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Archive for June, 2012

Knee Walkers: Exactly what You Kneed

Posted on: June 22nd, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Let’s say that you’ve broken a bone in your foot or have had to have surgery on the nerves, ligaments or tendons in your lower leg or ankle. The recovery time is going to be long, unfortunately. The doctor told you to keep your lower leg elevated, but you also need to get around because you’re a busy person who has things to do. So, what are your options? Crutches can be so uncomfortable pressed up against your armpits all day, and maneuvering in tight spaces can be difficult. A wheelchair could help in the tight spaces, but you either need someone to push you or can push yourself, a concept that seems just as tiring as crutching around all day.

This is where a knee walker comes in. Think of a mobility scooter, but instead of a seat and battery power it has a padded leg rest and is powered by your uninjured leg. You simply place your knee on the pad and use your own leg to get around. No more molded crutch pads turning your armpits raw, no hopping around in tight spaces, and no bulky, self-propelled wheelchair tuckering you out.

The knee pad allows for you to keep your injured leg or foot parallel to the ground for an optimal healing position. And by using the upper leg muscles of your injured leg to balance and the muscles of your uninjured leg to move around there is little worry when it comes to muscle atrophy. Using a knee walker also allows for you to use both arms when you are stopped, unlike crutches.

Knee walkers come with lockable brakes to help you stop and stay secure, and most come with a basket on the front for added functionality. You can use them to get around your home or use them to get around the grocery store or pharmacy. And while knee walkers are more expensive than a pair of crutches, they ultimately provide a better solution for your body as a whole.

And yes, LA Medical Retail does carry knee walkers so order yours today!

Comfort and Support for Your Wheelchair

Posted on: June 20th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Wheelchairs or power chairs may be a necessity of life for some of us, and while most of them now are made with a degree of comfort built in, the padding or seat shape wears down over time. This can create more pressure on our lower backs, as well as contact bruises or sores. However, one way to improve the comfort of your wheelchair or power chair and the support that it gives your back is to invest in a wheelchair seat cushion.

Most cushions are made with a foam or gel interior or are inflated with air to distribute your weight evenly across the seat to prevent bruises and sores, provide greater comfort and lessen seating fatigue.  Here are the benefits/drawbacks of each type of cushion and what they are best suited for:

  • Foam cushionsbest for those wanting a simple, low-cost option. Its main benefits are that it is inexpensive, provides a very stable seating surface, low maintenance and is light weight for easy transport. However, foam cushions don’t provide much in the way of pressure relief or positioning.
  • Gel cushions using a gel pack to “immerse” pressure points, gel cushions provide ideal pressure relief, are very stable and are most often contoured for better positioning. They are heavier, however, and also more expensive.
  • Air cushionsthe big benefit with air cushions is that since they are adjustable by simply adding or letting out air, the firmness of the cushion can be easily changed for ideal comfort. Like gel cushions they also provide great pressure relief. On the other hand, air cushions are high maintenance because of the risks for leaks. They are also a more expensive option.

Because they are used daily, cushions have a life span of two to three years and should be replaced in that time to prevent back or leg injuries. Also, matching the size of the cushion to the wheelchair size is crucial to avoid movement or slippage of the cushion that negates the benefits it provides. These benefits can result in a healthier body and more positive outlook o life in a wheelchair.  Come to LA Medical Retail for a wheelchair cushion today!

Using the Right Equipment for Bariatric Care

Posted on: June 14th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, with one in three Americans now being obese. As a result, hospitals and caregiving services are seeing increases in the amount of obese patients they treat or care for. Like any special category of patients, bariatric patients come with their own set of characteristics and challenges. Their heavier weight and higher likelihood to develop skin conditions, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, joint pain and limited mobility on top of a more serious medical condition make them harder to care for than non-bariatric patients.

However, knowing the challenges that exist and how to work around them can greatly impact your care of a bariatric patient in positive ways. The easiest way to do this is to use the proper equipment at the right times. Doing this allows for less strain to be placed on both you and your patient. Therefore it is important to have the correct equipment when caring for a bariatric patient.

For moving a patient that still has some weight-bearing ability, crutches, canes (regular and quad-canes), walkers and rollators all provide ambulatory support. If the patient has little to no mobility, transport chairs and patient lifts can support their weight as they are moved around.

Patients that can still get to their own bathroom to shower or bathe will require a transfer bench to get into and out of the shower or tub, as well as shower or tub chairs or benches for an easier and safer experience. These will also help you maneuver them around the bathroom with less difficulty. On the other hand, not all patients will be able to make it to the bathroom, even with assistance. For these situations, commodes located in the bedroom near the patient’s bed will provide with access to a toilet with your assistance.

While very basic, the equipment listed above will help you provide care for bariatric patients whether caregiving is your profession or you are taking care of a loved one. This equipment helps put less strain on yours and your patient’s body, meaning that you can be there for them more often.

Keeping Your Body in Place

Posted on: June 12th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

As humans our bodies break down, whether it’s from overuse, old age or an accident. The wear and tear of our lives can take a toll on our bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves, causing pain and discomfort. When our bodies break down we may need surgery or therapy to get it back into working shape. Along with those treatments, whatever part of our body is ailing us also needs support. That is where orthopedic supportscome in to give our bodies the protection they need.

Used mostly for stabilizing and limiting motion, orthopedic supports come in all shapes and sizes, and there is an orthopedic support for almost every part of the body.

  • Foot, ankle and kneeorthopedic supports for feet are most often special shoes needed when in the wake of a foot injury. Ankle sleeves and braces stabilize weak ankles and protect injured nerves, ligaments, or tendons, while knee sleeves and braces provide the same benefits for the knee most commonly used after a surgery.
  • Hand, wrist and arm braces that cover the hand and wrist are commonly used to protect injured or inflamed ligaments or tendons through stabilization. Arm slings are used to support casted arms, and braces can be used after elbow surgery.
  • Shoulder, neck and head slings can be used to support a separated shoulder, and braces can be used to stabilize the shoulder joint after a surgery. Neck and head supports immobilize the spinal cord to prevent any movement or further damage, and to support rehabilitation.

Orthopedic supports have been used to help treat normal body wear and tear, sports injuries and other breakdowns in all parts of the body. They are a crucial part to the recovery process, which is why LA Medical stocks these supports for all parts of the body. If your body is ailing, don’t hesitate to look through our selection of orthopedic supports to find your relief.

Hospital Beds in the Home

Posted on: June 6th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Providing an ill or injured patient with a comfortable bed that can be adjusted to their liking is one of the main priorities of a hospital. But what if you or your loved one lives at home? Luckily, advances in bedding technology in the past decade have allowed for hospital beds to become more readily available to people and places besides hospitals and assisted living centers. But why would you or your loved one need a hospital bed in your home? The benefits are numerous and provide not only the ailing person with more comfort, but also the caregiver with an easier way to assist them.

For starters the adjustability of multiple parts of the bed offers benefits for both the user and their caregiver. Adjusting the head and legs is crucial in providing the user with a comfortable position. The head and legs can be raised or lowered to find an optimal position for those with back or breathing problems. It can also aid in getting the user out of the bed if they have mobility problems. An adjustable head can also help the user to sit up when reading or eating.

Being able to raise and lower the overall height of the bed also plays a role in getting the user in and out of the bed comfortably. It also allows for easier caregiver aid when the bed is raised instead of making them bend over and strain their back.

There are other benefits to having a hospital bed as well. The side rails assist the user with moving around in the bed, as well as getting into or out of the bed safely. They also prevent the user from falling out of bed. Hospital beds are also easy to move around the room to accommodate other medical equipment. They can also be locked into place to prevent movement, creating a safer environment for the user and their caregiver.

So, if you or a loved one are injured or have a medical issue that increases the amount of time you spend in your bed, switching to a hospital bed may be a prudent choice. Discuss our situation with your family and your doctor, and then visit LAMedicalRetail.comto see how we can make your bedding situation better for you.