Ultrasound was first used as a diagnostic tool in the early 1900’s, but in the past 50 years it has rapidly evolved into a multi-disciplinary medical tool. Oftentimes, when people think of an ultrasound, they envision a large, bulky machine that gives doctors and expectant parents views of developing fetuses; however, ultrasounds used during pregnancy only account for about 20 percent of the ultrasound market.
Of the approximately 75 million American adults with hypertension, millions of patients visit their doctors yearly to monitor and control their blood pressure, yet only about half of them have their condition under control. Since high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, chronic heart failure, and kidney disease, accurately measuring and tracking a patient’s blood pressure is a vital part of triage and any office consultation.
Testing blood pressure is a two part process, resulting in two numerical measurements - the systolic and the diastolic blood pressures. The systolic indicates how much pressure your blood exerts against the artery walls during heartbeats. The diastolic number indicates the minimum arterial pressure during relaxation and dilation of the ventricles of the heart. To perform the test, a reading is taken by placing a pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer), typically on the upper arm, which is then inflated either manually or electronically.
While blood culture science was originally pioneered in beginning of the 20th century, blood culture practices and technology have advanced exponentially
since the mid-1970s. With the development of controlled clinical evaluations of blood culture systems and media, there is now a sound scientific basis for the basic precepts of blood culture. A variety of factors affect accurate blood culturing: skin antisepsis, number and timing of cultures, correct volume for blood culture, the culture media and any additives, the length and atmosphere of incubation, and the interpretation of positive blood culture results.
Bone densitometry, which is known as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, also called DXA or DEXA, is a test that calculates bone density quickly and accurately. Used to discover osteopenia or osteoporosis, the test uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to take pictures inside the body, normally the lower spine and hip, to measure bone loss.
With chronic health problems, such as emphysema, congestive heart failure and various lung diseases, patients will have difficulty breathing and experience a significant drop in energy levels and the ability to perform simple everyday activities. A pulse oximeter
is a device used to detect if the decrease in energy is due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. Here is a useful guide to pulse oximeters and their function.
The heart is one of the most powerful muscles in the body, and its ceaseless pumping is essential to sustaining life. If the hearts stops beating, blood stops flowing, the brain is deprived of its oxygen supply, and death can result in as little as 5 minutes. For someone who suffers a cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating or has a life-threatening abnormal rhythm, emergency medical treatment is critical. While CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can help maintain the flow of oxygen to the brain, getting the heart restarted and beating normally again often requires defibrillation with an electric shock.
Commonly known as probes, ultrasound transducers come in a wide array of shapes and sizes designed for specific diagnostic applications. Here are some descriptions of the probes commonly found in hospital, clinical, and medical practice settings:
There is the cardiac transducer, whose primary use is echocardiography. In some cases, because the frequency is low, it can used for abdominal studies as well. Next, there is a vascular transducer, which is typically used for carotid arteries and veins, including those in the legs. It can also be used for the thyroid, needle-guided injections, and in some cases, when the frequency is high enough, for breast exams as well. (It is important to note that when using it for breast exams, it should not take the place of conventional mammography, but rather be used in conjunction with it.)
Whether you are a large established hospital facility, a small start-up clinic
, or a private practice
, medical equipment is the staple of your business. It is important that it be reliable and cutting edge. For this reason, many medical hospitals, practices, and clinics think that it’s necessary to buy brand new equipment with a complete warranty, replacement, and maintenance program. However, in these belt-tightening times, used and refurbished medical equipment is becoming increasingly popular as a way to economize. But how do you do that without sacrificing dependability? Read on to learn the pros and cons of buying used and refurbished medical equipment.
Medical settings such as small clinics are held to the same standards as large hospitals, but without the benefit of big budgets. With all the cutting-edge technology available in medical equipment, it makes sense that the clinics that have the best equipment can provide the best care
. Good care translates into healthy budgets and healthy people. However, the cost of new machinery exceeds the budgets of most small clinics, so the best alternative is to look at buying pre-owned equipment, which can often be done for a fraction of the cost.
Buying pre-owned medical equipment has become an increasingly popular alternative to purchasing new equipment. This makes financial sense not only for the establishment of small clinics and practices, but also for larger hospitals and clinics who are trying to watch their bottom line more closely.
When pre-owned medical equipment has been refurbished properly, it can be almost as good as new, with a similar life expectancy, but selling for half, or less, of the price. However, making a mistake in your choice of vendor and/or equipment purchased can be very costly. And the cost is not just a matter of dollars--poorly functioning pre-owned medical equipment can also adversely affect lives.
Outfitting a hospital, clinic, or private practice with medical equipment is an expensive proposition, especially if new equipment is being acquired. In particular, medical settings require several kinds of ultrasound machines, and the expenses can add up to thousands upon thousands of dollars.
While large hospitals may be able to sustain the high cost of new equipment, smaller clinics and practices can find the prospect of large purchases of new ultrasound machines to be much more daunting. Fortunately, there are used machine options available instead. Many clinics or smaller practices are looking to rent or purchase used ultrasound machines, especially if they are just starting up. The savings can be enormous, from manageable, regular fee to lease to 50-70% savings for purchasing. Here are some tips on renting and buying used ultrasound machines:
The autoclave is considered to be standard equipment in most scientific laboratories. Its use, first and foremost, is to sterilize lab items and remove any contaminants. This sterilization process is best used at the beginning and end of a project or experiment. At the beginning of a project, glassware and instruments are sterilized to eliminate any contaminants. At the end of a project, the autoclave is used to sterilize any waste by-products and waste containers. Autoclaves sterilize very effectively with pressurized steam at temperatures of about 270 degrees, but this high pressure steam also can be hazardous to the operator of the autoclave. The extremely high temperatures of the autoclave that work so well to sterilize can also cause the autoclave to malfunction without proper care and use. Here are some top tips for using an autoclave safely.
An ultrasound machine, which makes use of high-frequency sound waves to capture images from the body, has several types. The choice of which type of ultrasound machine to use depends on the purpose of the test, the availability of the machine, and what is being investigated for the test.
The different types of ultrasound imaging include 2D, 3D, 4D, and doppler.
2D ultrasound imaging is typically used for obstetric purposes. It is capable of producing 2 dimensional images of what’s inside the body.
Using 2D technology, the baby’s growth, gestation, size, development, and even the heartbeat can be clearly seen. The placenta, as well as the baby’s position, can also be viewed. The images from 2D ultrasound are usually in black and white.
Purchasing any piece of medical equipment is a big decision and investment. Whether you own a small practice or clinic, or work in a big budget hospital, you want to make sure that you are spending your equipment dollars well. Here are some questions and answers to help you with the purchasing process:
Should I go with new or used equipment?
The decision to choose new equipment versus pre-owned and reconditioned is really a question of budget. First, you want to look at the overall cost–whether financed, leased, or purchased–and determine when the equipment will turn a profit. Used equipment can often give you the best bang for your buck, because it can be reconditioned to be like new and yet only be half the price of new equipment.