Monthly Archives: October 2011

Oxygen Concentrator – How it Works

Whenever anesthetic is needed, either as a supplement or for resuscitation purposes, it becomes necessary that the source of oxygen for such action be reliable. Traditionally, the needed oxygen was provided through cylinders which are becoming obsolete mainly due to their being bulky and very expensive. An oxygen concentrator has taken their place.

These oxygen concentrators are not only used during anesthetics but also used at home by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema patients to effectively carry out their oxygen therapy treatment. With the concentrated oxygen from these devices, the patient is sure of getting the right does of oxygen that his or her body needs for proper functioning.

John Bunn Optium Oxygen Concentrator

How the oxygen concentrator works

Although the oxygen concentrator’s functions are advanced, it can easily be understood. As soon as a concentrator is turned on, it proceeds with air absorption. It may interest you to know that the standard air is made up of 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. What the oxygen concentrator does when it absorbs this standard air is to force them into the aluminum silicate-containing compartments within the device. This substance then helps to filter some of the 80% nitrogen from the air, making it at 85%-95% oxygen. Then the pure oxygen air is delivered by the concentrator to be used by the patient.

There are several designs of oxygen concentrators today which include but not limited to John Bunn Optium Oxygen Concentrator. This particular concentrator is designed to deliver low maintenance but high performance oxygen to the user. It is designed as a patient and care giver friendly device. It is a compact and light weight device that is easily moved around and conveniently stored.

Another concentrator worth mentioning is the Respironics Millennium M10. With this particular oxygen concentrator, oxygen is delivered to the patient at up to 10 liters per minute and is especially beneficial to those patients who need more than the normal dose of 5 liters per minute. Most of all, unlike some other concentrators, this particular concentrator has fewer parts and a high level of reliability. It is also very affordable.

The last but not the least on the list of concentrators is the Sequal Integra 10 which is known to be a favorite among caregivers and patients alike. It has proven to be more efficient and less vulnerable to faults. Its unique feature is in the Advanced Technology Fractionator which eliminated the use of hundreds of parts making the device less vulnerable to wear, maintenance free, and self cleaning.



Penis Pumps for Erectile Dysfunction

Do you know that research has proven that one out of seven men below the age of 50 and two out of every eight men above the age of 50 are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction annually? Based on this fact, there was a recorded increase in the demand by consumers for penis pumps for erectile dysfunction.

In a situation where a man suffering from erectile dysfunction did not respond to medications and penile implant surgery is out of the question, the only option left for him is to use any of the various types of penis pumps available in the market today. Even physicians recommend these pumps, since they are better options for most than an invasive chemical or taking the risk of undergoing any type of penile surgery.

One good thing about the penis pump is that you have options. You can get manually operated pumps or you can choose to go for the ones that are powered by batteries. One of the known types of penis pumps is the Encore Deluxe device. One good thing about this particular device is that it comes both in manual and battery options.

It is designed to help you achieve restoration of your sexual performance after erectile dysfunction and has been confirmed to be effective in the treatment of impotence in several men. This device is affordable and safer than chemicals and surgical procedures to handle cases of erectile dysfunction.

According to the American Urological Affiliation, the use of penis pumps has been confirmed to be very effective where the use of drugs has failed. This brings us to the Encore Impo Aid, another vacuum erection device that has been confirmed through reviews by several patients to be effective in the treatment of impotency. It also aids to a great extent in the restoration of a man’s sexual abilities that dwindled as a result of erectile dysfunction.

Another type of penis pumps for erectile dysfunction is the Osbon ErecAid Classic. This particular penis pump comes in a kit with lubricant and tension rings. It has been confirmed to be non-invasive and is used manually to achieve erection prior to sexual intercourse. Studies have confirmed that it has up to 90% efficacy level in the restoration of sexual functions in most of the men that used the device.

The last but not the least is the Bos2000-2 penis pump. This battery operated vacuum erectile dysfunction pump is a unique technological invention in the area of bringing succor to those men suffering from erectile dysfunction. It has a battery powered vacuum pump that is very easy to use. On pushing the on button, the device goes into a smooth and steady pumping action which gives the user a full erection within a short period.


What is a pessary?

You’ve just had a medical check-up and you got some news that dampened your heart – you have suffered a uterus prolapse. However, you were reassured by your doctor that the fitting of a pessary is a good solution to the problem. The question then is what is a pessary?

Well, simply put, a pessary is a medical device that looks like a ring or diaphragm. There are pharmaceutical pessaries and non-pharmaceutical. They are mostly used in the treatment of prolapses either of the rectum, bladder, uterus or vagina. Other health conditions where the use of a pessary becomes necessary includes but not limited to stress urinary incontinence, rectocele, cystocele and retroverted uterus.

The pessary comes in different forms which include the Oval Pessaries which were originally designed as an alternative to Ring Pessaries in an event where the patient’s vaginal vault is not wide enough. It is also mostly used by women who have undergone any type of vaginal surgery or procedures involving bladder suspension. The ring pessaries are wider than the oval pessaries. When it comes to the treatment of second degree cystocele and prolapse, oval pessaries are mostly recommended.

Donut Pessaries are mainly used in the treatment of third degree prolapse which is a common occurrence in women who are within the menopausal age. They are effectively used to tackle cases of severe rectocele, cystocele and uterine prolapse. They are designed with flexible silicone which allows for compression during insertion.

Cube Pessaries which are recommended by experts in cases of uterine prolapse resulting from child birth is another type of pessaries available. This type of pessary is designed mainly for third degree prolapse, but it can also be effectively used in the treatment of rectocele and cystocele. It comes in various sizes, fitted with a tie for easy removal.

When it comes to the use of the gellhorn pessary, they are mainly manufactured for the purpose of being a support should there be a case of prolapse of the small bowel, uterus, rectum or bladder. It can also serve as support in the case of vaginal vault prolapse. It is easily inserted and the same applies to its removal.

During insertion, the knob folds and when it is in position, it rests on the posterior of the vaginal wall. This particular pessary is designed with drainage holes for the purpose of free passage of fluid. To ensure that the medical needs of women of various sizes and age are taken care of, this device comes in several sizes. It is strongly advised that this pessary be removed before you engage in sexual intercourse.

Apart from those functions of pessaries, pharmaceutical pessaries have additional uses. What is the difference? The difference is, while the other pessaries serve as support for one or more organs of the body, the pharmaceutical pessaries are used solely for the purpose of delivering pharmaceutical substances to a given patient’s body which when delivered, the walls of the rectum or vagina easily absorbs them. A pharmaceutical pessary can also be fitted into the vagina to help guard against any form of infection or inflammation of the walls of the vagina.

Now that you know what a pessary is and most of the basic things about it, you can experience relief from rectum, bladder, uterus or vaginal prolapse, rectocele and cystocele through the use of the pessary that suits your condition. Before your doctor proceeds with the fitting of the pessary, he or she is required to verify the size of pessary that will not be too large or too small for you and this is determined by using the Pessary Fitting Kit.


What is Hydrogel Dressing?

Hydrogel is a remarkably advanced material with medical purposes. The word hydrogel means technically a gel composed of water. Hydrogel dressings are capable of absorbing up to 99% liquid. The dressing swells as it takes on fluid, but does not break down when saturated.

Hydrogel reacts much like human tissue making it ideal for wound dressings. Hydrogel is such a versatile material that it has been used as a component in transplants. According to one United States patent, hydrogel material was used in the design of an artificial spinal disk. The hydrogel became the nucleus of the spinal disk in this design.

Much of hydrogels intrigue lies in the crystalline make-up of the smart material. Hydrogel is a smart substance because it can determine changes in environmental factors: moisture levels, bacteria, and ph levels. The hydrogel will react accordingly in response to those environmental changes. This reaction could be in the form of releasing medicines into the wound or quickly capturing wound drainage.

Hydrogel has a natural soothing feeling on a wound, because it creates a unique damp barrier that moisturizes a wounds surface. This environment is ideal for burns, dermal ulcers, scars, and other very dry wounds. The different types of hydrogel dressings are specifically designed for a variety of uses.

Some hydrogel dressings utilize the natural flexibility of hydrogel materials. The Flexigel dressing can absorb up to five times its weight in fluid and still remain affective. The lightweight Flexigel hydrogel sheeting is air permeable for breathability.

MediHoney is a new brand of hydrogel wound dressing that is designed with or without an adhesive border. Medihoney’s primary use is treating burns. It is scheduled to become available in Spring of 2012.

The Spenco 2nd Skin Scar Gel is designed for treating scars. Unlike the MediHoney brand, the 2nd skin scar gel comes in the form of a spray bottle. This dressing can be applied in areas that a wound dressing pad would not be ideal, such as, the face and neck.

Spenco manufactures a variety of hydrogel products, but they are not all for scar relief. The Spenco 2nd Skin Circles Dressing is a solid dressing. The material consists of pre-cut small circles designed for blister, insect sting, and poison ivy relief.

Some other hydrogel dressings are stored in a tube, so that the ideal amount is applied directly to the wound. The Restore hydrogel dressing can be left in place up to 3 days when applied. The paste-like gel comes in a 3 oz. tube or impregnated into gauze sponges. The restore dressing is designed for partial or full thickness wounds.

Hydrogel is a multifaceted wound dressing because it flexes, absorbs, detects, and can be applied via spray, cream, or non-adhesive pads. The versatility of hydrogel allows there to be a dressing for many wound situations.

How does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?

How does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that provides oxygen therapy to patients with respiratory illnesses. The air we breathe is made up of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen and about 1% of other trace gases. An oxygen concentrator takes in atmospheric air through an Inlet Filter and muffler to a compressor. The air is cooled and then passes through a sieve canister containing the material zeolite, which absorbs nitrogen from the air. A steady flow of almost pure oxygen is then available for the user. The oxygen can be delivered through tubing (nasal cannula) or a face mask which can deliver more oxygen per minute. Oxygen output is generally measured in LPM – liters per minute.

Nasal Cannula

There are stationary and Portable Oxygen Concentrators, both running off conventional power sources: plugs or batteries that can be purchased or leased according to need. Some newer models have Humidiflow Technology, a patented system that ensures the air delivered through the cannula is properly moisturized. Humidiflow eliminates the need for a bubble humidifier and prevents chapped skin and cracking.

Pulse dose technology is a relatively new therapy available in oxygen concentrators. In the past, the flow of oxygen to the patient was constant, whether the patient was inhaling or exhaling.  The pulse dose system delivers oxygen in fixed amounts, thus preventing oxygen from being wasted. The efficiency of the oxygen concentrator is increased and this is particularly important in portable machines as they are smaller and have limited storage.

Portable Concentrator

Inogen One Portable Concentrator

There are dozens of Oxygen Concentrators available on the market today. All have their own advantages and operational characteristics. The choice of product depends on how often the patient will be using oxygen, whether for just a few hours during the day, or at night when the patient is sleeping, or if the patient needs a continuous flow of oxygen twenty four hours a day.  If the patient is ambulatory or maybe even still working part-time, these are deciding points when choosing an oxygen concentrator.

Some portable concentrators are specially designed to facilitate travel by air, and can be carried over the shoulder in a neat travel bag, or wheeled around like a small suitcase with a handle.  Some fit under the airline seat and have easy access to the battery compartment for refills on a long flight.

The FAA has a current list of the brands of portable oxygen concentrators that are approved for flight. Be aware of the rules regarding traveling by air with the batteries that are required to run portable oxygen concentrators.

Be sure to have your physician sign a statement stating that you need the oxygen while traveling and that you know how to use and troubleshoot your equipment. Most portable concentrators are FAA approved and perfect for patients who have mobile lifestyles. Taking long car trips is much easier, as well. Portable oxygen concentrators come with a DC adapter that plugs into the “lighter” outlet and conserves the batteries for the time you are plugged into the running car.

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How to use an Oxygen Concentrator

Once you and your doctor have decided that you need an Oxygen Therapy, your doctor will write a prescription. When you are ready to purchase one find out if your insurance will cover the cost. If not, all is not lost. Wholesale medical suppliers, such as Vitality Medical sell oxygen concentrators to regular consumers. You can research the various models available and with your doctor’s advice and find out which model will be most suitable for your needs.

John Bunn

John Bunn

If possible, attend a training session on the use of your oxygen (o2) concentrator. Some companies will have someone come to your home to train you and some arrange training courses that you can attend. Above all, study the accompanying manual carefully before you begin.

Make sure the machine is set up properly, because there are dangers associated with the improper setup of this equipment. The machine should be grounded and hooked up with the right amount of voltage. Avoid the use of extension cords and keep the machine away from any kind of flame, even a cigarette. Use the machine in a well ventilated space and make sure no water comes in contact with the machine. Keep away from radiators and heaters and place a sign “No Smoking: Oxygen in Use” if necessary.



Once you have turned the machine on, set the oxygen flow as prescribed by your doctor. Some o2 concentators go up to 10 liters per minute, but not all do, so be sure to purchase one that allows for the proper amount of oxygen. Do not adjust this setting again without instruction from your doctor. There may be a green light on your oxygen concentrator indicating that the flow is normal. Put on the nasal cannula, with the prongs comfortably placed inside your nose and the tubing around the ears. When using an Oxygen Mask, make sure it fits easily, adjusting the strap behind the head. Use the concentrator only for the time and number of treatments prescribed.

Turn the machine off once the treatment is complete, and take off the Nasal Cannula, disinfecting it with alcohol before placing it back in the slot until needed again. Clean and disinfect the parts of the oxygen concentrator following the instructions supplied by the manufacturer or supplier.  About two or three times a month, you should replace the cannula.

Respironics Evergo

Evergo Portable

If there is any problem or discomfort, discontinue the treatment and turn off the machine. Look for an orange or red light which may indicate the oxygen flow is obstructed. Contact the manufacturer or supplier for instructions and arrange for a service call as needed.  If you live in an area where the electricity supply may be interrupted, you should have a portable system as backup. Make sure the utilities company knows you are on oxygen as they will give you priority when restoring the service.

Travelling with your Portable Oxygen Concentrator brings you a whole new freedom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions which differ for travel by airplane, car, on foot or by train. Make sure you have enough batteries for the time of travel and are familiar with the process of recharging batteries as you travel.  For more information, refer to these websites: