Monthly Archives: July 2010

What Are Catheters Used For?

Catheters for Urinary TreatmentJust Exactly what is a Catheter?

A medical catheter is a tube inserted into a body cavity. Catheters provide drainage, injection of fluids, or access by instruments. Catheterization is the insertion of a catheter. Generally, the catheter is a thin, flexible tube. However, it should be noted that some catheters are larger and solid. It’s possible that a catheter will be left in the body in which case it is called an indwelling catheter.

Some Catheter Uses:

  1. Draining urine from the bladder
  2. Drainage of urine from a kidney
  3. Coloplast Conveen Intermittent Catheter

  4. Drainage of fluids such as an abdominal abscess
  5. Injecting fluids such as intravenous feeding
  6. Angioplasty and Angiography use a catheter

Doctors and especially surgeons use catheters in a variety of situations and for a variety of purposes. However, the one we most often think of is the draining of urine from the bladder.

The tube is inserted through the penis into the urinary tract in males. In females insertion occurs into the urethral meatus. It can be complicated in females due to anatomical variations caused by age, obesity, and childbirth. It takes skill and some patience to “cath” some females.

It may be very painful; for that reason, most physicians use a topical anesthetic prior to “cathing” a patient. This is not a do-it-yourself procedure. Only trained qualified personnel and only equipment designed for the purpose should be used. However, in some cases, a physician will train a patient to do self-catheterization if there is a justifiable reason for it.

Hollister Everyday Self adhesive Catheter


The catheter was in use by 1868 when the first patent was filed. David Sheridan was responsible for inventing the modern disposable catheter, which occurred in the 1940s. Because red rubber tube catheters were being reused from patient to patient, they were spreading disease and infection, so Sheridan came up with an alternative to solve some of those problems. Now several different types of medical catheters are available for specific functions. Internal catheters include Foley Catheters, Touchless Catheters and Intermittent Catheters. Male patients usually make use of an external catheter which consist of a sheath device.


Kendall Curity Bedside Drainage Bag A catheter may be left in place for a while in which case it will be attached to a drainage bag. The purpose of this is to measure urine volume. This bag may be what is called a leg bag that is attached by elastic bands to the leg. It can even be worn throughout the day because it can be concealed under pants or a skirt. Another type of drain is a larger device that is used overnight and will hang on the bed or rest on the floor.


Today catheters are made of polymers of one kind or another. Silicone rubber latex is often used because it doesn’t react to body and medical fluids. It’s not as strong as it might be, however, and some serious complications have occurred due to a breakdown of the catheter. There have been instances where surgery has been required to remove parts of the catheter from the bladder.

The thought of having a tube inserted in a delicate part of our bodies makes us shudder a little. However, we can be thankful that the process has evolved and been refined over the years.

Vitality Medical provides discount catheters urinary supplies to hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, government agencies and homecare. A prescription from a physician is required for all internal catheter purchases. Prescriptions are not required of external catheters. Catheter supplies are shipped directly to home addresses and health care facility addresses. Vitality Medical can be reached by telephone at 800-733-4449.


What is Oxygen Therapy?

Oxygen Therapy for the Home

When oxygen is administered as medical intervention it is called oxygen therapy. This type of therapy is used for a variety of chronic and acute conditions. Oxygen is vital to cell metabolism and tissue oxygenation is necessary for normal physiological functions.

Oxygen therapy is used to increase the oxygen supply to the lungs, which in turn increases the oxygen availability to the body tissues. When oxygen levels in the blood and tissue is high this can be very beneficial to many patients, especially those with hypoxia or hypoxemia. Hypoxia is a medical condition in which either the entire body or a specific region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen. Hypoxemia is defined as decreased partial pressure of oxygen in the blood.

How is Oxygen Dispensed?

Oxygen therapy can be administered through a variety of methods. The most common ones include:

  • Liquid Storage – Liquid oxygen is often used in hospitals where large supplies are needed. When oxygen is stored using this method it is contained in chilled storage tanks until needed. Then it is boiled at -182.96 degrees Celsius which releases the oxygen into gas form.
  • Compressed Gas Storage – The oxygen gas is compressed in a gas oxygen cylinder. It is then stored there for convenient use. This method does not require refrigeration.
  • Oxygen Concentrator – An oxygen concentrator provides an instant supply. This method uses a form of electrical power and does not require refilling of tanks. It is a very convenient method that many people use for at home oxygen therapy or for portable oxygen therapy is required.

Oxygen therapy is widely used to improve the oxygen supply to the lungs and thus various body tissues as a form of treatment for a wide array of medical conditions. The different methods of storage provide convenience for multiple circumstances.

Vitality Medical is a discount medical supply store for homecare, hospitals and health care facilities. Vitality Medical provides wholesale pricing down to the individual home user.

What is an erectile vacuum pump?

A common affliction- Erectile Dysfunction

ED Devices to Treat Impotence

The inability to obtain an erection or to maintain an erect penis is known as erectile dysfunction. It is also referred to as male impotency. This condition can happen naturally with age or can have underlying medical or psychological or relationship conditions. Medical conditions such as cardiovascular ailments, excess alcoholism, and drug side effects almost always manifest in impotency. Leading a stressful life and having problems in relationships are also major reasons for many men suffering from impotency. Whatever the condition, the problem can be taken care of using devices or medications. Among these options, an erectile vacuum pump is considered a better choice because of its safety and ease of use.

The biology behind male impotency

An erection occurs in response to an erotic stimulation of the senses. A signal is generated in the brain which travels down to the penis and instructs a massive influx of blood into the sponge like cells present in the shaft. These cells engorge on the blood rushing in and this phenomenon causes an erection. Erectile dysfunction happens when enough blood does not rush into the penis or the penis is not able to hold on to the blood that has entered into it. With age this happens because the muscles at the base of the penis responsible for constricting the vessels and keeping blood trapped lose some of their abilities. However in younger individuals, it is not a failure of muscles that triggers this process, but some other underlying condition.

The erectile vacuum pump

Treating Impotence without Chemicals

An erectile vacuum pump is a vacuum constriction device (VCD) which is used by men to attain and maintain an erect penis. This device consists of three basic parts. A cylinder mostly acrylic in construction. An external pump, either automatic or hand powered. And the last component is a band called erection ring. The cylinder is placed over a semi-erect penis and sealed at the base of the penis shaft using an erection ring. The pump is connected to the cylinder at the head and is operated either manually or through battery, to create a vacuum around the penis. Because of the vacuum, blood rushes in to the sponge tissues of penis and causes it to stiffen. Once the maximum stiffness has been reached, the device is removed and the erection ring is firmly clamped to the base of the shaft behind the scrotal sac. This ring prevents the blood from draining out of the penis. Often it can be a hassle to get the ring onto the shaft and also to remove it. Using a lubricant can considerably ease the process. Rings equipped with handles also facilitate removal.

Effectiveness of vacuum pumps

Studies have shown that an average of 60% men who have used this device are satisfied with the results. It is a very effective method to combat male impotency and although it does nothing to remove the problem, it does help live with it. As with any solution, with prolonged usage of this device, satisfaction levels will decrease as the body grows accustomed to the process. This device is effective in use for many different causes of erectile dysfunction. Medical reasons such as diabetes, post prostate surgery, stress, anxiety and depression are some underlying causes of impotency that can be cured by using a vacuum pump device.

Are there side effects from using an erectile pump?

POS-T-VAC BOS2000-2 Battery Operated Erection System

Since, erections brought about through this method are not the same as natural erections; some men find that using this device brings a dull purple haze to the penis skin. Some men indicate that their penis seems to feel cold to touch more than usual. These are minor side effects and should not in any way distance you from using this device. You may also experience a decrease in ejaculation force. This can be explained by the use of a constricting band which unfortunately not only stops the blood from leaving the penis but, also prevents all the semen from entering into it as well. Not to worry though, on removal of the band the semen will trickle out. Besides, this side effect does not affect orgasm in any way.

Cost of VCDs

Encore Deluxe Battery and Manual Vacuum Erection System

Vacuum pumps come in many different varieties from many different companies. They generally cost $90 and up. The ED Pump displayed to the right is a combination pump with both battery and manual vacuum operation, costing $135.00. Some need to be operated by hand while others use a battery to power the pump. The automatic ones are generally preferred over the manual because of the time it takes and the effort required as well. These are devices that can be brought over-the-counter without a prescription and hence are a great alternative to medications and other devices.

Benefits of using erectile vacuum pumps

The fact that erectile pumps are available for purchase without prescription indicates the safety of this product. It has been deemed safe for commercial use and thus, has been removed from the prescribed list. Those who seek insurance reimbursement for their pump will need a prescription from a physician. VCD has a success rate in the high 80% and thus, should be the major reason why one should opt for this device over other competing products. Surveys have shown that using this device to get over impotency not only benefits males but, 85% of women said it satisfied them. The fact that it has nil side effects means that it can be used in tandem with drugs like Viagra to overcome impotency. Most men suffer from erectile dysfunction owing to psychological issues. For such men using this device slowly restores their confidence in their own sexual self and the dependence on this device will gradually wane away. This erectile dysfunction device is a rarity in itself. The fact that erection pumps can be used by anyone suffering from impotency is its biggest advantage. The price of this ED device is low enough that for many men suffering from impotence, it is a good investment

Vitality Medical is an Online Impotence Store, providing Erection Pumps, Lubricants and Tension Bands to help men suffering from ED.

How to Live with a Tracheostomy

Living with a Tracheostomy

Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure used to create an opening in the neck into the windpipe to allow the patient to breathe. Generally, a tube will be inserted through the opening to provide an airway, to allow for the removal of secretions from the lungs, and to provide airway management. The term tracheostomy tube or trach tube applies to this airway device. The tracheostomy procedure is typically done under general anesthesia.

Reasons for Performing a Tracheostomy

  1. Blockage of the airway
  2. Abnormality of the larynx or trachea
  3. Damage from smoke, steam, or other toxic gases
  4. Cancer
  5. Paralysis of the muscles that affect swallowing.
  6. Injuries of the neck or mouth


Tracheostomy Post-Surgery

Medmart ShowerShield with Rubber Collar

A tracheostomy may be temporary; if so, the trach tube will be removed when it is no longer needed. Only a minimal scar will remain after healing, which generally occurs in a few weeks. Sometimes the area will tighten and cause breathing difficulty and will need further surgery. On the other hand, if the tube is permanent, the hole will remain open. If it is no longer needed, the hole left by the tracheostomy procedure may be surgically closed.

Long-Range Prognosis

At first, breathing is a learning process. Also, communicating with others will not happen overnight. It will take some time. Given training and practice, most can learn to talk even with the hole still open and the tube in. Patience is required of the patient as well as the caregivers while all of this adjustment occurs.

The patient and the caregiver(s) must learn how to take care of the tracheostomy. Hospital personnel should provide training and home-care service may be required.

Medical professionals feel that a normal lifestyle should be pursued by the tracheostomy patient. However, when the patient goes outdoors, the hole should be covered lightly such as with a scarf. Care will need to be taken with regard to safety precautions such as exposure to water, powder, or food particles. Several manufacturers produce tracheostomy accessories to help provide safety precautions to protect the health of the trach patient. These trach accessories include the trach vent, passey valve, trach shower shield, soma shield cover, trach collar, trach ties, trach tube holder, trach cover, trach heat exchanger, tracheostomy cleaning tray, and trach speaking valve.

Changing the Tube

Posey Foam Trach Ties

The tracheostomy tube will need to be changed from time to time, but the surgeon will do the first one. This will happen usually a couple of weeks after surgery, and the medical team will teach caregivers how to change the tube.

The inside of the trach tube will be coated with secretions from the lungs and so it needs to be changed about once a week. Should the patient have a chest infection, the tube may need to be changed oftener. Timing is important. It should be done before a meal or at least two hours after a meal.


Passy Muir Purple Passy Muir Tracheostomy and Ventilator Speaking Valve

The air coming through the tracheostomy tube is cooler, dryer, and not as clean as that breathed normally. The body responds by producing more mucus. Suctioning is vital! The purpose is to clean the mucus from the tube so breathing will not be obstructed. If secretions are left in the trach tube, they may lead to a chest infection. Try to work out a practical schedule for suctioning. If you do it too often, it will simply lead to more secretion buildup.


Many people live for years with tracheostomies and have normal lives, both older and younger people. Patience on the part of the person with the tracheostomy as well as those around him or her will make it possible to get through the difficulties until they become a little-noticed part of your family’s daily existence.

Vitality Medical carries an assortment of trach tube supplies for airway management. Trach tubes available include the Shiley Trach, Bivona Trach, Portex Trach, and Cuffed Trach.