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Yearly Archives: 2013

intermittent catheter can cause cancer

In the spinal cord injury (SCI) population bladder cancer incidence is around 3% versus the less than 1% in the general population.  Although bladder cancer typically is 100 times more likely in SCI individuals, it is still rather uncommon.  Survivors of spinal cord injury have more concerns with complications of pressure sores, kidney failure and spinal cord cysts.  The risk of bladder cancer increases with the use of a “foley” or “indwelling” catheter or even a suprapubic catheter.  The main culprit for bladder cancer is bladder irritation.  Recurrent or frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder infections, repeat bladder stones, and irritation resulting from catheters are known bladder irritants.  Consult your doctor about your risk of developing bladder cancer if you use catheters especially foley or suprapubic.  Your urologist can inspect your bladder, which is recommended around 5 years after your SCI. 1,2

What intermittent catheters contain known carcinogens?

Most catheters contain the plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).  This chemical is listed by the State of California as a known carcinogen.3 with potential for increased incidence of cancer and reproductive harm.  Catheters not produced by Cure Medical may contain DEHP and BPA (bisephenol A).   BPA has been around since the 1960′s and until recently was a chemical used in almost all hard plastics and epoxy resins which are the linings inside cans and food containers.4  Today it is common practice to see BPA-free labeling in baby bottles and formula, plastic containers, and food packaging.  In fact, the FDA recently amended the food additive regulations regarding infant formula and packaging because of the BPA-free changes in industry practice.5   It only makes sense that other industries will follow suit and provide BPA-free products in the production of catheters.

Cure Medical boasts it  “is the first and only company to manufacture all of its products without DEHP, a known carcinogen, without latex, a common allergen, and without BPA.”  Cure catheters were designed to provide a quality product that is DEHP, BPA, and latex free.  Additionally, they are always smooth, fire-polished eyelets making for a gentler catheterization experience.  Users can see and feel the difference.6

Cure Coude and Straight Tip Intermittent Catheters
Cure Coude and Straight Tip Intermittent Catheters

 

Cure Medical Catheters are available from AllegroMedical.com.  We are here to help provide you with medical supplies and medical equipment to help you stay healthy and live an active and independent life.

 

 

1 http://www.craighospital.org/Left-Nav/Craig-Programs/Spinal-Cord-Injury–SCI–Rehab/Health-and-Wellness-Information/Educational-Brochures/Bladder-Cancer

2 http://sci-health.org/RRTC/publications/PDF/Bladder_Cancer.pdf

3 http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/files/singlelist091313.xls

4 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bpa/AN01955

5 http://www.fda.gov/food/newsevents/constituentupdates/ucm360147.htm

6 http://curemedical.com/products.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil War Era Medical Supplies

There is no way to predict what may happen to a person’s health. Many medical conditions can be debilitating, making it difficult to be able to do everyday tasks that were once simple. Just aging naturally will present many new challenges. It is common for many with medical issues not to realize the number products and solutions that can improve quality life, increase independence and mobility. For example, someone who has arthritis may find it difficult to turn their lamp on or off. However, buying a basic large knob that clamps on the small twisting switch will allow for much easier turning. This is a very simple, inexpensive product, but it can make a world of difference for those who need it.

Getting in and out of bed can be a struggle for those with back problems or for the elderly. Falling out of the bed can also be a serious problem. If a person is immobile, it can be very difficult to recover after falling out of the bed, especially if there is nobody around to assist them. To combat both of these problems, many people will add a handrail to their bed. Again, this is a simple addition that will help to prevent falls and also allow the owner to have something to hold when easing in or out of bed.

One important item that anyone who is prone to falling or who lacks mobility should always have is a medical alert system. These small devices can be worn around the neck, and usually have some sort of button on them that will alert an emergency service if there is any sort of problem. If a person falls down and cannot get back up, or if they are having a medical problem and can’t get to a phone this handy device can save a life.1

There are plenty of other supplemental products that can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. AllegroMedical.com has an extensive inventory of daily living aids at reasonable prices. Allegro’s website is easy to navigate, allowing anyone to comfortably browse and find new products that they may not have known about otherwise. There are also customer reviews and product descriptions that will help the buyer to get a good feel for what they can expect in terms of quality and function.

By providing each and every customer with quality customer service, guaranteed quality products, and low prices that fit into the budget, Allegro Medical has earned their reputation as leaders in online availability of home health and wellness supplies and daily living aids. Rely on AllegroMedical.com for a wide selection of daily living aids and other home health and wellness supplies.

Sources:

(1) – http://www.elderlyalertdevices.com/

Incontinence bladder

There’s no two ways about it, urinary incontinence is no fun. Thankfully, those who do suffer from this, all-to-common condition can take steps that will help live an independent and active life. Plenty of products and treatments exist in the market today that can help people to discretely manage incontinence.

The first step may be to admit that there is an issue. It can become easy to isolate yourself from your friends, family, and loved ones. Many times, incontinence can be a side-effect of a more serious condition, so it is essential that you take steps to look into a solution.(1) If you are experiencing incontinence, it is important to visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible. It may be embarrassing, but doctors deal with incontinence issues on a daily basis, so there is no reason to feel shame when admitting that you share a condition with millions of other Americans.

There are many causes of incontinence. For some, it is just part of aging. Men may have prostate problems that contribute to incontinence. Women may experience leakage after childbirth. Obesity is one of the most common reasons for incontinence, which can be reduced or even eliminated by simply changing your diet and exercising more frequently. Stress incontinence often happens when a person sneezes, coughs, or laughs, so it may be possible to manage it by first realizing what is causing the accidents. An overactive bladder can cause urge incontinence, which is defined by a sudden urgency to urinate before it happens.(2)

At the doctor’s appointment, you can expect them to ask detailed questions about your lifestyle to try and determine what exactly the root of the incontinence is. It is important that you provide honest information and work with the doctor to figure out the problem. Determining the reason for incontinence can involve some careful detective work, so it is important that you give the physician as much pertinent information as possible. Even seemingly, unrelated medical issues, can actually play a major role.

The doctor may also do blood or urine tests to determine if there is an infection or any sort of abnormality that is causing accidents. Once the cause has been determined, the healthcare provider will usually be able to recommend a proper course of action which may include exercises, supplements, lifestyle changes, and any number of other suggestions that may reduce the frequency of incontinence, and sometimes even stop it altogether.

If you are still experiencing incontinence after medical treatment, you will want to purchase products like adult diapers, bed pads, and other items that will help to keep accidents discreet and manageable.

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.healthcentral.com/incontinence/c/52/21859/symptom/
(2) – http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/coping-12/slideshow-incontinence-embarrassment

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.

Capture 2

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/>.

 

 

There is no doubt that work can be stressful at times, and when you add urinary incontinence into the mix, that stress is multiplied significantly.  Coping with urinary incontinence in the workplace is not desirable, but the fact is that urinary incontinence is much more common than most people realize, affecting millions of people’s work performance every day.

Urinary incontinence happens to all sorts of people of any age, although it is more likely to occur to women.  Over a third of women are affected by urinary incontinence in the workplace1 which shows just how common this issue really is.  Thankfully, these days there are treatments and products that make discretion quite possible.  If you or a loved one are experiencing urinary incontinence at work, there are some steps that you can take to reduce embarrassment and discomfort.

The first step should be to have a candid discussion with any manager or supervisor to make sure that they are aware the condition.  Explain to them that the frequent bathroom breaks are in fact necessary and related to a medical condition.  It may help if you have a note from a physician, but most supervisors are likely to be sympathetic.  Although telling someone about incontinence issues can be difficult, in the long run, it will help to keep incontinence from affecting your work performance.

Next, you are going to want to make sure that you have the right supplies to manage the condition.  You should have multiple pairs of disposable undergarments available, which will protect your clothing and furniture from embarrassing stains and will allow you to clean up after an accident with ease and privacy.  Today’s disposable undergarments can be worn under clothing undetectably with no bunching or sounds when you walk or move.

In addition to using disposable undergarments, you may want to have absorbent incontinence pads on hand.  These are most commonly used under bed sheets, but they can also be used on car seats, in the office, or anywhere else where you need an extra layer of protection.  There are disposable options that can be easily rolled up and discarded, or you can use washable pads as well.

Incontinence issues in the workplace can be difficult and frustrating, but taking these simple steps will help to keep things under control.  Be sure to take frequent trips to the bathroom to keep your bladder empty, and avoid physical exertion whenever possible, as physical stress can cause accidents.

At AllegroMedical.com you can find the quality incontinence products that you require, at prices that you can afford.  For more than 15 years Allegro Medical has been committed to providing their customers with a vast inventory of medical supplies and equipment, including incontinence supplies that will help to keep your workday running smoothly.  Being proactive and taking steps to manage incontinence is the first step.

 

1 http://www.allaboutincontinence.co.uk/category/incontinence-pads-2

 

Other Source(s):

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/urinary-incontinence/DS00404/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

*** From: Patricia F. ***

I am a 52 years “young” woman who has rheumatoid arthritis(RA) and neurofibromatosis(NF). I am someone most would call very physically disabled because I need help with doing many things. My health problems started when I was 24 and needed surgery to remove a benign tumor (NF) from the base of my spine. Within a few months after the surgery my life of chronic pain began. It wasn’t long before I had to stop working and start seeing many different doctors in order to figure-out the right type of pain management for me. That took another 2-3 years total, during which time I had a brain aneurysm. Fortunately the outcome of that surgery was all positive; I had no complications what-so-ever.

By age 35 I was having problems with swelling, pain and stiffness primarily in my hands and feet. My family doctor referred me to a rheumatologist but it took almost 2 years for me to be diagnosed conclusively with RA. By then my hands had already started to change due to joint damage. Also, for some reason the doctors couldn’t explain, my body did not respond well to medications traditionally used to treat RA pain or those used to help fight the progression of damage to the joints. So my RA advanced rather quickly resulting in joint replacement surgeries in both hands and my cervical spine.

Now that I’ve given some of the highlights of my complicated health history I’ll try to summarize what I’ve learned along the way. First, disease does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about the age, color, education, faith or income of it’s victims. That being said, for all those so fortunate to be in good health, please consider giving some of your time to help someone who is sick or disabled. I understand that it’s not so easy these days because most people lead such busy lives it seems. But I’m a believer of when you bless others (especially with your time), and do so with sincerity, that blessing comes back to you.

For those who are sick or disabled and fortunate enough to have people in your life that truly do care about you and care for you, show appreciation to them instead of taking it for granted, being stubborn, prideful or simply not trying to get along. It’s hard to be around people who constantly act that way and I don’t believe anyone truly wants to be alone all of the time.

I must admit that it took awhile for me to adjust to all of the changes life had for me. I’ve been through all of the different emotions you can imagine. Today, thanks to a loving and patient support system of family and friends- especially my husband, I’m not only still here but enjoy my life and am very thankful for it. There was a time when I honestly couldn’t say that but as my faith grew so did my understanding and perspective.

Huge life lesson  . . .  as bad as you may think your situation is there are others out there who have it so much worse. So instead of continuing to think about what you don’t have or can’t do concentrate on what you do have and be thankful. It can change your life!

Patricia F

Share your story with the Allegro community, just email it to me at craigsdesk@allegromedical.com

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