Dye Laser Systems In The Medical Field

Are you working around a Dye Laser? This post will highlight why dye lasers are used along with some key safety measures to follow in your facility.

Dye Lasers, invented in the 1960’s, use an organic dye (usually in a liquid state) as the lasing medium. Dye lasers are widely used in scientific, medical, industrial and military applications. The organic dye molecules are dissolved in a solvent, which is continuously circulated through the laser chamber. The lasing medium is then pumped by flash lamps or other lasers, emitting laser radiation.

Dye lasers are used in a plethora of medical procedures and applications. Some of these medical applications include dermatology, cosmetic, cardiology, laser treatment of vascular lesions, laser angioplasty, lithotripsy, thermolysis, urology, laser cancer phototherapy and diagnostics.

Laser safety measures should be established in all health care facilities where Class 3B and Class 4 lasers are used. According to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), dye laser glasses should be properly worn during dye laser procedures. It’s important to match your laser glasses to your operating laser system, which will give you the highest protection. You should try to accommodate  individual preferences since frames are offered in a variety of stylish designs (goggles, wrap-around, aviator, fit-over, etc.)

To keep your laser safety glasses or goggles safe, it is recommended to store them in a protective unit. A unit similar to the Large Safety Glasses Dispenser, can hold up to 10 pairs of safety glasses and can be wall-mounted or set on a tabletop. All laser procedures should take place in a controlled area and it is important to properly identify these controlled areas with warning/safety signs. These signs should be easy-to-read and close to the entrance of the area to alert medical staff and patients.

The future of the dye laser will continue to be a prominent system used today. This technology has made significant advances in the medical industry since it was first invented. Remember, with all high powered laser systems you must consider all laser safety measures.

Fit Over Glasses: Designed For Those With Prescription Eyewear

Are you one of the millions of people who wear prescription eyewear? If you are, but also need to keep your eyes protected from medical lasers and radiation, the fit over frames are the perfect design for you. Many medical professionals find these particular frames to be a great alternative to prescription safety eyewear. This post will cover the many advantages fit over glasses can have in the medical setting.

To start, it is more cost-effective to purchase fit over glasses rather than prescription safety glasses. Many prescription safety glasses are significantly higher in cost when compared to fit over frame glasses. This is typically because the manufacturer has to customize the lens to incorporate a specific eye prescription. The way fit over frames are designed to wear is quite simple. An individual is able to wear their existing eyewear under the fit over frames.

Fit over frames are available within each category from Universal Medical’s laser safety glasses. This particular design will fit comfortably over almost any style of prescription glasses. If you’re looking for lead glasses for radiation protection, Universal Medical offers a style of CE Certified fit over lead glasses that will easily fit over most style of prescription glasses. These fit over lead glasses also allow you to imprint your name on the side frame.

Fit over design glasses can be shared among multiple individuals within your department. For prescription safety glasses typically only one person can wear these since the lens are customized to a particular eye prescription. You can purchase a smaller amount of fit over glasses when sharing with multiple individuals. Just remember, it is important to keep protective eyewear clean, especially after different individuals use them.

Fit over glasses an excellent alternative for those with existing eyewear working around lasers and radiation. Don’t risk the possibility of not being able to see clearly, find the right protective safety glasses that suit your needs. If you have any questions or comments regarding our fit over frame design, please let us know below!

Ruby Laser: The First Laser System

Did you know the ruby laser was reportedly the first working laser, ever? Theodore Maiman created the ruby laser in 1960 at the Hughes Research Laboratories located in California. This laser emits a deep red color laser (hence the name “ruby”) from the element chromium and produces concentrated pulses of visible light and heat.

This unique laser emits a light source that is used for many medical and cosmetic procedures today. This includes hair and tattoo removal treatments, cosmetic treatments, dermatology treatments, diagnostic treatments and many others.

Working around ruby lasers requires a certain level of safety measures and regulations. Laser safety measures in your facility can be obtained by your laser safety officer (LSO). It is important that all medical personnel have the proper training and education when operating your ruby laser.

When the retina is exposed to direct or scattered laser radiation, it has the potential to cause permanent damage to the eyes. Since it is possible for medical personnel to lose their vision when working around high powered lasers without eye protection, it is important to have access to laser safety glasses or goggles. It is important to be certain the protective eyewear is matched with the wavelength and power of the operating laser. Ruby Laser Glasses will be labeled with wavelength range measurements and optical density (OD). There are many safety measures that should be in place, the following are a few key examples:

  • Only authorized personnel operate lasers or have access to controlled areas during laser procedures
  • Protective equipment is available and appropriately worn
  • Individuals authorized to operate lasers have sufficient training and education
  • Laser warning/safety signs are clearly posted

The first working laser continues to make advancements in today’s medical world. Remember, laser safety precautions should always be implemented on a daily basis.


Five Important Laser Safety Measures To Follow

With the wide variety of laser systems used in health care facilities today, it is important to know how to keep your medical personnel and patients safe from laser radiation. This post will highlight fundamental safety precautions when working with high power lasers and laser systems.

1. Wear Laser Safety Glasses
With the significant damage lasers can cause to your eyes, it is imperative that you are wearing the correct laser safety glasses. Selecting laser glasses is foremost and should directly correspond with the laser you are using. You can find the laser information in the instruction manual or you can consult with your facility’s laser safety officer (LSO). The wavelength range (in nanometers) and optical density measurements are imprinted on the glasses to help you match with your laser. Laser glasses should be worn throughout the entire procedure, taking them off during any laser application can lead to harmful effects.

2. Utilize Proper Storage

It is important to properly store laser glasses and equipment. Protective eyewear should be stored in an individual case or protective unit to keep from scratches and contaminants. A comparable unit would be the Clearly Safe Acrylic Safety Eyeglass Dispenser, giving you the ability to store multiple pairs safely. When laser glasses are damaged it can compromise the protection level.

3. Follow Standards and Regulations
ANSI (American National Standards Institute) requires health care facilities to follow their laser safety standards and regulations. Many facilities are required to comply with ANSI Z136.3 standards, which are intended for those working with high-powered Class 3B and Class 4 lasers and laser systems. If you’re not sure if your facility is following ANSI standards or state regulations, consult with your Laser Safety Officer for information.

4. Work With Trained Personnel
An individual working around high-powered lasers is required to have had proper training and education. Accidents can easily occur in laser procedures resulting in the loss or damage of vision. Well trained personnel will significantly reduce the risk of accidental laser exposure. A trained laser operator will know how to align the laser correctly, making sure to position the laser beam above or below the normal eye levels of seated and standing personnel. The initial machine alignment can take as little as 15 minutes but should be carefully done to ensure the highest safety measures.

5. Use Warning Signs

Safety and warning signs can help your medical staff and patients be aware of caution areas in your facility. Throughout your controlled laser areas, easy-to-read signs should be posted in appropriate locations. (i.e. entrance of procedure rooms). You also will want to consider posting signs that indicate the type of reflective gear to avoid wearing during laser procedures. Some of these items include reflective identification badges, jewelry and tools.

Safety measures and policies should be enforced where all high-powered lasers are used. It is critical to keep physicians, staff and patients protected against harmful laser radiation. If you have questions or comments about this post, please let us know below!

Are You Using A Diode Laser In Your Medical Facility?

Diode lasers date back to 1962, when they were first invented. Since then, millions of laser diodes have been used in a wide range of research, medical and industrial applications along with many technology products.

In the medical setting, the diode laser can create compact laser beams that emit large amounts of energy into a small amount of space. Common applications of diode lasers are laser hair removal and eye surgery. Medical applications cover the full diode laser spectrum, ranging from 360 nm (nanometers) to 25,000 nm. Common Diode Laser Medical Applications: cosmetic, hair removal, dental, surgical, vascular, ophthalmology, vein removal, tattoo removal, liposuction, acne treatments, prostate treatment, and more.

To keep your physicians, medical personnel and patients protected during diode laser procedures, your facility must follow precautionary measures. Diode Laser Glasses should be properly worn during these laser procedures. It is important that the operating laser system and laser safety glasses match, keeping in mind laser frequencies and optical density measurements. These laser glasses will protect eyes from the harmful effects of laser radiation, which can be damaging to the eyes and potentially lead to loss of vision. When working around high powered lasers (Class 3B and Class 4 lasers) it is important to keep laser glasses on throughout the entire procedure to protect against direct and scattered laser radiation. Medical personnel operating high powered lasers should be fully trained and educated on lasers and laser safety.

Not only is important to instill laser safety regulations within your facility, but it is a requirement to follow ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and OSHA (U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Both organizations require staff to wear laser safety glasses or goggles when operating Class 3B or Class 4 lasers.

Diode lasers have served a broad range of medical treatments for many years and will continue to be used in various medical applications well into the future. Remember to keep your facility compliant with safety regulations and take all necessary safety precautions when working with your Diode laser system.

Why Dermatologists Are Using Erbium Lasers

Many dermatologists are now using erbium lasers in a variety of skin treatments! This is partially due to the fact that it causes less heating and burning of tissue when compared to other lasers used for skin resurfacing. Erbium lasers are most commonly used in cosmetic and aesthetic applications. We have answered a few common questions in this post regarding erbium lasers in the dermatologic setting.

What exactly is an erbium laser used for in dermatology? Some popular applications include laser resurfacing used to treat fine wrinkles, color irregularities, sun damage, acne scars and age spots along with rhinophyma treatment.

How does the laser actually work in dermatology procedures? The erbium laser targets water. Since human skin consists mostly of water, this laser can easily remove small layers of skin. Erbium lasers have the ability to target specific areas while not harming or affecting the surrounding area of skin.

What are the advantages of using an erbium laser? This laser has the ability to shave lumps and bumps from the skin to leave a smoother skin surface. It also leaves patients with less scarring compared to similar aesthetic lasers.

Are safety measures still needed for using a erbium laser? Yes! Laser safety is a requirement when working with medical lasers. Laser safety glasses are recommended during all laser procedures to protect eyes, including erbium lasers. It is important to match the appropriate wavelength of your operating laser to the erbium laser safety glasses or goggles. Your medical staff and patients should wear erbium laser glasses or goggles, especially for facial treatments. Ocular injuries from laser radiation can have permanent and harmful effects to your eyes and vision. Other safety regulations include:

  • Follow national laser safety practices, like ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  • Only allow authorized personnel to operate laser systems and have access to controlled areas
  • Personnel operating laser systems should have adequate training and education

The erbium laser continues to be a great tool for many dermatologists. This laser is not only used for dermatology but also in other medical applications, such as dentistry. Remember when working around laser systems it is imperative to follow your facility’s safety measures to ensure full protection!

Holmium Lasers In Urology

Today, many urology departments are using holmium:YAG (Ho:YAG) lasers for the treatment of many urological diseases. This unique holmium laser operates in the infrared wavelength, producing a hot laser beam.

The Ho:YAG laser has been called the most versatile surgical laser in today’s surgical world, which is why many urologists prefer to use this laser. The holmium wavelength is well absorbed by water and has the ability to vaporize, remove and coagulate both soft and hard tissues. This laser is commonly used for the following urological procedures:

  • Laser lithotripsy
  • Urethral strictures
  • Urethral tumors
  • Bladder Neck Incision (BNI)
  • Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)
  • Treatments targeting bladder, ureteral, urethral and kidney stones

With all high powered lasers come essential safety regulations. When working with your Ho:YAG laser, it is important to be aware of the laser safety regulations of your facility. Since laser radiation can have an everlasting effect on your vision and damage to your eyes, you must wear appropriate laser safety glasses or goggles. Your facility must follow the ANSI standards, which provide guidance for health care facilities working with Class 3B and 4 laser systems along with OSHA regulations, which require staff to wear Holmium Laser Glasses while working with high power holmium lasers. Your facility might be interested in obtaining laser warning signs. These signs will clearly state laser information and should be placed near the entrance of any laser procedure room.

Ho:YAG lasers will continue to be a crucial asset to many urology departments. Always remember to follow laser safety measures and if you have questions about these regulations we recommend consulting with your facility’s laser safety officer (LSO).

QuickShip Lead Aprons Are Now Available

Need a lead apron within 1 – 2 business days?  We’ve got you covered.

We have recently teamed up with our manufacturer in order to provide you an option to receive your lead aprons quickly.  Since it is crucial that medical professionals protect themselves from the adverse effects of x-ray radiation, receiving your lead apron in a timely manner could make a world of difference.

The main difference between our Quick Ship Lead Aprons and Non Quick Ship Lead Aprons, really come down to size and color availability.  Our quick ship collection is offered in only a few standard unisex sizes and entirely designed in a professional sapphire blue.

However, the important factor when properly selecting a lead apron continues to be the level of protection the apron provides.  The quick ship selection upholds the standard level of protection at 0.5 mm Pb equivalency, keeping you safe against harmful radiation.

The lightweight quick ship collection includes the Lead Flex Guard Apron, Lead Vest & Skirt, LapGuard Apron, and the Standard Thyroid Collar.  To help reduce the physical demand on physicians and medical personnel, the Lead Flex Guard and Lead Vest & Skirt are made out of our lightweight lead material, which is almost 25% lighter than our regular lead. 

As many know, the medical industry is a rapidly growing and fast-paced environment. X-rays will continue being performed on a daily basis, leading to the importance of proper radiation protection apparel.  It is becoming more imperative every day that medical professionals receive their equipment in a timely manner to support this growing field.

If you have any questions or comments on our quick ship apparel, let us know below!

Scatter Radiation vs. Direct Beam Radiation, What’s The Difference?

Do you know what type of radiation exposure your doctors or medical personnel are being exposed to?  Understanding the difference between scatter radiation and direct beam radiation will help you better educate and protect staff in your facility.

Scatter Radiation

Scatter radiation occurs when radiation deflects off an object, causing x-rays to be scattered.  It is important to keep in mind that scatter radiation has the ability to travel in all different directions.

Most of the exposure your medical staff will endure is from scatter radiation.  Whether they’re taking an x-ray or assisting in a fluoroscopic procedure, the risk of scatter radiation exposure is high.  To keep medical staff protected, it is essential they follow proper safety regulations and wear radiation protection apparel.

For instance, the Xenolite NonLead Special Procedure Apron is a full wrap around apron providing maximum protection.  This apron allows coverage in the front and back, to shield from scatter beams.  Body parts most sensitive to radiation include: the thyroid gland, eye tissue, reproductive and digestive organs.

Direct Beam Radiation

Direct Beam Radiation occurs when an object is in direct path of the radiation beam.

During a fluoroscopic procedure, as the x-ray beam is passed through the patient’s body, a doctor may come in contact with the direct beam.  Or a medical technician may need to position a patient during an x-ray, causing their hands and potentially other body parts to be exposed.  In both cases, wearing proper Lead Gloves can be necessary for shielding direct beam radiation.

Appropriate radiation protection apparel is just one factor in keeping people safe from the dangers of scatter and direct beam radiation.  To find more safety tips and regulations, ask your facility’s radiation safety officer for guidelines.

We hope this post helps you understand the difference between scatter radiation and direct beam radiation. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please leave them below!