Home Authors Posts by Craig Hood
According to the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society, over 1 million people in the US develop pressure ulcers each year.1 One of the most proven methods to prevent and treat pressure ulcers is through the use of a therapeutic support surface.
Therapeutic support surfaces can be split into to two main types:
1) Group I – Static mattresses
2) Group II – Dynamic mattresses
Group I Static Mattresses
Group I products are non-powered foam, or low-density mattresses that either replace an existing mattress or rest on top of an existing mattress. The most basic Group I mattresses are lightweight and consist of an inner support system made from one or more types of foam with an outer cover that protects the mattress from moisture, fluids and bacteria. Some Group I mattresses use air or gel, like the ROHO Prodigy Mattress Overlay, which is made of over 100 air cells that help distribute the patient’s weight, while others are made from the patented Tempur-Pedic® foam found in many traditional mattresses.
Group II Dynamic Mattresses
Group II products are powered and use sophisticated electronics and pumps to control the pressure and airflow to the mattress, typically comprised of multiple inflatable air bladders.
Within the Group II classification of dynamic mattresses, the mattresses provide three distinct types of therapy:
1) Alternating pressure therapy
2) Low air-loss therapy
3) Lateral rotation therapy
Alternating Pressure Therapy
Alternating pressure refers to the inflation and deflation of the mattress’s air cells in order to provide the patient pressure redistribution that helps in the treatment and prevention of Stage I to Stage IV pressure ulcers. The pump system of the mattress continuously operates through pre-programmed cycles that increase and decrease pressure.
Alternating pressure mattresses are typically the most economical Group II support surfaces. Some systems are designed to replace a normal mattress and fit on most home care beds, while others are overlaid on top of an existing mattress. These systems use a compressor that continually monitors air pressure in the mattress and maintains the appropriate level of pressure. Most units are 8” thick, use LED displays, operate in 10 minute programmable cycles, have adjustable pressure settings, offer low-pressure and power loss alarms, and offer maximum firm modes for patient transfer and emergency treatment.
Low Air-Loss Therapy
Many Group II therapeutic support surfaces use low air-loss mattresses and many health care professionals generally refer to therapy mattresses as “low air-loss” mattresses.
Low air loss systems incorporate a semi-permeable mattress that allows air to slowly escape the mattress surface. The benefit of low air-loss mattresses lies in their ability to promote a dry healing environment while keeping the skin cool. The escaping air aids in the evaporation of moisture on the skin.
Low air loss mattresses also offer the ability to alternate pressure throughout zones in the mattress system just like the more basic alternating pressure mattress but with the added benefit of a cooler and dryer sleep surface.
Lateral Rotation Therapy
Some of the most advanced therapeutic support surfaces use sophisticated programming and miniaturized pumps and solenoid valves that work in concert to effectively rotate a patient. Air cells inflate and deflate in a sequence which simulates the unconscious rolling, or shifting motion experienced by most people. This gentle turning and rotation helps ensure that a patient at risk of pressure ulcers will achieve the best possible pressure relief. Most high-end lateral rotation systems also feature low air-loss capability to wick away moisture.
Therapeutic mattresses, from simple Group I static foam mattresses to sophisticated Group II dynamic mattresses, are the most reliable way of preventing and treating pressure ulcers. Whether choosing foam mattress topper or a lateral rotation therapy mattress, therapeutic support surfaces are the caregiver’s go-to product to combat pressure ulcers.
Please always consult with your doctor to choose the therapeutic support surface or mattress that is best for you. With one of the broadest selections on the web for health and wellness products, you can always rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your personal care and special condition needs.
1) Gibbons, Shanks, Kleinhelter, Jones, Eliminating Facility-Acquired
Pressure Ulcers at Ascension Health, Sept. 2006 Volume 32 Number 9.
*** From: Patty Kunze ***
My new life began July 2nd, 2009 as a T3-4 paraplegic at 48 years of age. My name is Patty Kunze and I have been a Registered Nurse since 1983. I began my nursing career ironically in the Spinal Cord Injury Unit of the Veterans Administration Medical Center; little did I know that I would be drawing on that knowledge 26 years later.
It was the beginning of the July 4th weekend and my husband and I had just moved into our new home. In the past days we made trips back to the old house to collect some final items out of the shed. That day we decided to make one final run and grab a pizza on the way home and enjoy it on our new back porch. Right as planned, we collected the items, picked up the pizza, gassed up the car, and made our way back home. We decided to go back roads home to avoid the busy interstate from the holiday weekend traffic. Approximately five minutes from home, we approached an intersection, where I noticed a pickup truck was sitting at the stop sign. As we approached, the truck started pulling out of the street. I yelled at my husband who was driving, that the truck was not stopping. The pickup truck, being driven by a young teenager, T-boned into my side of our car causing our vehicle to flip five times before coming to a rest in the ditch.
To make a long story short, I broke my arm in three places, broke my right hand, dislocated my left knee, sprained my ankle, broke my vertebrae, and severed the spinal cord at T3-4 complete. My husband, who was driving, stayed alert through the ordeal and injured his shoulder and broke his elbow, I was unconscious when the vehicle came to a stop.
After six weeks in the hospital and eight weeks of rehab, I made it home to start my new life as it is now. I am still a wife, mother to two sons, and Registered Nurse. I continue to work on a Master’s degree in Nursing, I completed handicapped driver’s training, I quickly became the supervisor of our home again, and I have a very part-time job as a nurse. It has been a long road to recovery and by being a nurse, I am not sure if it was easier or more difficult. I have become much stronger thanks to my family and friends who assisted in my recovery.
Allegro Medical assisted in my recovery also…..shortly after my accident, while in the ICU, prior to the first surgery due to difficulty in maintaining the blood pressure, I developed a sacral decubitus ulcer. It worsened over the time I was hospitalized. The ulcer ended up as a Stage III sore requiring multiple visits to the plastic surgeon. The physician suggested performing a “flap” to speed up healing but due to my nursing experience, I felt healing the sore from the bottom up would be best. So my husband and I opted to heal the sore with twice daily ulcer dressings. Allegro Medical always had the necessary dressings to perform the task. It took 18 months to heal the ulcer but with my husband’s diligence and Allegro Medical supplies, it was restored to its previous state. I use Allegro Medical for all of my medical supplies.
So, now it has been almost four years since that life-changing-evening occurred but I thank God every day that I am still here for my family and I frequently forget that I am disabled. My husband assists in my care and we have worked out a daily routine now. Just because life is a roll coaster, doesn’t mean you stop living. I live every day to the fullest. My life is beautiful. I enjoy each and every day now, like it’s my last.
My saying is “It’s all good” and it is. So I can’t walk….there are “worser” things in life. I am blessed with a loving family and wonderful friends. What more could a girl want?
Thanks Patty for sharing your story with the Allegro Community! Your story about life and the struggles with a spinal cord injury and pressure sore is something many of our Allegro customers can relate to. The way that you have approached your new life, pursuit of your Masters Degree and managing your home is an inspiration. We are glad we could be here to help in our small way.
If you have a story, and would like to share it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*** From: Fran F., Santa Barbara, CA ***
I use Allegro Medical regularly. I appreciate your great prices, wonderful inventory, and good customer service. I would be happy to give you a personal story.
I became aware of your site when looking for medical supplies about 4 years ago, after my then 53 year old husband Hal was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since then, as Hal’s needs have progressed, we’ve come to depend on Allegro Medical more and more. Allegro carries so many different types of supplies – all at really good prices. In addition, we live in Santa Barbara, CA, a relatively small city, and choices here are limited. Plus, it is very difficult now for me to leave Hal, so shopping online is a great resource.
We are lucky to be able to have Hal living at home, and intend to keep him here as long as possible. He is very involved now, and is almost entirely paralyzed. I have had to stop working, and am his full time caregiver, with the help of our adult son. Hal gets his nutrition and water through a feeding tube, and we bath him in a combination commode/shower chair. He had a tracheostomy in 2011, and uses a ventilator. He sleeps in a hospital bed and spends his days in a wheelchair. But he is still a happy guy. Unlike his body, Hal’s mind is intact, and very active. He communicates and surfs the internet via a computer with an infra-red camera to track his eye movement.
I get pretty much all of our non-Medicare covered supplies through Allegro.. Gauze, barrier creme and other things to preserve skin integrity, special needs bowel and toileting supplies, oral hygiene supplies, liquid acetaminophen, support pillows, the list goes on and on. I really like the no-rinse shampoo – light scent, works great. Also the Dynarex non-woven sponges,various sizes – they are soft, absorbent, and very gentle on the skin.
At home with my mother (who was visiting), our son Jason, and our dog.
Hal and Fran
At the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens
Hal in bed. Our daughter, Erin, on the right, was visiting.
Thanks Fran & Hal for sharing your story with the Allegro Community! Your story about life and the struggles with ALS hits home with many Allegro customers. It’s great that you are able to care for Hal at home and we are glad we are here to help in our small way. I added links to the products that you have found helpful in treating Hal’s ALS condition so others might also benefit from your knowledge.
If you would like to share your story email me at email@example.com
Bed Sores – The Prevention Guide
The menacing threat of “bed sores” and their danger to a bedridden patients’ health is belied by its innocuous name. Medical professionals commonly refer to these dangerous, acquired wounds as pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers or ischemic ulcers. Most at risk, are those in long-term care (nursing homes or hospitals), age 70+, who spend a significant of time in bed, lying down, hence the term – bedsore.1
The condition often results after capillary blood flow to certain areas of the body is restricted for long durations. This type of tissue damage only occurs when a patient is unable to change their body position due to a mobility, medical or neurological issue; capillary blood flow is interrupted and tissue damage eventually results.2 Under normal conditions, our bodies provide feedback to our brains that tell us we need to move or shift our position. We do, and normal blood flow returns to the small capillary vessels within our body tissue and skin.
The parts of the body most often impacted from bedsores include the heels, elbows and buttocks. The bony prominences of these skeletal protrusions direct considerably more body weight in these areas when lying down or in a seated position. When a person is unable to change their position or shift their weight, the result can be a dramatic and difficult-to-treat wound.
Armed with the right knowledge and products, potentially life-threatening pressure sores may be avoided all together.
How to Prevent Pressure Sores
First, always consult with a physician when a pressure sore is first noticed. Proper medical attention will ensure the best treatment alternatives. However, preventative measures can reduce the risk of dangerous pressure sores from occurring.
The concept is relatively simple. We want to reduce the direct pressure on any area of the body that could be in prolonged contact with another surface. To understand this concept, take your thumb and press it into your knee. The relatively small area of the tip of your thumb exerts a relatively large amount of pressure in a fairly small area. That pressure, which is focused around the area of the thumb, is high. If left for too long, the area of pressure will reduce blood circulation, eventually damaging the skin and turning into an open wound. Now, instead of using your thumb, place the palm of your hand over your knee and apply a little pressure. This time, the larger surface area of your hand distributes the force over a larger surface area. That larger surface area does not create the same pressure or damage in the way your thumb did. Key to preventing pressure sores is the distribution of force from high pressure areas on the body and ensuring uninterrupted blood flow through these areas.
Preventing Pressure Sores for the Bed-Bound
As the name suggests, bed sores afflict those unable to move in bed. A patient’s heels and elbows and buttocks are at risk. Fortunately, a number of products are available to help prevent pressure sores for the bed-bound.
Alternating Pressure Mattress
The best product for bed sore prevention is an alternating pressure pad or low air loss mattress. These devices use a pump and inflatable mattress overlay which systematically increases and decreases pressure though out the pad. These changes in pressure help relieve areas of high pressure contact between the body and the bed. While these systems can cost thousands of dollars, versions are available for as little as $49.
Good – $49
- Supports up to 250 pounds
- Easy to setup
- 1 ½” support thickness
Better – $682
- Supports up to 350 pounds
- 8” of pressure support
- Wide range of pressure variation
Best – $1,083
- Supports up to 450 pounds
- 8” of pressure support
- Performance pump produces constant airflow
Heel & Elbow – Simple Alternatives
Other, less sophisticated products are available to help protect the skin from breakdown due to pressure. These products include heel and elbow protective pads that are worn around the patient’s heel or elbow, held in place with some kind of strapping or elastic. Made from sheepskin, synthetic material or even “ROHO dry flotation” (the same pressure relieving air bubble product used in ROHO wheelchair cushions),
- Made from ROHO dry flotation
- Lightweight and easy-to-clean
- Cell pressure is adjustable
- Corefill polyester fiber
- Protects and warms the foot
- Machine washable
- Natural leather and wool
- Absorbs more moisture
- Machine washable
The danger of bed sores is avoidable. Under most conditions, a low air loss or alternating pressure mattress is the ideal approach in preventing the development of bed sores. At minimum, simple and inexpensive products like heel and elbow protective cushions are a great first step.
AllegroMedical.com has a variety of solutions to help you prevent pressure sores and to keep your patient or loved one comfortable.
For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online source of home health and wellness products. Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your health supplies.
1) Fogerty M, Guy J, Barbul A, et al. African Americans show increased risk for pressure ulcers: A retrospective analysis of acute care hospitals in America. Wound Repair Regen. Aug 11 2009;[Medline].
2) Schweinberger MH, Roukis TS. Effectiveness of Instituting a Specific Bed Protocol in Reducing Complications Associated with Bed Rest. J Foot Ankle Surg. Apr 1 2010;[Medline].
Skin protection from bacteria, infection, and injury is important in the workplace, medical settings, and for caregivers. Our hands are one of the most exposed parts of our bodies and subject to any number of dangers. The most obvious way of safeguarding our hands is by wearing protective gloves. Exam gloves come in several types to suit a wide range of needs and provide protection under many conditions.
Medical gloves have long been made from latex rubber, a natural material, that can be turned into a thin protective barrier without sacrificing dexterity and sensitivity to touch. Latex gloves have been the standard in the operating room for doctors and in hospitals since their development by Ansell Limited in 1945. 1
Despite a growing number of latex-related allergies, latex exam gloves are still the first choice by medical professionals. Because they are disposable, inexpensive and versatile, latex gloves remain the most popular glove choice for general protection. Unless the caregiver or patient has a known latex allergy, these gloves provide excellent comfort and resistance to biological material like blood, urine, saliva and fecal waste.
Best Selling Latex Glove:
Latex Powder Free Exam Glove: Item 560801
- High degree of dexterity
- Made from natural materials
- Great general protection
- Potential risk of allergic reaction
Nitrile & Vinyl
Because of the increasing rate of latex allergies in the medical community and population at large, new materials have been developed in the use of glove manufacturing.2 Nitril and vinyl are materials that avoid allergic reactions and also offer unique characteristics themselves.3 Nitrile, for example, is a resilient material that has proven to be more puncture and tear resistant than its’ traditional counterpart. At the same time, nitrile gloves are resistant to many harsh chemicals like gasoline, oil, grease and solvents that would virtually dissolve the same latex glove.4 In addition, nitrile gloves are available in a number of color choices, including pink, purple, blue and black.
Because of their resistance to punctures from potentially contaminated needles, and the general risk of latex allergic reaction, nitrile gloves are often seen on paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first-responders. 4
Best Selling Nitrile Glove:
Invacare Nitrile Powder-Free Exam Gloves: Item 214274
- No risk of allergic reaction
- Great overall gross dexterity
- Made from synthetic material
- Best puncture resistance
Vinyl exam gloves also have their place in the medical and patient care setting. Not intended to provide the same amount of protection and comfort, vinyl exam gloves are easier to don than their stretchy cousins. They are well suited to aid in certain roles such as dispensing medication, patient handling and food service. Vinyl gloves are the least expensive glove option, costing almost half as much as latex or nitrile gloves.
Best Selling Vinyl Glove:
Powder Free Vinyl Exam Gloves: Item 562943
- No risk of allergic reaction
- Least expensive protective glove
- Great for low contamination risk needs
With good choices for skin protection and a variety of materials to choose from, it’s easy to find the type of exam glove to suite almost any need. The right glove can prevent contamination, aid in delicate surgical procedures, and lesson the risk of injury. The most difficult decision today in the selection of the right glove may come down to what color do I choose?
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 exam gloves and other health supplies.
1 ^ “100 Years of Australian Innovation – latex gloves”. Retrieved 2010-03-07
2 Feng C, Wang H. Natural rubber latex allergy among health care workers. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Jun 2007;119(6):1561; author reply 1561. [Medline].
3 ^ “NIOSH Alert:Preventing Allergic Reactions to Natural Rubber Latex in the Workplace”. United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
4 Why Use Nitrile Gloves? The Glove Nation Knowledgebase
Simple Solution to Coccyx Pain
Tailbone pillows, or coccyx cushions, as they are commonly known can provide comfort and relief to individuals with back pain and those living with chronic or temporary coccyx pain. Coccyx pain can come from trauma, fractures, dislocations, and medical procedures.[1,2] Trauma can originate from childbirth, a colonoscopy or simply a fall. Even prolonged sitting in front of a computer can cause non-abrupt trauma and result in coccyx pain.
Age also plays a role in the onset of non-traumatic coccyx pain. As we age, the ligaments surrounding the coccyx degenerate and the coccyx may also become fused, causing pain while sitting.3
What is the Coccyx?
The coccyx is a bony prominence making up the end of the spine. It is often referred to as the tail bone for its resemblance to a tail. The coccyx acts as an anchor point for a number of muscles, tendons and ligaments and is comprised of several individual segments, similar to spinal vertebrae.
In combination with the ischial tuberosities (the bony prominences in our buttocks) the coccyx aids in sitting or weight bearing, completing a tripod, so-to-speak, that allows us to sit comfortably.4
What is a Coccyx Cushion?
A typical coccyx cushion is made from either foam or gel and is flat or slightly angled like a wedge. Most all cushions of this type include a cut-out in the middle, near the back of the cushion, creating the area of pressure relief around the tailbone. Cushions with the slight slope or wedge shape are designed to tilt the pelvis forward, correctly align the spine and restore natural lumbar curve.
Several sizes are available to accommodate almost anyone. The cushions are usually 16” wide by 13” deep or 18” wide by 14” deep. The sloped cushions start at about 1 ½” in thickness and increase to 3”. The non-sloped cushions are usually 3” thick.
Some coccyx cushions are offered in different densities or hardness. Based on your weight, you would choose the cushion density that provides the best support. Someone heavier, say over 200 lbs. would want to choose a denser foam, ensuring that the cushion does not completely compress under their weight. On the other hand, someone weighing 120 lbs. would find the dense foam too hard and should select a softer foam.
What is memory foam?
Originally developed by NASA and used on space shuttles to relieve pressure on astronauts caused by G-Forces during take-off, Visco-elastic memory foam is now found in household mattresses and wheelchair cushions. Because it is significantly denser than regular polyurethane foam and contains temperature sensitivity properties, it always recovers to its original shape. It has earned the name “slow-recovery foam” (see picture) for its ability to slowly return to its original shape. Since it has the amazing ability to relieve pressure, memory foam can now be found in products such as pillows, toppers, wedges, supports, mattresses and more, benefiting millions of consumers worldwide.
Features to look for when choosing a coccyx cushion:
- Price – Most are inexpensive, around $40
- Maintenance – Look a cushion with a washable cover
- Travel – Many include a convenient strap for travel
- Material – Memory foam is the most popular material
- Weight – Most are lightweight, weighing 3 ½ lbs.
Top 3 Coccyx Cushions
#1) Coccyx Gel Seat Cushion
Comes in 18″ wide x 16″ deep and 3″ high. Features a gel center section surrounded by comfortable foam.
What do customers have to say about this Gel and Foam Coccyx Cushion?
My husband has a deteriorating spine and chronic pain. He said this cushion helps a lot! He used it on our trip to Texas from PA and said it really made the trip more comfortable. Then he forgot to bring it on a shorter trip and regretted it. He also uses it when he sits at his computer. Some folks might not like how thick it is but that’s one of the things my husband likes about it, adding to his comfort.
by Chris the artist from Allentown, PA
This seat cushion is very well made and is solid as it doesn’t lose its support with all day use. I use it at home, even in bed, as well as in our vehicle. It’s a lifesaver for extended travel.
by Pamelina from Winnemucca, NV
#2) Foam Coccyx Cushion
Simple and sturdy – Comes in the following sizes and material density:
Standard, Extra Soft and Extra Firm – 16” x 13”
Standard and Extra Firm – 18” x 14”
It’s constructed of Visco Memory Foam and includes a washable and replaceable cover with built-in strap.
What do customers have to say about this Coccyx Cushion?
I use this cushion daily while on the computer & watching TV. My lower back pain and morning stiffness have been reduced significantly.
by Tubes from San Diego, CA
I had this cushion ordered for me for use at work. Since I sit most of the time, this cushion replaced a previous one that had worn out and deformed. This new cushion is made using superior memory foam and was very comfortable. I was not in any pain but I liked the coccyx relief design so that I would not have any future problems. I plan on getting another[r] cushion for home use.
by Jay-Par from Portland, Oregon
#3) Coccyx Tailbone Cushion
A great economical cushion, and about the only one available in Beige. Comes in one size, 15” wide x 14” deep with slope from 1 ½” to 3”.
What do customers say about this coccyx cushion?
So far i really like this product. Having had spinal surgery recently, this pillow is very comforting. I use it at home on hard chairs and while in school on those hard plastic chairs. It helps immensely. Its light enough to carry with me too.
by J the student from staten island, ny
Easy to use. I can take it into the car with me. Keeps my tailbone from fatigue and stiffness.
by Cat Lady from St. Paul, MN
Allegro Medical customers say it best, a coccyx cushion can help alleviate back and tailbone pain. If sitting is uncomfortable for you, a coccyx cushion might be your best solution.
 Richette P, Maigne JY, Bardin T. Coccydynia related to calcium crystal deposition. Spine. Aug 1 2008;33(17):E620-3. [Medline].
2 Foye PM. Coccydynia (coccyx pain) caused by chordoma. Int Orthop. Jun 2007;31(3):427. [Medline]. [Full Text].
3 Foye PM. Finding the causes of coccydynia (coccygeal pain). J Bone Joint Surg Br. Jan 18 2007;[Full Text].
4Howorth B. The painful coccyx. Clin Orthop. 1959;14:145-60.
Rinse-Free bathing wipes have set new standards in the ease, comfort and simplicity of patient care. Whether you are a professional caregiver or caring for a loved one, a rinse-free bathing program can help reduce the risk of infection, improve skin health and maintain good patient hygiene.
Compared to the traditional basin bath, rinse-free bathing wipes are a better choice for several key reasons:
- Convenience and ease of use
- Cleans and moisturizes skin more effectively
- Reduces risk of infection from contaminated basins and tap water
- More comfortable for the patient
- Fewer supplies required
- Less expensive
- Caregiver preferred
||Pre-moistened bathing wipes provide an all-in-one solution for in-bed bathing and also remove contamination risks found in dirty basins and tap water. Some products like the Comfort Bath Personal Washcloths also include a Skin Check Guide, quick reference pictures of various skin conditions, making it possible for the caregiver to monitor and report on changes in the patient’s skin condition.
|How are Rinse-Free bathing wipes safer than using a basin?
|Studies have found that bath basins frequently harbor pathogens. In fact, a nation-wide study discovered that 98% of basins tested were contaminated with some form of harmful bacteria including MERSA and VRE, two antibiotic-resistant and dangerous STAFF viruses found in hospitals.1
||As many as 29 studies of water systems found tap water can be the source of serious waterborne infections.2 Patient exposure can occur while showering, bathing and drinking. Reports recommend minimizing exposure to tap water for all patients who are immunocompromised, have fresh surgical wounds, or are at higher risk for infections.2,3
Rinse-free bathing wipes are pre-packaged and use purified water, eliminating the risk of exposure to bacteria from basins or tap water.
Can’t I just use baby wipes – what’s the difference?
Allegro Medical customers often ask us if typical baby wipes or skin wipes are the same as a pre-packaged bathing wipes. The answer is no – bathing wipes are thicker, softer and contain the right amount of cleanser and moisturizer. Personal cleansing washcloths are about 10x thicker than a baby wipe and are designed to feel soft like fine fabric but have superior strength and durability.
So when it comes to choosing a method for bed bathing, bathing wipes offer a convenient and effective way of maintaining patient hygiene while eliminating the exposure to contaminants often found in bathing basins.
Providing comfortable, easy, and sanitary bathing for patients in bed is easier than ever with bathing wipes. AllegroMedical.com offers a variety of bathing options and solutions including a full line of home health and wellness solutions and products.
1 Sources; Johnson D, Lineweaver L, Maze L. Patients bath basins as potential sources of infection: a multicenter sampling study. AJCC Vol 18, No 1, Jan 2009.
2 Anaissie EJ, Penzak SR, Dignani C, Arch Intern Med. 8 Jul 2002;162(13):1483-92.
3 Clark AP, John LD, Clin Nurse Spec. May – June 2006; 20(3):119-23.
In order to pay for the Nation’s new healthcare program, the IRS hopes to raise $30 billion and they don’t plan on having a bake sale to get the cash. Under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (P.L. 111-152) a 2.3% excise tax will be levied on medical equipment starting January 1st, 2013. Amid growing fears that the tax will have far reaching and negative impacts on the healthcare system, both Democrats and Republicans are coming together in hopes of repealing the excise tax.
Known as the Medical Device Tax, its aim is to generate revenues to help pay for the addition of health care benefits to millions of new Obamacare recipients. But how could a seemingly innocuous 2.3% tax hike on manufacturers of medical equipment have any impact on the citizen at large? At least they aren’t increasing my taxes you might think, right? Like a Trojan horse, this tax is being ushered into our cities but once inside the proverbial gates, it could destroy many of the innovative companies that develop and build the machines which make modern medicine possible, lead to job losses and an increase in health care costs, according to John A. Sparks from the Washington Times.1
We take for granted the wondrous, beeping, chirping and dripping, life-saving machines that fill our hospital room floors and stand vigil at our bedsides when we are sick. We have come to expect that scanning MRI, Ultra Sound and X-Ray devices will help our doctors see into our bodies, diagnose, and treat our medical conditions. As my boss likes to quote from the Pearson, Sabin, Emanuel book, “No Margin – No Mission”, the Medical Device Tax slices over half of the margin, or profit, from the companies hard at work, creating and manufacturing the equipment that make American modern medicine possible.
The attentive reader might ask how could a measly 2.3% tax confiscate over half of a business’s profits? First, this tax is imposed on revenue, not profit, like most commerce taxes. To understand, if a business develops and makes an MRI machine that generates $1 million in its first year of sales, but has only seen an actual profit, after all business expenses, of $40,000 the company would be taxed on that $40,000. The government would take its share of the profits. However, this tax is levied on revenue, not profits. Instead of taking a percentage of the $40,000 profit, the government will take 2.3% off the $1 million in revenue or $23,000. That’s 58% – more than half the company’s profits – if they even have profits. It may take years for the revenue from a new device to generate a profit but the company is required to pay out 2.3% on revenue, regardless, ensuring many companies could be forced to close their doors.
Foreseeing the negative impact, the tax will have on the financial future of the medical technology industry, investment in health care technology companies has already begun to retreat, reaching anemic levels. Elizabeth McDonald, noted business journalist explains that capital funding for the medical equipment industry during the third quarter of 2012 reached the lowest it has been in almost a decade.1 According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers paper published August 2011 a broad coalition of medical technology companies and leading associations consisting of over 400 companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other investment firms all believe the new tax will lead to job losses, reduction in research and development and burdensome administration. The tax will “harm patient care and thwart innovation and job creation at a time when we can least afford it, “ said Mark Leahey, President and CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA).2 Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce echoes Leahey’s statement saying that, “Allowing the medical device excise tax to take effect would undermine patient care, stifle innovation in medical technology, and further damage our economy.”3
The Medical Equipment Tax has US manufacturers of medical products scrambling to raise prices, eliminate jobs and revise their business strategies. Congress wants you to think the tax won’t affect the general consumer since it’s not imposed directly on you. Remember, “No Margin – No Mission” and without profits, the medical device industry will languish, irreparably damaging healthcare on the whole. Although it’s aim was to raise money to pay for Obamacare, the Medical Device Tax may hobble the health care system it is intended to fund.
How do you think the Medical Device Tax will impact you and your healthcare?
Craig Hood is Executive Vice President of Scrip Companies and Founder of Allegro Medical (AllegroMedical.com), the leading online supplier of medical equipment and home health care supplies.
1The Washington Times – “Obamacare tax on medical devices hurts jobs and health”
2Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) – “Broad Coalition Urges Congressional Leaders to Repeal Medical Device Tax”, July 18, 2011
3Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) – Medtechfocus, “Med tech companies further debate over US competitiveness, raise question about impact of excise tax on innovation”, August 16, 2011 http://pwchealth.com/cgi-local/hregister.cgi/reg/medtech-focus-on-excise-tax.pdf
Today’s trends in Incontinence Products are aimed at removing the traditional social stigmas that accompany adult incontinence. Although it is estimated that over 25 million American’s suffer from Urinary Incontinence, with as many as 4 in every 5 affected being women, social norms remain the biggest factor in the reporting and delayed treatment of incontinence. Most sufferers wait years before discussing any bladder control symptoms with their physician and even longer to begin using incontinence products.
Companies like Depend are making a concerted effort at breaking through the social stigmas that accompany incontinence by using a combination of network television advertising and celebrity endorsement to bring new and innovative incontinence products to market. Not just adult diapers, Depend is leading with products that more closely resemble protective underwear that are indistinguishable under everyday clothing. The Silhouette for Women from Depend was debuted on a commercial during the Oscar awards in 2011. Days of our Lives actress, Lisa Rinna, is stopped on the red carpet in the commercial and asked to try on a pair of Depend Silhouettes. As a champion for women’s positive self-image, Lisa’s product endorsement is aimed at raising awareness and showing women that something like the Silhouette can ensure confidence. Lisa’s effort simultaneously supports the non-profit organization, Dress for Success® Worldwide.
Men as well are stepping forward in support of new incontinence products that, also, can be worn like men’s briefs and help guys stay active after prostate surgery, which oftentimes, results in urinary incontinence. Football stars, Clay Matthews, Wess Welker and DeMarcus Ware all showed their support for the V Foundation for Cancer Research by trying on the Depend product, Real Fit for Men, an incontinence brief that looks, feels and fit like real underwear. The biggest change in the product is that it’s been designed more like underwear than a diaper. From the soft, cloth-like fabric to the finished waistband, the Real Fit for Men brief, is discrete and hardly looks different then regular underwear even when worn under more tailored cloths.
With more and more products like Silhouette for Women and Real Fit for Men hitting the market, those with incontinence are no longer restricted in their daily lives and activities by the bulky, uncomfortable adult diapers of the past. As the media and respected celebrities and professional athletes continue to endorse incontinence products we are sure to see even more developments and innovation.
We regret to inform you that as of Tuesday, February 17th, you will no longer be able to purchase Pediasure 8 oz. Cans from Allegro Medical – or – through any other online or retail supplier.
We understand how important a product *like* Pediasure is for the care of loved ones requiring supplemental nutrition. Allegro Medical has helped hundreds of thousands of people just like you conveniently buy their supplements over the Internet for the past 11 years. However, Abbott Laboratories, the pharmaceutical manufacturer, has announced that it would no longer allow the the 8 oz cans (used in hospitals and health care facilities) to be sold to retail customers.
The good news is, we have a great alternative for you, plus a savings discount:
Nestle Boost Kid Essentials –
Nestle offers a fantastic nutritional product – Boost Kid Essentials – that is widely accepted by pediatricians and moms everywhere. Click here to order Kids Boost
To help with the transition, we’re offering a 15% savings on Boost Kid Essentials – Use gift certificate code Nestle15 at checkout – good through Monday, Feb. 23rd.
*Important Note to Health Care Providers – If you are a health care provider or institution purchasing Pediasure 8 oz. cans from Allegro Medical, please respond with your company information. We can assist you in the Abbott Laboratories qualification process which will allow us to continue shipping you the institutional products.
Allegro Medical values your business. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to try the Nestle alternative. Check the homepage blogs for future updates as this story unfolds.
CEO & Founder
480-990-8881 Ext 100
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