Hug Wraps change how patients are treated

Putting on a Hug Wrap tells everybody around you (the hospital, doctors) that ‘I matter,’ says Jones.

Many people who’ve gone through a hospital stay, undergone outpatient treatment or procedures have at some point experienced harried, often indifferent-seeming medical personnel. At times, this treatment can seem callous, leaving patients feeling like cattle being herded through a disinterested or apathetic system.

Brenda Jones knows all about this.

Continue reading

De Odor Works – a safe, effective alternative to deodorants

Some studies have linked deodorants containing parabens and aluminum to breast cancer

In recent studies, the ingredients in deodorants and beauty products have been linked to breast cancer. Deodorants are known to contain aluminum and some brands still contain parabens, which can bind with estrogen in cells. These have been found to sometimes stimulate breast cancer cells and are perhaps even linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Although the National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, has reported that they “are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer,” it is still  useful to know that there is an effective and safer alternative available.

Continue reading

Pharmaceutical Take-back programs makes disposal safe and easy

Over 250 million pounds of unused dispensed medications are disposed of improperly every year

Approximately four billion prescriptions are dispensed outside of a hospital setting every year. The sheer volume increases when you figure in over-the-counter medications, supplements and pet medications.

A variety of pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, steroids and other toxic substances can now be found in the majority of our groundwater streams and in the drinking water of more than 40 million Americans. More than 250 million pounds of unused dispensed medications are disposed of improperly each year, says David Tusa, President and CEO of Sharps Compliance Inc.

Sharps, a leading medical waste management company, has created a nationwide, easy-access solution to capture the enormous volume of unused medications, used syringes and medical waste generated outside of hospital and large healthcare settings.

Continue reading

Giving Christmas gifts that give hope – Part 1

Organic Bouquet provides workers in underdeveloped countries with essential services that help improve their lives

This year, with so much challenging so many around the world, why not give the gift of hope and empower those in need.

Consider donating and/or purchase gifts that will make a tangible, life altering difference.

Organic Bouquet provides flowers that are organically grown and certified by agencies like the USDA and the Rainforest Alliance.

Continue reading

Innovative mattress system gives back dignity to the bedridden

CaregiverThis isn’t the “green” column you’d expect. This focuses on something difficult to discuss – it presents an amazing product that gives dignity back to patients in home healthcare, hospitals and hospice.

Any caregiver that’s cared for an elderly loved one at home has experienced the stress and upset of seeing them suffer dealing with incontinence. The only products available to deal with this have been bedpans, disposable absorbent pads and adult diapers, which add humiliation to both patient and caregiver.

Lynn Stephens, an experienced RN and caregiver, has seen patients that were laying in their own waste but, because they were covered up, no one knew.

“It’s mind-blowing (the) primitive way we take care of them,” she says.

She realized a new type of mattress was needed.

The challenge, said her husband Greg, an entrepreneurial engineer, was threefold:

  1. You need a mattress hard enough it doesn’t collapse
  2. It has to be comfortable
  3. It has to be pressure reducing

Capstone mattress

After forming their company, Capstone, they brought their idea to Tempur-Pedic Medical Division.

Tempur-Pedic worked with the Stephens’ to create the Capstone Incontinence Relief System – a mattress system that keeps moisture away from the skin.

Tempur’s material and the Stephens’ design was the combination that created a medical supply breakthrough.

The Capstone mattress system can be placed on any hospital bed. Its specially designed, absorbent disposable pad is placed on the mattress. The attached plastic waste collection bag is then placed inside the mattress cavity. The patient’s fecal and urine waste are collected in the bottom of the plastic bag while the patient lies comfortably dry on top.

This is an important advancement for caregivers, especially in home healthcare.

Approximately 20% of home healthcare patients are incontinent or bed-ridden, Greg said. “That’s around 300,000 patients per year!”

The second top reason patients are taken from their homes and put into nursing homes is because of incontinence.

This system will protect their skin, make them comfortable and reduce their pressure ulcers.

“But the big factor here is that it helps the caregivers (too),” said Greg.

With the disposable pad and the pouch attached, the caregiver gently rolls the patient over, changes the pad, and they’re done, he said. “It can be done in 45 seconds or less,” Greg said.

Capstone's disposable pad keeps patients dry and comfortable

Capstone's disposable pad keeps patients dry and comfortable

What they’ve done with this mattress, said Rick Fontaine, Tempur–Pedic Medical Division’s Vice President of Business Development, is create a layer on the top that conforms to the person’s body so that they don’t get high pressure around the mattress opening.

The biggest challenge Tempur-Pedic had was designing a cover that could be welded and installed in a way that didn’t allow moisture to leak through the opening, Fontaine said.

“We’ve tried to eliminate those forces that cause skin break down due to pressure and incontinence,” he said.

This system will be beneficial in easing pressure wounds, especially in the area of the buttocks, which is very susceptible from fecal waste, he said.

“(This) product is simple and it works,” Greg said.

The Stephens have just crossed a critical hurdle with this product – getting a Medicare code approval.

The Stephens believe this product will help Medicare.

“Just the fact it can reduce the number of patients admitted to nursing homes will save Medicare money,” said Greg.

They don’t know how much of the cost Medicare will cover, but hope it will pay 80 percent of the almost $4,000 price, which includes the mattress, the bag and pouch and a package of 105 disposable mattress pads.

Those wanting to buy this breakthrough mattress system have 2 options. To purchase the product from a Medicare-approved vendor and get reimbursement, contact the Stephens directly to locate a vendor. Or simply purchase it from the website.

Recycling Plastics Breakthrough could be near

Water BottlesResearchers from IBM and Stanford University are working to create a new kind of plastic, one that can be recycled multiple times and that’s biodegradable.

Most plastics can only be recycled once as the metal catalysts they contain break down, contaminating and degrading it, affecting the material’s recyclability. Organic catalysts such as are being worked with at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, leave no residue, can break down the plastic’s polymers to their original state and are cheap to produce.

Also, organic catalysts break down plastic at room temperature – a much lover level than currently possible, where higher temperatures and greater energy are required.

This breakthrough could allow plastics to b recycled over and over in the future.

In Saudi Arabia, the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology is working with IBM and Stanford to establish a pilot recycling program for PET (the common plastic used in drink bottles, identified as #1 plastic) using the organic catalysts.

This development, if realized, could have exciting new applications, including for healthcare, particularly in drug delivery devices and replacing synthetic computer materials with greener alternatives.

Vancouver's Olympic graphics to be recycled as flooring

2010_winter_olympics_logosvgpnNow that the Vancouver Olympics are just a wonderful memory, lots of materials are left to be dealt with.

Enter Mannington Commercial who plans to take the almost 200,000 square feet of graphic wraps, made by 3M Canada, that were used for advertising during the 2010 Winter Games and will turn them into commercial flooring. These wraps were wrapped on vehicles and other types of displays

Mannington's Premium Tile will utilize advertising from the 2010 Winter Games

Mannington's Premium Tile will utilize advertising from the 2010 Winter Games

Mannington will utilize these wraps for their Premium Tile line, which also includes scrap drywall and VCT removed from renovation sites.

Mannington officials said the Premium Tile line is popular for educational, healthcare and retail uses.

Once again, a little corporate ingenuity and commitment to sustainability will turn what would have been trashed into something useful.