The New Universal Medical eCommerce Site Is Coming Soon

We’re excited to announce that in the coming weeks, we’ll be launching our newly redesigned Universal Medical online store, revamping familiar features and introducing new ones. In this post, we’ll share some of the details of the new UniversalMedicalInc.com and how it will improve your overall shopping experience.

So what’s new?

A Cleaner, Bolder, And More Modern Design

Over the past several months, we’ve been working hard to bring you a mobile-friendly site that is faster, easier to navigate and more user-friendly. We can all agree that technology moves fast. And to keep up, we’ve redesigned the site from the ground up with a clean and modern design that provides you with an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. We want you to enjoy your shopping experience across all your devices (from desktop monitors to mobile phones and tablets).

What should I expect?

A Faster and Easier Site to Navigate

If you’ve been a customer of ours for a while, you’ll immediately notice the new design of our Homepage. We’ve revamped our Homepage by making it simpler and easier for you to navigate. With the newly designed site, you’ll be able to find the products you’ve been searching for quickly and easily. Additionally, we’ve enhanced the site search functionality to quickly provide you with relevant products related to your initial search query.

Richer Visuals

Redesigned Logo

One of the first changes you’ll probably notice is the updated Universal Medical logo. We’ve kept the core elements of our logo and made a few minor tweaks to the typography to reflect the clean and modern design of our new site.

Improved Site Search

Another improvement we are really excited about is the search bar. You’ll immediately notice the new location of the search bar, previously, the smaller search bar was located in the upper right corner, now the larger search bar takes center stage, making it much more accessible. Additionally, you’ll no longer have to click away from the Homepage to see the search results. And last but certainly not least, the search results have become visual. Immediately after you start typing, products will begin to display on the search bar drop-down menu – no more clicking away from the Homepage to see your search results – making it faster and easier to find what you’re looking for on our site.

Stay Tuned for Even More Features to Come

There are many more features that we didn’t discuss in this post, as we approach launch day we’ll be rolling out more information. We couldn’t be more excited about our newly redesigned site and how it will make shopping faster, easier, and more enjoyable for our customers. Keep an eye on your inbox for our pre-launch and launch day notification emails. We look forward to having you check out the New Universal Medical eCommerce site.

6 Ways To Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury In The Lab

What is RSI?

RSI is an acronym for repetitive strain injury which occurs when the same physical movements are repeated over an extended period of time. A repetitive strain injury is an injury to a part of the body that is caused by overusing or straining that body part. “Strain occurs when the body part is called on to work harder, stretch farther, impact more directly or otherwise function at a greater level than prepared for¹.”

RSIs can do damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. Repetitive strain injury generally results from using the body for a task that it is either not designed to perform or capable of comfortably working. Although (RSI) is frequently associated with computer users, it can also affect those who work in the laboratory.

Have you ever experienced aches and pains after a long session of pipetting? Have  you ever experienced numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in your arms and forearms? If you answered yes, to either or both of those questions, you may be experiencing symptoms of repetitive strain injury. Worn pipettes and poor pipetting techniques are two primary factors that contribute to laboratory RSI.

Repetitive Strain Injury In The Laboratory

Did you know that pipetting in the laboratory is one of the most repetitive tasks in the lab? 

Pipetting is commonplace in the laboratory, so, it is not too hard to believe that hand pain due to pipetting is also a common problem in the lab. Although RSI is frequently associated with computer operators, laboratory technicians have reported hand and shoulder ailments while using modern plunger-operated pipettes.

Hand And Shoulder Ailments Among Laboratory Technicians Using Modern Plunger-Operated Pipettes.

In a 1994 study conducted in Sweden, 128 female laboratory technicians employed by university research laboratories working with plunger-operated pipettes were compared to 25,378 female Swedish state employees in general. “The prevalence of hand ailments among the laboratory assistants was found to be twice that among female state employees in general.” The study also found that pipetting for more than 300 hours per year contributed to an increased risk of hand and shoulder ailments.

A questionnaire survey of the ergonomic problems associated with pipettes and their usage with specific reference to work-related upper limb disorders.

A study conducted in 1997 in the United Kingdom, which comprised of 80 pipette users and 85 non-pipette users (control population) determined that the reported occurrence of elbow and hand complaints were significantly higher for the pipette users. “There is an increase in the percentage of those reporting hand complaints as the duration of the working period involving continuous use of pipettes increases.” An astounding 90% of pipette users who exceeded 60 minutes of continuous operation reported hand complaints.

Symptoms Of RSI

Although they may vary, symptoms generally include pain, fatigue, tingling, clumsiness, coldness, and numbness in the arms, legs, neck, upper and lower back. For example, computer users may experience pain in their arms after extended periods of typing. Some computer users who switch from doing a majority of typing on their desktop to a laptop may experience pain shortly after the switch. Symptoms will develop gradually and will continue to worsen over time if left untreated. For lab technicians using pipettes, symptoms mainly occur in the shoulders, arms, and hands.

Look for these warning signs:

  • Muscle discomfort
  • Aches and pains
  • Coldness
  • Muscle tension
  • Tingling and numbness

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Causes Of RSI

Although there a number of factors that can cause RSI, performing repetitive tasks such as pipetting, where the hand and arm muscles are held tight and tense for extended periods of time, can lead to the development of RSI. As muscles and tendons become overused they may be strained beyond their capacity.

Listed below are factors that can lead to RSIs:

  • Repetitive movement (e.g. pipette plunger)
  • Awkward postures
  • Prolonged muscle tension (e.g. holding pipette)
  • Forceful holding or movement (e.g. liquid transfer from one receptacle to another)
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Poor work practices (e.g. improper pipetting technique)
  • Stress (e.g. cluttered lab)

Identifying the root cause is essential to properly treating RSI. Left untreated symptoms will gradually worsen and could ultimately impact your bench science career.
6 Tips To Prevent RSI In The Lab While Pipetting

Although these tips are geared mainly towards pipetting, they can easily be applied to other repetitive tasks that you perform throughout the course of a normal day in your lab.

1) Relax

Stay relaxed physically and mentally while pipetting. As discussed earlier, stress, prolonged muscle tension, and poor ergonomics are all contributing factors to developing repetitive strain injury. Avoid awkward positions while pipetting and make sure to follow proper pipetting techniques.

2) Maintain Good Posture

Regardless of the activity, typing a report on your computer or pipetting, you want to ensure that you are sitting properly and maintain good posture (your back will thank you). Your spine is strong and stable when you practice healthy posture. Slouching makes it difficult for your muscles and ligaments to keep you balanced and can lead to back pain, headaches, and other problems. Avoid dangling your feet, hunching your shoulders, or contort your neck when pipetting liquids.

3) Ergonomics

Ensure that your chair or stool is appropriate for the task. Most chairs offer multiple adjustment options to elevate or lower you to the specific height required for the task. Remember that poor ergonomics and poor posture can lead you to developing RSI.

4) Use A Timer

The longer the repetitive activity, the greater the chance of developing an injury. Incorporating a lab timer into your work process will ensure that you provide yourself with the necessary breaks to prevent strain from pipetting, as well as a mental break that will allow you to refocus on the task at hand.

5) Just Say No To Clutter

An organized lab is a happy lab. By organizing your workstation you will reduce clutter, increase lab safety, and improve overall ergonomics. If you organize your workstation properly, you can determine which supplies (pipette tips, buffers, samples) you need on a regular basis and place them accordingly while minimizing awkward postions. I encourage you to check out our post on The 5S Approach To A Lean Lab for more information regarding this topic.

6) Find The Right Pipette

Not all pipettes are created equal. There are many different pipette manufacturers and models available. One major factor to consider when either using your current pipette or selecting a new one is the operational pressure required to operate the pipette. If you have already begun to experience pain while pipetting, you may want to consider a pipette model that requires reduced operating forces. Additionally, you will want to review the weight of the pipette and the ergonomics (finger hook, plunger configuration, tip ejector).Another alternative for those who are already experiencing symptoms of RSI would be to consider an electronic pipette, they may be heavier but require little operating force to aspirate and dispense. After you have selected your pipette or reviewed your existing pipette, make sure that you are using a compatible pipette tip.

Now that we have covered what repetitive strain injury is, the symptoms, how it is caused, and six tips to help you avoid developing repetitive strain injuries while working in your laboratory, you can now be able to get back to pipetting safely.

What To Do If You Think You Have RSI

If you have experienced or develop these symptoms it is recommended that you speak with an occupational health professional at your facility or your physician.

Helpful Video on Pipetting Safety & Ergonomics 

(Video Source: UCLA Environment, Health, & Safety) 

Sources

What Is Repetitive Strain Injury?

Danger: You Might Be Pipetting Yourself Out Of A Job 

Repetitive Strain Injury: The Hidden Lab Hazard

A questionnaire survey of the ergonomic problems associated with pipettes and their usage with specific reference to work-related upper limb disorders.

Hand and shoulder ailments among laboratory technicians using modern plunger-operated pipettes.

Additional Resources

Laboratory Work With Automatic Pipettes: A Study On How Pipetting Affects The Thumb

3 Advantages Of Disposable Skin Markers In Mammography

Is your medical facility performing mammograms?

If so, are you using disposable skin markers during these exams?

Disposable skin markers are a must-have for mammography. Markers are placed over a nipple, mole, scar, area of concern or other features that could be confused with a lesion. When performing screening mammograms, skin markers can save time, improve accuracy, enhance communication and provide a better experience for the patient.

Low-Dose X-Ray System

A mammogram is an X-ray image of the breast. Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system that emits ionizing radiation to create images of the breast, allowing the radiologist, a physician specially trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, to analyze the images and send a signed report to the primary care or referring physician, who will then discuss the results with the patient.

Reduce Repeat Examinations

Skin markers are an important tool in mammography. Costly repeat examinations can be reduced dramatically by clearly identifying the nipple with a lead ball nipple marker. For example, the Suremark Lead Ball Nipple Marker Label is one of our most popular marker labels for general use purposes. The Suremark label is ideal for distinguishing between a nipple shadow and a lesion.

Easily Locate Raised Moles

Suremark Mole Markers are uniquely designed to locate raised moles and other skin nevi with overshadowing microcalcifications. The radiolucent ring, when placed around a protuberance, prevents flattening due to compression. The mole markers are available with two reference points or three reference points. Ideal for mediolateral oblique view or MLO exams as well as dense breast tissue, these radiolucent mole markers will not burnout.

Improve Patient Comfort

Mammograms are uncomfortable enough for patients with the painful removal of nipple markers. Keeping patient comfort in mind, the Suremark Relief Tabs feature a unique adhesive-free center that won’t stick to sensitive areas of the skin. By using disposable skin markers, exam results will be more accurate and the overall patient experience will be improved.

Not familiar with the Suremark brand? Why not try a sample and compare them to your existing skin markers?

 

 

 

How Do I Select The Right Laser Eye Protection?

LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers emit a narrow beam of light and that beam of light is emitted in short bursts and focuses precisely on the desired target. The energy emitted by the laser can be absorbed, scattered, transmitted or reflected. When used in medical procedures, lasers transmit most of their energy to the intended target and that is why proper laser eye protection is so important.

The Eye is Vulnerable to Laser Radiation

The human eye is extremely vulnerable to laser radiation. When working with medium to high-powered laser systems, it is vital to wear the correct laser eye protection for the specified laser type. Unprotected exposure to lasers can result in the development of cataracts or even a corneal burn, which can ultimately result in vision loss. By selecting and wearing the appropriate pair of laser safety glasses, medical personnel can keep their eyes protected from applications and procedures that require a laser system. Protective laser safety glasses must be matched in terms of wavelength frequency and the type of laser being used (e.g., YAG laser glasses, Holmium laser glasses) for your specific application. That is why it is important to understand the consequences of laser radiation exposure.

3 Ways Lasers Can Damage Your Eyes

There are three ways that lasers can damage your eyes including thermal, photochemical, and mechanical damage. Laser safety glasses provide valuable laser eye protection by shielding vulnerable eye tissue from the high-intensity radiation emitted. Laser safety glasses are not only a vital safety component, they are also required in all facilities where medical, surgical, cosmetic or dental laser procedures are performed. Laser safety glasses are also used in research and forensic laboratories.

What Types of Eye Protection are Available?

There are several levels of laser eye protection available. Laser safety glasses are measured in optical density and this number reflects the ability of the filter to block the light that is transmitted at a particular wavelength. The higher the optical density, the more light from the wavelength is blocked. For example, laser safety glasses with an optical density of seven will block all but 0.00001% of the laser frequency.

How Do I Select the Right Laser Eye Protection?

Selecting the right laser eye protection may seem overwhelming; we have simplified the selection process for you by creating a white paper that discusses the eight key factors you’ll want to consider when selecting the right laser eye protection. It is extremely important to protect your eyes and yourself from the harmful effects of laser radiation. Remember, the damage done to your eyes from laser radiation exposure can be permanent. If you have any additional questions regarding how to select the right laser eye protection please comment below or email us at info@universalmedicalinc.com.

 

 

 

 

Laser Safety Glasses: The Ugly Truth About Laser Radiation Exposure

Avoiding Eye Damage

In the time that it takes to blink an eye, laser radiation damage to the eye may have already occurred. Unprotected exposure to lasers can result in the development of cataracts or even a corneal burn, which can result in vision loss. If you are working with or around lasers, it is very important to understand the consequences of laser radiation exposure. We have decided to dedicate this post to educating you about laser beams and the safety precautions you should take when working around them.

Laser Beam Exposure

In addition to direct laser beam exposure, there are several other types of dangerous indirect laser beam exposures. Intra beam exposure occurs when the eye or skin is directly exposed to all or a part of the laser beam. It is also important to be careful of specular reflections. This is when the laser beam is reflected off mirror like surfaces. Reflections from flat mirror surfaces can be as harmful as exposure to a direct laser beam. Curved mirror surfaces decrease the intensity of the beam, but there is a larger area for possible laser radiation exposure. Diffuse reflections happen with surfaces that reflect the beam in many directions. Because the beam is reflected in so many directions, this exposure does not have the same power and energy of a direct beam. It is important to keep in mind that diffuse reflections are still harmful.

Protecting Your Eyes

The biggest risk with working around lasers is having any of these types of exposures enter the eye unprotected. In the human body, the eye is the most sensitive to light. When the eye is exposed to a laser beam, the lens in the eye focuses the beam into a tiny spot. This can actually burn the retina of the eye. At different wavelengths, lasers cause several types of eye injuries. Exposure to laser radiation with wavelengths that are less than 400 nanometers and greater than 1400 nanometers result in cataracts and burn injuries. This is because the eye absorbs this level of exposure through the cornea and lens. The most damaging wavelengths are between 400 and 1,400 nanometers, which results in the heating of the retina and can cause retinal burns. The image below shows which parts of the eye absorb the laser rays at different wavelengths.

Determine The Appropriate Protection

Fortunately, wearing laser safety glasses or goggles can protect the eyes from the risks that lasers pose. The U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration require staff to wear laser safety glasses or goggles when operating or around lasers that are Class 3b and Class 4. Class 3b lasers are lasers that powered from 5 to 500 milliwatts and Class 4 lasers have output powers of more than 500 milliwatts. These laser safety glasses and goggles provide protection from reflected laser light and direct beam exposure. Laser safety eyewear is available for different wavelength ranges and for specific types of lasers. It is recommended that you find out the class of the laser you are working with as well as the appropriate wavelength range to ensure the best possible protection.

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to protect your eyes and yourself from the harmful effects of laser radiation. Remember, the damage done to the eyes from laser radiation exposure can be permanent!

What You Need To Know About Ultrasound Gels And Warmers

The Importance of Ultrasound Gels

Ultrasound gels are placed on a patient’s skin at the beginning of an ultrasound procedure or exam. Ultrasound gels serve several purposes including its use in a variety of procedures, treatments, and routine exams.

Ultrasound technology works by sending a pulse of high-frequency sound waves into the patient’s tissue using an ultrasound transducer or probe.  The ultrasound gel is placed on a patient’s skin and the transducer carefully glides the gel across the patient’s body. This device sends and receives sound waves which are transmitted to a computer screen for a sonographer to view. The computer screen monitor captures real-time imaging of the patient’s internal organs, also allowing for a screen shot image in case a printout is needed.

Conductive Medium

Ultrasound gels are considered a type of conductive medium used in a multitude of ultrasound diagnostic procedures and treatments. Ultrasound gel can be applied to many different areas of the body therefore being an essential tool in a variety of procedures, treatments and routine exams.

Different Gel Formulations

Ultrasound gels are available in different formulations and sizes. For example, the Aquasonic 100 Ultrasound Transmission Gel dispenser bottle is a favorite among many doctors offices and medical centers. This dispenser bottle is used and recommended by manufacturers of medical ultrasound equipment worldwide. The Aquasonic 100 gel formula is hypoallergenic, bacteriostatic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.

Packaging Designed For Your Needs

The Aquasonic 100 Ultrasound Transmission Gel is available in 20g single-use packettes, 60g Doppler size tubes, 0.25 liter dispenser, 1 liter with dispenser cap, and 5 liter SONICPAC with refillable dispenser. A variety of ultrasound gels are available in refillable containers, dispenser caps and pumps to accommodate your medical setting.

Ultrasound Gel Warmers

An ultrasound gel warmer is a unit designed to keep ultrasound gel bottles at a warm temperature. Ultrasound gel warmers are primarily used to increase patient comfort. These ultrasound gel warmers are easy-to-use and come in a couple different configurations including single bottle and multi-bottle. Using a gel warmer will keep patients relaxed since cold ultrasound gel can cause discomfort for patients. These warmers are constructed of high-quality materials and are made for multiple uses.

Ultrasound gels and warmers are essential tools found in many hospitals, clinics, and doctors offices today. Still not sure which gel is right for you? Why not try a free sample to help you decide? Visit our ultrasound gels and warmers page and select the ultrasound gel that you would like to try and we’ll be in touch shortly.

 

 

Radioprotective Garments: A Medical Physicist’s Perspective

If you read our previous blog post on ALARA, you learned that the ALARA standard used worldwide for managing dose to radiation workers actually stems from the Linear-No-Threshold (LNT) dose-response model. If the LNT model is correct, risk of deleterious effects like cancer increases linearly with radiation dose, and there is no safe amount of radiation exposure where the increased risk is zero. Because LNT suggests that there is no safe radiation dose, this motivates us to keep both our radiation dose, and the radiation dose that our patients receive very low. One of the most important ways that we, as radiation workers, accomplish ALARA is through the use of radioprotective garments. In this article from FluoroSafety and Universal Medical, several aspects of radioprotective garments will be discussed.

Radioprotective Garments

Today, radioprotective garments come in all shapes and sizes and are made from many different materials. In fact, the use of “lead aprons” to describe these garments is not quite correct, as many garments currently on the market contain no lead. Many different types of garments are used individually or in concert to protect radiation workers, including aprons, thyroid collars, vests, kilts, and protective eyewear. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between lead and lead-alternative protective garments.

Lead Protective Garments

The conventional lead apron is actually made from more than just lead; it is lead powder permanently bonded in a thick rubber or vinyl matrix allowing the apron to be flexible, comfortable, and long-lasting.  The rubber matrix is further protected by a thin vinyl covering which facilitates cleaning, while nylon straps with either Velcro or compression buckles secure it to the wearer. The protection provided by a lead garment may be quoted simply as “0.50-mm lead” or as “0.50-mm lead-equivalent”. These descriptions are interchangeable for lead garments.

A typical 0.50-mm lead apron will transmit approximately 2% of a scattered fluoroscopic X-ray beam.

Lead-Alternative Protective Garments

The product lines of most vendors now include lead-alternative radioprotective garments. Such garments may be lead-free or lead-composite. Lead-free garments use metals such as tungsten, tin, antimony, and bismuth in place of lead, while lead-alternative garments still incorporate some lead along with these other metals. The construction of lead-alternative garments is nearly identical to that of lead garments, except that metal powders other than lead are included in the rubber matrix that comprises the protective layer of the garment.

Advantages of Lead-Free Garments

Lead-free garments have two advantages over lead garments. First, lead-free garments are environmentally friendly and non-hazardous. Hospitals that replace a large number of protective garments each year may see a small cost savings because disposal of worn out lead-free garments can be handled through a conventional waste stream, while lead or lead-composite garments must be handled as hazardous waste. The second potential advantage of lead-free garments is the possibility that, by optimizing the mix of metals used in the garment, a garment that has the same performance as lead, while being lighter weight, may result. This is possible because the alternative metals used have strong absorption k-edges that closely match the energies of scattered fluoroscopic X-rays. Over a narrow range of energies, these metals attenuate radiation as well as or better than lead while being less dense, and therefore lower weight than lead. Manufacturers of such garments often advertise them as being “lighter than lead” while providing the same protection.

Determining Lead Equivalence

These are difficult claims to evaluate. Because lead-free garments do not use lead, determining the lead equivalence of such a garment is an extremely challenging problem. Recall from the last paragraph that the alternative metals absorb radiation as efficiently as lead only over a very narrow range of energies. This is one reason that a number of different metals are used, to spread this range out as much as possible. This also means that transmission of a lead-free garment depends very strongly on X-ray energy¹. Therefore, the specification of the “lead-equivalence” of such a garment at a single X-ray energy is not a complete characterization of its protective value.

Radioprotective garments typically provide the full rated protection at the front of the garment. Aprons have a single full-thickness layer while a skirt will overlap to provide the full rated thickness in the front. Most garments provide less than the full rated protection at the back (e.g., 0.25-mm), as most medical radiation workers face the source of radiation. This is an important consideration for fellows or other radiation workers who spend large amounts of time with their back facing the patient – such workers may consider purchasing a garment with at least 0.35-mm protection in the back.

Until recently, many state regulations required that personnel working around fluoroscopes wear protective garments of at least 0.50-mm lead equivalence. However, recently the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, considering the tradeoff between orthopedic strain and radiation protection, suggested that 0.35 mm lead-equivalent garments are sufficient for most medical radiation workers², and state regulations are being updated to reflect this new guidance. While a typical 0.50-mm lead apron transmits approximately 2% of a typical scattered fluoroscopic X-ray beam, a 0.35-mm lead apron transmits approximately 5%. For comparison, the transmission of 0.50-mm lead-free protective garments typically ranges from 4-6%.

Lead or Lead-Free?

If you are considering changing from a lead to a lead-free garment, or from a nominal 0.50-mm garment to a nominal 0.35-mm garment, the best way to proceed is to ask your radiation safety officer or medical physicist to switch you to an EDE1 radiation monitor wear method. Using the EDE1 wear method, you will be supplied with 2 dosimeters, one worn at the collar level outside your protective garment and one at the waist level under your protective garment. This wear method allows a direct evaluation of the protective value of your new garment for your specific work environment. More details on the EDE1 wear method are available in the Advanced Training Program from FluoroSafety.

A word on weight

While it is possible that lead-free or lead-alternative garments can provide adequate protection at a reduced weight, the most important garment parameter relating to operator comfort is how well it fits. For individuals who wear protective garments every day, a custom fitted vest and kilt combination garment will result in the least orthopedic strain. After due consideration is given to the fit of the garment, the required protective value and weight of different garment options can be considered.

About The Authors:

A. Kyle Jones, PhD and Alexander S. Pasciak, PhD

Founders, Fluoroscopic Safety, LLC

Dr. Kyle Jones earned his B.S. in physics from Furman University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in medical physics from the University of Florida. Dr. Jones is currently employed as a Diagnostic Medical Physicist and Assistant Professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Jones is board certified in Diagnostic Medical Physics by the American Board of Radiology, is a Licensed Medical Physicist in the state of Texas, and is MQSA qualified. Dr. Jones is active in multiple research endeavors in the fields of radiation safety and diagnostic medical physics, is widely published in high impact journals, and is actively involved in teaching and training medical physics graduate students, medical physics residents, and interventional radiology fellows.

Dr. Alexander Pasciak earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and his M.Sc. in health physics and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University. Dr. Pasciak completed a two-year diagnostic medical physics residency program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2009.  For the past five years, Dr. Pasciak has worked as Diagnostic Medical Physicist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he carries the rank of Associate Professor of Radiology.

Sources:


1. A.K. Jones, L.K. Wagner, “On the (f)utility of measuring the lead equivalence of protective garments,” Med Phys 40, 063902 (2013).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23718618

2. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Radiation dose management for fluoroscopically-guided interventional medical procedures. NCRP Report 168, (NCRP, Bethesda, MD, 2011).

http://www.ncrponline.org/Publications/Press_Releases/168press.html

Discover Gucci Radiation Resistant Glasses

Are you fashion savvy?

Have you been searching for a fashionable way to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation?

Then look no further.

Gucci radiation resistant glasses have arrived. Gucci, a name synonymous with high-fashion and stylish sophistication is the latest addition to our radiation protection eyewear line.

Gucci’s styles for women range from the lightweight nylon frames of the Gucci GG 3547/S, to the bold, full-rimmed frame of the Gucci GG 3574/S.

For men, available styles include the classic Gucci GG1000/S full-rimmed acetate frame and the GG 1856/S ultra-sleek wrap frame.

Radiation resistant glasses never looked so good.

Women’s Radiation Resistant Glasses

Gucci GG 3547/S

The Gucci GG 3547/S (shown above) frames are made of lightweight, durable blended nylon for added comfort and flexibility. Unlike the brittle nylon eyeglass frames of the late 1940s, blended nylon frames are more resistant to breakage and are inherently stronger than their predecessor. Consequently, blended nylon frames are ideal for those looking for a high-quality, durable, and resilient frame.

The round shape of these frames subtly draws attention to the eyes and are well-suited for those with diamond-shaped faces. The ‘simultaneous contrast’ of the red and green temples, juxtaposing complementary colors, creates a stunning visual effect. The decorative, high-set temples are emblazoned with the iconic Gucci label (white lettering) on a bold red background. For those who have been seeking a distinctive and sophisticated pair of radiation resistant glasses, your journey finally may be nearing its end.

 

Gucci GG 3574/S

The epitome of Italian luxury, the Gucci GG 3574/S rectangular frame is bold and distinctive. The hypoallergenic black optyl frame is specially coated to resist sweat and cosmetics. These Gucci radiation resistant glasses seamlessly blend fashion, elegance, and sophistication into an integral piece of personal radiation protective equipment. A trendy frame for those who are unwilling to sacrifice style but understand the importance of properly protecting their eyes from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

Have you been searching for radiation eye protection that is functional, yet fashionable?

Your search is over.

These Gucci radiation resistant frames are the answer.

Offering the industry standard 0.75mm lead equivalency, the SCHOTT radiation resistant safety glass lenses will protect your eyes from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

According to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), “Many years or decades could pass before radiation-induced eye lens injuries become apparent. At relatively high exposures of a few Gy* , lens opacities may occur after many years¹.”

Ensure that your eyes are properly protected by wearing the appropriate radiation resistant glasses. In a 2010 study, Comparing Strategies For Operator Eye Protection In The Interventional Radiography Suite, “The use of leaded glasses alone reduced the lens dose rate by a factor of 5 to 10.” Reduce your risk of developing cataracts, while staying fashionable and safe with Gucci radiation resistant glasses.

Sources:

Thornton RH, Dauer LT, Altamirano JP, Alvardo KJ, St Germain J, Solomon SB. (2010) Comparing Strategies For Operator Eye Protection In The Interventional Radiography Suite.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20920841

IAEA | Radiation Protection of Patients (RPOP) Radiation and cataract: Staff protection

http://rpop.iaea.org/RPOP/RPoP/Content/InformationFor/HealthProfessionals/6_OtherClinicalSpecialities/radiation-cataract/Radiation-and_cataract.htm

Gray (Unit)

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_(unit)

*Gy = Gray, is a derived unit of ionizing radiation dose in the International System of Units (SI). It is a measure of the absorbed dose and is defined and is defined as the absorption of one joule of radiation energy by one kilogram of matter (0.01 Gy is equivalent to 1 rad).

Using Gel Positioners To Prevent Pressure Ulcers

Preventing Pressure Ulcers In The Operating Room

Pressure sore, decubitus ulcer, and pressure ulcer are all terms used interchangeably to describe localized injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue that usually occur over a bony prominence as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear and/or friction.

What Is A Pressure Ulcer?

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) defines a pressure ulcer as an area of unrelieved pressure over a defined area, usually over a bony prominence, resulting in ischemia, cell death, and tissue necrosis.

According to a 2009 article, Prevention of Pressure Ulcers in the Surgical Patient, in the AORN Journal; “pressure ulcers (PUs) are a serious health care problem, and it is crucial to assess how patients acquire pressure ulcers after admission to a health care facility. In the OR, factors related to positioning, anesthesia, and the duration of the surgery, in addition to patient-related factors, all can affect PU development¹. . . All surgical patients should be considered at-risk for pressure ulcer development; therefore, preoperative departments should develop and implement strategic plans for pressure ulcer prevention.”

Quick Facts

Did you know?

Number of patients affected by pressure ulcers: 2.5 million per year

Cost

  • Pressure ulcers cost $9.1-$11.6 billion per year in the U.S.
  • Cost of individual patient care ranges from $20,900 to $151,700 per pressure ulcer.
  • Medicare estimated in 2007 that each pressure ulcer added $43,180 in costs to a hospital stay.

Pressure Ulcer Management

In 2008, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) included hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU’s) as a “Never Event” which marked a turning point for most facilities. “Pressure ulcer management has become a standard part of every modern hospital’s protocol¹.”

Four Major Factors Contributing To Pressure Ulcers¹

  1. Uneven weight distribution
  2. Pressure
  3. Shear
  4. Heat and humidity build up

“Pressure ulcers are a costly, debilitating, and avoidable complication of surgery².”

The National Pressure Advisory Panel (NPUAP) and European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP) created the Pressure Ulcer Prevention: Quick Reference Guide outlining risk factors for patients in the operating room.

1. The following factors increase the risk the patient developing a pressure ulcer during a surgical procedure include:

a)Length of the operation
b)Increased hypotensive episodes intraoperatively
c)Low core temperature during surgery
d)Reduced mobility on day one of postoperatively
2. Use a pressure-redistributing mattress on the O.R. table for all individuals identified as being at risk of pressure ulcer development.

Action Products manufactures O.R. overlays that are cited by AORN best practices for Pressure Ulcer Prevention. The O.R. overlays, available in standard and custom sizes, provide pressure redistribution and reduce shear effects across the entire table surface. The low profile, simple design of the 1/2 inch Akton poymer O.R. overlay maximizes effectiveness and minimizes patient movement.

3. Position the patient in such a way as to reduce the risk of pressure ulcer development during surgery.

4. Elevate the heels completely (offload them) in such a way as to distribute the weight of the leg along the calf without putting all the pressure on the Achilles tendon.

The heel support gel positioner by Action is designed to secure and protect the heel area as well as cradle the patient’s Achilles tendon area.

5. Pay attention to pressure redistribution prior to and after surgery.

a) Place patient on pressure-distributing mattress prior to and after surgery.
b) Position the patient in a different posture preoperatively and postoperatively than the posture adopted during surgery.

Types of Gel Positioners

Head & Neck Gel Positioners help protect and cradle the patient’s head and neck by stabilizing the head movement and assists in the prevention of neck overextension.

  • Lateral Head Pad with Center Dish
  • Donut Head Pads
  • Prone Headrests
  • Horseshoe Head Pads
  • Contoured Head Pad
  • Ophthalmic Headrests
  • Ophthalmic Cradle Headrests

Extremity Gel Positioners protect the patient’s arms and legs during procedures.

  • Contoured Armboard Pads
  • Armboard Pads
  • Hand/Wrist Support
  • Foot Pad
  • Heel Support
  • Stirrup Pad Set

Torso & Hip Gel Positioners provide support for the torso and upper body by providing increased stability.

  • Flat-Bottomed Chest Rolls
  • Contoured Chest Rolls
  • Chest Gel Positioners
  • Trapezoid Gel Positioner
  • Dome-Shaped Gel Positioner

Proper patient positioning and cushioning of all pressure points is a priority and using the correct padding can protect the patient from pressure ulcers.

“Procedures longer than 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours significantly the risk of pressure ulcer formation. Positioning problems can result in significant injuries and successful lawsuits.” ~Patient Positioning In The Operating Room

AORN recommends “Classifying all surgical patients as “at risk” for PU development is an appropriate preoperative intervention to successfully reduce the incidence of possible PU development.” The uncontrollable length of surgeries and effects of anesthesia are two of the main contributing factors leading to the development of pressure ulcers. Although it is impossible to eliminate the risk of patients developing pressure ulcers during surgical procedures – some patients will develop pressure ulcers from skin breakdown regardless of preventative measures. It is important to be aware of the causes of pressure ulcers and what steps you can take to minimize the risk.

Additional Information:

References:

 

7 Reasons To Pick These Carbon Fiber Armboards

Why Carbon Fiber? 

Carbon fiber is a popular material used in many industries including the medical device field, aerospace, and automotive engineering. The fiber-reinforced polymer which contains carbon fibers is extremely strong and lightweight. Although carbon fiber may be more expensive when compared to other materials, the impressive strength-to-weight ratio and rigidity of carbon fiber makes it an excellent candidate for various immobilization and medical support devices. This fiber-reinforced polymer also helps keep radiation doses to a minimum.

Medical Applications of Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber provides one distinct advantage over other materials in the medical device field, that advantage is that carbon fiber is radiolucent, meaning that it is virtually transparent to x-rays and appears black on x-ray images. The radiolucent quality of carbon fiber makes it an excellent material to support limbs being x-rayed or treated with radiation. This is why you may have noticed more surgical table accessories like carbon fiber armboards appearing in hospitals and clinics.

Patient Positioning Challenges 

Medical imaging equipment (X-ray systems and CT scanners) will often present unique patient positioning challenges to medical personnel. Listed below are some of the attributes patient positioning systems will generally require for overall patient safety and image quality:

  • Lightweight
  • Durability and strength
  • Rigidity
  • Minimal impact to image quality (e.g. artifacts)

7 Reasons Why You Will Want To Choose Carbon Fiber Armboards

  1. Fully radiolucent
  2. High strength-to-weight ratio
  3. No mounting hardware is required for setup or breakdown
  4. 180° of lateral rotation
  5. Easy setup and removal
  6. Fold together for safe and compact storage
  7. Two armboard styles (rail mount carbon fiber armboard with quick release swivel and shoulder mount carbon fiber armboard with hexagonal base)

Rail Mount Carbon Fiber Armboard with Quick Release Swivel

Strength And Durability

The rail mount carbon fiber armboard has been engineered to achieve a high degree of strength, durability, and radiolucency. Utilizing a quick release mounting mechanism, the carbon fiber armboard attaches quickly and easily to any surgical table that has a standard side rail.

Radiolucent 

This single, radiolucent armboard allows complete imaging of the arm and can be used in conjunction with other carbon fiber tabletops and extensions where ionizing radiation (x-ray) is used for imaging. Ideal for imaging in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. This armboard has been designed for use as an imaging platform and is not to be used as a surgical platform.

Rail Mount Carbon Fiber Armboard Specifications

Dimensions 

  • 26″ Length
  • 5.5″ Width

Maximum Capacity Tested Per ISO 6061

  • 25 pounds

Aluminum Equivalency 

  • AAE @ 100 kVp = 1.15mm

Accessories  

An optional armboard pad is available and has been specifically designed for the rail mount carbon fiber armboard with quick release swivel. Constructed of high-density comfort foam, the 2″ thick pad is covered with a conductive vinyl cover for easy cleaning and patient comfort.

Shoulder Mount Carbon Fiber Armboard With Hexagonal Base

High Strength-To-Weight Ratio

The shoulder mount carbon fiber armboard has been engineered to provide the highest strength, durability, and radiolucency of any armboard on the market today.

Easy Setup and Breakdown 

Simply place the hexagonal base under the surgical table pad. By using the weight of the patient to hold the armboard in place, removal is quick and easy. A rubber brake disc is used to keep the board in position under the weight of the patient’s arm. The unique pivoting attachment allows for a full 180 degree of lateral adjustment, making patient positioning more efficient.

Radiolucent 

This shoulder mount radiolucent armboard allows for the complete imaging of the arm and can be used in conjunction with other carbon fiber tabletops and extensions where ionizing radiation (x-ray) is used for imaging. This armboard has been designed for use as an imaging platform and is not to be used as a surgical platform.

Shoulder Mount Carbon Fiber Armboard Specifications

Dimensions 

Swivel Base

  • 14″ Length
  • 18″ Width

Armboard

  • 27″ Length
  • 5.5″ Width

Maximum Capacity Tested Per ISO 6061

  • 25 pounds

Aluminum Equivalency 

  • AAE @ 100 kVp = 1.15mm

Accessories  

An optional armboard pad is available and has been specifically designed for the shoulder mount carbon fiber armboard with quick release swivel. Constructed of high density comfort foam, the 2″ thick pad is covered with a conductive vinyl cover for easy cleaning and patient comfort.

Material Of Choice

These two unique carbon fiber armboards are ideal for improving positioning accuracy for optimum imaging results. The physical properties and characteristics of carbon fiber make it an excellent material for use in the medical device field. The impressive strength-to-weight ratio, rigidity and radiolucency of the carbon fiber are attributes that make it the material of choice for supporting limbs being x-rayed or treated with radiation.

Share Your Experience

Have you used carbon fiber in your imaging department? Would you like to share your experience with us? We’d like to hear from you and learn more about your experiences. In an upcoming post, we will discuss how to properly clean and disinfect carbon fiber armboards and pads. Sign up for our blog and we will notify you when this post is available.