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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Anyone who has ever dealt with a chronic medical issue knows that it can get expensive very quickly. Medical supplies are necessary, but sometimes the cost can be more than most people are able to comfortably afford. For long-term conditions like diabetes or incontinence, it can be difficult to fit necessary supplies into the budget week after week.

In order to save money on the items that you require, it may be necessary to seek out new alternatives to the standard medical supply retailers. However, it is essential that you don’t buy cheap, discount equipment, as gambling with your health is never good idea. Thankfully, there are ways to keep medical supplies and equipment within your budget.

One of the easiest and best ways to make sure that you are not spending more money than necessary is to scour the internet for bargains. The internet is an incredibly powerful resource for thrifty shoppers, allowing you to search the entire world for the exact product that you require. Because there are so many online shops, competition is fierce. The result is that you are fortunate to be able to find prices that are far below what you would expect to pay in a walk-in establishment.

For example, Allegro Medical sells the highest quality medical supplies and equipment for less than other online stores. By keeping prices low without compromising quality, AllegroMedical.com has earned a loyal customer base that keeps them in business and allows them to continue providing the people who need medical supplies with a viable alternative to the exorbitant costs found elsewhere.

The low prices are not the only reason why people choose to buy their medical supplies from Allegro. Their massive inventory makes finding the product that you are looking for simple and quick. The user-friendly website is a breeze to navigate, giving you the option to search by various categories or keywords. Even if you need something obscure or difficult to find, there is a high probability that you will find it at AllegroMedical.com.

Another way to get some medical equipment is to simply ask around in your community. Although there are some items that should not be reused or shared, sometimes it is possible to find medical supplies that are no longer being used, for much cheaper than you would pay in a store. Try posting an ad online, or just asking around. You may be surprised to find that many people have medical supplies that are just collecting dust after their recovery.

There is certainly no doubt that coping with a medical condition is not ideal, but you can take solace in the fact that there are options that will help to keep things affordable. For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home health and wellness products. Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your health, wellness, and chronic care supplies.

If you are caring for someone with incontinence issues, we understand how difficult it can be to know which adult incontinence products to choose for each situation.   This buyers guide, provided by our friends at TENA, can be used by caregivers to understand each type of adult incontinence product and how they work best.

Caregivers Guide to Incontinence Products

 

Pull Up Briefs – Protective Underwear

Description:  Protective underwear are full fitted briefs that pull on and take the place of regular undergarments.

Best for:

  • People unable to manage their own incontinence
  • People who are ambulatory or able to bear weight
  • Bowel and bladder incontinence

Not so good for: Changing in bed

Pad Inserts – Pads & Shields

Description: Pads are designed to fit inside regular underwear to absorb accidental leakage.  May have adhesive strip to adhere to undergarment.

Best for: Added absorbency inside regular undergarments or inside pull up briefs.  This limits embarrassment when accidents occur.

Not so good for:

  • Complete bladder incontinence
  • Bowel incontinence

Belted Undergarments

Description: Sized between a pad insert and a full brief, these are designed to replace regular undergarments.  An elastic band with buttons or other type of attachment device connects to button holes in the brief.

Best for:

  • Occasional accidents
  • Changing in bed
  • Frequent changes without having to remove all clothing

Not so good for:

  • Bowel incontinence
  • Quick changes

Taped Pads – Adult Diapers

Description: Looks much like a diaper, also known as Adult Briefs.  Tape tabs adhere on each side to secure the garment around the individual.

Best for:

  • Use instead of regular undergarments
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Changing in bed

Not so good for: Changing when standing

Overnight Pads and Adult Nigthtime Diapers:

Description:  These may be in the form of fitted brief or taped brief, but have added absorbency to reduce changes and leakage through the night.  Most are also designed to wick moisture away from the skin to prevent skin breakdown.

Best for:

  • Overnight use when getting up or changing is not possible
  • Use instead of regular undergarments for someone difficult to change or transfer
  • For someone who is bedridden

Not so good for: Someone who may get frustrated and pull the garment off and/or apart. (There may be little  absorbency balls in the garment that spread if the cloth is ripped.)

Bed Pads and Underpads

Reusable Chair and Bed Pads: Washable pads with a water repellent fabric on one side and absorption layers on the other side.

Best for:

  • Placing on seats and furniture to protect against leakage
  • Placing underneath a person in bed to protect mattress against leakage.
  • Use as a draw sheet to move someone in bed

Not so good for:

  • Use when leakage occurs frequently unless extras are readily available
  • Use when laundry is not able to be done frequently

Disposable Chair and Bed Underpads: Often referred to as Chux pads – these are designed with a plastic backing on one side and absorbency layers on the other side.

Best for:

  • Placing on car seats and furniture to protect against leakage
  • Placing underneath a person in bed to protect mattress against leaking

Not so good for:

  • The environment
  • Using as a draw sheet to move someone in bed

I hope this guide helps you avoid the overwhelming feeling of choosing the perfect incontinence product.  Please let us know if you would like us to carry a product that you don’t see.

Shop all incontinence products in our Incontinence Products Category or Incontinence Condition Category

Urinary catheters are divided into three main types: External, Intermittent, and Indwelling.  Depending on the patient, and application, picking the best catheter requires an understanding of the variations and benefits provided by each.

 

External Catheters

External catheters are designed for men, and often are also called condom catheters, Texas catheters.  External catheters are made from silicone, consist of an outer sheath that covers the penis, and has an opening at the tip to allow urine to flow into a collection device.

 

Rochester Medical is a manufacturer that has been producing external catheters for over 30 years and has pioneered an adhesion process that keeps the catheter in place for long periods of time. They are known for the development of the WideBand brand of condom catheters that utilize an adhesive inside the entire sheath wall of the catheter. This process ensures that urine does not migrate from the tip compromising the adhesive and requiring catheter replacement.

 

Ambulatory patients can use external catheters, along with a leg bag collection device, as an alternative to wearing an adult brief. Male quadriplegics may also use external catheters as they may not have the dexterity to self catheterize using an intermittent catheter. The external catheter may be left in place all day and accommodate active lifestyles.

 

Intermittent catheters

Intermittent catheters are inserted into the urethrae to immediately drain urine from the bladder and are designed for one time use. Both men and women use the intermittent catheter which are typically the best choice for an active wheelchair user or someone with a postoperative bladder or prostrate challenge.

 

Intermittent Catheter Tip Types

Different tips and connection ends are available on intermittent catheters. Tips are either straight or curved (also called a Coudé-tipped).  Depending on the patient’s condition, insertion may be easier with a curved tip over a straight tip1. The Olive Tip is another variation of the curved tip catheter designed to facilitate easier insertion for female catheter users.

 

Intermittent Catheter Material

Intermittent catheters are packaged individually in a sterile container. Most are made from Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC and coated with a hydrophilic material to ease insertion. The application of a hydrophilic polymer, mainly polyvinyl-pyrrolidone (PVP) to the exterior of the catheter creates a super slick surface when mixed with water. This makes insertion and extraction easy and lessons the risk of UTIs and urethral complications2. The alternative to hydrophilic coated catheters is the use of a sterile lubricant gel like Surgilube.

 

Closed / Sterile Systems

A closed system intermittent catheter combines an intermittent catheter in a self-contained drainage bag. The catheter is typically hydrophilic coated or pre-lubricated and also features an introducer tip – a plastic tip that shields the catheter from bacteria as it’s passed through the distil urethrae. The distal urethra is the first few centimeters of the urethrae and considered a location where harmful bacteria reside which may result in UTIs3 during catheterization. The outer bag of the closed system also provides a way to hold the catheter without risking contamination by touching it directly during the insertion process.

 

Foley Catheters

Indwelling catheters are also called Foley catheters or balloon catheters. Foley catheters are designed to be inserted into the bladder by a health care professional and remain in place for longer periods. The Foley catheter has a connection end that can be attached to a drain bag, leg bag, or collection bag and a small balloon at the insertion end. The balloon is inflated after the Foley is inserted into the bladder allowing it to remain in place. To remove the Foley catheter, the balloon is deflated and the catheter can be extracted. Foley catheters are typically made from rubber or silicone material.

 

Foley catheters are most often used in a medical setting, for patients undergoing surgical procedures, or those who are bedbound for long periods of time.

 

Understanding the three types of urological catheters will ensure the best patient application. From external, intermittent, or Foley, choosing the right catheter may reduce the risk of UTIs, enhance patient mobility and create greater independence.

 

 

For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home health and wellness products.  Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your catheter and home health care supply nees.

 

 

1)      Review of Intermittent Catheterization and Current Best Practices, Diane K. Newman, MSN, ANP-BC, CRNP, FAAN, BCIA-PMDB, Margaret M. Willson, MSN, RN CWOCN, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/745908_8

 

2)      Clean Intermittent Catheterization in Spinal Cord Injury Patients: Long-Term Follow-up of a Hydrophilic Low Friction Technique, Waller, Jonsson, Norlen, Sullivan, Journal of Urology, February 1995

 

3)      The ‘no-touch’ method of intermittent urinary catheter insertion: can it reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bladder? Hudson E, Murahata RI. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15852058

 

 

Aloe, or Aloe Vera, comes from the plant by the same name whose inner gel can be used as a topical to sooth minor burns, wounds, psoriasis, and help decrease pain from shingles. Because of its cooling effect, it is recommended to place the gel in the refrigerator first to chill it and then rub onto sunburned skin. Also, due to the high water content of 99%, it works as a great moisturizer to hydrate the skin.1

In addition to the external uses of the plant, internal uses include drinking Aloe juice made from the gel. The juice can contain over 200 active components which include fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids among others. Aloe can also aid in digestion and help regulate the system.1

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AllegroMedical.com has a wide variety of Aloe Vera products ranging from After Sunburn Relief to washcloths and gel capsules. One of the top selling items includes the ConvaTec Aloe Vesta 3 in 1 Cleansing  Foam. The Aloe helps to enrich the foam and aid in cleansing to restore, moisturize, and condition the skin.

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Another great item is the Aloe Vesta Bathing Cloths. These work best as a no-rinse bed bathing and will not leave the skin feeling sticky. The natural botanical oils are great moisturizers and restore the skin just like the cleansing foam. This product scores and a 4.5/5 and with 27 almost everyone would recommend it to a friend.

Although AllegroMedical.com doesn’t carry Aloe Vera juice, most health food stores do. Whether you are using Aloe internally or externally, the healthy benefits will leave a positive effect.  Rely on Allegro Medical for your skin care and other health and wellness supply needs.

1“Top 12 Benefits of Aloe Vera.” Sacred Source Nutrition RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2013. <http://sacredsourcenutrition.com/top-12-benefits-of-aloe-vera/>.

 

 

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