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April 2015

What Is Hot/Cold Therapy? And When to Use It!

By 4 years ago 1001 Views No comments

Ace Reusable Cold Compress

Have you ever sprained your ankle, or suffered extreme recurring pain in your joints? Have you heard of the hot and cold therapy options for all such aches and pains?

Hot and cold therapy techniques are known to be two of the most effective and non invasive methods of treating a variety of body pains. These therapy options are recognized as non addictive approaches to ensure pain relief, for both muscular and bone aches.

Pain Therapy

While hot and cold therapies are effective in relief from intense pain, the ideal technique to use is determined by assessing the intensity of the pain, and its recurring nature.

A new injury which causes pain is sure to cause swelling on the affected area. Thus, application of ice packs is a preferable solution to bring down the swelling and ease the pain. On the other hand, recurring pain is best treated with the application of heat on the painful body area that ensures better circulation of blood to promote the healing process.

Both hot and cold therapy options are used to relieve certain types of pain, and there are different products which help you apply the right degree of heat and cold to the injured or aching body part.

Hot Therapy

Also known as heat therapy, is used to improve blood circulation and thus, speed up the healing process within the body. How it works is simple. The regulated blood flow ensures amplified supply of oxygen to the affected area, which in turn, helps lessen the intensity of pain.

The heat from the therapy also decreases the chances of muscle spasms, and improves mobility of the joints and muscles. The application of heat to a painful area also enhances the overall flexibility of the ligaments and tendons of the body. Heat therapy is primarily recommended if you suffer from stiff joints, with intense muscle and joint pain.

Sombra Heat Therapy

Both dry and moist heat application is used to treat pain in the body. Either microwavable or electronic heat pads can be used to apply the required amount of warmth to the affected area. Hot water bottles, hot water baths and gel packs can also be utilized to help maintain a constant temperature on the painful spot, ensuring pain relief.

The Sombra Warm Therapy, the Dura Med Reusable Heat Packs and the Thermoderm Heat Lotion are good options to ensure effective heat therapy.

Cold Therapy

This pain therapy is used to slow down the blood circulation in the affected area, which helps bring down swelling and painful inflammation. Muscle spasms can also be avoided with the application of cold packs on a swollen, bruised, or injured area.

Cold therapy is ideal for the prompt treatment of sprains, bumps, strains or bruises, resulting from a sports injury or heavy lifting.

Ice gel packs are generally used to ensure that a constant supply of cold therapy is applied to relieve the pain and bring down the swelling. The Versa Pac Reusable Cold Pack and the ACE Cold Compress are two products that help ensure effective cold therapy to treat any new injuries or bruises.

Versa Reusable Cold Packs

Both hot and cold therapy options are easy and effective treatment choices, which ensure quick pain relief, but the trick is to know which one to use for your particular pain relieving needs.

Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Burt Cancaster Profile

Nasal Cannula for Oxygen Therapy

By 4 years ago 1917 Views No comments

Nasal Cannula

Do you know what is a nasal cannula? Do you know what they are used for? Even if you and your loved ones have been blessed with good health, you must surely have seen it in movies and television soaps. It is a thin transparent tube that is attached to the nose of a patient who is shown to be in serious condition. One of the wonders of medical science, this tube provides oxygen to a patient who finds it difficult to breathe by themselves, due to the severity of their medical condition.

What Are Nasal Cannula?

Nasal Cannula as well as facial oxygen masks are commonly used in healthcare facilities to ensure the supply of oxygen to patients who are finding it difficult to breathe on their own. Patients with respiratory disorders are thus, supplied with the required amount of oxygen through the use of nasal cannulas and oxygen masks. Oxygen nasal cannula however is less intrusive than oxygen masks.

As mentioned above, the structure of a nasal cannula is of a thin plastic tube, but it has two small prongs at one end. This flexible tube is placed under the nose, in such a way, that the two prongs are inserted inside the nostrils. Types of oxygen nasal cannula include flared or straight cannula prongs.

Nasal Cannula with Oxygen Tubing

Usually, nasal cannulas are used to supply low levels of oxygen to the patient, but in some cases, high levels of oxygen might also be supplied through the flexible tube structure.

Benefits of Nasal Cannula

These oxygen cannula are used for the treatment of patients who have a history of suffering from respiratory disorders and ailments. Nasal cannulas might also be used to administer oxygen to trauma patients in hospitals.

Seriously ill patients, who suffer from any chronic illnesses or acute medical conditions like heart failure, are also supplied with the required amount of oxygen, through a nasal cannula. As most patients suffering from severe conditions are unable to breathe properly, and oxygen is vital for the effective working of our bodily functions; nasal cannulas are like little lifesavers that provide a breath of fresh air to the patient, ensuring constant breathing and better sleep as well.

The lives of certain COPD patients can also be saved by the constant and effective supply of oxygen through nasal cannulas.

How Are Nasal Cannula Used?

One end of the oxygen cannula, containing the prongs, is placed within the nostrils while the other end is generally attached to an oxygen tank or to oxygen tubing by a oxygen tubing connector that allows a longer "leash" from the oxygen cylinder tank or oxygen compressor.

Types of Oxygen Nasal Cannula

While oxygen therapy might be supplied to a patient through a nasal cannula, in a hospital or clinic; it might also be used to at home or while one is on the go. However, in hospitals, the oxygen tank or oxygen compressor is often placed at the bedside of the patient and remains stable. On the contrary, using nasal cannulas for breathing on the go, requires proper transportation of the oxygen tank or oxygen compressor alongside the patient.

Proper care also needs to be taken to ensure that the oxygen tank has sufficient oxygen for the patient to breath easily. Doctors determine the level of required oxygen by taking a blood sample to assess the quantity of oxygen present within the blood.

In summary…

Oxygen cannula are recognized as a primary choice to deliver oxygen to patients. The reason for this preference is because they have a less intrusive application method, and also leave the patient free to speak and eat without any worries.

These nasal cannulas are available in a variety of sizes in the market. The Softech Plus Oxygen Nasal Cannula, the AirLife Nasal Cannulas, the Salter Labs Adult Oxygen Cannula and the Cardinal Health Cushion Nasal Cannula are the variety of options available in oxygen supplying tubing, which offer a constant supply of oxygen to a patient with ease. Need a free sample of a nasal cannula? Teleflex offers free samples at their oxygen cannula at following link: Free Samples Teleflex Oxygen Nasal Cannula.

Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Burt Cancaster Profile

Selecting Syringes and Needles

By 4 years ago 3097 Views No comments

Most of us can recognize a syringe, with a needle sticking out of a long plastic body. For many, it is one childhood horror that they can never forget! But while your early years may have been spent dreading a needle, your teens or adulthood might require you to keep a supply of syringes ready for a doctor prescribed medication. When you start your own family, you may need a syringe supply for a family member to treat a medical condition. In this case, not only do you need to forget your old dread of this small medical device, but will also need to know how to use it. Most importantly, you need to know that not all syringes are the same, and that they are used for different purposes.

Anatomy of a Needle

Types of Syringes

Syringes are available in several different designs and varieties. Most syringes are disposable and many come with an attached needle or with no needle at all. You may select the size of the syringe by the volume of medication it holds. Below are images depicting the anatomy of a syringe and the anatomy of a needle.

Selecting Syringes

Syringe selection is mostly based upon the volume of medication to be administered and the desired pressure flow. Volumes are usually measured in centimeters (cc) or milliliters (mL). Both types of measurements are equivalent in volume. A 1 cc syringe is the same as a 1 mL syringe. Large volumes of medication require larger syringe sizes. Lower pressure flows also require larger syringe sizes. The use of the syringe for injections, medical tubing or irrigation are also factors in syringe selection. A very common type of syringe is the U-100 insulin syringe and used commonly for diabetic medications. It is for one-time use only, and is thus, a very low-cost syringe. Below is an infographic depicting the size of the syringe matched with the use for the syringe.

Syringe Tips

A Luer Lock tip syringe is the most commonly used, as its needle removal and installation is quite easy and quick. The twist mount helps secure the needle to the syringe for greater safety.

A slip tip syringe is also very commonly used and allows the user to merely push the needle hub onto the syringe. A catheter slip tip is used mostly used with medical tubing like catheters or feeding tubes.

Use eccentric tips when you need to inject a medication parallel to the skin of the patient. It is also used when you want to inject into a vein on the surface, without the needle penetrating through both walls of the veins.

Catheter syringe tips are made with a tapered tip to allow tubing to slip on to the tip. Tubing easily slips on and off of the tip. The catheter syringe is used often for irrigation.

Selecting Needles

Needles have a simple design with an hub that affixes to the syringe. Attached to the hub is a hollow needle. The shaft of the needle comes in varying lengths measured in inches. The thicknesses of the needle is measures by gauge sizes. The tip of the needle most often has a beveled tip to provide easier cutting or puncturing. Many needles come with a cap to protect the caregiver during transition from packaging to needle use.

The criteria for selecting the right needle has three main considerations--gauge, length and use. Needle gauge is a measurement of the width or diameter of the needle. Length is a measurement from the hub to the tip of the needle. Needle use refers to how deep the needle must traverse to reach the best injection area. These injection depths are labeled as intradermal (dermis injections), subcutaneous (subcutaneous tissue injections) and muscle (intramuscular injections.

Needle Gauge

Selecting needles by the gauge size occurs by considering skin or hide thickness and depth of the injection. The needle gauge is a series of numbers in which the lower the number, the wider the diameter of the needle. The higher the gauge number the more narrow the needle. Wider gauges provide for thicker viscosity medications and support thicker skin penetration. The most common gauges are 26 and 27 that accommodate all three types of injections--intradermal, intramuscular and subcutaneous. See the Needle Gauge continuum below for more details.

Fine gauge needles offer less pain for the patient, while thicker gauges accommodate thick skin and higher viscosity medication. The thicker the viscosity, select a lower gauge number. Gauge numbers are arranged so that the highest number represents a smaller needle width while the lowest numbers represent the largest width. High viscosity medications would therefore use a wider width needle or a needle with a low gauge number.

Needle Length

Common needles vary in length from 3/8 inch to 3-1/2 inch. Needle lengths are dependent upon where the injection is being administered. Generally the deeper the depth of the injection, the longer the needle. Intramuscular injections require the longest needle lengths. Common needle lengths for intramuscular injections are 7/8 to 1-1/2 inches. Subcutaneous injections call for a 1/2 to 5/8 inch needle. Intradermal injections require a needle length of 3/8 to 3/4 inch. The 1/2 and 5/8 inch needles are the two most common needle sizes and span both intradermal and subcutaneous injections. Below are three graphics to help select which is the best needle for your needs.

Purchasing Syringes and Needles

When you buy syringes, it is very important that you know which one you actually need. Are you using the syringe with needle for intradermal injections, intramuscular injections or subcutaneous injections? The needle gauge and needle length selection is different for each type of injection. See the Needle Selection Continuum for Needle Gauge and the Needle Selection Continuum for Needle Length infographics displayed above. Below is a quick list of the selection criteria used for purchasing a syringe and needle.

  • Volume of medication to be administered determines syringe size.
  • Type of needle hub used determines syringe hub. (Luer Lock, Slip Tip, Eccentric Tip or Catheter Tip)
  • Viscosity of medication determines needle gauge.
  • Location of injection determines needle gauge and needle length.

Make sure you know your needs prior to shopping!

Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Burt Cancaster Profile