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.

 

 

Whiteboard Wednesday: Why Ultrasound Guided Procedures Are Common

Today on Whiteboard Wednesday we discuss why ultrasound guided procedures are common in many medical settings.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Benefits Of Using Ultrasound Gels And Warmers

Ultrasound gel and warmers are essential tools found in many hospitals, clinics and doctors offices today. Today on Whiteboard Wednesday we talk about the benefits of using ultrasound gel and warmers.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Using Ultrasound Lotion In Therapeutic Ultrasound Treatments

On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday we discuss how ultrasound lotion is used in therapeutic ultrasound treatments and the benefits these treatments can have on a patient’s body.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Uses Of Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound imaging has many uses in today’s medical field, watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video below to learn more.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Sterile Ultrasound Gel For Infection Control

Today on our Whiteboard Wednesday series, we discuss why sterile ultrasound gel is better when it comes to infection control.  Watch here to find out why:

What’s The Difference Between Ultrasound Gel And Ultrasound Lotion?

Ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging or ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound waves to visualize soft tissues such as muscles and internal organs. Obstetric sonography is the practice of examining pregnant women using ultrasound and is widely used. Sonograms or ultrasound images are made by sending a pulse of an ultrasound into tissue using an ultrasound transducer or probe. As the sound reflects off various parts of  body structures the echo is recorded by the computer and displayed as an image on the monitor for the operator.

Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound technology is used to create various types of images. Perhaps the most common type of ultrasound image, is the B-mode image or the 2-D cross-section of the tissue being imaged. Creating an image from a sound wave requires three steps, producing the sound wave, receiving the echoes, and forming the image. While producing the sound wave, it is important that the transducer is able to efficiently transmit the sound waves into the body to produce a accurate image. The transducer or hand-held probe, frequently has a soft, pliable, rubber coating that is used to guide the instrument across the area of interest, the skin will then be coated with an aqueous gel to effectively transmit the range of ultrasound frequencies being used (typically between 2 to 18 megahertz).

Ultrasound Gel

At the beginning of an ultrasound exam or procedure, an ultrasound gel is placed on the patient’s skin. Ultrasound gel or a coupling agent, utilizes a basic physics principle where sound waves tend to carry very well through an aqueous or watery medium. When applied to the surface of the patient’s skin, the ultrasound gel acts as a coupling medium and enhances the transmission of ultrasonic sound waves from the skins surface to the head of the ultrasound transducer. Ultrasound gel serves as a lubricant and improves the acoustic transmission of sound waves to the create the image for the sonographer to examine on the monitor. Listed in the table below are a sampling of the different types of ultrasound gels and lotions available and their main product features.

Ultrasound Gel & Ultrasound Lotion
Product Name Application Viscosity Clear Available Sizes
Aquasonic 100Diagnostic & Therapeutic High-ViscosityNo20g Foil Pouch, 8.5 ounce bottle, 1 Liter bottle, 5 Liter SONICPAC
Sterile Aquasonic 100Sterile ApplicationsHigh-Viscosity No20g Foil Pouch
Aquasonic ClearDiagnostic & TherapeuticHigh-ViscosityYes8.5 ounce, 1 Liter bottle, 5Liter SONICPAC
SCAN Ultrasound GelWhen a less viscous gel desiredUnique Dual-ViscosityNo8 ounce, 1 US Gallon
Polysonic Ultrasound LotionWhen lotion is preferred High-ViscosityNo1 US Gallon

Therapeutic Ultrasound 

Ultrasounds can also be used for therapeutic treatment, which refers to any ultrasonic procedure that uses ultrasounds for a therapeutic benefit. A therapeutic ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves to stimulate tissue under the skin’s surface. These ultrasound techniques can include physical therapy, pain management and a variety of other treatments used in rehabilitation centers. Depending on the type of treatment, the ultrasound stimulates the patient’s subcutaneous tissue using high-frequency sound waves. Therapeutic ultrasounds can create heating effects, increase tissue relaxation, increase blood flow to reduce swelling and inflammation and breakdown scar tissue. Therapeutic ultrasound treatments include a variety of pain management therapies such as chronic pain, muscle strain, muscle tension, tendon injuries, and many more.

Ultrasound Lotion

At the beginning of a therapeutic ultrasound treatment, ultrasound lotion is applied to the area of the patient’s body that is being treated. The probe from the ultrasound machine will then circulate the ultrasound lotion against the area of the patient. Similar to how ultrasound gel in diagnostic imaging is important, ultrasound lotion for therapeutic ultrasound treatments is equally as important. Ultrasound lotion is easily absorbed by the skin while ultrasound gel has is water soluble and is removed after the exam or procedure. Ultrasound lotion is often preferred by medical staff and patients for therapeutic ultrasound treatments due to the rich, moisturizing formula. The ultrasound lotion is acoustically correct for a broad range of frequency transducers and is hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic.

Weekly Wrap For December 2 – December 6, 2013

Proper Handwashing Techniques & Tips

Proper handwashing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to other people. The first full week in December is National Handwashing Awareness Week. To help celebrate and help raise awareness of the importance of handwashing we will share some helpful tips and techniques to stay healthy. What is the right way to wash your hands? 

Benchmark Scientific – Mortexer Vortex Mixer With Multi-Head

This week [December 2, 2013 through December 6, 2013] we are offering a special Buy One, Get One Free“ promotion on our Mortexer™ Vortex Mixer with Multi-Head™ from Benchmark Scientific. When you buy one Mortexer™ Vortex Mixer [BV1005] at the regular price you will receive your second one free. The free unit will automatically be added to your cart with purchase.

What Are The Parts Of A Lead Eyeglass Frame?

Why are lead eyeglasses important? The risk for radiation induced eye injuries are particularly high for health professionals such as interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists, doctors using fluoroscopy in operating theaters and paramedical personnel who remain close to the patient during the procedure.

Whiteboard Wednesday: What You Should Do After Using PPE Supplies

Today on Whiteboard Wednesday we discuss proper ways to dispose your PPE (personal protection equipment) supplies after use. Properly disposing your PPE supplies in your medical facility is very important for reducing the spread of infection. Be sure to watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video below!

The Different Types of Ultrasound Scans

There are several different types of ultrasound scans depending on the part of the body being examined. There are external, internal and endoscopic ultrasound scans. An external ultrasound involves the use of a an ultrasonic sensor also known as a transducer or transceiver which is placed on the patients skin and is moved over the body part being examined. An ultrasound gel is applied to the skin to improve the movement of the transducer and ensure continuous contact between the skin and the transducer. 

The Different Types of Ultrasound Scans

There are several different types of ultrasound scans depending on the part of the body being examined. There are external, internal and endoscopic ultrasound scans. An external ultrasound involves the use of a an ultrasonic sensor also known as a transducer or transceiver which is placed on the patients skin and is moved over the body part being examined. An ultrasound gel is applied to the skin to improve the movement of the transducer and ensure continuous contact between the skin and the transducer. 

The transducer produces ultrasonic waves in pulses which pass through the skin into the body and are reflected back by various body parts. The reflected waves are detected by the transducer and are then converted by the computer which is connected to the transducer. The computer then produces a real-time image on the monitor and can also be recorded for further examination. External ultrasounds are used to examine the developing fetus  in the pregnant mother’s uterus, kidneys, heart, gallbladder, liver, and the reproductive organs.

Internal Ultrasound scans involve placing an ultrasound probe into the vagina (transvaginal) or rectum (transrectal). During a transvaginal ultrasound procedure, ultrasound waves are used to examine a woman’s reproductive organs, including the uterus, cervix, and vagina. The transrectal ultrasound procedure  (TRUS) or prostate sonogram is an ultrasound technique  that is used in the diagnosis of prostate conditions by sending sound waves through the wall of the rectum into the prostate gland and surrounding tissues.

The endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) or echo-endoscopy is a medical procedure in which endoscopy (insertion of a probe into a hollow organ) is combined with ultrasound to obtain images of the internal organs in the chest and abdomen. Endoscopic ultrasonography is commonly used in the upper digestive and respiratory system. Another procedure is the transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) which is an alternate way to perform an echocardiogram. During a transesophageal echocardiogram a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer is passed through the patient’s esophagus. Endoscopy procedures may be uncomfortable and as a result the patient may be given a sedative or painkiller prior to the procedure.

The FDA  has provided the following guidance for healthcare providers for internal or endoscopic ultrasound procedures, use sterile ultrasound gel for procedures with mucosal contact in which biopsy is not planned, but any possible added bioburden  would be undesirable, or in which mucosal trauma is likely, such as transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) procedures, transvaginal ultrasound procedures and transrectal ultrasound procedures without biopsy. In an FDA press release the following statement was made regarding the usage of ultrasound gel, “Be aware that once a container of sterile or non-sterile ultrasound gel is opened, it is no longer sterile and contamination during ongoing use is possible.”

The FDA is advising health-providers to remember that only unopened ultrasound gel labeled as sterile is safe to use for procedures that require sterile products. Those products that are not labeled with respect to sterility are not sterile, the agency emphasized. Refer to your facility’s infection control or other risk control procedures for more specific information. To request a free sample of our sterile ultrasound sound gel packets please click the button below.

What To Consider Before Choosing An Ultrasound Table

Trying to choose the right ultrasound table for your medical facility? Ultrasound exam tables are offered in a large variety of designs and are equipped with many features. It’s important to identify which features you’re interested in. We’ve fragmented this post into a few key factors one should consider when selecting an ultrasound table.

1. Patient Weight Capacity
Always check the patient weight capacity of the ultrasound table. A majority of ultrasound tables have a rather large weight capacity, but it’s always a good idea to take this into consideration.

2. Mobility
For many, mobility is a very important factor for ultrasound tables. A mobile ultrasound table can make transferring patients easy and quick. For example, the MD-250 Multi-Purpose Exam Table has 5” locking casters for mobility. Sometimes mobile ultrasound tables aren’t necessary, so it really depends on your setting and application.

3. Table Height and Position Capability
When selecting an ultrasound exam table, take into consideration the measurements of the table itself. Also factor in the table height range to validate that it’s a good fit for your setting, the height range can often vary. Position capability is a major factor since patient positioning is important. Keep in mind that many ultrasound tables can be positioned in a fowler position, Trendelenburg position and other auto level motorized adjustments.

4. Drop Window

A drop window on an ultrasound table is a cutout that drops down and folds up for maximum access to patients. For example, the Echo Pro Echocardiography Ultrasound Table has a swing-out cardiac scanning cutout that can also serve as an armrest. This feature can be very beneficial for sonographers and will improve procedure ergonomics.

In any procedure or treatment, patient comfort and proper positioning is important. Our wide selection of high-quality ultrasound tables will help create a smooth and efficient medical environment for both staff and patients. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to share your thoughts below.