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. 

Weekly Wrap For October 27 – November 1, 2013

PPE Use In Healthcare Settings

PPE or personal protective equipment is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as “specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials”. OSHA regulations require the use of PPE in healthcare settings to protect healthcare personnel from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 

Why Wearing A Face Mask Is Important

Hospital and medical center staff wear face masks to prevent the spread of disease. This post will highlight why wearing a face mask is so important and how to wear a face mask in your medical setting.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Patient Protection

It’s Whiteboard Wednesday! Sticking with our infection control theme, today Faye talks about the importance of patient protection supplies.

How To Choose The Right Human Skeleton Model

The human skeletal system, the internal skeleton serves as a framework for the body, is one of the most difficult body components to study and observe. Human skeleton models and diagrams are the primary teaching tools used to teach students and patients. When it comes to choosing the right human skeleton model it is important to familiarize yourself with the skeletal system.

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!

What You Should Know Before Flu Season

The flu season isn’t quite here yet, but there are some important factors you should know before it is! The flu season primarily takes place in the winter, but the exact timing can vary and can start as early as October.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 5% to 20% of the U.S. gets the flu
  • Over 200,000 people are hospitalized because of seasonal flu complications
  • Flu activity commonly peaks around January to February
  • 135-139 million doses of the flu vaccine are estimated to be produced for the 2013-2014 influenza season
  • The CDC says that older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with certain health conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart problems) are at greater risk for flu complications

To help reduce the risk of catching the flu this year, many physicians and healthcare facilities will recommend multiple ways to prevent the flu. The following are just a few of those recommendations.

How can you avoid the flu?

  • Wash your hands – with soap! This is very important whether you’re at work, school, the gym, basically anywhere you are in contact with other people.
  • Make sure to wash hands before and after you eat food
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough sleep (at least 7 hours)
  • Try to avoid contact with those who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing
  • Stay home from work if you have developed symptoms of the flu
  • It’s recommended the best time to get your flu vaccine is October or November

The key to staying healthy during flu season is to follow preventative recommendations. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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!

Coming In September To Whiteboard Wednesdays

Exciting news! Coming in September our Whiteboard Wednesday videos will focus on x-ray aprons. We receive a lot of questions regarding our x-ray aprons, whether it’s about sizing, protection level, care and maintenance or our wide variety of styles.

Each video with address a specific topic that will hopefully answer most of your questions. When it comes to radiation protection, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and patients with durable, high-quality x-ray aprons. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a message below!