hydraulic pump and cylinders are located within the central column of the table, protected from damage by the column itself. The movement of the various sections of the table including the leg section and the head section is usually controlled by a series of handles that are located on the sides of the tables. Like the hydraulic lifting system these adjustments work on a mechanical manual system, allowing for very detailed positioning and adjustments of the various parts of the table for patient comfort and surgical needs. What is the warranty on surgical tables? Surgical tables are often a very large expenditure and they are very durable and built to last. As with most types of medical equipment there are manufacturer's warranties on each table model with variations between brands and types. For most tables the manufacturer's warranty will cover the complete table from frame through to hydraulic pump and mechanical systems for up to one year. This is the same for both the stationary standard styles of surgical tables as well as the portable models.

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What makes MRI compatible medical equipment safe for use in MRI rooms?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is considered to be one of the best options for many types of imaging, particularly for soft tissue. Since MRI relies on magnetic resonance without interference from objects in the room, it is absolutely essential that all MRI compatible medical equipment be non-magnetic. Stainless steel is one type of metal that is used in MRI compatible medical equipment since it doesn't cause interference that other types of metals can. In addition rubber feet on all equipment also provides a barrier to prevent any problems with MRI compatible medical equipment within any imaging environment. What options are available in MRI compatible medical equipment that are outside of the actual instrument tables and stools? Since there is such a wide use of MRI services, the demand for MRI compatible medical equipment has increased and expanded. Virtually all types of patient transport, medical equipment and even standard room equipment is now available as MRI safe. For disposal of waste materials in an MRI room the only option is to consider an MRI safe kick bucket. This specially designed waste receptacle is made of stainless steel and is non-ferrous and therefore non-magnetic. It is also further protected from any type of magnetic transmission by a rubber bumper than encircles the stand, and the complete unit is on castors that are MRI safe. Other MRI compatible medical equipment options include wheelchairs designed specifically for transporting patients inside and outside of an MRI room without requiring the patient to be transferred from one wheelchair to another. Not only does this prevent additional stress on the patient but it is also much quicker and more efficient for staff. MRI compatible medical equipment can also include walkers and stools, perfect for patient movement as well as moving onto and off of MRI tables. MRI compatible medical equipment may also be very practically designed for easy movement, cleaning and use. MRI safe basin stands are one example of equipment that has been designed specifically to provide both a basin as well as a shelf all on rolling MRI approved castors. How is MRI compatible medical equipment tested and identified? In order to be considered MRI compatible medical equipment the specific instrument, object or medical device is tested for magnetic resonance. When the item is stainless steel with rubber tips or castors it will usually be considered MRI compatible medical equipment because it does not contain iron and will not interfere with magnetic resonance and imagining. MRI compatible medical equipment that is approved for use in MRI rooms and environments will typically be labeled with a small green square with the letters MR in green inside the square. Items that can be used in MRI environments under very specific conditions in order to not interfere with imaging will be marked with a yellow triangle containing the letters MR in black in the center of the triangle. Items that are unsafe for MRI use have a red circle with the line through the letters MR that are inside the circle.

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