Monthly Archives: February 2012

What is a Hoyer Lift?

A Hoyer lift is a device usually seen in hospitals or in areas where in an accident has just happened.

So What is a Hoyer Lift?

Hoyer lifts look life giant slings which carry a patient from one point to the next with the patient exerting very little or no effort at all. These are very important machines since they ensure that patients are at their safest in their most fragile state.

Patient lifts are easily used by a single individual, but it is always best that there will be at least two people operating the machine to make sure that the patient is safe at all times.

Hoyer Elevate Professional Lift

Here are some tips when using the Hoyer lift:

  • To begin with, gently roll the patient so that he or she faces his or her side. Gently place the sling beneath the patient and return the patient to his or her original lying position. Gently take the other side of the sling and place the ropes properly on both sides of the patient as well as in between the legs. You can ask the help of your colleague during this step so that the patient would not feel uncomfortable as the sling is being lifted. It may take some time, but it is better that everything even if done slowly.
  • Raise the lift slowly while carefully positioning the patient. Make sure that the ropes are tight.
  • Secure the lift once the patient has been lifted.
  • Slowly push the machine to the area where the patient will be transferred and lower the lift slowly.
  • Once the patient is in place it would be a bit hard to remove the sling behind him or her. To do this you can ask the patient to turn to his or her side and gently remove the sling.

Remember that safety of the patient is of top priority. Most of the time these patients have injuries or fractures so it’s always best to make sure that you practice caution while using the lift.


How To Determine External Catheter Sizing

Catheter sizing is not a topic that is easily breached.  For the most part, using an external catheter is not a pleasant experience for a male patient.  It is important to always bear in mind the mental and emotional implications on the patient, as they are already undergoing a considerable amount of stress from their hospitalization.  One of the most detrimental mishaps in the use of an external catheter for men is a failure of the catheter or bag.  More often than not, this occurs due to an improperly fitted catheter.

A Male External Catheter provides a non-invasive option for nurses and physicians to remove the consideration of urination from their treatment plan.  By using an external catheter, they can effectively eliminate the need for frequent toileting while still giving the patient a sense of independence by teaching them to emplace and change the male external catheter on their own.  However, proper catheter sizing is critical to ensuring that this experience is as positive as possible for the patient.

Hollister External Condom Catheter

A condom catheter is probably the most popular model of External Catheter for men.  To properly fit this item, one must be sure to correctly measure the length of the penis and the circumference at the widest point.  From there, these measurements can be used to find a condom catheter of an appropriate length and width that allows it to comfortably fit on the patient, while still being tight enough to prevent leakage.  A healthcare provider may want to consider shearing or trimming the pubic hair to prevent any tugging or pinching, but will want to note that, if trimmed too short, subsequent regrowth may irritate the area around the base of the catheter.

After properly sizing and fitting the male external catheter, the last step is to match the catheter with the correct size urine bag and to arrange or affix the bag in such a way that there will be no twisting or kinking in the line.  If done properly, a Condom Catheter can be a more comfortable substitute to the historical invasive catheter for men.

Cervical Traction Devices

Have you ever experienced severe neck pains and find it hard to look for something to relieve you of throbbing soreness and tenderness?

Neck traction devices also known as a cervical traction unit has been widely used to relieve all sorts of neck pain brought about by the following reasons:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Disc bulge
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Neck muscle spasms
  • Sudden pain experienced in the upper extremity
  • Feeling of tightness in the neck
  • Disc herniation

Although all types of neck traction units are proven to provide relief to the above mentioned ailments there are actually two types of cervical traction devices: the inline device and the other type which requires a door.

Cervical Traction Device

Over The Door Traction Unit

Over the Door Neck Traction Device

The unit which still needs a door when installed is the over door cervical traction device wherein the patient rests his head on a sling while the whole apparatus is hung on one side of the door.

This is the old type wherein there are attached weights usually in the form of water bags to add up to 20 pounds of tension. Although it is not commonly used nowadays as it was before, the over the door neck traction device still provides relief to neck pains when used. This type of traction is not advised for people who experience jaw pain since the sling might only worsen the pain in the jaw.

Pronex Cervical Traction Components

Pronex Inline Cervical Traction

Home Cervical Traction Devices

There are also other types of cervical traction machines, the more common ones you see in the super markets, online, or on the TV shopping channel. These are the home cervical traction devices that can be used at home as you sit and watch your favorite TV show, read your favorite book, or lie down in bed.

These cervical traction devices either rests behind the neck or is wrapped around the neck connected to a pump to provide pressure and tension to the neck. They relieve the tension out and is easy to use at home or at the office.

Coccyx vs. Doughnut Cushions

One way to treat certain body ailments or injuries is by using an orthopedic pillow. There are so many types of orthopedic pillows in the market, each with a different purpose, which can ensure temporary relief from cramped legs, neck pain, or sore arms.

Some people suffer from coccydynia or tailbone injury. It may sound a bit unfamiliar, but to those who experience it, this type of injury can be very painful and can cause extreme soreness and discomfort. There are two types of orthopedic pillows used to treat coccydynia: the coccyx cushion and the doughnut pillow.

Body Sport Donut Cushion

Doughnut Ring Cushion

Both are said to relieve the patient of pain caused by coccydynia, but between the two orthopedic cushions, which one proves to be more effective?

The Coccyx Cushion

Coccyx cushions are said to relieve pain from your coccyx by easing the pain from the lower spinal discs and also prevents back pain. These pillows are mostly used as Coccyx Seat Cushions and are installed in seats at home and are also used while driving the car. There are a lot of Coccyx Cushions available in the market such as the memory foam coccyx cushions, the gel Coccyx Cushions and the air coccyx cushion.

Coccyx Seat Cushion

The Doughnut Cushion

Doughnut Cushions or the Ring Cushions are actually considered by some as another form of the Coccyx cushion, only it is in a shape of a ring or a donut. The donut pillow serves the same purpose as the other coccyx cushion; it relieves stress from the tailbone and is necessary especially when you are required to seat down for long periods of time. Since these types of ring cushions are mostly used while sitting down, it is best used by people who suffer from hemorrhoids, bruising, and enlarged prostates.

Both types of orthopedic pillows are very effective in relieving pain in the coccyx area, it just a matter of which one is more comfortable to use.

Kinesio Taping

Kinesio tape is a new taping method used to relieve aching and strained muscles. The truth is, the Kinesio taping method isn’t actually new, it was developed 25 years ago by a Japanese chiropractor by the name, Dr. Kenzo Kase. The Kinesio tex tape is used by athletes such as Kerri Walsh, David Beckham, Serena Williams, and Lance Armstrong.

The tape is extremely thin and has a special elasticity which is said to be the reason why it is so effective. It is simply placed on the skin and can last for three to five days. You can even swim with it or take a bath with it, and it will not come off.

Kinesio Tape

Kinesio Sports Tape

How to Use Kinesio Tape?

Kinesio taping is really easy. Since the tape is made of thin breathable cotton, there is very little chance that there will be discomfort during long hours of wearing it. For starters, it’s better to wear the tape for long hours or days to get the best results. Since you will be wearing it for a longer period of time, plan on wearing it on consecutive days training in the gym. Don’t worry about taking it off during showers since the tape is waterproof which mean you can wear it even in the shower.

One kinesio taping method commonly used by athletes is the Y method or Y strip for tender and sore muscles. This is done by cutting the kinesio tape into a Y shape and placing it over the affected areas.

On the other hand, the X strip is best used for sore arm muscles. It’s simply crossing two strips of kinesio tape to form an X.

Where to Buy Kinesio Tape?

Kinesio tape is available almost anywhere. You could easily avail the Kinesio tape online on Vitality Medical. The great thing about buying it here is that you don’t only get the best price but you also get to see reviews and product descriptions from other clients who have tried it.

Why use a Pulse Oximeter – How Does an Oximeter Work

A pulse oximeter is a useful devise for measuring a person’s pulse rate and oxygen saturation and is also useful for people with very low blood saturation.

There are many portable pulse oximeters available in the market for home use. Aside from being one of the devices used in cases of emergency and first aid requirements, a pulse oximeter is also used by:

Finger Pulse Oximeter

Finger Pulse Oximeter

  • Pilots. It might sound unusual, but most pilots carry a portable pulse oximeter with them especially when flying non-pressurized aircrafts. They use this device to check if there is a need for supplemental oxygen or if the supplemental oxygen present is effective.
  • Mountain Climbers. Mountain climbers in their ascend to high altitudes must check their blood oxygen levels since a change in environment and decrease in oxygen might have drastic effects on their oxygen levels.
  • Asthma and Lung disease patients. Pulse oximeters are used to measure a person’s oxygen levels in the blood, which is why Asthma and Lung disease patients are sometimes required to carry around a portable pulse oximeter since insufficient oxygen in the blood can be fatal especially to patients with breathing problems.
  • Surgical hospital patients. The pulse oximeters are usually found in a hospital’s operating rooms and emergency areas. This device is needed to monitor the oximeter pulse rates and oxygenation in the blood while the patient is under anesthesia or is sedated.

Professional Pulse Oximeter

These are just some of the few reasons why we use a pulse oximeter. You can even just purchase one for use at home in case someone might need it in the future.

How does a pulse oximeter work?

To understand how does a pulse oximeter works, you just have to remember and understand two things: Red Light and Infrared Light. These lights will be used to detect the amount of oxygen in a person’s blood stream. The light will pass through the hemoglobin in your blood; the hemoglobin, which carries the oxygen, absorbs the infrared light and the red light is absorbed by the hemoglobin without much oxygen. The device gets the ratio, and you have your results.

Why Buy a Hospital Bed Instead of Renting One

There are several reasons why at one time or the other, you or your loved one may need a hospital bed. If you need a hospital bed, the option of whether to buy or rent one usually comes up. Buying a hospital bed is not a bad idea, neither is renting one. However, there are several factors in determining whether it would be better to buy a hospital bed or to rent one.

Invacare Low Bed

You may want to rent if the need for such bed is not extended for a brief period of 1 to 2 months. But when the bed is needed for an extended period of time, it becomes most cost effective to buy a long term care bed instead. There are several advantages when you buy your own hospital bed instead of renting it. The benefits include but not limited to the following:

You Get a Brand New Bed

Sadly, when you rent a hospital bed, there is every possibility that it is not new making it prone to faults and breakdown, especially when it is the full electric bed. These beds have motors and other mechanical parts that wear-out. This is not the case when you purchase your own bed, since it will surely come with a warranty. Most of all, when you purchase a new bed, you can choose the latest and greatest brands with the newest technologies, instead of getting whatever is available.

Heavy Duty Full Electric Bed


When you buy a hospital bed, whether it is the low hospital bed or the manual hospital bed, you end up saving a good deal of money when compared to what you would have spent renting one. You can start by multiplying the rental rate of $200 to $300 times 12 months of the year and compare the result to the price of purchasing a manual hospital bed at less than $600 or the semi electric bed at less than $500.00. You can also buy brand new mattresses for as low as $130.00 for the beds.

With that line of reasoning, it seems impractical to rent a hospital bed for any length of time. Buying your hospital bed seems the viable long-term option solution.