Polygel DVTCare System Can Improve Patient Compliance and Lessen Risk of DVT

Lower extremity deep venous thrombosis remains an issue for patients who are at high risk after surgeries or traumatic events. Sequential pneumatic compression devices are very useful in lessening the risk of DVT and blood clots. But these devices have limitations as many must be plugged in and are quite cumbersome when trying to move around operating rooms, hospital beds, and emergency rooms.

In the early 2000s, the American Venous Forum conducted a study showing how portable pneumatic compression devices helped improve compliance and, in time, would lessen the chances of DVT. As we enter into 2012, the latest in portable DVT care is the Polygel Ca5 DVTCare System. At the size of a book and one pound to carry in the over-the-shoulder case, the system is easy to use. Plus the battery works for 15 hours for single-leg therapy and 8 hours for dual-leg therapy.

So now when patients need to get out of bed, get transferred from the OR or ER to their hospital room, patient compliance can improve. The patient can wear it as he or she is getting radiographic studies, physical therapy, or other procedures. Compliance goes up, the device is easier to function in different settings, and the chances of DVT and blood clots goes down. As the study showed with a portable device, “…to be effective, they (devices) must be in use continuously; there is no effect that lasts beyond the time they are applied and functioning on the legs.”

Health care professionals will also have peace of mind that the functionality is the same as plug-in devices. The Polygel Ca5 DVTCare System has two segmented cuffs, wraps around the legs, and compresses veins to promote blood flow. The cuffs are comfortable and can be hand washed as needed.

As the previous American Venous Forum study showed, some medical professionals are concerned about the risk of bleeding in the early stages after an injury. Portable pneumatic compression devices can last for a long time and give everyone peace of mind that they are taking a proactive approach. And after a daylong worth of use, it can be plugged in and still used. Within 3.5 hours it is completely recharged again.

For the hospital setting, these devices can offer far more compliance than standard compression devices and thus are becoming more commonplace for doctors to prescribe. Portable devices can also be prescribed by the doctor for the home setting, as the system is made to be on the go.

To learn more about a Polygel Ca5 DVTCare System, pneumatic compression device, or Lymphedema boots, visit http://www.vascularprn.com/ or call 800.886.4331.

Nursing Home Mistakes Can Be Corrected With Early Intervention

Nursing home mistakes can hurt residents and a facility’s ability to be reimbursed by Medicare. And if nursing home abuse is discovered, it can void insurance coverage and often lead to a handful of lawsuits. Many nursing home workers put a lot of effort into their work and care for the livelihood of their residents. But it takes only one or a few mistakes to be in violation of the patient standard of care.

Patient abuse is the most severe violation, and can involve workers stealing from residents, withholding food, or other physical and emotional types of abuse. Pressure ulcers and wounds are the next most common mistake. Nursing home workers should document and take photos of any ulcers on admissions. This can help to have a baseline reference of how the patient came into the facility and what steps the nursing home staff can take to heal these conditions.

It can never be said enough that bandages must be checked. A recent lawsuit awarded $650,000 to a woman whose bandages were not checked for 11 days and once the site was checked, it was crawling with maggots. Medical professionals cannot ignore internal controls and patient complaints. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 16 percent of nursing home residents deal with decubitis ulcers. Innovative products such as the Skin IQ™ Microclimate Manager can dramatically cut down the risk of developing decubitis ulcers. The Skin IQ is an electrically powered mattress coverlet that pulls moisture away from a patient’s skin and lowers the skin temperature to make them more comfortable. It costs about $6 a day versus a Low Air Loss mattress that is around $30 a day. For nursing home residents that are more immobile, this type of technology can be critical to lessening ulcers and the risk of patient liability.

Most pressure ulcers and wrongful death lawsuits stem from malnutrition and dehydration. Medical professionals at the nursing home must monitor each patient’s nutrition and watch out for weight loss. Also, patients must be monitored for issues regarding deep vein thrombosis and venous stasis ulcers. Compression therapy machines are affordable to rent and can help residents from having more severe issues. All these concerns should be addressed in each patient’s care plan; otherwise, lack of documentation can cause a nursing home to be liable for an injury or death.

Risk of falling is another area that nursing homes can improve on. Nursing homes must have initiatives to help residents stay mobile and have assistive devices as needed. Equally as important is the risk of residents wandering or escaping a facility. Insufficient staffing or ignoring internal procedures is no excuse for having a patient’s life in jeopardy. Nursing homes should take extra care in doing employee background checks to make sure they have the right staff on board and ensure that the ratio of residents to workers will help ensure the standard of care is upheld.

To learn more about the Skin IQ, and Vascular PRN’s other products such as Sequential Compression Devices, SCD boots, or Lymphedema boots, visit http://www.vascularprn.com/ or call 800.886.4331.

Innovative Mattress Product Helps Nursing Homes Create Big Savings

Nursing home budget cuts create a harsh atmosphere for administrators who must find innovative ways to cut costs and recover from extensive nursing home deficits. In part, this is happening due to Medicaid services being provided by care providers in the home setting. With Medicaid cuts of around three percent and Medicare cuts a little over 11 percent, nursing homes are scrambling to cut costs or face closing.

With these cuts, nursing homes are getting creative about ways to cut costs. This can be difficult given that nursing homes often take care of post-hospital patients. Patient advocates say that nursing homes could save money just by taking better care of patients as an estimated 14 percent of patients in their post-op care must go back to the hospital. Patient infections, falls that cause broken bones and other injuries, and medication mishaps could have been prevented. These incidents also are a part of “never events” that Medicare will not reimburse a facility for.

Taking on losses like this can equal a nursing home’s demise. As many facilities do a sufficient job of helping their short and long-term residents, a nursing home administrator must look at ways to cut costs in other departments or increase revenue. Ways to strengthen revenue include marketing to new and different groups for nursing home services, and responding to patient referrals quicker. Many nursing homes have already frozen wages, cut staff, and halted facility upgrades.

From here, they must find savings by looking at medical supplies that could do more for the nursing home at a lesser cost. From tissues and briefs to wound care and lotions, and even bigger items such as beds and medical equipment, every single item is being analyzed. For facilities that already have a pressure redistribution mattress, they can stop using a Low Air Loss (LAL) mattress, which typically costs $30 a day, and use the new Skin IQ™ coverlet for about $6 a day.

The Skin IQ coverlet does more to prevent skin breakdown and pressure ulcers than a LAL mattress. This new mattress cover wicks moisture away from the patient, minimizes odors, and helps prevent infections. For a nursing home that might rent 75 LAL beds per month, for example, for high risk patients, switching to a Skin IQ coverlet could save $54,000 in 30 days. The product is easy to clean and can be used for individuals up to 500 pounds.

To learn more about the Skin IQ, and Vascular PRN’s other products such as Sequential Compression Devices, SCD boots, or Lymphedema boots visit http://www.vascularprn.com/ or call 800.886.4331. Vascular PRNSM helps healthcare professionals nationwide with product sales and rentals to help maintain a patient’s skin integrity and lessen decubitus ulcers.

To learn more about a Sequential Compression Device, SCD boots, or Lymphedema boots, visit http://www.vascularprn.com/ or call 800.886.4331.

Best Recommendations for Long-Term Care Residents to Take After an Orthopedic Surgery

After orthopedic surgery, it is highly recommended to use sequential compression devices until a patient is back to walking around more frequently. Especially in nursing home settings, this can be important for residents who have just returned from the hospital or an outpatient surgery center and need some time to heal.

Compression therapy can help prevent deep vein thrombosis and blood clots. Surgery already increases the chances of a blood clot as blood vessels are injured during a procedure. As a patient heals from getting a knee or hip replaced, for example, being immobile for long periods of time also elevates a person’s risk. Your orthopedic doctor will recommend a course of post-op treatment that can include the short term use of blood thinners and compression therapy.

The National Blood Clot Alliance reminds individuals and their loved ones to be on the lookout for signs of any unusual pain, skin color and temperature, or swelling that is beyond what your doctor has noted during recovery. Also, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, or bloody mucus can signal an imminent blood clot.

Nursing home medical professionals are responsible for communicating with the resident’s doctor about any irregularities and should be utilizing compression therapy unless there are contraindications for specific individuals. Of equal importance is making sure that a resident does not start to get bedsores. Immobility and other factors can make a person prone to developing bedsores that turn into more serious pressure ulcers. Aggressive measures should be taken to prevent this from happening, including helping patients turn every couple of hours as they rest in the bed or use a wheelchair.

Some residents are more prone to moisture problems as a result of excessive perspiration that can be caused by their medical condition or the medications they are taking. Pressure ulcers can arise when the skin develops excess moisture as more friction occurs against clothing, sheets and the mattress cover. Incontinence is similar as it can make the skin moister and cause infections. Many long-term care facilities already have pressure redistribution mattresses on hand for decubitus ulcer prevention. When a Skin IQ™ Microclimate Manager can be used on top of the mattress, a resident can benefit by the latest in skin integrity technology. The facility also benefits by obtaining the same results as with a Low Air Loss bed, but at a fraction of the cost.

The Skin IQ™ is a reasonably priced solution for nursing homes to use to prevent skin ulcers, minimize odors, lower temperature at the contact points and reduce friction. It is a good solution for residents of almost any size, even up to 500 pounds.

Vascular PRNSM assists long-term care centers and nursing home professionals with compression therapy products and the Skin IQ coverlet to prevent decubitus ulcers. They rent, sell and ship products to health care centers throughout the United States, and can send by overnight delivery. They carry high-quality brands that are built for even the most rigorous medical demands.

To learn more about a Sequential Compression Device, SCD boots, or Lymphedema boots, visit http://www.vascularprn.com/ or call 800.886.4331.