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Understanding the Proper Use of Medical Supplies

When my wife was diagnosed with a serious medical condition, I knew that it was time to learn how to help. I started paying more attention to the condition of the house and watching the kids whenever I could. I also talked with her doctor about learning how to use the medical supplies that she had at home, so that I could help her to change IVs and replace bandages. It took awhile to learn, but eventually, I was able to get the process down. The help that I was able to offer my wife meant a lot to her, and I knew that it was because of my understanding of the medical equipment. This blog is all about learning how to use medical supplies.


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Understanding the Proper Use of Medical Supplies

Why Your Medical Devices Need Routine Maintenace

by Amélie Fournier

If you rely on medical equipment to monitor a health condition or deliver medication, then you need to seek out the services of a medical equipment maintenance professional. People who use in-home medical devices or equipment are typically those suffering from cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea-related problems.

In-home medical equipment can also be used to deliver enteral feedings to those who are unable to tolerate oral feedings, and for people who require the use of oxygen. Here are three reasons why medical equipment maintenance repair is so important and what could happen if your equipment is not routinely checked:

To Ensure Accurate Glucose Levels

If you have juvenile diabetes or diabetes mellitus, then you may rely on glucose monitoring meters to let you know if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. Accurate blood glucose readings will help you determine how much insulin you need to take or if you need to eat a snack.

It is essential that your glucose meter is correctly calibrated so that you can take the proper medication dosage. If your blood glucose readings are incorrect as a result of a malfunctioning monitor, you could be at risk for a hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic episode, or worse, diabetic ketoacidosis.

If you suspect that your glucose monitor is malfunctioning, compare the readings with "old fashioned" glucose testing strips that can be purchased at any drugstore. If the reading from the test strips is strikingly different from that of your monitor, you will need to have the monitor serviced.  

To Reduce Risk Of Cardiac Arrhythmia 

If you have cardiovascular disease, you may rely on an in-home cardiac monitor or an implanted pacemaker. If these types of medical devices are not routinely checked, you may be at risk for a serious cardiac arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.

A cardiac monitor can alert you to abnormal heart rhythms such as tachycardia and bradycardia. The former refers to a heart rate that is too fast, and the latter refers to a heart rate that is too slow. If your monitor is in disrepair, you may not be aware of these abnormalities and will not realize that you need to take your medication.

If you have an implanted pacemaker and it detects an arrhythmia, it will gently revert your heart rhythm back to normal, but only if the pacemaker is in good condition. Your cardiologist will tell you who to contact for medical equipment repair when it comes time to service your implantable device. 

To Prevent Breathing Cessation During Sleep

If you suffer from periodic episodes of breathing cessation during sleep, then you probably have obstructive sleep apnea. This condition not only causes you to stop breathing periodically when you sleep, it can also heighten your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with obstructive sleep apnea, then he or she may have recommended that you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine helps to increase the air pressure inside your throat so that your airway is less likely to collapse when you inhale.

CPAP machines need to be checked to ensure that they are working properly, because if mechanically unstable, your airway could collapse, raising your risk for respiratory distress. 

If you use a cardiac monitor, pacemaker, glucose monitor, or a CPAP machine, bring them to a medical equipment maintenance professional who will evaluate your devices to determine if they are in proper working condition. When your medical equipment is functioning correctly, you are less likely to experience complications such as an abnormal heart rhythm, diabetes-related medical problems, or complications related to obstructive sleep apnea.