Weekly Wrap For November 18 – November 22, 2013

5 Benefits Of Disposable Patient Positioning Straps

Disposable patient positioning straps are used to assist in immobilizing patients and are great for infection control purposes. Proper patient positioning is critical to patient safety, a durable safety strap is often required for specific positioning techniques. 

Sharps Containers: Preventing Sharps Injuries With Proper Disposal

Sharps injuries are a very serious matter in healthcare facilities. According to the CDC, they estimate that about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur yearly among medical workers in hospitals. Careful handling of contaminated sharps can reduce the risk of infection for hospital workers.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Types of PPE Supplies

This week's Whiteboard Wednesday, we discuss the different types of PPE supplies! Disposable gowns, face masks, infection control footwear, bouffants, lab coats, etc. are all important PPE supplies to keep in your medical setting.

World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day – November 21, 2013

We are proud to join the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) in the promotion of World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day!

“The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research.”

World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day – November 21, 2013

We are proud to join the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) in the promotion of World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day!

“The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research.”

The International NPUAP-EPUAP defines pressure ulcer as a “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. A number of contributing or confounding factors are also associated with pressure ulcers; the significance of these factors is yet to be elucidated.”

Pressure ulcers or bedsores, are injuries to skin and underlying tissues that result from prolonged pressure on the skin. The development of pressure ulcers most commonly occur on bony areas of the body, such as the heel, ankles, hips, head or buttocks. Individuals who are confined to a bed for prolonged periods, required to use a wheelchair, or have a medical condition that limits them from easily changing positions are the most susceptible to developing pressure ulcers. According to the Mayo Clinic “bedsores can develop quickly and are often difficult to treat.” There are several strategies that can help prevent some bedsores and promote healing.

The NPUAP has categorized and defined (listed below) bedsores into four stages based on their severity. The severity of the pressure ulcer is ranked from stage I, the beginning stage, to stage IV, the most severe, where the ulcer exhibits large-scale tissue loss.

Category/Stage I: Non-Blanchable erythema 

Skin is intact with non-blanchable redness (lighter color skin) or darkly pigmented skin may not have visible blanching of a localized area usually over a bony prominence. “The area may be painful, firm, soft, warmer or cooler as compared to adjacent tissue.”

Category/Stage II: Partial thickness

Partial thickness loss of dermis presenting as a shallow open ulcer with a red pink wound bed, without slough or bruising.

Category/Stage III: Full thickness skin loss

Full thickness tissue loss, bone, tendon and muscle are not exposed but subcutaneous (adipose tissue) fat may be visible. The depth of the ulcer can vary depending on the amount of subcutaneous tissue present in the region.

Category/Stage IV: Full thickness tissue loss  

The most severe stage, full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon or muscle has occurred.

Common sites of pressure ulcers for people who use a wheelchair develop on the tailbone, shoulder blade, spine, back of arms and legs where they rest against the chair. People confined to beds often develop pressure ulcers on the back or sides of head, rim of the ears, shoulders or shoulder blades, hip, lower back, tailbone, heels, ankles and the skin behind the knees.

Risk factors for developing pressure ulcers include anyone with limited mobility and is unable to easily change positions while seated or in a bed. Immobility may be due to:

  • Generally poor health or weakness
  •  Paralysis
  • Injury or illness that requires bed rest or wheelchair use
  • Recovery after surgery
  • Sedation (surgical procedure)
  • Coma

Relieving pressure from the pressure ulcer site is the first step in treatment. The use of support surfaces (special cushions or pads, mattresses and beds) and patient repositioning can help reduce the pressure on the sore. There are a whole host of treatment options that are available to people with bedsores or pressure ulcers that are out of the scope of this post, so please feel free to visit the NPUAP site for more resources.

The impact of pressure ulcers upon patients and families can be traumatic and life changing, so please help spread the word to help increase awareness of this global challenge that health care providers face on a daily basis. For further information about National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and pressure ulcers please visit: NPUAP

Weekly Wrap For November 11 – November 15, 2013

Whiteboard Wednesday: Types Of Common Infections And How To Prevent Them

In this weeks Whiteboard Wednesday we review a few common types of infections that take place in hospitals and medical facilities, and a few ways to prevent these infections! 

How To Choose The Right Exam Glove Dispenser

Choosing the right exam glove box dispenser is an important step in keeping your medical facility organized and promoting sound infection control practices. Exam glove box dispensers, sometimes referred to as PPE dispensers, eliminate the need to carry exam gloves in pockets, loose in drawers or on countertops. 

Hand Hygiene Tips You’ll Want To Know

It’s the perfect time of year to review some basic hand hygiene tips! As many of us already know, washing your hands before and after you eat, after using the restroom and before and after tending to sick patients is important. 

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen: Father Of Diagnostic Radiography

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, referred to as the father of diagnostic radiography, was a German physicist who first discovered the X-ray on Friday, November 8, 1895. Roentgen, a professor of physics at the University of Wurzburg (Germany), was working with cathode rays. He evacuated a glass bulb of all air, filled it with a special gas, and passed a high electric voltage through it. Roentgen then observed the fluorescence of  a barium platinocyanide screen that was being produced by a gas discharge tube that he was using during his investigation of cathode rays. Roentgen termed this new discovery “X-rays” or “invisible light”, using the mathematical designation for something unknown or “X”.

The ray was capable of passing through most substances and casting shadows of solid objects on pieces of film.  Two weeks after his discovery, Roentgen produced one of the earliest photographic plates from his experiments. The film was of his wife, Bertha’s hand with her wedding ring clearly visible on her finger (image shown below), was produced on Friday, November 8, 1895. Roentgen found that the X-ray would pass through human tissue and leave a visible shadow of the bones and metals.

The news of Roentgen’s discovery spread quickly throughout the world. The cathode tube was well known during the late 1890’s which allowed scientists around the world to duplicate his experiment. By February 1896, X-rays were finding their first clinical use in the US in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, when Edwin Brant Frost produced a plate of a patients colles’ fracture for his brother, a local doctor. Scientists quickly realized the benefits of X-rays but were not initially aware of the harmful effects of radiation exposure.

For several years after the discovery of the X-ray it was believed that the rays passed through flesh as harmlessly as light. This common belief began to fade as reported cases of burns and skin damage after x-ray exposure started to increase.  In 1904, Thomas Edison’s assistant, Clarence Dally, who had worked with X-rays, died of skin cancer. Dally’s death caused some scientists to take notice of the potential risks associated with radiation exposure, although not fully understood. Roentgen died on February 10, 1923 from carcinoma of the intestine. His death was not attributed to his work with ionizing radiation because of the brief time he spent on those investigations and because he was one of the few pioneers in the field to routinely wear protective lead shields.

In 1901, Roentgen was awarded the first Nobel Prize in physics. Roentgen refused to take patents for his discoveries, as he believed that all mankind should benefit from his discoveries. His discovery of the X-ray revolutionized the modern practice of medicine in ways that he could never imagined. Today, Roentgen is considered the father of diagnostic radiology, the medical speciality which uses imaging to diagnose diseases.

The 8th of November is also celebrated by radiographers worldwide as World Radiography Day to commemorate Wilhelm Roentgen’s Discovery of X-rays. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of radiographic imaging and therapy, which play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients and, most importantly, ensuring radiation is kept to a minimum required which ultimately improves patient care.

 

Weekly Wrap For November 4 – November 8, 2013

Are You Wearing The Right Sized Exam Gloves?

Did you know that it’s essential to wear the right sized protective equipment in your medical setting? Exam gloves are worn daily by many medical professionals and it’s very important these exam gloves fit. Hand protection is key during routine patient exams, procedures and handling sick patients. It’s important for medical personnel to know the right size exam gloves to use at work.

Disposable UV-Transparent Spectrophotometer Cuvettes

Disposable UV-Transparent spectrophotometer cuvettes are an excellent alternative to fragile, expensive quartz cuvettes for DNA, RNA, and protein analyses between 220-900nm. For example, the disposable BRAND UV-Cuvettes are made from a proprietary polycyclical olefin which is resistant to many aggressive solvents and eliminates the need for tedious maintenance, cleaning, and most importantly the contamination risk associated with quartz cuvettes.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Disposable vs. Reusable Products

Today on Whiteboard Wednesday, we compare disposable vs. reusable products for infection control. Watch our video below to see which infection control product is typically recommended!

Happy National Radiologic Technology Week!

This week (November 3-9, 2013) is National Radiologic Technology Week! This week was created to celebrate and honor the work of radiologic technologists. For 2013, the theme is “R.T.s: Positioning Ourselves for Excellence.”

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, Father Of Diagnostic Radiography

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, referred to as the father of diagnostic radiography, was a German physicist who first discovered the X-ray on Friday, November 8, 1895. Roentgen, a professor of physics at the University of Wurzburg (Germany), was working with cathode rays. Roentgen termed this new discovery “X-rays” or “invisible light”, using the mathematical designation for something unknown or “X”.

Happy National Radiologic Technology Week!

This week (November 3-9, 2013) is National Radiologic Technology Week! This week was created to celebrate and honor the work of radiologic technologists. For 2013, the theme is “R.T.s: Positioning Ourselves for Excellence.”

Radiology technologists are medical personnel who regularly perform diagnostic imaging exams and perform radiation therapy treatment. They often specialize in certain diagnostic imaging areas such as, bone densitometry, cardiovascular-interventional, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, radiography, sonography, etc.

We would like to thank all the radiology technologists for their hard work all year round! Here is an inside look into a typical day of an x-ray technologist at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center:

National Health Education Week October 21-25

This week is an important week in the healthcare industry! We’re excited to announce National Health Education Week is October 21-25 this year.

This week is sponsored by the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE), who promotes healthy behaviors, healthy communities, and healthy environments. They have been organizing this week since 1995 and this year’s theme is “The Role of Health Education Specialists in Implementing the Affordable Care Act.”

Here is the schedule for SOPHE’s daily topics this week:

Monday, October 21 Communicating ACA’s Provisions for Improving Consumer Health & Wellness
Tuesday, October 22 Navigating the Health Insurance Enrollment Process
Wednesday, October 23 Working with Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH)
Thursday, October 24 Promoting Worksite Wellness
Friday, October 25 Advocating for the Prevention and Public Health Fund

 

For more information, visit https://www.sophe.org/nhew.cfm and be sure to pass this information along to your co-workers, family and friends!

Universal Medical Awarded GSA Contract

 We are excited to announce that we have been awarded GSA Contract #V797D-40002 effective Tuesday October 15, 2013, which will continue until Sunday October 14, 2018. There are 3770 of our products listed on the contract in the 65 II A Schedule  (Medical Equipment & Supplies). A schedule is a category of products that the government buys, within the schedule, products are further categorized into Special Item Numbers (SIN). Listed in the table below are the 21 Special Item Number categories eligible for purchase under our newly awarded GSA contract.

A25-C: Immobilizers/Soft Goods A-79: Exam, Treatment, OR Tables
A-25D: Positioners A-80: Medical Lighting
A-30: Restraints, Medical A-81: Chairs & Stools
A-32: Medical Hospitalware A-82: Medication Carts
A-39: Laser, Surgical A-83: Medical Supply Carts
A-64: IV Pumps A-84: Medical & Surgical Cabinets
A-69: Medical Beds and Mattresses A-85: Warming Cabinets
A-76: Patient Lifts A-87: Instrument Stands/Tables
A-77: Stretchers A-92: Supply Dispensing Equipment (PPE)
A-78: Scales A-94: Miscellaneous
A-96: Information Aids

The General Services Administration (GSA) was established in 1949 by President Harry Truman and is an independent agency of the United States government. The GSA was formed to help support and manage the administrative work of the federal government. The GSA facilitates the federal government’s purchase of high-quality, low-cost goods and services from quality commercial vendors. “The mission of the GSA is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American People”. GSA has made it a priority to help expand opportunities for small businesses by working with the small business community to strengthen partnerships and support the success of their vendors.

Under delegated authority by GSA, the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs manages nine award contracts, one of which is Medical Equipment & Supplies (65 II A Schedule). The Veterans Affairs Federal Supply Schedule (VA FSS) supports the healthcare requirement of the VA and other federal government agencies by providing customers with access to high-quality goods and services.

Our hard work has paid off! We are excited to announce the GSA Contract Award and we look forward to this great opportunity to supply our government customers with high-quality products and service. As a newly awarded contractor we are pleased that the VA FSS has recognized that our company has satisfied all Schedule program requirements. If you have any questions regarding this announcement please contact us at info@universalmedicalinc.com for more information.

 

Honoring Emergency Nurses Week

It’s that time of year again, Emergency Nurses Week! This week is sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). From October 6th through October 12th, this week is observed to recognize emergency nurses for their hard work, commitment and service in hospitals and healthcare facilities everywhere.

Emergency nurses are often considered to be the center of the emergency department. They are trained to handle emergency or critical situations when it comes to a patient’s illnesses or injuries. The Emergency Nurses Association states on their website, “This year’s theme, Everyday Extraordinary, is a call to acknowledge the daily bravery, devotion and dedication provided by nurses who save lives and care for the critically ill, mentally ill, traumatized and marginalized patients who enter their doors 24/7.”

We’re excited to celebrate all ER nurses out there and would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication all year long!

Announcement – Our New Partnership!

We’re excited to announce that Universal Medical has recently partnered with Nasco to add a large selection of Whirl-Pak specimen bags to our website!

This product line was developed as the first sterile sample bags on the market and are used in many laboratories and research facilities today. Nasco’s Whirl-Pak bags are sterilized laboratory sample bags used for many uses in dairy and food products, hospitals and laboratories, waste and water treatment plants, biological field work, etc. We’re confident these lab specimen bags will provide laboratories and research facilities a reliable tool for sample collection.

These lab specimen bags are now available on our website intended for laboratory, medical and research professionals. If you have any questions on these Whirl-Pak bags, let us know in the comment box below!