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?

 

 

 

Evaluating Microorganism Levels On X-Ray Aprons And Lead Wearables: The Science Of ATP Testing

How Have Microorganisms and Bioburden Been Measured?

In the previous blog post regarding X-Ray lead aprons, we explored the history of healthcare associated infections or HAIs, and how transmission risks are posed to patients and staff via contaminated “high touch, non-critical surfaces,” including X-Ray aprons and protective lead wearables.  In laying out the content of this blog, I was reminded of the phrases, “things aren’t always as they appear” and “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Is it possible that newer (clean looking) X-Ray aprons can carry a higher level of biological contamination when tested in comparison to older X-Ray aprons (which are dirty looking & smelling)? It is completely possible and plausible due to the concept of bioburden.

What is Bioburden?

Bioburden is defined in numerous medical dictionaries as the number of microorganisms contaminating an object.  So how does one assess for bioburden?  The gold standard for assessing for bacterial/fungal contamination has been to assess for colony forming units or CFUs.  A CFU equals one viable bacterium that has the ability to spread and replicate.

3 Main Ways to Measure CFUs: 

  1. A scientist could dilute the sample and count the bacteria by microscopic examination or through the use of a cell counter.  However, if bacteria are too small or clump together, then this method is problematic.  This method will yield total bacteria counts, both living and dead.
  2. A scientist could use Optical Density (OD) to estimate the number of viable bacteria in a sample.  This is where the scientist measures how cloudy a liquid culture of bacteria is.  While the bacteria are actively growing the liquid culture should continually become more and more cloudy.  Again, this method will yield total bacteria counts, both living and dead.
  3. A scientist could make serial dilutions of a liquid culture and plate out the bacteria in known dilutions until they can count single colonies and extrapolate back to figure out total CFU in a sample. This method only yields viable bacteria totals.

4 Challenges Associated with Bioburden Assessment

Assessing for bioburden (microorganisms) by calculating CFUs is not as easy or straight forward as one might imagine.

  1. The first challenge posed is that one needs to have a lab in which to grow bacteria, and depending on the bacteria one is dealing with there are different governmental regulations to follow.
  2. The second challenge presented is that of time, one needs to have the time and equipment to properly grow the bacteria/fungus.  Different species of bacteria or fungus grow at different rates, for example, culturing of bacteria on plates can take anywhere from overnight to multiple days.
  3. A third and very important challenge is posed by the bacteria and fungus themselves.  They are similar to people in the fact that not all of them grow and thrive under the same conditions.  In lab work, if only one kind of food source is used, one will only be able to assess for bacteria that grow on that particular food source.
  4. Finally, one needs to have a trained technician who knows how to assess which bacteria to grow under the correct conditions and then also how to properly count the bacteria.

While assessing for CFUs has traditionally been viewed as the gold standard for assessing bioburden, and it is vitally important for various microbial studies, it is not a good way to assess bioburden in real time.  It can be complicated.

What is ATP and How is it Evaluated?

What if there was an easier way to determine surface levels of biological contamination?

What if there was an easier way to assess for a molecule that is found only in living cells, both bacterial and human living cells?

There IS an easier way to evaluate for this molecule in real time (by using a simple swab and handheld reader), and it can be used by any hospital staff member as a surrogate for such complicated CFU work.  Let me introduce you to the molecule known as the “molecular workhorse,” called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

ATP is an energy molecule utilized by cells. It is present in humans, animals, plants and microbial cells.  ATP levels rise as a cell is undergoing apoptosis (programed cell death), but is generally consider to be completely degraded within 30 minutes of cell death (1).  This makes ATP a useful marker for the presence of unwanted biological contamination, including organisms that can cause infection and disease.

Okay – Get to the Point!

An increase in biological cells on a surface results in an increase in the amount of ATP present on that surface, thus making ATP an effective marker for the assessment of the hygienic status of an environmental surface. Simply stated, the amount of ATP present on a testing swab is a quantitative measurement of the cleanliness of the surface tested! In fact, ATP cell viability assays were determined to be the fastest, most sensitive, and least prone to artifacts, partially due to a lack of an incubation period (2).  The sensitivity of laboratory cell based ATP cell viability assays can detect fewer than 10 cells per well (2).  This technology has been modified to create a portable, ATP bioluminescence test, using a swab instead of plated cells.  This now allows for a real time assessment of bioburden on site.  These tests have been used to assess bioburden in many healthcare settings, including the ICU (3).  ATP measuring units, called luminometers, are handheld, user friendly, and display the results in seconds. (It doesn’t take a scientist to use an ATP luminometer!) The read out of an ATP bioluminescence test is not in CFUs, but is in relative light units or RLUs.  In the past, some scientists have questioned the validity of using a bioluminescence test instead of assaying for CFU.

Is There a Correlation Between CFUs & RLUs? 

Like most assessments, ATP bioluminescence assays also have limitations, but they are an excellent surrogate that allows the everyday staff member to assess bioburden in real time.  Those new to ATP bioluminescence testing often inquire about a correlation between CFUs and RLUs.  (Most laboratory microbiologists have the capability to perform CFU testing, and are not confined to real time assessment of bioburden.)  The most controlled way to achieve this is to look at different known amounts of CFUs and assess whether or not the RLUs increase accordingly.  That is exactly what Dr. Sciortino’s group did when they assessed three different portable ATP bioluminescence kits for their ability to detect various CFUs of two different HAI relevant bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii) and one strain of fungus (Candida albicans).

What they discovered was there was a linear relationship between bacterial CFUs and RLUs for all three luminescence kits, and for two of the three kits between fungal CFUs and RLUs (1).  Such research validates that the use of ATP luminometers can be used to assess for bioburden on surfaces in real time.  This research, plus Dr. Jaber’s study, in which 25 lead aprons were cultured for CFUs and showed that 21 were colonized with Tinea species (the family of fungus that causes ringworm) and 21 were colonized with Staphylococcus aureus, of which 3 aprons were colonized with MRSA (4), validates the ATP bioluminescence results for X-ray aprons and protective lead wearables.

In fact, these X-ray aprons and protective lead wearables, which are worn throughout many different areas within a healthcare system, including the operating rooms, cath labs, radiology/imaging areas, emergency rooms and beyond are regularly testing with RLU readings in the THOUSANDS to HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS (5), which is scary. The bottom line is regardless if you are a classically trained microbiologist used to looking at CFUs or a hospital staffer looking at luminometer readouts in RLUs, when surfaces inside an OR or Cath Lab are testing in the hundreds of thousands range, it is a problem!

Is ATP Testing Growing in Use?

Through utilization of ATP luminometer testing systems, companies like Radiological Care Services (Indianapolis) are able to enter a facility’s Cath Lab, OR or Radiology Department and test lead apron inventories on site, providing real time numbers (bioburden levels) in a matter of seconds. An advocate for ATP luminometer testing, Dr. Sciortino even states, “ATP system monitoring may uncover the need for new disinfectant designs that adequately remove hospital surface biofilms, rendering used hospital equipment to its native state whereby a zero reading by ATP monitoring can be achieved” (1).  If you look back at the first blog post, “Contaminated X-Ray Aprons and The Risk of HAIs”, I positioned that “using wipes alone” was insufficient and through the use of ATP testing, Dr. Sciortino could be inferring a similar position.

Looking Ahead…

In the next blog post, we’ll specifically look at the science/methodology behind the use of sanitizing wipes and we’ll further explore the differences between true “cleaning” and “sanitization.” We’ll later examine what the governing bodies, such as AORN, CDC, HFAP and JCAHO state regarding their expectations of such surfaces within healthcare facilities. Understanding the science behind HAIs, testing for biological contaminants on surfaces, biofilms, and the difference between “cleaning” and “sanitization” will help us understand that current healthcare protocols in regards “non-critical, high touch surfaces” need to be changed in order to better protect hospital patients and staff.

About The Author:

Kathleen R. Jones received her BS from Purdue University (West Lafayette) in Biology specializing in Genetics and Microbiology.   After working for five years in Quality Control she then completed her MS at Purdue University in Indianapolis.  Her growing interest in Infectious Diseases lead her to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences where she obtained a Doctorate in Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Kathleen has a passion for progressive sciences and initiatives, and employs her keen understanding of the biofilm formation and elimination processes into her research and work.

Sources:

  1. Sciortino, C. V. and R. A. Giles.  2012. Validation and comparison of three adenosine triphosphate luminometers for monitoring hospital surface sanitization: A Rosetta Stone for adenosine triphosphate testing.  AJIC.  40 (e233-9)
  2. Riss T.L., R.A. Moravec, A. L. Niles, H.A. Benink, T.J. Worzella, L. Minor. Minor, L, editor.  2013,  Cell Vialblity Assays. In: Sittampalam G.S., N.P. Coussens, H. Nelson, et al., editors. Assay Guidance Manual [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): Eli Lilly & Company and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; 2004-. Available from: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144065/
  3. Moore, G., D. Smyth, J. Singleton, P. Wilson. 2010. The use of adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence to assess the efficacy of a modified cleaning program implemented within an intensive care setting.  AJIC. 38(8):617-622 DOI: //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2010.02.011
  4. Jaber, M., M. Harvill, E. Qiao.  2014.  Lead aprons worn by interventional radiologists contain pathogenic organisms including MRSA and tinea species.  Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.  25:3:S99-S100.  DOI: //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvir.2013.12.279
  5. “Outcomes: What do your numbers look like?” Radiological Care Services. Nov 20, 2014. //www.radcareservices.com/radiolgical-care-services-outcomes.html

3 Different Styles Of Phenolic Armboards

What is phenolic?

An organic compound, phenolic is a term given to several different substances made from phenol. Phenol is an important industrial commodity that participates in the chemical reaction that produces many materials and useful compounds. One of the major uses of phenol involves its conversion to plastic or similar materials.

What are phenolic resins?

Phenolic resin is a heat-cured plastic formed from a reaction of a carbon-based alcohol and chemical called aldehyde. The resin is hard, heat resistant, and can be mixed with a wide range of materials for medical and industrial uses. Phenolics offer low density, good thermal insulation, and outstanding durability. Phenolic materials are lightweight, provide a good value, and are radiolucent. (e.g. ⅜ inch black phenolic material has a radiolucency equivalent of 0.5mm Pb).

“Phenolic laminates are made by impregnating one or more layers of the base material such as paper, fiberglass or cotton with phenolic resin and laminating the resin-saturated base material under heat and pressure.” The black phenolic armboards are constructed of many layers of a paper-like substance, where the surface and core sheets are fused at high temperatures and pressure. The finished product results in an impact, water and corrosion resistant material that does not support bacterial growth.

Phenolic Armboard Styles

1. Height Adjustable Radiolucent Armboard (Radiolucent Armboard with Built-In Rail Mount)

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Designed to reduce setup time by quickly and easily matching the height of the surgical table pad, the unique armboard design eliminates the need for having multiple armboard pad sizes. The intuitive, sleek design with built-in mounting mechanism provides effortless up and down movement. The armboard will adjust to the desired level of the operating room table with a simple spin of the height adjusting knob. A positive locking mechanism allows for safe and easy mounting to any operating room table accessory rail. When mounted to either side of the O.R. table, the armboard can rotate a full 180 degrees providing maximum patient positioning versatility.

The armboard has been designed to eliminate interference during C-Arm imaging and X-Ray procedures. Constructed of ⅜ inch thick black phenolic material, this lightweight armboard weighs 4.5 pounds making setup and breakdown quick and painless. The armboard measures 6 inches wide by 26 inches long and is compatible with an optional 2-inch table pad. The Armboard pad provides protection for the bony prominences of the immobilized extremity, as well as muscle tissue areas.

Key Benefits

  • Simple sleek design
  • Securely locks to operating room table accessory rail with simple spin of the knob
  • Height adjustable to accommodate all thicknesses of pads
  • Easy 180 degree rotation
  • No interference during C-arm imaging and X-ray procedures
  • Armboard is made of ⅜ inch thick black phenolic and weighs a slim 4.5 pounds
  • Optional armboard pad

2. Standard Drop-Latch Style Armboard

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The tried and true design of the drop-latch style armboard is easy to use and is made with high-quality hardware. Eliminate broken gear teeth with the extra strong gear castings. The finger latch trigger, located on the outer end of the board allows for 180 degrees of lateral adjustment and 21 different positions (gear casting has 21 gear teeth). The armboard quickly attaches and releases off of the operating room table accessory rail by simply holding the trigger lock up and lifting the outer end of the board.

The 6 inch wide armboard is constructed of durable, ⅜ inch thick black phenolic material and is available in 24 inch and 26 inch lengths. Designed to fit all standard American made operating room tables, this lightweight armboard only weighs 4.5 pounds. There are two optional 2 inch thick armboard pads available that have been specifically designed for the 24 inch and the 26 inch armboards. The vinyl covered armboard pads are designed to protect the patients bony prominences while immobilized, as well as muscle tissue areas.

Two Lengths Available 

Key Benefits

  • Tried and proven armboard design
  • Armboard drops onto rail and locks by means of a weighted trigger lock
  • Armboard releases off rail by simply holding the trigger lock up and lifting the outer end of the board
  • Finger latch trigger on outer end of board allowing for 180 degree lateral adjustment
  • Designed with extra strong gear casting to eliminate broken teeth on castings
  • Armboard is made of ⅜ inch thick black phenolic and weighs a slim 4.5 pounds
  • Choice of 6 inch wide x 24 inch long or 26 inch long to meet your needs
  • Fits all standard American made operating room tables
  • Optional armboard pad

3. Underpad Mount Armboard (Coming soon to UniversalMedicalinc.com)

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Designed for operating room tables without accessory rails, the underpad mount armboard table offers effortless setup and breakdown. The ⅜ inch thick black phenolic armboard only weighs 7 pounds. Setup is simple, slide the large end of the armboard under the operating room table pad and adjust to the desired location.

This armboard is ideal for supporting the patient during the placement of PICC (Peripherally inserted central catheter) lines or the injection of contrast materials for MRI and CT scans. The underpad mount armboard is compatible with the optional 6 inch wide by 24 inch long by 2 inch thick black vinyl armboard pad for patient protection.

Key Benefits

  • Armboard is made of ⅜ inch thick black phenolic and weighs a mere 7 pounds
  • Slides under table pad
  • Accepts optional 6 inch wide x 24 inch long pad

Armboard Mounting Options

The various styles of the radiolucent phenolic armboards provide the same functionality, while the different mounting configurations are designed for specific mounting methods. For example, both the height adjustable radiolucent armboard and the standard drop-latch armboard mount to the surgical table accessory rail, while the underpad mount is designed to slide under the surgical table pad. Three different style armboards, each with unique benefits to accommodate your current surgical table configuration and your facilities unique needs.

Make sure to watch our product demonstration videos to see how easy these armboards are to setup and breakdown. Have you used armboards during imaging procedures? Would you like to share your experiences with us? As always, if you have any remaining questions, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Additional Resources

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!

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.

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. There are several factors to consider when selecting the right exam glove box dispenser. The type of facility and the amount of traffic your facility or department receives are two of the top considerations. The application and location of the dispenser will determine what size capacity is needed, the type of material, mounting orientation and any additional features.

Application

In high traffic locations such as emergency departments, operating rooms and trauma units where exam glove usage is critical, keeping a safe stocking level is crucial to staying compliant with infection control policies.  Selecting a quad or four box exam glove dispenser ensures that your department will always have sufficient inventory on hand at all times. Hospitals with a large number of staff will typically want to choose a quad or triple box exam glove dispenser that can accommodate multiple sizes.  For more specialized infection control applications, the Microban Anti-Microbial exam glove box holder is ideal for use in cleanrooms, hospitals, and microbiological work areas.

Capacity

There are four common exam glove box dispenser configurations: single, double, triple, and quad to meet your facilities needs. Some of the dispensers are designed to be dedicated exam glove box holders while other dispensers, like the FlexHold quad glove/mask holder have been designed to hold various types of PPE supply boxes. There are also specialty exam glove dispenser boxes that incorporate an additional pocket to hold hand sanitizer.

Material

Exam glove box dispensers are available in multiple substrates: acrylic, powder coated steel wire, epoxy coated steel wire, stainless steel, white steel, and high-impact polystyrene. Acrylic dispensers are clear and durable allowing for quick glove identification and easy refilling. The powder coated and epoxy coated wire dispensers feature a see-through construction which allows for easy identification of glove sizes. The durable stainless steel dispensers are long lasting and safe to clean with most bleach solutions. The powder coated steel dispensers offer a durable finish and an open design which allows for easy identification of glove sizes. Dispensers constructed from high impact polystyrene (HIPS) are durable and are resistant to harsh cleaning solutions.

Mounting Orientation

Exam glove box dispensers are available in multiple mounting configurations. Some dispensers are designed with two-way keyholes that allow for a dual mounting option so that the dispenser can be mounted vertically or horizontally. Dispensers may also come with suction cups that allow for mounting on glass surfaces. In addition to the wall mount option, many of the dispensers can also be placed on a counter or tabletop which will keep glove boxes organized and improve the utilization of exam gloves in your facility.

Features 

Unique features may be necessary depending on the specific location and application. Let’s take a look at some of the unique features available. There are Dispensers with locking lids which offer an added level of protection for safely and securely storing exam gloves while still allowing for easy access. Most acrylic dispensers have finger holes located on one end to make refilling quick and easy. There are several types of loading configurations including, top, side, and bottom loading. Some dispensers have spring loaded back flaps that keeps glove boxes up front and firmly in place, preventing smaller boxes from sliding. The FlexHold quad glove/mask holder has a unique bottom loading, adjustable clamp design that adjusts to a variety of different sized PPE boxes including, gloves, mop caps, ear defenders, face masks, and shoe covers.

There are a variety of exam glove dispensers to choose from and that is why it is important to take the criteria listed above into consideration before making your decision. Purchasing exam glove dispensers might seem like a fairly straightforward process but with the amount of options available it can make the decision more difficult then originally anticipated. If you may have any questions regarding how to choose the right exam glove please feel free to leave a comment below or contact us directly at info@universalmedicalinc.com.

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. Under OSHA guidelines, employers must provide their employees with the appropriate PPE while ensuring that PPE is properly disposed of if disposable, cleaned or laundered, repaired and stored after each use.

Protecting healthcare personnel from infectious disease exposures in the workplace requires a combination of controls. The use of PPE is one of four key components in the hierarchy of healthcare worker safety programs.

  • Training (e.g. policies and procedures)
  • Engineering Controls (e.g. negative pressure rooms)
  • Work Practice Controls (e.g. not recapping needles)
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Although PPE is listed last in the hierarchy of prevention, it is extremely important for protecting healthcare workers from disease transmission. Listed below is a sampling of some commonly found types of PPE found in healthcare settings.

  • Gloves (protect hands)
  • Gowns/aprons (protect skin and clothing)
  • Masks (protect mouth/nose)
  • Respirators (protect respiratory tract from airborne infectious agents)
  • Goggles/glasses (protect eyes)
  • Face shields (protect face, mouth, nose and eyes)
  • Shoe covers (protects from airborne infectious agents)
  • Head covers/bonnets  (protects from airborne infectious agents)

The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required;  standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation. When selecting PPE it is important to consider three things; type of exposure anticipated, durability and appropriateness for the task, and fit. Remember to always use safe work practices to protect yourself and limit the spread of contamination. Polices may vary by facility, please check with the appropriate department director in your facility for more information.

Finding Accuracy With Disposable Fast Find Grid In CT Guided Biopsies

CT guided biopsies are commonly performed in medical facilities nationwide. These biopsies help physicians closely examine an area of the body through CT images to determine precise location. In order to identify other conditions, it’s important for biopsies to be accurate.

The Disposable CT Biopsy Fast Find Grid is used for all CT (Computed Technology) guided biopsies and drainage procedures, regardless of the body part. This includes thyroid, lung, liver, abdominal, pelvic and extremity biopsies and drainages.

A particularly important feature is how the grid forms to the patient’s body for precise and accurate imaging technique. A few other key features the Disposable Fast Find Grid offers:

  • 1 cm markings across each slice for precise needle placement
  • Flexible grid material conforms closely to the patient’s anatomy for accurate imaging
  • Disposable grid prevents cross-contamination
  • Tape strips assure non-slip positioning
  • Fast, accurate pinpointing of area of concern saves time and money
  • Radio opaque grid yields a readily identifiable dot pattern on each CT image
  • Porous grid allows accurate marking of area with felt-tip or marking pen
  • Latex Free

This fast find grid saves physicians and medical professionals time. The grid saves time by increasing the accuracy of needle placement with the 1 cm markings. It also reduces time by having tape strips for non-slipping positioning and being very flexible as it conforms to the patients body with ease.

The fast find grid is a simple, disposable tool that can be used in all CT guided biopsies and drainage procedures and allows accurate results. If you have any questions regarding this topic, please let us know in the comment box below. Looking to try the fast find grid before you make your purchase? We are confident you will be satisfied with the disposable fast find CT grid that we will send you a free sample to try.

 

Reducing Radiation Exposure With Thyroid Shields

Thyroid shields and collars are designed to keep thyroid glands safe and protected from radiation exposure. Radiation protection is an important safety measure to understand when working in medical settings.

Radiation exposure to the thyroid area can occur in various medical applications. Thyroid shields are typically paired with lead aprons during fluoroscopic procedures. Common applications where thyroid shields are used include: x-ray imaging, CT scans, fluoroscopy and dental x-rays.

Keep in mind, not all applications that use radiation require thyroid shields, it depends on a few factors. When deciding whether or not it’s necessary to wear a thyroid shield, keep ALARA principles in mind. ALARA (As-Low-As-Reasonably-Achievable) principles were established to keep medical personnel safe while working around radiation. ALARA principles address three major factors: time, distance and shielding. Take into consideration the amount of time your staff is working around the source of radiation, the distance between the worker and source of radiation and if the shielding equipment is sufficient. Medical professionals who work around radiation frequently are recommended to wear appropriate radiation protective gear.

Thyroid shields are available in both lead and non-lead thyroid collars. The New Style Lead Thyroid Collar offers the standard protection of 0.5mm Pb Equivalency. This lead thyroid collar is latex free and fastens with a rear hook and loop closure. The Xenolite NonLead Thyroid Collar is lightweight, recyclable and safe for non-hazardous disposal. This thyroid collar is lead free and fastens with a velcro closure.

The thyroid gland is a sensitive organ and should be properly protected when working around high levels of radiation. It’s important to minimize potential radiation exposure and determine the appropriate type of protection. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment or your questions in the box underneath.