Archives for March 2013

The Difference In Weight For Lead vs. Non-Lead Aprons

Is there a difference in weight between lead aprons and non-lead aprons? There sure is! Non-lead aprons are the lighter alternative to lead aprons, up to 40% lighter than regular grade lead. This is one of the many benefits that makes non-lead aprons a great choice for radiation protection.

Medical professionals who are required to wear radiation protection apparel often prefer non-lead aprons, due to being lighter in weight. For procedures that last a few hours, the weight of the lead apron can cause shoulder, back pain and can also cause fatigue. A few extra pounds on a lead apron can really make a difference for the person wearing it.

When comparing a lead apron to the equivalent non-lead apron you’ll be able to notice the weight difference. For example, the Xenolite Overwrap Apron in a female large is 13.9 lbs. The Xenolite NonLead Overwrap Apron in a female large is 10.5 lbs. For this particular style, the non-lead apron is 3.4 lbs. lighter compared to the lead apron.

Although there is a difference in weight, the level of protection remains the same at 0.5 mm Pb. Non-lead aprons use 100% nonlead attenuating metals to offer complete protection. These aprons combine comfort and exceptional lumbar support which will reduce fatigue and upper back stress during lengthy procedures. It’s important for medical personnel to reduce pain and eliminate fatigue that is caused by heavier lead aprons.

For medical professionals working in long interventional radiology procedures, our non-lead aprons will make a great choice. Keeping your medical professionals safe and healthy while working around radiation is a must. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below. Interested in learning more about the difference in core materials? Download our free white paper to learn more.



Radiation Protection For Your Pediatric Patients

Pediatric radiation protection is important, as it will keep your pediatric patients protected against harmful radiation. Children pose a higher risk around radiation. Since children’s bodies have a higher water content, they absorb more radiation compared to adults. Ionizing radiation is used in a variety of medical applications and procedures that children may have to endure, making the proper protective apparel essential.

Staying with ALARA (as-low-as-reasonably-achievable) principles, keeping a low dose of exposure and selecting the appropriate lead blanket or lead apron is important. Damage caused by radiation can be significantly reduced if the right radiation protection apparel is chosen or if the patient is positioned correctly.

Patient shields, such as the Kiddie Kover Lead Blankets, are a great way to keep your pediatric patients protected. These lead blankets are available in a bumblebee, frog, ladybug and puppy design to help decrease anxiety and fear with a simple “hug” from a friendly buddy. These lead blankets are specifically designed with children in mind and have a 0.5 mm Pb equivalency protection. Another patient shield for your pediatric patients is the Child-Guard Apron for Kids. This apron is ideal for younger patients and provides a safe and secure front protection. This apron also has concealed shoulder pads for comfort and durability and can be easily secured with it’s buckle closure. For thyroid protection against radiation the Child Thyroid Collar is recommended and is available in a variety of colorful options, perfect for your pediatric patients.

Keeping your pediatric patients safe against harmful radiation is a must. By selecting a protective apron, lead apron or thyroid collar you’re following ALARA principles while offering  pediatric radiation protection. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please let us know in the comment box below.

Establish A Controlled Environment With Laser Barriers

What does your laser setting look like?  Is your medical facility utilizing laser safety barriers to keep laser radiation enclosed?

Laser barriers are an essential component to any medical facility that operates high-powered laser systems. Laser safety barriers were designed to enclose lasers into a specific area.

High-powered laser systems are becoming more common in medical facilities today with the growing number of laser treatments and applications. Laser safety barriers will serve as a necessary safety shield, especially if your laser setting is close to a public area or another department. These barriers are designed to protect against both direct and scattered laser radiation.

Your laser safety officer (LSO) will help determine the type of laser safety barrier that will best suit your needs. The LSO will typically identify the exact area that should be enclosed and will calculate the power density from the laser system and distance to create a controlled workspace. Laser barriers should be configured accurately, to ensure full protection.

The mobile laser safety barrier with lockable casters is designed with mobility in mind. This barrier comes with lockable casters allowing you to easily move your barrier if needed. The curtain material found in this laser barrier can withstand 200 W/CM2 with a beam size of 5 mm for 100 seconds. The frame is built of durable tubing with a brushed finish to reduce a mirror-like reflection. This laser safety shield is available in a variety of sizes to accommodate multiple laser work spaces. All laser barriers meet or exceed American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 136.1 Standard: for the Safe Use of Lasers.

Laser barriers serve as an important safety tool for medical facilities working with high-powered laser systems. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please let us know in the comment box below!

Radiation Protection Principles

In simple terms, radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels from one place to another. Radiation that is categorized as ionizing radiation has the energy to break chemical bonds and is considered a higher frequency radiation. This type of radiation includes cosmic rays, Alpha particles, Beta particles, Gamma rays and x-rays. Ionizing radiation is commonly used in medical x-rays. Non-ionizing radiation is considered a low frequency radiation, as in microwave radiation, infrared radiation and radio wave broadcasting.

It’s very important to understand how to protect your medical staff when working around high frequency radiation and ways to reduce the level of radiation exposure. ALARA, an acronym for as-low-as-reasonably-achievable, is a radiation safety principle. According to ALARA principles, there are three important concepts associated with radiation protection.

1. Time
Time simply refers to the amount of time someone is exposed to radiation. By minimize the time of radiation exposure as much as possible you are using best practices. The shorter the time spent working around radiation, the less exposure you will receive. It’s important for all medical professionals to keep track of the time spent working around radiation. Many facilities require their medical staff to use dosimeters for tracking time. Radiation dosimetry is the measurement of a radiation dose from the exposure of ionizing radiation.

2. Distance
The farther away from the radiation source, the less radiation exposure. Distance is the space between you and the radiation source. Many compare the concept of distance to a light bulb. A light bulb evenly distributes light in every direction. As you move away from the light bulb, the light from the light bulb becomes less powerful. The more distance you put in between you and the radiation source, the less exposure.

3. Shielding
Shielding refers to the products that absorb the radiation between you and the source. Shielding can come in the form of protective apparel such as lead aprons, thyroid collars, lead glasses, lead gloves, etc. Other radiation protection products to consider are lead shields, scatter drapes and lead barriers for your medical setting. Radiation will interact with the shield rather than the medical personnel or patient behind it.

These safety concepts are essential for proper radiation protection. By reducing the time spent around radiation, increasing the distance from the source and using appropriate shielding, you are applying best practices for radiation protection. If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts in the comment box below! To learn more about selecting the proper x-ray apron for your needs, download our free white paper to help guide you through the process.



Types Of Mixing Equipment You’ll Find In A Laboratory

Mixing equipment is useful in a large variety of laboratory applications and chemistry experiments. Our mixing equipment consists of three main categories which include laboratory shakers, mixers and rockers.

Shakers are frequently used for sedimentation studies and some cell and tissue work. Shakers are designed to operate in a back and forth movement on a horizontal plane, often described as a shaking action. The Orbital Shaker with Rubber Flat Mat Platform is a powerful shaker that has the capability to mix a 14 lb. load capacity, up to speeds as high as 300 rpm. Now that’s an impressive laboratory shaker! The standard platform features a non-slip, rubber coated surface making this shaker ideal for tissue culture flasks, petri dishes and staining trays. This unique shaker has been used in a variety of applications including bacterial suspension, tissue/cell culture, solubility studies, staining/destaining, gel washing and regular general mixing.

Laboratory mixers are commonly used for the purpose of mixing or agitating lab samples. The Benchmark Magnetic Stirrer is a common, space-efficient mixer used to spin liquid very quickly. A magnetic stirrer involves a rotating magnetic field resulting in liquid to spin rapidly causing a stirring action. This particular magnetic stirrer is ideal for crowded bench tops, due to it’s compact size. Advanced microprocessor controls with easy turn knobs allow quick, precise adjustment and maintenance of speed and temperature. It also features a notably durable chemical resistant white ceramic work surface, perfect for many laboratory settings.

Laboratory rockers act in a see-saw dynamic at lower speeds compared to other types of mixing equipment. Ideal applications for rockers are staining, destaining, blotting and gentle mixing. The MiniMixer 3D Nutating Rocker Fixed Speed creates a nutating motion for thorough, uniform mixing. This rocker includes a dimpled mat, excellent for blood and centrifuge tubes.

Mixing equipment can play a key role in a laboratory setting. Are you currently using mixing equipment in your laboratory? Let us know in the comment box below!

Universal Medical Company Update: We’ve Moved!

Yes it’s true, after many years at our Foxboro location we have decided to upgrade to a new facility!

Just a short 30-minute drive from Boston, Universal Medical is now located on Route 1, Norwood in a professional office space. The new location is actually only 10 minutes away from the old location, so we didn’t move too far.

So why did we decide to move? Well, Universal Medical is expanding and we needed a space that would be able to support our rapidly growing company. Our new facility has more office space to allow for a bigger and better work environment. This facility is conveniently located and has an upgraded, newly renovated office setting. The additional space allows us to bring on more employees, designate more meeting areas and also provides more room for video production. Our videographer is able to use a variety of background settings when shooting new product videos, allowing us to show our products to their fullest capacity.

Organization experts stress how important it is to work in a comfortable, bright and organized environment. We couldn’t agree more! In this new work space, we are able to focus on our large selection of medical equipment and supplies, while also concentrating on the constantly changing needs in the medical market.

Universal Medical Inc. will continue to grow and better serve our customers from our new location. We hope you enjoyed this exciting update as much as we did, if you have any questions please let us know in the comment box below.

What Hygiene Stations Can Do For Your Medical Facility

What can hygiene stations do for your medical facility? Hygiene stations are an excellent solution for storing and organizing hygiene supplies in your medical setting. Practically every medical facility is equipped with an assortment of hygiene supplies, used daily by medical personnel and patients. Such hygiene supplies may include: 

  • Face masks
  • Facial Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Exam Gloves
  • Isolation Gowns
  • Bouffant Caps
  • Shoe Covers

Our respiratory hygiene stand and health station is the perfect solution for storing, organizing and keeping supplies together. This station is a free standing kiosk respiratory hygiene unit with locking capability. Constructed with durable acrylic, this unit holds a large box of tissues, two face masks and an 8 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer. A “Cover Your Cough” informational sign is also included, perfect for any exam room!

Not only will hygiene stations organize supplies, these stations will help increase the utilization of hygiene supplies among your medical staff. When a product is easily viewed and easily accessible, your medical staff will be more inclined to use these products. An increase in the use of hygiene supplies will most likely prevent the spread of infection.

Our hygiene and health stations will help your facility follow infection control standards. Keep in mind, hygiene and health stations can benefit your medical facility in more ways than one. If you have any questions or comments regarding this topic, please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Creating A Safe Work Environment With Equipment Protection

Many medical facilities will follow the recommended guidelines for infection control, including proper hygiene and personal protective equipment.  The importance of equipment protection is also an important factor to consider in infection control. Throughout your medical or clinical work environment, it’s essential to keep your setting and equipment clean to prevent infection and cross contamination.

Infection control addresses the possible factors that cause the spread of infection, mainly focusing in medical or clinical environments. By keeping your medical setting clean and protected, you’re also protecting your medical personnel and patients. Since a typical medical facility sees sick patients on a daily basis, it’s highly important to maintain a clean environment.

The T-Spray II Disinfectant Cleaner is an essential medical accessory. Cleaning and disinfecting ultrasound probes, transducers, mammography compression plates and cassettes, this cleaner is a must-have. Another common equipment protection item includes our blue, latex-free pillow cases to provide protection against cross contamination. These pillow cases are non-irritating and will eliminate laundry and replacement costs. Also, sterile equipment covers are commonly found in areas that require a high level of sanitation. These sterile equipment covers are designed for a wide variety of medical equipment. This includes mayo stands, cassettes, laser camera equipment, foot switches and C-arm systems.

Most medical equipment come with cleaning instructions that you should follow. It’s important to understand how to maintain clean medical equipment and supplies within your medical facility. If you have any questions regarding this blog post or would like to share your thoughts, please comment in the box below!

The Solution For Storing Personal Protective Equipment

How are you storing your personal protective equipment in your medical setting? PPE supply dispensers are the perfect solution for successfully storing your medical facility’s personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is specific clothing or equipment worn to prevent possible infection. PPE can include exam gloves, face masks, isolation gowns, bouffant caps, shoe covers, facial tissues, etc. PPE is very important because it can keep medical professionals safe from infectious material, body fluids and disease.

PPE supply dispensers allow you to store the necessary personal protection equipment. The benefits of using Universal Medical’s PPE supply dispenser includes:

  • Organization of PPE
  • Increase in the utilization of PPE
  • Large variety of dispensers to accommodate your medical setting
  • Special features: wall-mounting, durable clear acrylic, etc.

To increase the utilization of personal protective equipment among your medical personnel, it’s important to keep such supplies in an accessible dispenser that is easily visible. These dispensers will grant the proper organization of PPE supplies, allowing you to separate by product, color, size, etc.

In environments that are constantly busy, it’s important that these supplies are readily available. The PPE supply dispensers will make it easy to properly inventory needed supplies. Many of these dispensers have unique features such as the ability to be wall mounted or set on a table top. The Personal Protection Isolation Organizer can hold a variety of gowns, a box of face masks and three exam glove boxes for quick access to personal protection and hygiene supplies.

Remember, when it comes to personal protection equipment it’s imperative to store PPE supplies in the appropriate organizer. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts on this post, please comment in the box below!

Keeping Supplies Organized In Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy is the process in which a trained medical professional collects blood from a patient for testing purposes. Blood collection is common for annual physical exams and many diagnostic purposes. It’s crucial to use best practices during phlebotomy and keep everything well organized, sanitary and fully equipped with the correct supplies.

Throughout the phlebotomy process, many supplies are necessary and should be stored within reach. These supplies include tourniquets, gauze pads, alcohol wipes, bandages, tape, syringes, safety needles, capillary tubes, microtainers, tube racks, etc. Keeping these items organized and kept in the same area can make this process easier for both medical personnel and patients. It’s important to use a biohazard waste and sharps container for proper disposal of used items.

We highly recommend keeping phlebotomy supplies in a tray or draw station organizer. This will keep supplies organized by product, style and size. It’s helps to have necessary phlebotomy supplies located together so your medical staff can easily find items without leaving the patient’s side. The Droplet Phlebotomy Tray is a lightweight, roomy and easy-to-clean droplet blood collection tray. This unit is constructed of sturdy ABS plastic frame and includes disposable inserts designed specifically for blood collection.

An essential part of phlebotomy is maintaining organization and a clean environment. By utilizing organizers throughout your medical setting, your facility will maintain efficiency during these applications. If you have any questions regarding this post or want to share your thoughts, please leave a comment in the box below!