Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Closer Look at Sleep Apnea

snoring man and tired wife

Sleep apnea often goes unrecognized and untreated, yet it affects as many as 18 million Americans alone. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your breathing during sleep in one of three of ways:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea – The most common type, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes and blocks the airway, disrupting breathing and causing snoring.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea – Much less common, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing, disrupting normal breathing and sometimes causing snoring.
  3. Complex Sleep Apnea – The least common, complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

All forms of sleep apnea disrupt normal sleep cycles as breathing is interrupted throughout the night, typically for 10 to 20 seconds, up to hundreds of times per night. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to: diabetes, heart disease or heart failure, stroke, weight gain and high blood pressure. While identifying sleep apnea on your own can be difficult – most people don’t remember waking up during the night – there are some signs you can keep an eye out for.

Signs of Sleep Apnea
If your partner frequently complains about loud snoring followed by gasping or choking noises, there’s a good chance you have sleep apnea. If you don’t sleep with a partner, you can record yourself during the night to find out if you are snoring and gasping. Additional signs include: morning headaches, sleepiness throughout the day, learning problems, mood swings or personality changes, or having a dry mouth and sore throat when you wake up.

Sleep Apnea Causes
Sleep apnea is more prevalent in men, smokers, overweight people and those over the age of 65. Additional risk factors include having a deviated septum, a thick neck or enlarged tonsils (a common cause of sleep apnea in children). With treatment however, those who suffer from sleep apnea can control the symptoms and get their sleep and life back on track.

LungBoost Respiratory Trainer box

Sleep Apnea Treatments
There are many at-home remedies you can try, including quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills, and maintaining regular sleep hours. You can also try sleeping on your side, propping up your head and opening your nasal passages with breathing strips or a nasal dilator. Recent studies show regular exercise and respiratory trainers can also help those who suffer from severe sleep apnea.

If you cannot find relief on your own, it’s time to see a doctor. Your doctor can help determine if you have sleep apnea, the cause, and most importantly, the best treatment option for you.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Product Highlight: Deluxe 5 Point Rolling Stand w/ Adjustable pole Height

The Nonin Deluxe 5 Point Rolling Stand, with an adjustable pole height, makes it easy to move with your Nonin pulse oximeter and serve more patients faster and better than ever. Nonin pulse oximeters are suited for both clinical and at-home applications. With an adjustable rolling stand, no matter where you’re at, you can easily turn your tabletop oximeter into a portable pulse oximeter.

Nonin is known for producing high quality, non-invasive monitoring solutions that are used around the world. Their oximeters provide a wide variety of display indicators, so you can do more with less. To best see these indicators, the deluxe rolling stand was designed with an adjustable pole. Whether you’re sitting, standing or on-the-go, this deluxe rolling stand makes using and reading your pulse oximeter a breeze.

Nonin Deluxe 5 Point Rolling Stand Features

hospital rolling stand with basket

When you’re searching for a stand that’s easy to roll in any direction, can reliably hold your oximeter and can store pulse oximeter accessories, look no further than the Deluxe 5 Point Rolling Stand. This adjustable pulse oximeter stand is guaranteed to hold your Oximeter, so you can rest assured it won’t fall off the stand while you’re in the midst of taking a reading. The 5 point rolling system allows for better balance and maneuverability, so you can easily move around a patient’s bed and from room-to-room when necessary.

The deluxe stand also comes complete with a convenient basket that allows you to store and carry oximeter accessories, as well as other items your patients might need. Whether you need to carry wristbands and lanyards or you like to travel with extra cables and batteries, this adjustable pulse oximeter stand has got you covered.

When you need to increase the portability of your pulse oximeter, and when you want to be able to transport extra supplies at the same time, search no further than the Nonin Deluxe 5 Point Rolling Stand w/ Adjustable pole Height from Concord Health Supply. Have a question? We can help! Contact Concord today for fast, friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Steps to Get CPR Certified

CPR training class

Before the 1960s, any form of cardiac arrest almost assured death. In an attempt to save more lives, surgeon and medical innovator Peter Safar developed a combination of mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions that would open up airways and maintain adequate oxygen levels in non-breathing victims that could resuscitate them. His system for cardiopulmonary resuscitation was adopted by the American Heart Association in the 1970s and has since been standardized as the process for CPR.

Medical emergencies can occur at any time, and often without any warning, so getting CPR certified is a fairly simple and useful process that will equip you with the skills to respond quickly and properly when someone needs assistance.

A CPR certification typically lasts for two years and is easy to obtain by attending a class at a certified training center. If you’re not planning on working as a lifeguard, teacher, babysitter or something in a related field, it is still smart to get certified even if your workplace doesn’t require it. You never know when you could be faced with the opportunity to save a person’s life.

  1. Do some research – The first step in getting your certification is to do some online research about the kind of class you will need to take. CPR classes are typically offered as either healthcare specific or for the general public and are designed to meet different needs based on whether the certification is required by your workplace or if you want to prepare yourself for an emergency situation.

  2. Search for classes – You can call your local gym or municipal swimming pool to see if they offer CPR certification classes, but you can also search online to find other training centers close to you. The Red Cross and the American Heart Association both have a useful search tool that allows you to search by zip code. Some centers will offer both classroom and online class options, but be wary of online classes that don’t require you to come in for a skills evaluation at the end of the course to receive your certification card - this is usually a scam and most workplaces won’t accept a print-out certification card.

  3. Register for classes at your convenience – Classes are usually offered year-round, so you can obtain your CPR certification whenever you have the time to do so. If you are under some time constraints to receive your certification, find out how long it will take to receive your card so you can plan accordingly. Some training centers will present you with it after your final in-person skill evaluation, while others may be mailed to you after completing the course.

  4. Attend classes and get certified – Congratulations! You’ve completed your course work, gotten your CPR certification and are now ready to act accordingly in the event of a medical emergency!

When acting quickly to resuscitate a victim can often mean the difference between life and death, getting CPR certified is a small price to pay when you know that you can save someone’s life. Visit American Heart Association and Red Cross for more information about CPR training and where you can find a training center near you.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Product Spotlight: Soft Fingertip Sensors for WristOx2

WristOx2 soft sensor on fingertip

When you have to check a patient’s SpO2 levels on a consistent basis, a comfortable fit can make all the difference. The Nonin 8000S reusable SpO2 sensors are soft fingertip sensors for the WristOx2 pulse oximeter. Made with a flexible rubber material, the sensor gently covers the entire fingertip, making it an ideal choice for spot-checking and short-term monitoring. However, these PureLight sensors also rise to the challenge when it comes to continuous monitoring. Due to their glove-like structure, they’re extremely comfortable for patients and withstand many behavioral patterns, such as tossing and turning, during sleep studies.

If mere comfort isn’t enough, the level of accuracy and dependability the Nonin 8000S Series provides is impressive on its own. With common red LED sensors, there’s a chance that contamination (the production of a secondary spectrum emission) can occur, which may disturb the oximeter’s calibration curve. This disruption results in imprecise SpO2 readings below 80%. Nonin’s PureLight technology only produces the pure light spectrum and makes it possible for sensors to deliver a steady pulse, dismiss discrepancies in readings from patient to patient and give precise data during motion and low perfusion.

Other great features include:

  • Easy to clean
  • Universal sensor for many settings
  • 12 inch (0.3 meter) cable
  • 8 pin D style connector
  • Increased warranty: Now 2 years
  • Increased EMC compliance: Meets ISO 9919*

Designed for patients of many sizes, the sensor comes in a small, medium and large. See sizing information below:

WristOx2 soft fingertip sensors in small, medium, and large

8000SS-WO2 Small 1m/3m/WristOx2
Digit thickness: 7.5 to 12.5mm (0.3 to 0.5in)
Preferred application: Fingers, toes

8000SM-WO2 Medium 1m/3m/WristOx2
Digit thickness: 10 to 19mm (0.4 to 0.75in)
Preferred application: Fingers, toes

8000SL-WO2 Large 1m/3m/WristOx2
Digit thickness: 12.5 to 25.5mm (0.5 to 1in)
Preferred application: Fingers, toes

For more options and information about our sensors or any of our other pulse oximeter accessories, visit Concord Health Supply today!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels

Oxygen is crucial in keeping us healthy and plays a huge role in respiration but also in various other metabolic processes in the body as well. When we inhale, the oxygen we breathe is mixed in with the blood, which then carries it to every cell and tissue in the body. Healthy cells are aerobic and when they are deprived of adequate levels of oxygen, the body faces numerous potential health issues, including but not limited to fatigue, depression and hypoxia. These risks can be combatted by ensuring your body is getting the oxygen it needs with healthy daily practices that help raise the blood oxygen level.

Mature woman doing yoga
  1. Exercise regularly
    Aerobic exercises, such as walking, swimming or biking, typically result in a rise of oxygen levels due to a physiological response controlled by the brain. The medulla controls the respiration rate during various activities, and because cells burn oxygen more quickly during exercise than when they are at rest, the body responds to the high levels of carbon dioxide by increasing blood flow to supply the cells with more oxygen. Going for 30-45 minute walks a few times a week or even practicing breathing exercises in the morning will help open up pathways and allow your body to inhale as much oxygen as it needs.

  2. Consume antioxidants and complex carbohydrates
    Increasing the amount of plant based nutrients in your diet and cutting down on acidifying foods, like processed and animal-based products, will help improve your body’s ability to transport oxygen to cells. Complex carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, will result in better circulation of the blood throughout the body, while a diet rich in fat will reduce the blood’s oxygen capacity to carry oxygen. Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants, including blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, plums and blackberries, will also help your body use oxygen more efficiently by releasing it into the bloodstream in proper amounts.

  3. Hydrate
    Water is essential to keep our bodies functioning at the peak of their performance. Without proper hydration, bodily functions like cellular respiration and the removal of toxins and metabolic wastes are inhibited. We lose water on a regular basis through various ways, so drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day will ensure that your body stays hydrated and reaps the full benefits of oxygenation.

  4. Practice good posture
    Breathing adequate amounts of oxygen is the most natural way to improve blood oxygen saturation, and this can be achieved by improving your posture and avoiding things like crouching or rounding your shoulders, as those actions inhibit oxygen intake. It sounds too simple, but it’s true! Simply stand up straight, push your shoulders back as if you are trying to touch them together and keep your chin up in order to ensure your body is taking in the maximum amount of oxygen-rich air.

  5. Just breathe
    Studies have shown that improper, shallow breathing may reduce blood oxygen levels and will also reduce the amount of oxygen that is carried in the bloodstream. People that breathe through their upper chest inhale too much air per inhalation, constricting blood vessels and causing reduced oxygen levels in the cells. Work on performing deep breathing exercises that are slow and come from the diaphragm rather than the chest and out through the nose instead of the mouth. Practicing proper breathing will increase blood oxygen levels, as well as raise energy and cleanse the lungs.

To ensure your body has an adequate saturation of oxygen in your blood, visit Concord Health Supply for a wide selection of oximeters.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

First Aid Kit Essentials

Depending on its location, a first aid kit may contain any number of items specific to its predicted use. Still, all first aid kits should contain certain items such as Band-Aids, antibacterial ointment and bandages. A first aid kit in an auto repair garage, for example, should probably have a supply of woven knuckle bandages. After all, mechanics are known for busting knuckles when turning wrenches, and these bandages will provide the protection needed to keep on working while staying clean. These particular Swift knuckle bandages incorporate non-stick, breathable pads and are resistant to oil and grease.

Realistically, every home should have a comprehensive first aid kit and a smaller version should probably be carried in each vehicle and brought along in the event that you go camping, hunting, hiking, etc. These first aid kits will typically be stocked with rubber, surgical gloves, protective masks, disinfectant wipes or antibacterial towelettes, eyewash, a selection of different sized sterile bandages, adhesive tape, rolls of gauze, cotton-tipped swabs and more.

The idea here is to have what may be needed to deal with minor emergencies, whether at home, in the car or on any routine outing. Some common occurrences for which first aid may be required include:

  • Falls
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Bee stings
  • Burns
  • Allergic reactions

Of course, for a family member with severe allergic reactions to things like bee stings or nuts, you'll absolutely need to have an Epi Pen (Epinephrine Auto Injector) on hand. Consider others in your family, such as the very young or elderly, who may require special items in your first aid kits and then stock them accordingly.

Better To Have It and Not Need It Than To Need It and Not Have It
It’s better to have too much than too little. Scissors, tweezers, cold packs, a first aid manual, safety pins, finger and arm splints and a thermometer are all worth considering.

Your first aid kit, especially the one in your home, should be somewhere conspicuous that everyone knows about but out of reach for very small children. While you can buy a kit already made up with the items most commonly needed, you can also opt for a homemade first aid kit. One other important ingredient in having an effective first aid kit is user knowledge. You must be familiar with the items in your kit and how to use them. An Epi Pen is a good example. When someone is having a violent reaction to a bee sting, that could literally kill them in a very short time, is not the moment you want to stop and learn how one of these devices is operated properly.

Get some kits, and familiarize yourself with their contents. Always resupply after items are used.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk Benefits

TR1200-DT5 Grey Desk with Treadmill

It’s not news that society has been living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, correlating with poor health at the same time. What is new, however, is that the hour or two you put into exercising to counteract an entire day’s worth of sitting is not going to cut it. Research shows that regardless of how much you work out, if you’re sitting more than you’re standing, you have a higher risk of colon cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, heart disease and more.

Your body is designed to move and changing your seated work style to a standing, dynamic one can make huge changes in overall health, burn about 500-1,000 excess calories per day and even improve work performance.

So, what can you do? Nowadays, many companies provide employees the option to have a sitting or standing desk; or you can personally invest in a treadmill workstation, like Lifespan’s TR1200-DT5 treadmill desk. With many awards and acclamations to its name, this walking desk is more than perfect for those looking to stay active on the job. Some major features include:

  1. Easy Access & Adjustment – With a manual height adjustable desk, the TR1200-DT5 can adequately adapt to users from anywhere between 4’10” and 6’8” in height. In order to keep comfort a priority, the armrests are padded and the desk is a separate piece from the treadmill, guaranteeing that no movement or disturbance from the treadmill carries onto the desktop.

    And we’re sure that when you picture a treadmill, you see an assortment of complicated buttons and blinking screens that show you how many steps you’ve taken, walking time, calories burned, distance, speed and etc. On the TR1200-DT5, this console and digital LED display is simplified into a small strip at the bottom of your desktop, giving you room to complete your work while staying 100% accessible.

  2. Smart Safety Features – The TR1200-DT5 treadmill workstation comes with a couple of intelligent Lifespan trademarked technologies, Intelli-Guard and Intelli-Step, which promote the safety of the user and those surrounding them. First, the Intelli-Guard mechanization protects you from potential injuries by suspending the belt when you step off. The treadmill will automatically pause on its own once it senses that your feet are no longer striking the belt for 20 seconds.

    The Intelli-Step is the technology that keeps track of the number of steps you take. It simply senses the impact of your feet, counts your strides and displays the results on your console.

  3. Media Integration – Best of all, with Bluetooth capabilities, this walking desk can wirelessly transfer all of your activity data and recordings to your Windows or Mac computer in an instant. Simply download Lifespan’s free computer app, and you can start tracking your daily progress.

The TR1200-DT5 comes in with a choice of both manual and electric height adjustment versions, so browse or call Concord Health Supply for further information regarding our treadmill desks or other health care products.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Product Highlight: Nonin WristOx2™ Starter Kit

Nonin WristOx2 with finger sensor

When it comes to the best of the best, the Nonin WristOx2™ 3150 is a top contender in the medical industry. It’s designed with Nonin’s PureSAT® signal processing technology, which filters each pulse at a time to deliver the most accurate measurements – even during challenging environments or critical SpO2 levels.

Due to its advanced capabilities, the WristOx2 3150 can be used for a wide range of applications, including overnight sleep studies, cardio-ambulatory monitoring, remote wireless monitoring and even daily activity monitoring. Along with versatility in function, it is extremely portable and easy to use in one’s own home or a clinical setting.

nVision Software & Download Cable
The ability to record and store patients’ oximetry readings is vital, especially when you’re trying to reach a diagnosis. Thankfully, the Nonin WristOx2™ 3150 Starter Kit comes with a smart data management software, called nVision, and a download cable to help you transfer readings.

  • The nVision software, with screening and reporting applications, makes it possible to view and analyze a patient’s results easily. It can even pre-screen patients for an overnight sleep study or a 6 Minute Walk Test.
  • While the USB download cable makes it possible to download results faster, the 3150SK also comes with Bluetooth wireless capability (up to 100 meters in range), which offers a convenient alternative to transferring data securely.

Ideal for Overnight Studies and More
An average pulse oximeter can hold between 24-80 hours of SpO2 and heart rate data, but the WristOx2™ has an enhanced memory of up to 1,080 hours! This bounty of storage comes in handy when you need a pulse oximeter for extended periods of monitoring, which means you’ll need a powerful battery to match. The 3150’s battery life can last up to 48 hours without using Bluetooth and 24 hours with continuous Bluetooth.

Comfortable Design
No matter how advanced the technology is, this pulse oximeter is actually very simple and comfortable to use. Clinicians can pre-program the oximeter before sending it home with a patient. Then, all it takes is putting it on!

Design features include:

  • Secure and ergonomic wrist and finger placement
  • A soft rubber finger cap instead of a finger clip that can be troublesome and easily removed
  • No bulky cables or wires, allowing patients to move without restriction in their sleep

Get comfort, accuracy and innovative technology all-in-one with Nonin’s WristOx2™ 3150SK from Concord Health Supply.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Top Non-Medical Portable Pulse Oximeter Uses

man on top of mountain watching sunset

Since the use of pulse oximeters was first introduced into hospital operating rooms as a means for instant and ongoing monitoring of a patient's blood oxygen saturation level, their presence has steadily crept into other areas of medical use such as in recovery rooms, emergency rooms, neo-natal wards, emergency transport vehicles and more. As the availability of quality pulse oximeters has increased and costs have come down, their use has now become routine in homes where individuals require a quick, easy way to monitor pulse rates and/or SpO2 percentages. These include those suffering from COPD, mesothelioma, asthma or other respiratory conditions, especially those accompanied by shortness of breath.

Non-Medical Pulse Oximetry Uses
Pulse oximeters have become a quick, convenient, portable means for checking the amount of oxygen being carried in the hemoglobin found in blood. This amount is expressed as a percentage, with a healthy individual typically having a blood saturation level of between 95-99%, although anything above 92% is normally safe. The way a pulse oximeter works is by clipping onto a finger or toe and then sending two light beams through the skin and into the small blood capillaries.

These light beams, one visible red and one infrared, are absorbed in different amounts by oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. By comparing the two, the pulse oximeter is able to determine the percentage of blood (hemoglobin) fully oxygenated. In addition, a pulse oximeter is able to monitor and display the wearer's pulse rate or number of heartbeats/minute. Because of these two capabilities, pulse oximetry has recently become popular for use in other activities other than strictly medical purposes.

  1. Pulse oximeters are starting to show up in gyms and fitness centers, where they're being used to monitor SpO2 during strenuous workouts. They're also an easy way to monitor pulse rates, which are a factor during aerobic exercises where it's important to reach a target pulse rate for a predetermined period of time.
  2. Those who are involved in high altitude fitness, such as mountain climbers, bikers or athletes working out in locations where the air is thin may want to keep track of their SpO2 to make sure they're getting enough oxygen into their systems.
  3. Tourists visiting countries like Peru, Ecuador or others located in high mountain ranges will often become lightheaded and may even need to purchase auxiliary oxygen supplies in certain cases. Having a pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen levels at high altitudes will be helpful here.
  4. Piloting an aircraft at above 10,000 feet in a non-pressurized cabin carries the risk of becoming lightheaded and even blacking out. Using a portable pulse oximeter to monitor SpO2 is not only helpful in these situations but could be a life-saving precaution.

Check out Part 1 of this post, and see what the “Top 5 Medical Pulse Oximeter Uses” are here.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Product Highlight: ChoiceMMed Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

Checking your blood pressure on a regular basis may not be a priority for you, but there are several statistical reasons you should start paying some mind to it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asserts:

  • One of three adults in America have high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure is the primary or contributing cause of about 1,000 American deaths a day.
  • High blood pressure can be the root cause of medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure.
ChoiceMMed Digital BP Monitor with Cuff

Thankfully, technology has rendered it possible to accurately check your blood pressure on your own. You no longer need to drive all the way to a pharmacy or wait until your annual check-up to monitor your blood pressure. In this case, you are your very own medical professional, and the ChoiceMMed BP10 digital blood pressure monitor is the perfect tool. With an automatic inflation feature, it has the ability to detect systolic/diastolic BP, pulse rate and irregular heartbeats at a single push of a button.

For maximal accuracy, each reading is computed with the device’s 3 most recent results, and precision extends even to adults and older adults with conditions like glycuresis, hyperlipaemia and hypertension. In addition, this BP monitor saves up to 120 readings, including the date and time of each reading. This not only helps you keep track of your health and progress but it also provides a record for doctors if you ever need serious, expert consultation.

Usability and readability is very straightforward. Wrap the upper arm with the large adult cuff (included), push ‘Start’ and view the results. It’s really that simple! And the large, 3 inch LCD display, with a low battery indicator located directly on the screen, makes data even easier to interpret.

This automatic blood pressure monitor includes:

  • Large adult cuff
  • Carrying bag
  • User’s manual
  • 4 AA batteries (recommended, not included)

As cliché as it sounds, don’t become a statistic if you can help it! A BP monitor only takes a minute of your time but can save years of your life.