Medical Equipment Blog

I am not sure how to tell what is thermal without loading it in the machine. Is there a quick way to tell the difference?

Monday, December 27, 2010

There is a simple way to tell the difference between a roll of medical imagining paper and a roll of thermal paper. Since thermal paper has the ink already applied to the surface of the paper, just mixed with a acid and a chemical compound to keep it invisible, you don't have to load the paper into a machine and run it through the printer. All you need to do is apply a heat source to the paper to allow the surface treatment to melt and the acid and dye to mix over the heat, creating the distinctive black ink marking. Hold the paper above a disposable lighter or other heat source. The surface of the paper should appear shiny, almost waxy, for just a split second and then it becomes dark. Don't apply the flame too close to the paper or all you are seeing is a burnt area. Regular paper, either on a roll or in sheets, will not have any discoloration over a clean burning flame. Does thermal paper resist fading for long periods of time? Thermal paper, with its chemical reaction that causes the image, is much more resistant to fading than regular printer ink or data produced through a laser printer. However, even thermal paper will fade over time. Most manufacturers indicate that thermal paper will resist fading for up to seven years, most indicating between five to seven years before noticeable fading occurs. There are some storage strategies that help reduce fading. The most obvious one is to keep the thermal printer image or data out of continuous or direct light. A piece of printed thermal paper will retain the image or data much longer in a file than sitting on a desk or in a binder that is opened continually. In addition ensuring that the paper remains dry and out of humid and moist environments also helps prevent fading and aging. What is the most economical way to buy thermal paper in both sheets and rolls? Buying in larger quantities and buying cases instead of individual rolls or packages of thermal paper is always more economical. In addition keeping an eye out for discounts and reductions on various websites can help to cut your paper supply costs. Many of the bigger medical suppliers that offer thermal paper have a huge variety of packages, case sizes and even number of sheets per unit, allowing you to compare between different companies. Just make sure that you check the fine print and know the specific size and amount of the package, unit or case you are ordering. Different brands and manufacturers of the thermal printers also may require specific brands of paper, which can make purchasing generic types of paper out of the question. Always carefully check the equipment to ensure the paper is compatible.

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What essential elements need to be included in eye care kits?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The most common issues with eye injuries include foreign bodies in the eye, so having an eye care kit designed to deal with these types of injuries and to safely cover and protect the eye in the case of other injuries is essential. The basic contents of eye care kits will include eye wash, gauze, eye covers, tape, eye pads as well as instant cold packs. The eye wash is going to be used in virtually all types of eye injuries and small bottles, typically 4 ounces, need to be included in the kits. It is recommended to consider two or more smaller bottles that can be disposed of after each use and replaced, rather than one large bottle of saline solution that will remain open after each use. Since once the bottle is opened there is a risk of possible bacteria developing in the cap, plus in warm climates evaporation can occur, simply replacing the smaller bottles is considered to be the best option. Eye pads that are designed to be soft and form to the shape of the eye are important to safely immobilize the eyelid and prevent blinking when there is an object in the eye that cannot be safely flushed out or removed. Eye covers are harder plastic that can be placed over the eye pad and taped into position to prevent further damage or injury. Who should be trained to use eye care kits? Within a workplace, anyone who is likely to have an eye injury or to encounter a co-worker with an eye injury should be trained in how to use the supplies in the eye care kits. Since basically all that will be required is flushing out debris, chemicals or contaminants and then covering and protecting the eye, this is a relatively easy first aid procedure that can be taught in staff meetings or in more comprehensive first aid classes and programs. If there are eye wash stations in the building or facility all staff should also be trained in correctly using the eye wash station and completing any documentation or accident reports associated with the incident. Can eye care kits be included in a larger first aid kit? Locating eye care kits within the large first aid kit is certainly a possibility, although it may not be the most efficient or most effective way to provide easy and immediate access to the kit in eye injury situations. Since eye care kits are very small compared to a standard first aid kit, they can easily be kept in cabinets, desks or drawers close to any work area. This allows immediate and fast access to the kits as soon as a injury occurs. Keeping these individual eye kits within a durable yet lightweight plastic box with a gasket type seal and a secure closing mechanism will ensure that moisture and dust can't enter the box, keeping the contents clean and sterile for use as needed.

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What are the components of emergency first responder kits that are different than basic first aid kits?

Monday, December 20, 2010

In general emergency first responder kits will contain a fair number of similar items to a basic first aid kit, just on a much larger scale. While a basic home type of first aid kit o a kit for a vehicle may hold a few bandages, general emergency first responder kits will hold boxes of different styles, types and sizes of bandages, all for very specific types of use. Since general emergency first responder kits are used by those trained as EMT's or highly trained in emergency first aid, much more advanced types of treatment options are available immediately to the patient, often making the difference between life and death. Emergency first responder kits also tend to contain a wider variety of basic options such as different types of tapes, including waterproof surgical tapes, splints, cold packs, trauma pads, antibacterial and germicidal wipes, burn treatment medications and gels, eye wash, emergency blankets and surgical gloves, CPR shields, tweezers, medical scissors elastic types of bandages for immobilizing injured limbs. What are the important considerations for emergency first responders kits with regards to portability? Unlike standard first aid kits, emergency first responder kits may have to be transported both inside and outside. They are also much larger than standard kits, often weighing over 15 pounds so it is important that they be easy to manage even through disaster areas or outdoor travel. Often the emergency first responder kits are semi-rigid in design to completely soft, often in a sports bag or kit style of design. They should have a durable shoulder strap with padding as well as handles for easy handling over any type of ground. The shoulder strap should be adjustable to fit first responders without discomfort or pulling. The kits typically have several additional features that make them both portable as well as durable. They are often nylon, water resistant as well as very long lasting even when constantly in use. The zippers should be reinforced as should all seams, handles and straps. The bags typically have several external compartments included larger areas on either end as well as across the sides for the most commonly used first aid items. What additional medical equipment is found in emergency first responder kits that is not found in other types of first aid kits? Depending on the type of emergency first responder kits there are several different options for specific types of medical equipment. Many EMT kits will contain stethoscopes as well as blood pressure cuffs, radios or recording devices for vital signs, as well as small defibrillators and basic types of medications that may be required in emergency situations. These additional medical supplies are not offered in standard first aid kits and are really designed to be used by those trained as first responders. Generally most emergency first responder kits will also include biohazard bags or full bloodborne kits, ideal for protection for first responders as well as site clean up.

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Why is it essential to have bloodborne kits in the workplace and should staff be trained in using the kits?

Friday, December 17, 2010

It is essential to have bloodborne kits available in any workplace or areas where there is any chance of bodily injury leading to blood or body fluid spills. This is essentially because of the many bloodborne diseases and pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV/AIDS and many other blood and body fluid contaminants that first responders or others in the area may be exposed too if the kits are not present. Bloodborne kits are designed to provide a safe and sterile way to handle body and body fluids that not only protects and cleans the area but also protects the individual.
The use of bloodborne kits may be covered in specific types of industrial first aid training, however OSHA also has guidelines that should be routinely reviewed and understood by all workers that may be first responders to any type of accident or emergency with blood or body fluid spills. If the bloodborne kits also contain first aid supplies and CPR equipment then they can be covered in first aid training programs and routinely reviewed with staff. In times of emergency and crisis each person does need to understand how important it is both to use the bloodborne kit correctly as well as how to dispose of any of the used materials from the kit. How are waste materials from blood or body spills disposed of using the correct and recommended protocols? All bloodborne kits will provide specific information that follows OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard for disposal of waste materials containing human blood or body fluids. These instructions are typically found either on the inside cover of the case of the bloodborne kits or in small reference books that may also contain diagrams and charts on how to correctly collect and dispose of different types of body fluids.
Generally the kits will contain several large sized biohazard bags which are used for any materials that have been used in the clean up or have been worn as a precaution to prevent contamination with blood or body fluids. These bags are brightly colored and clearly labeled as biohazard, requiring separate disposal as per regulations. Garment disposal bags are typically clear, but in the case where the gown, gloves or mask has been contaminated they are treated as biohazard waste. Do most bloodborne kits provide safety for the first responders?
Yes, most bloodborne kits do provide safety garments and devices for anyone responding to an emergency or accident situation where there is blood or body fluid loss. These safety features include disposable long sleeved gowns, face masks, disposable vinyl or latex gloves, shoe covers and eye shields. In some kits extra CPR masks or shields are typically included in the kit along with antibacterial and germicidal types of wipes that can be used for any contact of blood or body fluids with the first responder's skin.

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When is safety eye wash used and is there any special training required?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Safety eye wash, either at a station or in a first aid kit, can be used on anyone to flush out chemicals, contaminants, dirt, dust, tiny objects or even larger objects that are in the eye but not embedded in the eye. The safety eye wash is easy to use either on yourself or someone else and just requires that the eyelids be opened and the solution applied liberally to the eye. The excess fluid then rinses the eye, allowing the debris or contaminant to be flushed out. No special training is required to use safety eye wash and many of the bottles have a special cup that actually holds the eyelids open for easy application of the specialized eye wash solution. What is the difference between an eye care kit and a safety eye wash station? Often at a safety eye wash station all the elements of an eye care kit can and will be found. Generally a safety eye wash station is designed to allow the eye to be flushed out, not necessarily to provide any type of extensive first aid support. Since many types of situations will require additional attention besides just being flushed out, eye care kits are often found at the station. Eye care kits contain the basic first aid needs for most of the common eye injuries. These extra supplies include cold compresses and packs to help alleviate pain and swelling, eye pads to cover the eye and provide protection, eye cups to completely shield the eye after the pad has been applied and tape to secure the cover. Are there any products for people that wear glasses in the workplace?
Stations are available that are designed to help those wearing glasses in any type of workplace situation. They are mounted on the wall and are made of durable plastic, ideal for any industrial type of situation. The tissues are treated with a special anti-fog and anti-static solution, allowing for quick cleaning of lenses as well as clear vision even in humid conditions. What is the best type of box to hold safety eye wash stations or kits?
The best option for turning a safety eye wash station into a very durable and long lasting kit is to house it in a polypropylene box. This type of plastic is both durable and mold resistant and, provided the box has a seal, it will be water resistant under normal conditions. The seal will help to keep humidity and moisture out of the box, eliminating any chance of damaging gauze, bandages, tape or eye pads that may be kept with the safety eye wash. A box also provides the option to easily transport the kit in the event of an accident or emergency. Of course it can also be mounted to the wall or kept with the first aid kit in a designated first aid cupboard or room, depending on the specific workplace location.

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What is the advantage of using medical mounting paper?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Medical mounting paper, often called medical mounting cards since it is sturdier and heavier that standard paper, are a great advantage for a variety of uses in hospitals and health care facilities. Often images such as x-rays, ultrasounds, and other types of recordings done by EEG, ECK or life monitoring devices are very thin and flimsy, prone to tearing, bending and wearing. By mounting the image or results on the stiffer medical mounting paper the document or data has a durable, long lasting backing that resists bending, folding and tearing. It is also easier to place these cards in files and charts since they don't tear out when the pages are turned and removed. Smaller data charts and pages also are much less likely to slip out of a file or folder if they are mounted than if they are simply left loose or kept in a sleeve in the folder or file. What are the standard sizes of medical mounting paper in common hospital and health care facilities? As can be imagined the most common size for medical mounting paper is the standard 8 ½ inches by 11 inches, just like standard letter sized paper. This means that the cards or papers can be easily inserted into medical files and records or into binders and books without sticking out past the edges and posing problems for storage. The cards, however, can be cut to whatever shape and size may be required. For mounting data for presentations or discussions the cards can be cut in half or quarters, allowing each member of the team to have a durable copy of the records for their information during the meeting. Can the adhesive medical mounting paper be used repeatedly? Removable adhesive medical mounting cards are an option, as are cards without an adhesive. Both are good options for routine use, however the adhesive cards can be much easier to use when adding material to the cards to place in a patient's folder or file. Documents, data and test results can be removed from the adhesive easily and then replaced when no longer required. As with any adhesive type of material it is reusable but over time it will need to be replaced with continuous use. Where can I buy medical mounting paper and is it available online through a medical supply company? Not all medical supply companies, either online or in traditional stores, offer medical mounting cards. There are a few online that offer both the adhesive and non-adhesive options and they are surprisingly low cost. While having a computer file or data document can be a simple and effective way to store information about a patient it isn't always available in a patient friendly format. Having the mounting cards to use when consulting with patients and showing them the results from a test really helps them understand your information. Taking the time to find a company that sells this paper product is well with the effort.

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How is medical imaging paper different from standard photograph quality paper available at any store?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Although at first glance at the two types of paper medical imaging paper and photograph quality printer paper may appear to be very much the same. This is particularly true with very high quality photograph printer paper. However, the exact manufacturing of the paper is very different, providing a specific definition and clarity to the medical imaging paper that is more in keeping with the image of an x-ray or a brain scan than seen in a photograph. Medical imaging paper that prints in both color and gray scale actually has the same film or coating that an x-ray has, although it is fused to the paper base differently than a traditional x-ray film. This is actually a polyester coating that ensures the image is crisp, exact and clear and also very durable and long lasting. Medical imaging paper can print their digital images or video in true color. For these printers the ribbons are already developed with the color imbedded in the ribbon. The entire ribbon cartridge or cassette is simply replaced when needed, not requirement to constantly keep adding the various colors of ink as a standard printer uses. What is high definition and glossy medical imaging paper and how is it better than standard medical imaging paper? Most people are comfortable with the term high definition, but how much does it really impact a medical video or digital imagine. The truth is that high definition medical imaging paper makes a huge difference in both color as well as gray scale imagines. They are much clearer and even the tiniest detail is clearly defined in the image. There is no fuzziness or blurring of the lines of the image, everything is in complete clarity and crispness. Glossy paper also adds to the development of the image and can also help to extend the life of the document once it is printed. Glossy paper tends to be much more durable than standard medical imaging paper. How do I know what type of medical imaging paper fits my printer? This question is one that gets asked very often, especially when people order medical imaging paper only to find it jams up in the feeder or the tray or doesn't seem to print out with the specific imaging printer in use. It is important to order medical imaging paper based on the specific model and style of printer you are using. Some printers use roll imaging paper, often these are ultrasounds, while others use standard sheet paper like a traditional desktop printer. The good news is that most standard models of roll or sheet medical image printers can work very with generic types of medical imaging paper. It is still important to buy a generic paper that is very high quality and that is indicated for use with your specific printer. If you aren't sure or the model number and manufacturer isn't listed on the generic paper specifications, call the customer service line and ask for verification. This will save you the cost of shipping it back if it doesn't work.

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What are the different types of ECG paper and can it be exchanged between different ECG machines?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

There are many different types of ECG paper and EKG paper, depending on the term you wish to use. The most obvious difference between the paper is the form that the paper is in. Some ECG machines and printers use sheet paper that is typically in an f-fold pattern. This sheet paper can also vary in dimensions of width as well as the number of sheets in a package. The roll style paper is also common in many machines. Like the sheet paper there are various widths, measured in millimeters, as well as various lengths of a roll. In most machines the roll length can be determined by the facility, provided the roll is not too large in circumference to fit into the paper feeder on the machine. Since there are different specifications on each machine exchanging paper is not recommended. However, some paper is approved for several different models and even brands of ECG and EKG machine, which can help to decrease the number of different types of paper you order. This may be an important consideration within a medical clinic or hospital when selecting ECK equipment. What happens if I accidentally order the incorrect paper for my ECG machine? The reputable online medical supply companies do realize that mistakes are made. The specific return policy should be clearly listed on the website and should outline what steps need to be taken to return any incorrectly ordered or incorrectly shipped ECG paper. Most companies require that you get an RAN or return authorization number before shipping the product back. You may be charged return shipping and a restocking fee if the error was in your order. If the company shipped a product in error you should not be charged to return or restock the material. In addition the shipping of the correct product should be done for you at no cost. Most companies have a timeline for returns and some companies will not accept opened product. It is therefore important to check all orders as they arrive and deal with any errors within the timeline indicated on the medical supply company's website.

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Are there different speeds possible on an EEG machine and how does that affect the choice of EEG paper?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Depending on the specific EEG machine and paper combination there can be a variety of options for the use of the machine, more specifically the graphs that the machine produces. The speed of the machine can be adjusted to meet the needs of the specific test of the brain's electric activity. The standard speed, which is used internationally, is 3 centimeters per second. This is why most EEG paper that has grids will have lines at the location of every 3 cms, which would correspond to one second of time in the test. Time markers on the grid can be further subdivided to allow very accurate readings of the data at both faster and slower speeds, providing the grid has the subdivisions. The machine does need to be calibrated between changes of speed to ensure that the paper is moving through the machine smoothly and without jerking or changing speeds. Even a tug at the paper for a fraction of a second will impact the reading from that point on in the test. Choosing the highest quality EEG paper, especially if you are using a variety of speed settings, is of great importance. What are the different sizes of sheets of EEG paper available? The different sizes of EEG paper are designed for specific machines and uses. In general both grid and non-grid markers on the paper are possible on any size of paper. Common sizes include 100, 210, 245, 345, 365 and 400 millimeters by 300 millimeters. Another option of 210mm by 150mm is also possible for Bond EEG medical recording charts. The sizes of the packages and cases of these papers will also vary with options from 25 pages per package through to 1000 pages per package. Most cases include at least three packages, but again different manufacturers may offer different packaging options. Typically buying larger bulk packages by case lots will save you money over both the short and long term. This paper is simple to store and requires no special accommodations other than a dry, dust free area. Since it is not a thermal paper there is no concern about heat sources or direct sunlight possibly starting chemical reactions and altering the color or quality of the paper. Of course storing out of direct sunlight once opened is always an important consideration. What features are variable between different types of EEG paper? Besides the size the biggest variation between EEG paper styles is the grid. Some paper has no grid at all and is used in general types of tests where time may not be required as a variable on the test. Grid EEG paper can include a variety of grid subdivisions as well different colors. The most popular grid colors include red, green, yellow and orange grid lines. Depending on the tracer or pen color used different grid lines may be more distinct and easy to see quickly.

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