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.

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?

 

 

 

Caring For Your Lead Glasses: 7 Tips To Follow

Protecting Your Eyes

Your eyes are an important part of your overall health. Protecting your eyes, whether from ultraviolet radiation or ionizing radiation is important. Among the tips for maintaining good eye health is to always wear protective eyewear.

How Do Lead Glasses Protect Your Eyes?

Radiation eye protection should always be used when working near and around ionizing radiation. Recently, several studies have found that wearing lead glasses significantly reduces the lens dose rate. One study published in November of 2010, Comparing Strategies For Operator Eye Protection In The Inventional Radiography Suite states that the “use of leaded glasses alone reduced the lens dose rate by a factor of five to 10.”

Lead Glasses: Proper Care And Maintenance 

Wearing the proper radiation eye protection is an important part of following sound radiation safety principles. Properly maintaining and caring for your lead glasses is an important consideration as well. Lead glasses come in a wide-variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate the unique demands of the individuals that wear them. By following these 7 tips you will learn how to care for and maintain your lead glasses for years to come. Before reading the 7 tips, it may be beneficial to review our previous post, What Are The parts Of A Lead Eyeglass Frame?to help familiarize yourself with the various names and components of lead glasses.

1. Use Care When Removing Lead Glasses

Lead glasses are heavier than traditional eyeglasses due to the added weight of the leaded glass. Always use two hands when removing your lead glasses to keep the hinges, lead side shields (if applicable), and temples properly aligned. Avoid removing the frames with one hand, repeatedly removing the frames this way can stretch the temples and ultimately effect the fit of the glasses.

2. Don’t Use The Bridge For Adjustments

As we discussed earlier, lead glasses come in a wide-variety of shapes, sizes and designs. Although the styles of lead glasses may vary, it is important to avoid adjusting metal framed glasses by pushing on the bridge, doing so can result in improperly aligned nose pads, and wearing the finish off the frames. To ensure that you keep your frames properly aligned and comfortable, adjust your frames by positioning your thumb at the bottom of the frame front and your fingers on the top, and move them to the desired location on your face.

3. Avoid Placing Lead Glasses On The Top Of Your Head

The attenuating properties of lead lenses (0.75 mm lead equivalent) makes the lenses heavier than traditional corrective lenses. Placing your lead glasses on the top of your head can result in them falling off, and with the added weight of the lead lenses, damaging your lead glasses. The overall shape of the frame shape can become stretched, resulting in a less than ideal fit.

4. Avoid Cleaning Lenses With Abrasive Materials

Undoubtedly the most important component of any pair of lead glasses, prescription or not, is the lens. Dirty lenses can impact your sight and make any procedure more challenging. A microfiber optical cleaning cloth is designed for providing a safe and effective means of cleaning your lenses.

Cleaning Lead Lenses

To clean your lead lenses, secure the frames in one hand and rinse the lenses with clean lukewarm water to remove any fine particles of dust or smudges. Using your dominate hand, gently rub the microfiber optical cleaning cloth until the lenses are completely clean. To avoid scratching and damaging your lead lenses do not use any of the following abrasive materials:

  • A dirty microfiber optical cloth
  • Clothing
  • Tissues or paper towels

5. Use Lens Wipes/Professional Lens Cleaner Spray

Before using any type of lens cleaning solution or lens wipe check with the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions. Generally, lens cleaning spray can be safely used on lenses that have had anti-fog. Avoid using spray cleaners for lenses that have anti-reflective or coated lenses.

6. Purchase An Eyeglass Repair Kit

As we discussed earlier in the post, the hinges can loosen over time and can result in a less than desirable fit. By purchasing a simple eyeglass kit you will be able to make minor adjustments to keep your lead glasses performing at optimum levels. You should plan on adjusting your lead glasses twice a year to tighten any loose screws and ensure a comfortable fit.

7. Protect your Lead Glasses By Keeping Them In A Case

Whether you receive a glasses case with your purchase or buy one, it is imperative to properly store your lead glasses in a case when you aren’t wearing them. By using a glasses case, you will ensure that your lead glasses are protected against nicks and scratches.

Dust particles, scratches, and hairline cracks can make viewing through your lenses much more difficult. To get the most out of your lead glasses, remember to always store them in your case when not in use. Depending on the manufacturer, lead glasses may come with a case or pouch for safe storage.

Questions? Comments?

We’d like to hear your feedback. Connect with us on social media or simply leave a comment below!

 

//www.slideshare.net/UniversalMedicalInc/caring-for-your-lead-glasses-7-tips-to-follow

 

How Do Lead Glasses Protect Your Eyes?

Protecting Your Eyes From Ionizing Radiation Exposure

Lead shielding is an important radiation safety principle. In fact, shielding is one of the three basic radiation safety principles. Time, distance and shielding are the primary means of eliminating or reducing ionizing radiation exposure.

Lead Shielding

Shielding should be used wherever it is necessary to reduce or eliminate radiation exposure. There are a variety of types of lead shielding options, the focus of this article will be on radiation eye protection and the use of lead glasses.

Radiation Attenuation 

Appropriate shielding placed between the source of radiation and the worker, radiation is attenuated and exposure may be completely eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level. Lead acts as a barrier to reduce x-ray’s effect by blocking or bouncing particles through a barrier material. Attenuation is the result of interactions between x-ray and matter that include absorption and scatter. Much like lead aprons which are commonly found in x-ray rooms in hospitals, lead glasses reduce radiation exposure and protect the lens of the eye.

Occupational Radiation Exposure Limits

Exposure limits have been established by the Nuclear Regulatory Committee (NRC) and set to a level where apparent injury due to ionizing radiation during a normal lifetime is unlikely. This limit is called the “maximum permissible exposure” and medical personnel should be aware of their occupational radiation dose. These occupational radiation exposure limits have been established to help minimize the amount of radiation a worker receives annually by monitoring their occupational radiation dose and keeping them under the established limits. “The exposure limit for the whole body (5,000 mrem) is lower than that for a single organ because all organs and tissues are exposed in whole body exposure, while only a single organ is involved in the single organ exposure limits¹.”

Lens of Eye (LDE) Radiation Exposure Limit

The occupational exposure limit for the lens of the eye (LDE) is 15,000 millirem or 0.15 Sieverts. The Lens of Eye Dose Equivalent (LDE) 10 CFR 20.1003 “applies to the external exposure of the lens of the eye and is taken as the dose equivalent at tissue depth of 0.3 centimeter (300 mg/cm²).”

Personal Monitoring 

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has requirements regarding personal monitoring devices. Many medical personnel are required to wear an individual monitoring device to measure the dose to the whole body as well as one at an unshielded location closer to the eye to provide an accurate reading of the lens dose equivalent. Wearing lead glasses will help ensure the lenses of the eyes are properly protected from ionizing radiation thereby reducing your risk of developing cataracts.

“Radiation workers who operate x-ray machines, fluoroscopy units, certain unsealed and sealed radioisotopes or are exposed to other sources of gamma or high energy beta radiation are generally required to wear one or more dosimeters².”

Eye Protection: Reducing Tissue Reactions

Tissue reactions, previously referred to as deterministic effects or non-stochastic effects, describe a cause an effect relationship between radiation and some side-effects. There is a threshold dose, once exceeded, the severity of an effect increases with dose. Examples of tissue reactions include skin erythema, which can occur shortly after radiation exposure. Late tissue reactions, particularly those involving the lens of the eye, such as cataracts, can develop long after the initial radiation exposure, but still can be traced back to the original exposure.

Radiation-Associated Cataracts 

Two separate studies published in 2010 reported that interventional cardiology personnel have an increased risk of developing cataracts, a clouding or opacity of the eye that hinders vision. In a recent study, Radiation Cataract Risk In Interventional Cardiology Personnel (October of 2010), Vano et al tested 116 exposed interventional cardiologists, nurses, and technologists for radiation cataracts and compared them to 93 unexposed control personnel. Thirty-eight percent of the cardiologists, with a cumulative median lens dose of 6.0 Sieverts, developed cataracts, compared with 12 percent of the controls. Twenty-one percent of the other medical personnel, who were exposed to a cumulative median lens dose of 1.5 Sieverts, developed radiation-associated lens changes attributed to ionizing radiation exposure.

The second study, Risk For Radiation-Induced Cataract For Staff In Inventional Cardiology: Is there reason for concern? (November 2010)examines the prevalence of radiation-associated lens opacities among interventional cardiologists and nurses and to correlate with background radiation exposure. The results of the study demonstrated a dose dependent increased risk of posterior lens opacities for interventional cardiologists and nurses when radiation protection tools are not used. Although, a study of a larger cohort is needed to confirm these findings, the results suggest ocular radio-protection should be used.

Radiation Eye Protection 

Our eyes are one of our most valuable organs, without properly functioning eyes even the most routine tasks can become extremely difficult to complete. “Eyes are delicate and precious” says Dr. Andrew Lwach, spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. When working near and around ionizing radiation it is important to protect your eyes from potential exposure by wearing lead glasses. Radiation safety glasses, commonly referred to as lead glasses, are designed to protect the lens of the eye by reducing the amount of radiation that is permitted to pass through the leaded glass lenses.

Conclusion 

According to a study, Comparing Strategies For Operator Eye Protection In The Interventional Radiography Suite, published in November of 2010, the “use of leaded glasses alone reduced the lens dose rate by a factor of five to 10.” The operator lens radiation dose rate was recorded with a solid-state dosimeter with nonleaded and leaded (0.75mm lead equivalent) eyeglasses. Lens dose measurements were obtained in right and left 15 degree anterior obliquities with the operator at the upper abdomen and during digital subtraction angiography (two images per second) with the operator at the patient’s groin.

Lead Glasses 

Today, lead glasses come in a wide-variety of styles and configurations including wraparound, goggles, fit over, economy, plastic, metal, and designer frames. For example, metal frames are available with frontal (lens) and lateral radiation(side shields) protection offering 0.75mm and 0.35mm lead (Pb) equivalency respectively.

The industry standard 0.75mm lead equivalency SCHOTT SF6 radiation safety glass lenses provide protection from harmful radiation exposure. The lenses have been tested (CE Certified for Radiation Reducing Eyewear) at 100 kV and have a nominal lead equivalence of 0.75mm Pb and the side shields offer a nominal lead equivalence of 0.35mm Pb at 100 kV. Lead glasses are an essential piece of personal protective equipment that will help reduce the amount of radiation exposure to your eyes.

 

What You Need To Know About Your Laser Systems

Lasers emit a source of high-energy light, which can be focused to transmit light onto small areas. Medical lasers have been used in a variety of different applications and procedures for many years. They are used in many clinical, surgical, cosmetic, diagnostic and dermatologic procedures.

Laser Safety glasses are a primary safety requirement and should be worn at all times during laser procedures. It is a crucial that the operating laser and protective eyewear match. This post will highlight a few common lasers and their many applications in the medical arena.

YAG Lasers (Nd:Yag and Er:Yag) are commonly used in the following medical procedures: eye surgeries, dentistry, skin restoration treatments, hair removal, orthopedic procedures and more. This type of laser produces short-pulsed and high-energy light beams giving the ability to cut, perforate and separate tissue. All Yag lasers can be operated in continuous/pulsed or Q-switched mode. Yag Laser Safety Glasses will keep your medical staff and patients protected during Yag laser applications.

CO2 Lasers (carbon dioxide lasers) are very useful in surgical procedures because biological tissue absorbs this frequency of light well. Some medical uses are skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, treatments of skin conditions, microsurgeries and more. It is important to make sure all your medical personnel are properly trained for using and working around high powered lasers. Accidents can easily take place without the appropriate training and education.

Diode Lasers are often used in dentistry and medical applications and have the ability to emit many different ranges of wavelengths. Common medical uses for the diode lasers are hair removal, skin rejuvenation, varicose vein removal, dental applications, treatments of macular degeneration and carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. Protective eyewear, like the Diode Safety Laser Glasses should be stored in a protective unit for safe keeping when they are not being used. Safety glasses dispensers will help keep glasses clean and organized.

Alexandrite Lasers are often used in cosmetic and dermatologic treatments also including fluorescence diagnostics. These lasers were developed to isolate and emit certain wavelengths of light to be used in a variety of medical and scientific purposes.

Your facility should be compliant with ANSI standards (Safe Use if Lasers in Health Care) and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both require staff to wear laser safety glasses or goggles when operating or around Class 3b and Class 4 lasers. These lasers can cause significant injuries to the eye, including partial/full loss of vision. There are many other important types of laser systems used in the medical setting and it is important to know the safety measures that are needed with each one. If you have any comments of questions, please let us know below!

The ALARA Principle: 3 Safety Measures To Follow

The ALARA principle is an important principle for any worker, exposed to radiation, to fully understand and apply in every day use.

What is ALARA? 

ALARA stands for “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”, a safety principle specifically designed to reduce radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials. ALARA is a regulatory requirement for all radiation safety programs¹. The ALARA principle also factors in the technologic and economic considerations, while keeping radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials to the environment as low as reasonably achievable.

What is the biological basis of ALARA? 

“The biological basis for radiation protection assumes a conservative estimate of radiation dose versus effect, termed “linear hypothesis.” This hypothesis states that, any dose, no matter how small, may inflict some degree of detriment. “This detriment takes the form of an postulated risk of cancer and genetic damage.” While the risk of cancer and genetic damage exists in the absence of radiation, exposure to ionizing radiation increases the level of risk.

Radiation safety programs strive to lower doses, in most situations this can be accomplished, but may involve more costly practices. The ALARA philosophy serves as a balance between dose reduction and economic considerations. There comes a point that the costs outweigh the benefit of further dose reduction.

ALARA Philosophy And Safety 

An effective radiation safety and ALARA program is only possible when a commitment to safety is made by all those who are involved in the use of radiation. This may include members of the radiation safety committee, radiation safety division staff, medical personnel, research faculty, and all radiation workers.

Medical and research facilities will have a radiation safety manual that provides guidelines for the responsibilities and best practices which are consistent with both the ALARA concept and state regulatory requirements. Although these guidelines may vary by state, there is a regulatory requirement that requires radiation workers to adhere to legal dose limits for regulatory compliance, as well as an ALARA investigation dose level which serves as alert points for radiation worker radiation safety practices.

ALARA Safety Measures For Mitigating External Radiation Hazards

  1.  Time: It’s important to minimize your time of radiation exposure.
  2. Distance: Doubling the distance between your body and the radiation source will divide the radiation shielding exposure by a factor of 4.
  3. Shielding: Using absorber materials such as lead for X-rays and gamma rays is an effective way to reduce radiation exposures.

Lead Shielding

Time and distance are two factors that can be controlled by the operator. However, lead shielding is more complex, since there are a variety of shielding options available. Radiation shielding is based on the principle of attenuation, which is the gradual loss in intensity of any energy through a medium. Lead acts as a barrier to reduce a ray’s effect by blocking or bouncing through a barrier material. When X-Ray photons interact with matter, the quantity is reduced from the original x-ray beam.

Protection From X-Rays

The purpose of lead shielding is to protect the patients (when not being examined), X-Ray department staff,  visitors and the general public, as well as the people working near the X-Ray facility. There are three sources of radiation that must be shielded; secondary or scattered (originates via the patient), primary (the x-ray beam), and leakage (from the x-ray tube).

Types Of Lead Shielding

 

Radiation Safety And ALARA

 

Sources:

//www.ncsu.edu/ehs/radiation/forms/alara.pdf

https://www.ehs.washington.edu/manuals/rsmanual/7alara.pdf

Radiation Shielding: A Key Radiation Protection Principle

Time, Distance, and Shielding

Time, distance, and shielding are the three basic concepts of radiation protection that apply to all types of ionizing radiation. Shielding simply means having something that will absorb radiation between the source of the radiation and the area to be protected. Radiation shielding is based on the principle of attenuation, which is the gradual loss in intensity of any energy through a medium.

Lead acts as a barrier to reduce a ray’s effect by blocking or bouncing particles through a barrier material.  When X-ray photons interact with matter, the quantity is reduced from the original x-ray beam. Attenuation is the result of interactions between x-ray and matter that include absorption and scatter. Differential absorption increases as kVp decreases. The greater the shielding around a radiation source, the smaller the exposure.

X-Ray And Gamma Rays

X-ray and gamma rays are forms of electromagnetic radiation that occur with higher energy levels than those displayed by ultraviolet or visible light. Thick, dense shielding, such as lead, is necessary to protect against the energy emitted from x-rays. Shielding and x-ray room design is a very important consideration for any healthcare facility that  performs diagnostic and interventional radiology.

The purpose of shielding is to protect the patients (when not being examined), X-Ray department staff, visitors and the general public, as well as the people working near the  X-Ray facility. There are three sources of radiation that must be shielded; scattered or secondary (from the patient), primary (the x-ray beam), and leakage (from the x-ray tube).

Scatter Radiation

Diagnostic x-ray procedures frequently require medical personnel to remain in the exam room where they are subjected to scatter radiation. Lead aprons offer valuable protection from radiation exposure but there are times that a mobile lead radiation barrier is required to provide a full body shielding barrier.

Imaging procedures performed in remote locations, such as operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, and special procedure rooms pose an added challenge to protect against radiation exposure. Lead barriers are excellent for imaging procedures using ionizing radiation such as fluoroscopy, x-ray, mammography and CT.

Lead Shielding

The use of shielding provides a barrier between you and the source of the radiation. Some examples of shielding are lead aprons, lead glasses, thyroid shields and portable or mobile lead shields. Mobile lead shields of at least 0.25 mm lead equivalency are recommended to be used by anyone working near the table during fluoroscopy procedures when possible. Remember to follow ALARA “as low as reasonably achievable” guidelines when involved in diagnostic or interventional radiology procedures. Lead garments, lead gloves, thyroid shields, leaded glasses, lead drapes, as well as mobile and stationary lead barriers between the patient and personnel all reduce exposure to scatter radiation.

Questions? Comments? 

If you have any questions regarding the selection of lead barriers or mobile lead shields, please feel free to leave a comment below or connect with us over on our Google+ community page and keep the discussion going!

Whiteboard Wednesday: Selecting The Right Lab Mixing Equipment

Whiteboard Wednesday Topic

How to select the right laboratory mixing equipment for your facility.

There are three categories of laboratory mixing equipment:

  1. Lab mixers
  2. Shakers
  3. Rockers

Watch our video below to learn more!

Whiteboard Wednesday: What Should Someone Consider Before Selecting A Lab Rocker or Shaker?

Today on Whiteboard Wednesday we’re talking about what someone should consider before selecting a laboratory rocker or shaker. With many different sizes and variations to laboratory equipment, it’s important to know exactly what your lab needs. Watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video below:

Whiteboard Wednesday: Why Reliable Specimen Bags Are Key For Handling Laboratory Samples

Today we’re talking about reliable specimen bags for handling laboratory samples on Whiteboard Wednesday. The problem with selecting sample bags is that the user must have a reliable, high-quality bag for certain applications. Watch today’s Whiteboard Wednesday to see what types of sample bags are reliable for sampling!