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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Flu season is unpredictable and varies from season to season with new flu strains appearing each year.  Typically, flu season peaks in January or February; however, flu activity can begin starting around October.

It is important to protect yourself from the flu by incorporating daily preventative steps:

Keep away from people showing signs of sickness.

  1. Frequently wash your hands to prevent spreading germs.
  2. If you are experiencing flu symptoms, e.g. coughing, sneezing, fever, or sore throat stay home from school or work to prevent spreading the flu to others.
  3. Get a flu vaccine every year!1

If you have contracted the flu and you are having difficulty breathing your doctor may prescribe a breathing treatment to administer medicine.  Nebulizers deliver medication directly to your lungs with less effort than a traditional inhaler.  Additionally, a nebulizer unlike oral medication that passes through the blood stream enters directly into your lungs for immediate treatment.2

If you are experiencing respiratory problems AllegroMedical.com presents our most economical model, the Drive Medical Power Neb Ultra Nebulizer.  This nebulizer is only 3.2 lbs. and delivers fast treatment times with built in hands free neb kit holder.  Always consult your physician regarding treatment options.

power-neb-ultra-nebulizer-565128-MEDIUM_0

Since 1997 Allegro Medical has been a leading supplier of respiratory therapy supplies and medical equipment to healthcare providers and consumers.  If you are combating the flu or suffering from respiratory problems rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of you respiratory therapy and cold/flu season product needs.



1 http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2013-2014.htm

2 http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15786/1/benefits-of-a-nebulizer.html

Originally popular in Europe and Asia, Bidets have been making a splash here in the United States over the past decade. With more and more people traveling and moving, people are bringing their customs and familiar traditions with them to their new residence. Originally invented in France, the bidet was used to wash ones feet 1. Since then it has evolved into much more, giving users a clean hygienic alternative to using toilet paper.

People use bidets because they are conservative with toilet paper or it’s in their culture to use it. For disabled persons, a bidet is a fantastic way to clean your genitalia and buttocks without strenuous reaching. This is gaining popularity with senior citizens, the disabled, and those with impaired motor functions who are unable to control bodily functions 2. They are now able to use the washroom alone again.  The bidet will take all of the uncomfortable washing away by utilizing a spray nozzle from your washroom water source or having a fixed attachment on the toilet. This device isn’t just for the needy, but for people who want to remain healthy and feel truly clean as well 3.

 The Ultimate Solution Comfortseat was installed for my 88 year-old step-mother. She has a part-time caretaker, but the Ultimate Solution Comfortseat has greatly improved her ability to remain mostly independent. – by Mama’s girl from Sequim, WA

Bidets come in different styles. The first is an EZ attachment that hooks directly onto your toilet utilizing thesame seat and water supply. These usually only require access to your cold waterline and use a battery for its electric functionality. This style is perfect for older homes with little to no access to the plumbing and electric. These are designed for the average home owner to install themselves saving on hiring a plumber. Features include a single burst of natural water, timer on how long of a burst, and water pressure control.

The other style is the all in one seat bidet. These have the function to use both the hot and cold water supplies giving you a pleasant washroom experience. They have different spray patterns, pressure, temperature, and timers.All of these great functions are attached to the toilet seat out of the box and require little to no set up. Staying hygienic and clean is the point of bidets. In addition to these features, a bidet cleans itself and does not require the work from you.

Bidets have evolved over time and there are more permanent toilet fixtures but they can be costly to install and purchase. Allegro Medical has all of your affordable bidets to assist you with your washroom needs.

 

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/garden/27bidets.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  2. http://www.homethingspast.com/bidets/
  3. http://bidets.info-site.biz/history.htm

It seems that little has changed in the treatment of spinal cord injuries over the last decade. Hope of one day regaining the use of paralyzed limbs rests on the future development of medical technology break-throughs, but where are they?

First, let’s understand that a spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the pathway between the brain and limbs and muscles is interrupted. Without the ability to transmit signals, messages to the legs fall silent, and muscles wait idly for instructions that never arrive.

Renowned SCI research centers, Louisville’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center and Denver Colorado’s Craig Hospital have been experimenting with a revolutionary approach to treating SCI. Calling it “locomotor training,” injured parts of the body are retrained using electrodes, delivering muscle stimulation while the patient is rigged inside a high-tech exoskeleton that helps structure the patient’s movement.

The thought that a human can walk without the input from the brain seems like science fiction. After all, the brain sends signals through spinal cord, so if the damaged spinal cord cannot relay the signals to the limbs, how can walking occur? In 1911, scientist Graham-Brown theorized that the mammalian spinal cord was capable of generating rhythmic motor patterns independently of the brains input. More recent work done in 2008 by Sten Grillner discovered what he called central pattern generators or (CPGs). CPGs are in essence imbedded circuits in the spine that, when triggered, are able to generate walking patterns without input from the brain. (1) This work has become the foundation behind locomotive training. However, triggering the responses and getting legs to move is just one piece of the puzzle. Walking involves numerous sensory inputs and responses that the uninjured blissfully take for granted. Researchers and practitioners are undaunted by the complexity and challenges.

“There’s new knowledge that can attack the results of paralysis and is also leading us down the path of ultimately reaching that cure,” said Susan Harkema, a Ph.D. researcher at University of Louisville’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center in an interview with the Denver Post last month. The aim of Harkema and other’s using locomotor training is not to provide a cure for SCI but to restore movement in patients who would otherwise remain paralyzed.(1) Denver Colorado, SCI survivor, James Nall’s treatment with locomotor therapy, is being chronicled by the Denver Post. Their series, titled “Stepping Toward Hope” follows Nall through the arduous effort to retrain his body to operate without the typical signals from the brain.(2)

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, is working with Craig Hospital in Denver and others to advance the work and science of locomotor training. According to Craig Hospital Research Director, Susan Howley, the results so far represent a “potentially phenomenal breakthrough.” Howley, like many experts researching SCI, tempers her optimism and says, “The field is enormously rich in possibilities, but sometimes it seems every time we have a new nugget of information, it reveals how much we still don’t know.”

The locomotor training work being done might seem like science fiction. But even science fiction may not convey the complexity and intricacy of the spinal cord and it’s role in the task of walking. Regardless of the challenges, more work needs to be done to understand and heal damage to this most central component of our bodies.

For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online provider of medical supplies and equipment to wheelchair users. Rely on Allegro Medical for catheters, wound care supplies, wheelchair accessories, cushions, backs, tires, ramps and more.

(1) Dietz V, Grillner S, Trepp A, Hubli M, Bolliger M: Changes in spinal reflex and locomotor activity after a complete spinal cord injury: a common mechanism? Brain 2009, 132(8):2196-2205.

(2) The Denver Post – Therapy for spinal-cord injuries helping Coloradans regain mobility http://www.denverpost.com/paralysis/ci_24381471/will-i-walk-again#ixzz2kNRgBKU4

0 1977

There is no two ways about it – stress is a common part of life.  Even the calmest among us experiences overwhelming stress at Stress some point or another.  Although it may not be pleasant, feeling stressed lets us know when we need to take a step back and relax a little bit.  A little bit of stress is normal, but too much can have serious physical and mental ramifications.  Studies have proven that stress can actually manifest itself physically, leading to serious diseases and other complications.1

There is no doubt that stress takes its toll on the lives of people from all walks of life.  Not only does stress cause diseases and mental issues,2 but it can also worsen preexisting conditions.  Many people overlook just how important it is to just take some time to relax when necessary.  Simple daily activities like reading a book, taking a walk, or just doing anything that makes you happy, are not just pleasurable; they are necessary for your health!

For concentrated stress relief and relaxation, many people use products that have been created specifically for that purpose.  Sometimes it just is not practical to go for a jog or get a massage.  A simple product like a stress ball can actually have very real health benefits.  On those tough days at the office, you may be surprised how just sitting back and taking out your aggression squeezing a ball can help to alleviate the pressure in the mind.

One common cause of stress that is often overlooked is a poor night’s sleep.  In order to function at maximum capacity, it is essential that you are getting the right amount of sleep.3 Tossing and turning all night will make it much more difficult to have a stress-free day.  There is nothing worse than having an important task to do, but not being able to focus because you are tired.  Using sleep aids may be helpful in some situations.  Also using a pillow that has proper neck support can be quite effective as well.4

Sometimes, the best way to unwind is with a nice massage.  Massage therapy has been proven to have many health benefits, for the body and the mind.  Of course, it may not always be practical to go see a massage therapist during the day, which is why many people use chairs with built in massagers, foot massagers, or even simple hand-held devices that can be used to administer a quick self-massage.

The bottom line is that you deserve to enjoy a life with as little stress as possible.  Everyone is different and what works for one, may not be ideal for another.  It is up to you to find what helps you to reduce stress, and then make that a part of your daily routine.

For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home medical supplies and equipment.  Rely on Allegro Medical for all of medical inventory management and other health supplies.

1http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body

2http://learnmem.cshlp.org/content/15/8/551.short

3http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2012/07/05/how-stress-and-sleep-loss-are-shortening-your-life/

4 – http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/pillow-support-and-comfort

Incontinence is a common problem that affects people of all age groups and genders.  It occurs more frequently in women, but there are certainly men that experience this issue as well.  It is estimated that 75% of people with incontinence are female.  Of course, men and women respond to urinary incontinence differently.  Knowing how to reduce the frequency of urinary incontinence is an important step for anyone, male or female.

For men, urinary incontinence is often caused by an enlarged prostate or prostate surgery.  An enlarged prostate can block the urethra, which can lead to overflow incontinence.1  However, that is definitely not the only cause of urinary incontinence.  There are plenty of other sources, including obesity, physical trauma, Parkinson’s disease, and many more.  Determining the cause of the urinary incontinence is an important step for finding a solution.

Although men and women share many of the same triggers for urinary incontinence, the difference in anatomy can certainly play a role as well.  For example, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are common causes of urinary incontinence.2  Some women are able to successfully eliminate incontinence by employing kegel exercises and bladder retraining techniques.  Sticking to a rigid urination cycle can be helpful as well.  Going to the bathroom at the same times every day helps to train the bladder to hold in urine if necessary.3

Although it is not always possible to stop incontinence entirely, there are lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce it.  Often some basic diet changes and increased exercise will do wonders.  Drinking plenty of water is an important step as well.  Although it may seem counter-productive, staying hydrated will keep the bladder healthier.4

Managing incontinence is a multifaceted process that may require some specially designed products.  Of course, nobody wants to have an embarrassing accident, especially in a public place.  That is why people who are experiencing incontinence will usually wear some sort of protective layer so that accidents will be discreet and easy to clean.  Disposable undergarments are available for men and women.  These will help to absorb the urine, protect the clothing, and keep the wearer’s dignity intact.

Of course urinary incontinence is not ideal, but it is important to remember that many people, men and women of all ages from all walks of life, experience incontinence every day.  Although it may be difficult or frustrating at times, there are ways to keep it discreet and sanitary.  With the right incontinence products, a person can usually live a normal life.

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 incontinence and other health supplies.

(1) – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/31/male-incontinence_n_913368.html

(2) – http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/uiwomen/

(3) – http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/features/tips-for-coping-day-to-day-with-urinary-incontinence

(4) – http://voices.yahoo.com/control-incontinence-exercises-natural-treatments-67432.html

 A sharps container is filled with used medical needles and any other sharp medical instruments such as IV catheters and surgical blades.  This industry changing device was developed in 1979 by a UK company named Frontier Plastic Ltd.  There was a need for a safe way to dispose of clinical sharps and thus, the first sharps container was marketed in 1980. Everyone is at risk without the proper disposal of sharps items including janitors, caregivers, children, and even pets. Used needles are dangerous because they can injure people, spread germs, and spread deadly diseases.

There are many general safety rules that everyone needs to abide by. You should never throw loose or used needles into the garbage, never flush used needles down the toilet, and never put needles in recycling containers. You should always use a specific container designed for the disposal of sharps and dispose of it properly.

Since they were first created, these containers have evolved into a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that all cater to your specific needs.  Sharps containers are typically seen in medical centers in the United States as a red container with a biohazard symbol in the front in various sizes. Red has been the standardized color for United States while the color yellow is the common color in other countries. Our brands such as Invacare, Sharpsafety, Kendall, BD Becton, Medline, and Sharps Compliance all provide the different colors and sizes.

The last important fact about sharps is the physical disposal of the container. There are many approved facilities in your community that are permitted to accept and dispose of sharp containers properly. Some of these approved facilities are drop off collection sites, “special waste” pickup services, syringe exchange program, and “household hazardous waste” centers.

However, a new and convenient way to rid of your sharps is the sharps disposal by mail systems.  The approved containers are compliant with  federal, state, and municipal regulations. They come with everything you need to ship the container back to an approved location. They eliminate the need of unnecessary pickups by special services. There are no contracts and it is convenient to dispose when you are ready. This brings ease to ones who are unable to leave the house or only dispose of a few containers per year.

0 1932

According to SFGate.com, StemCells Inc. received approval to start experimenting with stem cells on people with spinal cord  injuries. Stem Cell

The goal of the research is not for the people to suddenly be cured, but to achieve any improvement in daily living activities.  Feeling in certain parts of the body or having the urge to go to the bathroom would be big wins for a person with a spinal cord injury.

Just as Christopher Reeves did before his death, many people with spinal cord injuries have been calling for more research on the treatment of spinal cord injury by stem cells.  It has been a very slow process, and one that the FDA had previously slowed.[1]

Geron tried a similar trial in 2010 but stopped the trial to focus on cancer research.  There were no serious side effects but also no improvements in the patient’s neurological condition. [2]  It has been announced that BioTime bought the stem cell work from Geron and would begin the trials again, but has not started yet.

Perhaps if these two companies can show progress on a cure for spinal cord injury more time and money will be spent towards the field.

Allegro Medical has served those with spinal cord injuries for more than 10 years.    Rely on AllegroMedical.com for a wide variety of home health and wellness products.

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