Medical Equipment Blog

Disposable Bed Pad Questions

Monday, February 20, 2012

What are the major advantageous to using disposable bed pads over standard bed pads in clinical and emergency room settings?
The most obvious advantage, which most staff will indicate is also the major advantage, is the easy of use of these disposable bed pads. They come pre-folded and easy to open up and slid under the patient or to be placed on the bed when the patient is up. Since they are pre folded and designed for easy opening they are never wrinkled and bunched like the reusable pads and the edges never start to fray or unravel, leading to ragged looking linens. This also prevents leakage from the edges of the disposable bed pads when there is a lot of fluid within the pad.

Of course the pads are also ideal for quick changes and disposal. The can be folded or rolled with the exterior polypropylene backing facing outward and simply placed in the trash. This limits the odor that can result from soiled or wet reusable pads sitting in a laundry bag in the patient's room waiting for the housekeeping staff.

As they are designed for single use only, there is never any concern with contamination or the spread of bacteria due to incorrect laundering procedures or transfer from one patient's room to another. Patients as well as staff report that this is a major consideration as an advantage over the disposable bed pads when compared to traditional reusable options.

How do disposable bed pads stay in place on the bed, don't they slip across the sheets and cause the patient discomfort as the patient moves in the bed?
As with traditional reusable bed pads the disposable options have a backing that is designed to trap moisture in the pad and prevent leakage through to the bed linen as well as prevent the pad from slipping across the sheets with movement. With the disposable pads this backing is made of polypropylene which is highly tear resistant and also an excellent moisture barrier. The thinness of the pads also provides additional patient comfort even if they do shift slightly. This is very different than the thicker, bulkier reusable bed underpads that can twist and move to create a very uncomfortable surface for the patient.

It is simple for staff to remove the disposable pads in comparison to the standard pads for the same reason. Since they do not bunch up under the patient, even with considerable movement, rolling the patient to one side is usually all that is required to remove the soiled pad and replace it with a clean, fresh disposable pad.

How do disposable bed pads come packaged?
The packaging of disposable bed pads depends on the manufacturer. Most come in bundles of 100 or more and, when priced per unit, they are literally just a few cents each. Since they cut down on the cost of laundry and the necessity for additional staff on a unit to handle patient bed changes and clean-up they are often very cost effective in all types of medical and long term care facilities.

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Disposable Bed Sheets Q & A

What sizes do disposable bed sheets come in and what special features are offered with different brands of sheets?
Disposable bed sheets come in the standard size use by most patient beds, which is 58 inches by 102 inches. They can be used for top or bottom sheets and can be combined with disposable bed pads for maximum absorbency and patient comfort if incontinence is a concern.

Disposable sheets naturally provide protection against contamination since they are used once and then disposed. There is no chance of cross contamination in the laundry or by staff handling both dirty and clean linens when changing patient beds. In addition many of the tissue/poly combinations of disposable linens are very stain resistant and very strong, providing added comfort to the patient as well as staff.

Many brands of disposable sheets come in white, which is a crisp, clean look for patient rooms, examination rooms and for use on stretchers. There are some companies that make blue colored disposable linen products that are less institutional looking and may be a better option for long term care facilities since they are less hospital looking in color.

Disposable pillow covers can be used to coordinate with the sheets or they can be of a contrasting color to provide a different look entirely. White sheets with blue pillow covers or vice versa provides a good color match with many hospital color schemes.

Are there specific disposable bed sheets for stretchers?

Disposable bed sheets specifically designed for stretchers are an ideal option for busy staff. They are used once and disposed of, preventing the need to leave laundry at the receiving medical facility or have to bring soiled or used bedding back in the ambulance. The small, compact packaging of this bedding also makes it easy to carry and store in the small storage spaces in the ambulance. The strength, durability and low cost of the bedding makes it an excellent choice for first responders.

I have been using disposable bed sheets for patients in my clinic, what other options are there for patient comfort and privacy during exams?

Disposable bed sheets are a good option of a variety of different uses, including using with patients prior to and during examinations. Another option is to purchase a disposable drape sheet that is 40 by 60 and provides enough protection and privacy to use directly with the patient or to cover equipment or medical supplies as a drape sheet prior to use. Since they are fully disposable they are very easy to work with and they are also very reasonably priced, making them an ideal option for a busy clinic or a doctor's office.

Disposable bed sheets are slightly larger in dimension and tend to be more costly per unit, so using these sheets is entirely a decision of the doctor or medical professional. The larger sheets may provide to be more difficult for the patient to manage and may also provide additional material that is simply in the way.

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Mobile Hand Washing Station Q & A

What are the most common troubleshooting issues with a mobile hand washing station and how easy are they to fix on the spot?
One of the most common problems in the use of a mobile hand washing station is an electrical problem between the outlet and the unit. This can be because of a tripped breaker, an incorrectly plugged in cord or the need to reset the outlet that is located in the cabinet. More often than not, these issues are simple and easy to fix. To check that the breaker is not tripped plug in a different electrical device to the same outlet and see if it will turn on. If it does not, make sure the station is unplugged and find the breaker box. Turn on the breaker that has clicked off. Return and plug in the station.
The reset button is located between the two outlets that are positioned beside the on/off switch in the cabinet of the mobile hand washing station. It is a small button that, if it needs to be reset, will either have no light displayed or a red light. Reset and check the plug to the wall to make sure it is inserted correctly.
These simple corrections will also address the problem that caused the mobile hand washing station pump to work and then shut off. If this happens make sure that you are plugged into a dedicated 20A 110V outlet.

How is an outdoor mobile hand washing station designed to stand up to the elements? Is there anything I can do to extend the life of the cabinet if it is always outside?
An outdoor portable sink is designed to prevent damage from UV rays from the sun as well as damage due to rain, snow or sleet. The sides and back of the cabinets are either galvanized or stainless steel, making them strong and resistant to any type of mold, rust or scratching. The front of the cabinet is made of a very durable polyethylene that is resistant to UV damage caused by the sun. The top is stainless, as is the basin, making it very effective at resisting any damage caused by
the elements.
 A mobile hand washing station that is going to be used or stored outdoors also comes with an additional cover. This cover can be placed over the entire unit to prevent any long term exposure to rain, snow or sun. Protecting the surface area from this type of exposure will keep it looking new for years to come.
How can I estimate how long a fresh water tank will last?

The mobile hand washing station is designed to provide a steady and controlled stream of water that is suitable for hand washing and other uses where water is in short supply. The standard flow of water is ½ gallon per minute, which allows you to estimate how long a standard fresh water tank will last. With a standard fresh water tank of five gallons, that is filled completely, you can estimate that you have enough water for 42 hand washings. This is more than enough for a typical classroom of students per day or for several days in a smaller workplace environment. There is also the option to have additional fresh water tanks on hand so you never have to worry about running out of water.

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Mobile Sinks Q & A

Friday, February 17, 2012

What options are available in cabinets for mobile sinks for indoor or outdoor use?

There are several different options for mobile sinks, particularly when it comes to cabinets and tops. Indoor models may have cherry or maple or, if you want, the color of the cabinet can be customized to your specific requirements. Customized options can include virtually any color from a clinical white for a doctor's office through to a completely unique look top and cabinet designed to meet a very specific type of décor.
Sink sizes and sink shapes are also a major difference in options offered with mobile sinks. Some companies only offer a standard basin while other companies offer a huge range of different options. This can include deep basins, double or triple basins or even the position of the faucet to the back or side of the sink.

How does the water heating system work with mobile sinks? Will it add a lot to an electricity bill?
Mobile units that are designed with the consumer in mind have been built to be very easy on the electrical bill. Both the hot water heating system and the pump only activate when the taps are moved from the off to the on position. In other words, they only are drawing electricity when they are being used. The pump will begin to move the water from the fresh water tank to the sink when the cold water tap is turned on. Turning the hot water on allows the pump to also send water to the on demand heater, providing the option to use both hot and cold water at the same time.
Using a mobile sink will inevitably increase electricity consumption in your household, office, or classroom. However, when compared to the cost of plumbing, having a water heater running all the time or constantly having to move back and forth to a standard sink in the home or office it is really a time and money saver.

Are mobile sinks a practical option for a mobile catering company that actually prepares food on site?

Mobile sinks are a great option for mobile catering services, particularly those that catered events in areas without existing commercial kitchens or sources of running water and heated water. This can include halls, outdoor venues, parks and private homes. Having the ability to have immediate hot and cold running water helps with both food preparation and cooking. It also ensures that employees can follow all regulations with regards to hand washing during food preparation and handling.

Having a portable sink on sight will add to your customer's satisfaction with your service. It shows that you care about the quality of your food, the safety of your food handling practices and the level of service you provide. Since you can have multiple fresh and waste water containers on hand you never have to worry about running out of water. In addition, with a quick connect attachment, the sink can easily be attached to a potable fresh water source you can refill fresh water containers almost anywhere with a potable water supply.

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Stainless Steel Portable Sinks

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If I want to use my stainless steel portable sink inside and outside, will I have any problems?

A stainless steel portable sink is a great option for both inside and outside use. There are stainless steel portable sink models that are built just for outside use. The outdoor models have slightly different construction to help deal with the damage that can occur because of exposure to UV rays and to help prevent damage to traditional types of cabinets. These sinks have high density polyethylene for the cabinet doors and front with galvanized or stainless steel back and sides. The castors that make these units easy to move and reposition are also upgraded in the outdoor models to ensure they are durable and long lasting. The models also come with a sink cover that will help protect the entire sink and cabinet when not in use.

Of course, you can use an inside model stainless steel portable sink for outdoor use, provided it is stored inside and out of the elements. This is a perfect option for use on a patio or deck where it is outside only when the family is enjoying the outdoor living space. This is also a good option for schools when outdoor events are happening or for trade shows, community events or outdoor activities.

What are the different types of basins that are common with a stainless steel portable sink?

There are multiple different options for basins depending on the specific size of the cabinet that you select. There is a standard basin design and a side sink design that can both be fully integrated with the countertop to provide a seamless top and basin component. These standard sinks typically measure 10 to 14 inches in width, approximately 11 inches in length and 6.5 inches in depth. Standard stainless sinks are slight larger at 12 inches in width, 10 in length and just under 6 inches in depth.

Specialized sinks that are standard with many cabinet combinations include the deep sink, which will measure just less than 10 inches. Double and triple basin sinks are slightly smaller but provide different sink areas that utilize the same centrally mounted faucet. This is a great idea for busy portable sinks or for functions like outdoor or indoor catering services, trade shows or demonstrations.

What are the different heights available with a stainless steel portable sink unit?

The cabinet heights and dimensions vary based on the features offered and the customization required. Standard cabinet height range from approximately 34 inches up to approximately 38 inches. Other specialized cabinets such as those for classrooms and daycares are much smaller at about 28 inches in height.

There is always the option to customize the height of your stainless steel portable sink cabinet. This is only possible if the company actually constructs the cabinets and sinks and also offers customers the option to design the sink that they need. Usually these custom designed sinks also allow you to configure storage space or add from a list of specialized features.

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Common Questions about Disposable Pillow Cases

How durable are disposable pillow cases if there is a spill or moisture that comes in contact with the pillow case?

Disposable pillow cases or covers are designed to be very durable and to stand up to exposure to moisture, spills, sweat, bodily fluids and to the movement of a patient's head and hair against the surface. They can be made of a tissue/poly combination that offers both strength and softness and they can also be very absorbent without weakening the pillow case.
Patients feel very comfortable on disposable pillow covers that are breathable and remain cool since they absorb the moisture, rather than hold it against the skin. Some types of these disposable covers are very stain resistant, perfect for everyday use in hospital patient rooms but also ideally suited for emergency room use, clinical use or use in a doctor's office.

Are disposable pillow cases and covers sold only in sheet sets or are they available separately?

Disposable pillow cases are available both as part of disposable sheet sets as well as in individual packaging. Typically when sold individually they will be packaged by pillow size, standard, queen or king by dimensions and sold in quantities of 100, 120 or 150 per case. This allows staff to divide up the case and store pillow covers in patient rooms, exam rooms or in central supply areas. Each pillow case comes folded in a compact pre-set style, easy for use and ideal for carrying on supply carts between rooms.

What styles of disposable pillow cases are available and how do they make life easier for staff in hospital, clinical or care facilities?

Most disposable pillow cases and pillow covers come in a standard white or in a pale blue color. Both are ideal for hospital settings, examination rooms and emergency rooms and coordinate with most standard linen colors used by hospitals. Different sizes of 21 by 37, 21 by 30, 20 by 29, ensuring that there is a good match for all pillow sizes used in the facility.

Disposable linens, including pillow cases or covers, are an excellent idea for several reasons. First and foremost they are helpful in eliminating the transfer of contaminants between that can occur when both clean and dirty laundry is handled in the same area. This is particularly important in the case of chemical or biological contaminants including viruses or bacteria.

Staff will find that using disposable bed linens cuts down on the time required to change patient's rooms and bedding when necessary. The sheets and pillow cases are simply removed and discarded, they are single use only. This is different than stripping beds, transferring the laundry bags, moving laundry bags, washing, drying, folding and returning the sheets and pillow cases to the room. This frees up housekeeping staff and patient care technicians to focus in on patient centered services.

Single use disposable bedding items also require no regular checks for wear and use and there will never be unsightly permanent stains or discolorations. Each pillow case will look fresh and new, which is important for patient comfort and satisfaction.

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EMS Chair Questions

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What are the standard types of EMS chair features and which are most important for basic evacuation and rescue use?

Having chairs that are easy to fold down and immediately position for use is one very important feature. Many EMS chairs will open and fold with one movement, ensuring that they are available as soon as needed. The frame and the seat should be durable and lightweight, easy to clean and disinfect as needed. The harness or belt system that secures the patient should be simple to use yet easily adjustable, providing the highest level of protection and security to the individual being transported.
There are both basic and premium types of an EMS chair. What are the differences between the two?

Both types of EMS chairs are in use with first responders and medical facilities as well as different public and private organizations, agencies and businesses. The premium model is more commonly used by EMS services were the chair will be needed on a more frequent basis. Some of the features on a premium style of chair include oversized wheels that allow easy transport of people over grass, sand, rocks or rough terrain that is much more difficult with models that have only two wheels or the smaller five inch wheels.
Premium chairs often have arm rests for patient security and comfort as well as more developed foot rests. Typically the control features for staff, including the back and front hand grips are adjustable, allowing for easy adjustments for staff of different heights.

Some models of EMS chairs offer two wheels while others offer four wheels. Is there an advantage in one style over the other?

The choice between two wheels on the back or four wheels on all legs of the chair is largely a function of maneuverability. Four wheels, with the two on the back fixed and the two on the front that swivel, provides the greatest ease in moving the EMS chair in tight physical spaces. For the average use area two wheels provides great maneuverability but with four wheels it is easier for one person to maneuver the chair regardless of the space allocation. 

 How durable is an EMS chair and are they suitable for long term storage in an emergency response vehicle?

A rescue chair is designed to be ready to use in an instant so they are also constructed to be very durable even with long periods where they are not in constant use. The frames are constructed from lightweight aluminum which is highly rust resistant, non-corroding, resistant to chemical spills or staining and also extremely strong for its actual weight when compared to other types of metals and alloys.

The seat and back of the rescue chair is made of a nylon-reinforced vinyl that, like aluminum, is rot and mildew resistant and also very resistant to scuffing, ripping or tearing. Nylon-reinforced vinyl is also very stain resistant and easy to clean and disinfect after each use.

Floor fasteners and wall straps provide options for securing the EMS chair in any type of emergency vehicle. They can also be folded and stacked along a wall or in a storage area of a medical supply room or cupboard for use when needed.

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Helpful Information on Emergency Evacuation Chairs

What types of businesses, organizations, facilities or agencies should have emergency evacuation chairs available in the case of a crisis situation?
An emergency evacuation chair or several chairs are an important consideration for a wide range of different types of organizations, business and public or private settings. These chairs are much easier to get individuals in and out of than a wheelchair and they are far easier to maneuver than a bulky wheelchair. This also makes them much easier to store in a medical supply room or even a first aid closet in a building, school, high rise or any other type of public place.

Emergency evacuation chairs are particularly important in larger office or high rise buildings and apartment buildings where emergency access may limited in the event of a fire or other type of disaster. If elevators are not available traditional wheelchairs and stretchers are very difficult to maneuver through narrow hallways and down staircases. However, this is particularly what the emergency evacuation chair has been designed to handle. Easily pushed from the back or the front, making it easy to move up and down stairs, this is an important consideration for the safety and security of virtually all public and private buildings with elevators or staircases or with small, compact areas that make the use of other types of medical equipment problematic.

What is the advantage of using an emergency evacuation chair in transporting a patient or injured individual?

The extending handles that can be extended to the front of the evacuation chair allow two people to quickly and easily move this chair up and down stairs. The same type of easily positioned handles to the back of the chair, approximately in the same place as the handles on a wheelchair, means that the
chair can also be controlled from the back. Unlike a wheelchair the wheels are very small, no more than 7.5 inches in size, so they easily fit on all standard stair steps. Many models have wheels only on the rear legs, ensuring that the chair remains securely in place when not in motion. Locking devices on rear wheels provide additional security when transporting a patient.

What safety features are available on the chairs to ensure that the individual being transported is as safe as being on a stretcher or in a standard wheelchair?

The secure frame and locking wheels provide stability to the emergency evacuation chair, very similar to the solid and durable construction found with medical stretchers and wheelchairs. Like a stretcher the emergency rescue evacuation chair also has one or two straps that are used to secure the patient into the chair. Some models use two standard automobile or airplane style seat belt straps, one that goes across the chest just under the shoulders and one that goes across the thighs just below the hips when seated. This ensures that the patient's arms, legs and body are securely on the chair.

Another system to secure the patient in the rescue chair is the use of a harness style security strap system. There are two straps, one on each shoulder, that come down the chest and fasten to one side of the standard type of auto seat belt that then clips fastens in the middle.

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Portable Sinks for Daycare Q & A

I really want to be able to keep the portable sinks for daycare looking clean and new. What type of countertop do you recommend?

There are different types of countertops available for portable sinks for daycare. There is the option to use a lead free, phthalate free melamine that comes with a black laminate finish. The other option is to choose a stainless steel top for portable sinks. This is a great idea for daycares where paint, glue, and other messy and potentially staining materials may be used. Stainless steel is very resistant to any type of staining or scratching and, with the virtually rust-proof surface, it stays looking new for years. The sink top area is very easy to clean when you choose stainless steel as you can use almost any cleaner you want without worrying about ruining the material.
Stainless also offers additional advantages. It maintains a neutral color with regards to décor. This means you don't have to worry about matching new furniture, cabinets or fixtures to the laminate color, as most color schemes will mesh well with stainless steel.

I would like to use portable sinks for daycare but I already have a baby change table in the very small space I have available. Do you have any suggestions?

You can combine baby change tables with portable sinks for daycare to make an excellent option for those with limited space. This is not only practical for the kids, but it is incredibly handy for staff. No longer will you need to move from space to space with the infant, as everything you need for a proper diaper change is right there. The portable sinks are mounted to the change station, which is designed to meet all safety requirements. It has a seven inch deep changing deck with a one inch thick cushion pad. This means that baby is not only safe, but also very comfortable. With immediate access to hot or cold water, portable sinks for daycare make clean up a breeze.
The configuration of portable sinks for daycare provides additional storage area under the change table. This is perfect for storing wet wipes, lotion, diapers, and extra changes of clothes for kids.

The basic configurations for the cabinets are great, but I need some additional storage in my portable sinks for daycare use. What are my options?

Most people find that the standard cabinet storage options under the change tables or the extra storage cabinet offer all the storage that they need. In the event that you require additional drawers, cabinets, or other customized options they can be provided. Staff will talk to you to determine just what you are asking for with your portable sinks for daycare and then design a custom cabinet to meet those needs.

There are also some features that can help with storage of commonly used items. A wire holder for disposable gloves can be mounted on the inside of the cabinet door, in an open space or even on the outside of the cabinet to limit the need to have the box just sitting around on the cabinet top.

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Questions About Emergency Rescue Chairs

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What are the most important features to consider in choosing a particular make or style of rescue chairs?
Ease of storage, security for the person being transported and the ease of use for the person maneuvering the rescue chair are all essential considerations when selecting a model for your medical facility, office or private or public building or space. Since these chairs may be left in storage without use for long periods of time an aluminum frame that is rust proof and easy to maintain as well as nylon and vinyl reinforced seat and backrest that resists mildew and moisture damage.

Why are rescue chairs a better option than wheelchairs or stretchers for moving patients or people in an emergency situation?

Rescue chairs are much easier to maneuver is small or confined spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, elevators or in stairways. In emergency situations it may be impossible to take elevators, leaving stairways the only option to move patients or individuals to ground floor exits.

These chairs are also designed to be controlled from either the front or the back. This allows staff, first responders or even volunteers in a crisis to maneuver and control the rescue chair in a way that is most comfortable and expedient. The chairs can easily be positioned in open and secure areas in larger numbers than wheelchairs or stretchers due to their larger overall size. In addition the chairs come with built in vehicle storage system that allows the chairs to be secured for transport using a floor fastener or a wall strap. They are much lighter weight to carry to the patient and add less weight to moving the patient compared to a bulky wheelchair or a hospital bed or stretcher

What are the specifications of rescue chairs and can they be used for all adults and children?

There are slight variations in styles of rescue chairs based on the features that are provided. Obviously chairs with the full foot rest and the armrests will be slightly larger and also weigh slightly more than those without these features. However, most rescue chairs are relatively similar in specifications. Typically wheels will be either 5 inches or 7.5 inches, often on premium or deluxe models of chairs the larger wheels will be on the back legs and the smaller on the front.

Height of the back of the rescue chair will be just under 40 inches for larger chairs and closer to 35 for the slightly smaller options. Width of the seat and the frame of the back of the chair typically is fairly standard at just over 21 inches. The depth when closed is typically under twelve inches, making these easy to store in closets or supply cupboards in a variety of different settings. Weight of the chairs ranges from approximately 31 pounds to around 25 pounds.

Most chairs are rated for a weight capacity of 350 plus pounds, making them ideal for most adults. Depending on the size of the child these rescue chairs can be a good option but they will not be acceptable for toddlers or young children that cannot be secured with the safety harness.


Common Questions about Hospital Bed Lighting

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Other than standard over the bed lighting, what options are available for safety hospital bed lighting in patient areas?
While lighting in hospital rooms is designed to provide clear lighting options for doctors and medical staff to exam and treat patients, it is also an important factor for the patient. The over head or over bed light can be used to provide enough light to read, use a computer or visit with friends and family even if the ambient light in the room is very low. Of course the opposite is also true, the light can be designed to provide a gentle indirect light that is perfect to allow the patient to rest and sleep while also providing enough light for staff to check in on the patient without the need to turn on overhead lights.

Safety features such as night lights, which are either part of the hospital bed lighting or additional fixtures, are important considerations in rooms where patients are ambulatory or in rooms where staff is required to check in on the patient throughout the night. Night lights provide a soft glow and are low wattage, costing very little to operate while providing maximum safety for those moving about in the room. In addition there are also photocell night lights available that only come on when the room reaches a low light level. These not only safe energy but they also are automatically operated without the need for the patient or staff to turn them on. Other types of hospital bed lighting can be controlled by the patient for comfort and safety.

Other than simply on and off, are there hospital bed lighting options that provide a range of different intensities of light for a variety of purposes?

Hospital bed lighting has evolved to the point that there are now multiple different lighting options all available in the same fixture. Top quality fixtures may provide as many as four different light sources that can be controlled with a remote that can be used by the patient or staff. The four different light sources include a ceiling focused indirect light, perfect for watching TV or during daylight hours to provide general light for the room. Direct light that points downward is ideal for staff and doctors to use when tending to the patient or during patient examinations.

Night lights are perfect type of hospital bed lighting for a soft glow when the patient is sleeping. This provides enough light for moving about with comfort without the need for additional light. Reading lights focus light for the patient that won't disturb others in the room and can all be part of the hospital bed lighting fixture.

What are the features that make hospital bed lighting very comfortable and relaxing for the patients?

When patients are able to control and adjust the level of light provided by the fixture they are much more relaxed and comfortable in their room. In addition with easy control through the bed control system the patient is not required to stretch or move to turn lights on and off. Having more control over the lights provides a sense of independence to the patient and also decreases the demands on the staff to adjust the lighting requirements.


Hospital Overbed Lights Q & A

Are there options for hospital overbed lights that also coordinate with ceiling mounted lights in patient rooms, corridors and other rooms in the hospital or clinical area?

Many hospitals prefer a standardized lighting system throughout the facility. This is also true for nursing homes and long term care facilities where keeping all lighting fixtures uniform not only adds to the visual appeal but also helps keep repair and maintenance costs lower.

There are different companies that offer both hospital overbed lighting as well as corridor lighting. With similar types of features there is no need to have a huge variety of different bulbs and repair parts since all fixtures use the same options. Coordinating all lighting fixtures, particularly in patient rooms throughout the hospital, also means that patients that transfer from one unit to another or room to room will feel more comfortable since they will already be aware of how to operate the bed lights.

When comparing prices, what is important to look for in hospital overbed lighting compared to standard lighting and night lights?

The more types of light that one fixture provides, particularly in hospital overbed lights, the less cost will be involved. This is because there is no need to have multiple lights or multiple fixtures in the room, one fixture can do it all. Standard hospital lights may only provide direct light when on and no light at all if not on. Hospital overbed lights can be designed to provide direct light for working with the patient, indirect light for general lighting needs, night lights for soft lighting in the evening and reading lights for focused light for patients. 

If the main fixture does not provide all these lights then you would be required to provide a separate reading lamp or light as well as a night light. Doctors and nurses may also require additional overhead lighting to give enough light for examinations and patient treatment. All these additional fixtures would definitely add to the cost, plus there would be a greater chance that a much larger inventory of bulbs, replacement parts and fixture covers would be required to handle maintenance and repair of any damaged lights in the facility.

What is a general idea of the specifications of hospital overbed lighting that provides indirect, direct, reading lights and night lights all in the same fixture?

The specific types of light provided by the hospital overbed lighting will be determined by the manufacturer. In general for lights offering four different lighting option there will be different lumens or light units emitted depending on the direct or indirect lighting that is turned on or off at the time. Full light output can be as high as two bulbs of 5000 lumens and one bulb of 2000 lumens when direct or indirect lighting is required. The night light will have a much lower wattage, typically at 7 watts and the reading light will be 24 watts. This is enough light to read with or without the indirect lighting and with or without any supplemental room light.


Mini Freezers Q & A

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

What options are available for mini freezers that can be used at a workstation or inset into an available under the counter area?

Laboratory freezers that are small and compact are available for use under an existing counter top that is a standard 34.5 inches. These mini freezers have three shelves plus storage on the door using

 shelves and a bar to prevent the containers from moving forward and falling when the door is opened or closed. These freezer units measure approximately 21.7 inches in width, 23.8 inches in depth and 33.5 inches in height. Interior measurements are 18.1 by 18 by 27.6 inches, providing up to five cubic feet of actual storage space.

Shelves can hold a variety of supplies, containers and samples and the door is ideal for storage of bottles and samples. While not as adjustable as full sized units the spacing of the shelves most containers and specimen holders will easily fit in the unit. The shelves themselves are epoxy coating to be resistant to chemical spills and very easy to clean. The legs of the mini freezer are adjustable to provide easy leveling to match with an existing countertop or work area.

How accurate is the temperature control with the mini freezer units compared to the temperature control on a regular large size laboratory freezer?

Surprising to most people is the similarity in the temperature control system used on high quality mini freezers and the full size 20 plus cubic foot free standing laboratory freezers. They both use a microprocessor system that responds to even very slight changes in temperature to keep the temperature unity at better than plus or minus one degree Celsius.

The temperature is further monitored using a set point digital pad located right beside an actual digital read-out of the current temperature inside the freezer. Users can set parameters for alarms, which can be audible and visual, that alert staff should the temperature drop lower or increase to higher than the designated parameters. The top line models will come with remote dry contacts that allow the freezer to be connected to a remote monitoring system that will ensure that any changes in temperature outside of the parameters sends an alarm to a designated location.

What is the best way to clean and defrost a mini freezer and can they be decontaminated in the event of a spill or accident?

Cleaning and defrosting mini freezers is the same as working with a full size laboratory freezer. They do not automatically defrost; it is done manually, to ensure that materials stored in the freezer are not exposed to unwanted temperature changes.

Defrosting is rarely required as the freezer is designed to function optimally at all times. Cleaning is done by allowing the unit to warm to room temperature and wiping the interior surfaces with warm water and disinfectant and cleaning solution. Follow with a warm water rinse and dry thoroughly before allowing to cool again to the desired temperature.

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Portable Hand Wash Station Q & A

Monday, February 06, 2012

1. Are there any standards or requirements for portable hand wash stations that will be used in a school, daycare or nursery setting?
For many school, daycare, nursery, and child care center settings, having all equipment above the minimum safety and code requirements is a big consideration. The NSF or National Science Foundation is a United States government-managed agency that tests equipment for use in a variety of specialized settings. A portable hand wash station that meets NSF standards means that the product has been reviewed and passed all required safety standards for use of the sink. This not only provides liability protection for the school, daycare or nursery but it also gives staff and parents peace of mind to know that their children will be safe using the provided equipment.

2. What are the most important features to consider in selecting a portable hand wash station for a daycare environment?

There are many different features that can be found on a portable hand wash station for any type of child-centered environment. One of the most important features for any portable sink is the height of the cabinet and sink. Models that are designed with kids in mind will typically have countertops at about 28 inches in height. Companies may also offer a non-skid, slip resistant step that can be used for toddlers and kids under the age of three. This allows the children to learn how to wash their hands without needing an adult to give them a boost up to the sink.
Faucets that work on a sensor are also a great way to encourage kids to use the sink. It also eliminates a lot of clean up when little hands work the taps. Another great feature that make filling up fresh water containers a snap is an adaptor hose that fits on the fresh water tap and connects to the top of the container. This job can be made even easier with a dolly system that allows you to roll up to the sink with the tank, eliminating the need to lift or carry the heavier full tanks.

3. I like the idea of a laminate top for my classroom portable hand wash station. Is this a good idea? What are the benefits?

Laminate is a great idea for a school, daycare or nursery portable hand wash station. It is easy to clean, resists stains and scratching and also can be coordinated to match colors or existing countertops or work surface areas. It is important to check the laminate and ensure that it is melamine that is made without phthalates or lead.
Laminate tops require minimal in the way of routine care. In any type of setting it is a good idea to use an antiviral cleaner that can reduce the chance of contamination or the spread of germs with multiple users. A good option for this type of cleaning solution is Steramine. It kills viruses and is very easy to mix and use and doesn't have the harsh smell of chlorine or ammonia based cleaning products.

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Scientific Freezer Q & A

Friday, February 03, 2012

What specific features should I look for in a scientific freezer that will be used in a medical laboratory located in a major teaching hospital?
Choosing a scientific freezer for a major teaching hospital or any medical facility in general takes a bit of consideration. One of the major features to look for is a variety of different options to configure the interior of the freezer to best meet a variety of possible storage options for the content. If you are storing a variety of different samples and materials shelving that can be adjusted or even removed for very large items will be absolutely essential. In addition door storage for smaller items that are used frequently or that may easily be misplaced on the larger shelves is a must. Some units may offer the option of bins that allow the entire bin to be removed with the contents while others will have standard shelves.

You will also need to consider the size or interior storage space that the freezer provides. This will be measured in cubic feet, with larger sized units offering 20 plus cubic feet while smaller counter sized models offering 6 or 7 cubic feet of storage.

How can I tell if the scientific freezers that I am comparing are energy efficient or if they are going to use a lot of electricity since they are constantly on?
Energy use can be kept to a minimum with the new styles of freezers. Since they are microprocessor controlled the temperature quickly adjusts and the system begins convection cooling immediately, limiting the amount of ongoing energy use when large cooling is required.

In addition high tech types of insulation, seals around the doors, efficiency rating and performance assurance information are all provided by the manufacturer. Reviewing this information and comparing the average performance of each model, including the energy efficiency information provided will be instrumental in choosing one model or brand over another.

Reviewing the performance assurance graph provided will also give you a good indication of how much the temperature fluctuates within the freezer. The more constant and stable the temperature is the better insulated and the better cooling system that the freezer has, leading to higher energy efficiency.

What tips do you have for maintaining a steady temperature in scientific freezers that are used on a regular basis?

There are some simple ways that staff and students can learn to help keep the temperature constant in your scientific freezer. These are not complicated procedures to follow but they do help decrease temperature and cause the unit to have to cool. Consider the following:

• Add a limited number of samples at a time and allow them to freeze before adding larger numbers or additional samples.
• Keep a recorded inventory system on the door of the freezer where staff marks where specific samples are kept. This prevents having to search through shelves of the freezer, keeping the door opened for very limited amounts of time.
• Complete all regular maintenance on the freezer on schedule. This includes defrosting the unit and ensuring all filters and air systems are clean and free from ice, dirt or debris that may impede performance.

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