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A Sanitized CPAP Is A Safe CPAP

If you are using a CPAP or if your doctor is talking to you about getting started with one, congratulations! Overcoming sleep apnea is a life saving action. The sleep and oxygen deprivation that results from sleep apnea causes so many health problems; including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes (Yes! Diabetes! Imagine that.), depression, headaches, impotence and more. Then, along with poor performance at work or school, sleep deprivation can be the cause of motor vehicle crashes, so you are not only putting yourself at risk, you are putting others in danger as well. If your doctor says its time for a CPAP, go for it! The life you save may be someone else’s!

BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT WITH ALL THE GOOD IT DOES, YOUR CPAP CAN ALSO MAKE YOU SICK?? After the first few uses, that brand new, sparkling clean, sanitary mask and tubing starts to build up bacteria and viruses. This is not just the stuff you’re used to that’s floating around in the air everywhere you go. This is the heavy, yucky stuff that exists in the moist air that has been inside your lungs and is exhaled with every breath. Normally, it dissipates into the room or outdoor air around you, and unless you have a contagious illness, is harmless to others. But inside the tubing and mask of your CPAP, it just sits there, coating the walls of the devices, and growing. Pretty soon, a layer of slime builds up that can be downright disgusting. Gross!

If you google “cleaning my CPAP” or some similar wording, you’ll come up with a number of videos generally depicting a person filling a bucket with soapy water, adding some disinfectant solution, scrubbing the mask and outside of the hose, and making sure the soapy water gets thoroughly inside the hose. Then there’s the rinsing, which has to be very aggressive. After all, you don’t want to be breathing in fumes from any disinfectant residue. Now comes the drying. And drying. And drying. The inside of the hose must be thoroughly dry, so you’ll need to hang it up and let it air dry for hours. Do you really need all this bother?

No, not at all. There are CPAP cleaners available that do the job for you. You just plop your mask, water chamber and hose into the cleaner, and run the cycle. Most models take about two hours. The trouble is, most of these cleaners use ozone for sanitization. Ozone is a great germ killer, but it also kills people! Granted, the amount of ozone residue left on your mask and hose is very tiny, hardly enough to cause harm. But this is a device you are using night after night, 365 nights per year. So you are being exposed to a small amount of ozone every night, which builds up and really can cause harm over time.

Now what? Fortunately, there IS an answer. We offer the Lumin Ozone Free CPAP Sanitizer. Like the ozone units, you just pop your mask, water chamber and hose into the unit and press “start”. The cycle takes only five minutes, because super-efficient Ultraviolet (UV) Light is doing the job. UV light seeks out and destroys all bacteria and viruses on every surface of the items in its chamber, leaving absolutely zero harmful residue. It’s a lamp .... so when its off .... its off. No residue. That’s all there is to it. Plus, Lumin is not just for CPAP accessories! You can sanitize anything that will fit in the drawer, which includes your toothbrush, baby’s pacifier, manicure scissors, and so much more. Its available right here on the web site. Have a look for yourself, just type Lumin into the search bar at the top of this page. You’ll be sleeping in heavenly, clean, fresh air in no time! 



As Our Population Ages, This Product Category Will Grow Very Large

A few years ago, very few people except druggists and medical equipment dealers were familiar with this term. From big cities to small towns, specialty stores that carried these items were few and far between. In fact, in most areas of the country they were called “surgical supply stores” which was a gross misnomer, since they carried almost nothing that might be used by a surgeon in the performance of an operation. The general population was clueless.

Drug stores started to carry a handful of these items in the late ‘50's and early ‘60's, but they still preferred to focus on filling prescriptions, which was their major income source. People who developed a disability that required them to use an aid to daily living such as a seat lift, bed rail or pill crusher had to search far and wide to find an item that would satisfy their needs. After all, the population was generally young and healthy, so older people with minor disabilities presented a very small market for this category of products. People with difficulty walking, or getting up out of a chair or turning a light switch tended to avoid going out into public, and needed to depend on family and friends to help them get through their day. Families with members suffering even the most minor disabilities often would feel ashamed of their disabled relative and encourage them to stay at home. 

Suddenly, some time during the mid to late ‘60's and early ‘70's, society in general experienced a sea change in this attitude. Perhaps it was all the disabled veterans coming home from Viet Nam, perhaps it was an influence from the “hippie” era which stressed a “love one another” mentality, perhaps it was a new enlightenment experienced by the medical professional community .... most likely it was a combination of these things .... but either way a huge shift in societal attitude occurred. The relative in the wheel chair was no longer encouraged to stay home, out of sight. The grandma who had trouble using ordinary tableware and needed forks and spoons with extra large handles was no longer told to stay out of the restaurant. The grandpa who needed a walker to get around  no longer stayed away from the church service he longed to attend. Everything was out in the open! 

This had a synergistic effect on the market. Industry, as it always does, rushed to fill a vacuum. As disabled people began seeking mechanical aids to help them along their way, engineers and inventors hurried to fill their needs. Wheelchairs became electrified, steered by a simple joy stick operable by even the most severely impaired paraplegic. Bed rails were invented that no longer required a welder and a mechanic to install .... they had a support that simply slipped under the mattress and was kept there solidly, by its weight. Spring loaded chair lifts were developed that helped disabled persons to rise easily from their chairs .... and then these became electrified, so even the most severely handicapped could rise with dignity. Reachers, extended grabbers, slip-on doorknob extenders, walkers with more features that a sports car .... all became commonplace and widespread. People who would previously be stuck indoors now zip around in electrified easy chairs and drive themselves in their own cars equipped with specialized hand controls. A new age has dawned! We are even encouraged to drop the term “disabled” in favor of “differently abled”. The “age of Aquarius” sung about by the 5th Dimension in 1969 was not then .... it is NOW! 


plasmaflow 4

Everyone has seen ads for so-called “support socks”. They do a good job applying pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow, and reduce discomfort and swelling. They may be prescribed by your doctor if you have a condition that causes poor blood flow in your legs, such as varicose veins (swollen and enlarged veins). In severe cases, the doctor will likely prescribe knee socks, or full length stockings, in very strong compression pressures which are not available over-the-

counter, but need to be purchased from specialty suppliers and sometimes, fitted by professionally trained hosiery fitters. 

In mild cases, the doctor may advise you to just go out and buy lower pressure stockings available over-the-counter in most drug and department stores. Some people do this on their own without being told by the doctor, and this is ok. But what if special stockings are not enough?


Some people develop a condition known as lymphedema, where fluid builds up in the tissues of the legs, or arms, or even sometimes other places on the body such as the chest. If this happens your doctor may prescribe highly specialized treatments such as wrapping the affected area with elastic bandages applied by trained professionals, or therapeutic massage performed by masseuses trained in a technique known as lymphatic drainage massage. 

When none of these techniques do the job, the doctor will resort to prescribing pneumatic compression therapy. This entails the application of pneumatic sleeves to the affected areas, which are connected to a calibrated, medical grade air pump. The sleeves inflate and deflate rhythmically to squeeze the fluid out of the tissues. Lymphedema should not be taken lightly. Failure to treat this swelling by one or another of these methods can result in serious health complications.     


Some people are at risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. This can happen when a clot forms in the deep veins of the leg. If the clot breaks free, it can be carried by your flowing blood through the veins and into your heart, lungs or brain, where it can cause a stroke. At best this kind of stroke can be temporarily debilitating. At worst, it can kill you. People at risk for developing such clots are often prescribed compression therapy systems consisting of inflatable leg sleeves with a calibrated air pump. Similar to the lymphedema systems described above, the sleeves inflate and deflate in a rhythm calibrated to increase blood flow and prevent clot formation.

Here at Braces, Bandages & Beyond, we provide all of the systems described above, including amazing, new DVT prevention systems that are battery powered and allow you to walk around anywhere while receiving your therapy (see PlasmaFlow here on this website). This technical breakthrough has allowed many people who require this therapy to avoid being tethered to the wall outlet. It is also a life saver for people who travel frequently and are concerned about the dreaded “airline thrombosis” caused by prolonged sitting in a confined space.

If your doctor tells you that you require either type of pneumatic compression, we are your go-to source for the equipment you need!


CPAP Users Know: Keeping Your Mask and Hose Sanitary Is A MUST!

Way back in 1980, Dr. Collin Sullivan, an Australian physician, invented the CPAP machine. Dr. Sullivan was aware of the fact that for many people, as their muscles relaxed in sleep, tissues inside the throat could relax to the point that they would close off the sleeper’s airway. When this happened, the sleeper’s oxygen levels would drop, triggering the choking reflex and awakening the sleeper with a start. This is the dreaded sleep apnea syndrome. It could happen many times during the night, causing serious health issues. Dr. Sullivan felt driven to solve this problem.

For many years, Dr. Sullivan experimented on dogs, using various air pump and face mask combinations, in an effort to combat this difficulty. Finally, in 1980 he felt confident that he had developed a system suitable for use on humans. When the next patient came to his office complaining of wakeful nights, daytime sleepiness and many of the other symptoms we all know too well, Dr. Sullivan offered his new, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure system. For the first time in many years, the man enjoyed 7 full hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep. Eureka! A new era had dawned for legions of sleep apnea sufferers the world over.

And then, several months later, the man developed a serious respiratory infection. Germs were building up in the man’s mask and hose. Dr. Sullivan went back to work and developed a cleaning and sanitizing routine which the CPAP user had to perform very frequently. This consisted of messy, cumbersome methods such as washing with soap and water or disinfectant solutions and hanging the items up to air dry.

Many years went by, and in 2012 a company began offering an automatic cleaner that freed the CPAP user from the drudgery of hand washing the mask and hose. The cleaner used ozone to kill the germs. Ozone, in heavy concentrations, will also kill people. Trace amounts of ozone would remain in the mask and hose cleaned with this system and, while not fatal to the user, might cause other health issues. It seemed as though the world of CPAP was back to square one.

Then, just this year, another problem solver developed the Lumin, a CPAP sanitizer that uses Ultra Violet Light to kill the germs on the surfaces of the mask and hose. Ultra violet light is not harmful to humans, leaves no residue on the mask and hose, and sanitizes them to perfection! Finally, CPAP users could enjoy life in a perfect world.

We have both systems available here on our web site, so look them over and make your choice. A clean CPAP system is necessary for good health.

rubber glove pix

First of all, rubber gloves were invented because of a love affair! In 1889 Dr. William Halstead, a surgeon at
Johns Hopkins Hospital was romantically involved with an operating room nurse, Caroline Hampton. They later
married. Dr. Halstead was troubled that his dear Caroline’s hands were becoming irritated by mercuric chloride
which was used to prevent infection in the O.R. So, he asked Goodyear Rubber Company to produce thin rubber
gloves to protect his sweetie’s hands. Romance blossomed and the world gained an important new method of
preventing infection.

There are two major categories of rubber gloves, medical and chemical. Medical gloves come in a variety of
types to suit many different needs. They were primarily made of latex rubber until some years back, medical
personnel and the general public, as well, started developing allergic reactions to latex. Now they are available
in many non latex materials such as polyvinyl chloride, nitrile rubber and neoprene. And they are not just for
doctors any more! Criminals have been known to wear them during the commission of crimes to prevent leaving
fingerprints, but in an ironic twist of fate, fingerprints may actually pass through the material as glove prints,
thus transferring the wearer's prints onto the surface touched or handled. Remember Watergate? The Watergate
burglars infamously wore rubber surgical gloves in an effort to hide their fingerprints. If it wasn’t for the “glove
print” effect, the world may never have heard of G. Gordon Liddy, Howard Hunt and the other rascals involved
in that scandal.

Chemical gloves also come in a large variety of types, styles and materials, for safe handling of the nearly
infinite variety of harmful chemicals in use these days. They are available in different thicknesses, measured in
mils, and different lengths including very long gloves that cover the entire arm. Some are lined with fabric for
enhanced comfort and others are available made of special materials to protect workers from the most caustic
and dangerous of chemicals.

Check the glove section of Braces, Bandages And Beyond where you are sure to find whatever glove you need
to meet your requirements.



If you are over 30 years old, when you were a little kid, no doubt your mom put Mercurochrome
on any and every minor cut and scrape you received! Of course, while it may have provided some
antiseptic benefit, it stained the wound and a lot of the skin around it a bright red. It is my
recollection that this red stain didn’t bother the kids at all. It was just a part of kid life like dogs,
cats, bikes and pinky balls.

Well, Mercurochrome, (generic name “merbromin”), as its name would imply, contains mercury.
Mercury is one of those “double edge sword” chemicals which kills the germs but also kills the
patient. Mercury was used as a treatment for a variety of infections since the 1600's, most notably
sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) such as syphilis. Sadly, many people died of mercurial
poisoning before the syphilis could take them. Mercury was used to treat STD’s until 1910 when
arsenic was discovered to be effective against them (Oh boy! Another poison!). Arsenic was the
drug of choice for treating STD’s until 1943 when penicillin was introduced as an effective
treatment which actually cured the diseases. Finally, mercury, arsenic and other poisonous
chemicals were pushed to the wayside ....... except for Mercurochrome!

Although there is no large body of evidence indicating that Mercurochrome is dangerous when
used as directed, the ever-cautious FDA decided to take steps to eliminate its sale in 1998. They
didn’t actually ban the stuff, which would have caused it to be pulled off store shelves and drawn
complaints from mothers far and wide. They did an end-run around the issue and re-classified
Mercurochrome as a “new drug”. This meant that anyone wanting to sell it nationwide had to
submit it to the same rigorous testing and approval procedures as some brand-new “miracle”
drug invented yesterday. There’s not enough money in Mercurochrome to cover this expensive
process. It’s a cheap but effective substance that works well. So of course it had to go. Sound

Mercurochrome slowly disappeared from store shelves as stocks depleted . Hardly anyone
noticed. Fortunately, there are other antiseptics readily available in the U.S. such as povidone
iodine, benzalkonium chloride and others. So we can still keep our childrens’ minor cuts and
scrapes from becoming infected. It’s just a tiny bit sad to see an old friend we used to rely on
muscled out of existence like that. Oh well .......................


Watch For The Drama!

Twenty nine states and the District of Columbia (of all places!) have legalized the use of
marijuana for medical purposes. Yet the herb is still listed by federal law as a “Schedule 1 drug
(like heroin) under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970". This places physicians and patients
in these 29 states and D.C. at risk of arrest and prosecution by federal authorities if they prescribe
or use the plant.

There is evidence that pot can relieve pain, according to the National Academies. It can improve
the symptoms of multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms, and it is well known as a treatment to
minimize the nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

However on the negative side, there is little evidence that is works for many of the other
conditions for which it is prescribed, such as glaucoma, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome and
others. The side effects of using pot include dizziness, panic attacks, hallucinations and
temporary learning and memory impairments. Plus, the most common way to use pot is by
smoking it, so users are putting themselves at the same risk for respiratory disease as tobacco
smokers. Then there’s the issue of “smoking and driving”, which is as serious a danger as
drinking and driving.

In states where it is legal, there is a patchwork of methods where patients with a pot prescription
can obtain the herb. Some states strictly regulate and license authorized dispensaries, while in
others such as Colorado you can just grow your own at home. So far legal challenges to state pot
laws have not been very successful. However, opponents of the herb continue to work for
reversal of the legalization laws. They attempt to put constraints on cultivation, and to encourage
employers to institute “zero tolerance” policies which put pot users’ at risk of losing their jobs,
even though what they are doing is legal.

So, as the saying goes, “..... it’s a jungle out there” for suppliers and users of medical marijuana.
Let us hope cooler heads prevail and bring order out of this chaos.



You’re better off going ‘cold turkey’. According to an article on the web site Med Page Today,
which is written for doctors, E-cigarettes “associated with a lower rate of smoking cessation at 6
months among recently hospitalized smokers who said they planned to quit, compared with
non-users in a secondary analysis of a large randomized trial.”

Of course, this study was conducted among a population of recently hospitalized smokers. The
results of the study were reported by Nancy Rigotti, MD, director of the Tobacco Research and
Treatment Center of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Obviously, the results of a study
conducted with non-recently-hospitalized subjects my vary statistically, but it's very realistic to
presume that the results will be very similar.

There are a number of variables involved here which need to be noted, but none of them alter the
over riding message: e-cigarettes do not help you quit real cigarettes. Period. In fact, e-cigarettes
can make quitting more difficult.

Dr. Rigotti told Med Page Today, "We found that patients who used e-cigarettes were actually
less likely to succeed in quitting compared to those who did not, which is the reverse of what we
might expect to see if e-cigarettes help people quit,"

The article reported that the highest success rate was among those who utilized prescribed
medications to assist them. So by all means, if you are smoking, quit, but see your doctor for
professional help. Those cute little plastic tubes that emit flavored hot air when you suck on them
will not be much help in kicking the nicotine habit.

Look, It’s 2018, We Can Talk About Impotence Now Out In The Open!

Yes, of course, in our society we’ve been talking about all things to do with sex, openly, for many years already. But for men who are struggling with this issue, often simply referred to as “E.D.”, many would rather avoid the conversation.

Everyone understands the reasons why this discussion is preferably avoided by most men. There is embarrassment, sometimes shame, sometimes the surfacing of long-buried feelings of inadequacy; the list goes on. But generally, as a society, we seem to have come to a point where frank, open and healthy dialogues about this subject seem to have become this norm. Why is this? The almighty dollar, of course. Ever since the development of the “little blue pill” and it’s imitators has come on the scene, drug manufacturers wasted no
time in opening their cash boxes and spending billions of dollars on advertising, because there is big money in overcoming sexual dysfunction. Nearly everyone except those who have taken religious vows of celibacy desires a normal, healthy sex life. The beat goes on.

But what about those men who can not ... or, would rather not, put chemicals into their bodies in order to overcome ED? There are medical conditions which cause these drugs to be contra-indicated. Also, they do not work at all for some men. Additionally, there are side effects to all drugs, and erection drugs are no exception.
One side effect that comes to mind is a change in color perception experienced by the user. This is no trifling matter for certain professionals such as airline pilots, some types of scientists, even foundry workers who rely on reading the color of molten iron or steel to know precisely when to add chemicals and quantities of other metals to create the correct amalgam for production of the finished metal they are making. For these and many other men, the tried and true Vacuum Erection Device or VED is readily available. Here at Braces, Bandages and Beyond we offer the premier brand at a very affordable price, shipped discretely to your door. There’s no need to embarrass yourself at the drug store. The VED almost never fails, because it is totally mechanical, and does not rely on drugs which may or may not cause the desired chemical reaction within your body. It works by using a vacuum to draw blood into your penis to cause it to grow erect, which is exactly how the process occurs in nature. There is no down side. Your natural function is restored, along with your happy marriage.
It’s a beautiful thing!


They seem like such a simple thing, but proper application is important!

Let's look at a few different types.


Roller bandages

Roller bandages vary greatly depending on how they are to be used.

A roller bandage is used to:
• hold a dressing in place on a wound
• maintain pressure over a bulky pad to control bleeding
• support an injured limb or joint
• apply pressure to a limb

Roller bandages are made from lightweight cotton, crepe or elasticised crepe, depending on the pressure to be achieved. A lightweight cotton bandage is used to hold a dressing in place, whereas a crepe or elasticised crepe bandage is used for applying support or firm pressure to a soft tissue injury.

Applying roller bandages

A roller bandage needs to be chosen carefully to ensure that it is the correct width for the body part involved. As a general guide, the following widths are recommended:
• Lower arm, elbow, hand and foot – 3 inches.
• Upper arm, knee and lower leg – 4 inches
• Large leg or trunk – 6 inches.
It is best to use a bandage with some degree of stretch in the weave. This will make the bandage easy to use and more likely to stay in place for many hours. However, the correct application technique is essential to provide comfort and adequate support for the affected part.

Basic steps to successful use of a roller bandage:

  • Bandage the part in the position of greatest comfort to the patient. Support the part adequately before starting to apply the bandage.
  • Hold the tightly rolled bandage with the ‘head’ of the bandage on top and wrap the ‘tail’ around the body part without unrolling more than a few inches at a time.
  • Begin with a locking turn to hold the start of the bandage securely under each following turn.
  • Work from the middle of the body or limb in an outwards direction.
  • Work from the narrowest part below the dressing and work upwards.
  • Ensure that each turn covers two-thirds of the previous turn.
  • Cover totally any dressing and padding used.
  • Finish with a straight turn at the end of the bandage.
  • Secure the bandage with a safety pin or adhesive tape. Avoid the use of metal clips because they are less secure and can fall out during activity.

Applying a roller bandage to the lower arm or leg:

  • Apply a dressing or padding over the affected area.
  • Start with a diagonal, locking turn below the dressing or padding to secure the dressing.
  • Continue up the limb, covering two-thirds of each previous turn.
  • Finish with a straight turn to secure the bandage and fasten it with a pin or adhesive tape.

Applying a roller bandage to the elbow or knee:

  • Apply a dressing or padding over the affected area.
  • Start with a full turn over the point of the elbow or knee to secure the bandage.
  • Make a second turn just below the first, exposing one-third of the initial turn over the point of the elbow or knee.
  • Make a third turn just above the first, again exposing one-third of the initial turn over the point of the elbow or knee.
  • Continue with one or two more turns alternately working from below to above the affected joint, until the dressing or padding is fully covered.
  • Avoid any extra turns that will cause pressure on the inside surface of the joint.
  • Finish with a full turn above the elbow or knee and secure the bandage with a safety pin or adhesive tape.

Applying a roller bandage to the hand or foot:

  • Apply a dressing or padding over the affected area.
  • Start with a diagonal, locking turn around the wrist or foot.
  • Carry the bandage across the back of the hand or foot to the base of the little finger or little toe and then make a complete turn around the fingers or toes.
  • Make another turn across the back of the hand or foot from the fingers/toes to the wrist/ankle.
  • Repeat these turns working upwards with each turn until the dressing or padding is covered.
  • Finish with a circular turn around the wrist ankle and secure the bandage with a safety pin or adhesive

    Continuous Positive Airway Pressure: Saving Lives Every Night

    Sleep Apnea: the stoppage of breathing during sleep, usually caused by obstruction of the airway when tissues in the throat relax. The human choking reflex causes the sleeper to awake with a start, change position, and go back to sleep. This can happen hundreds of times per night in some cases and cause dangerous side effects.


    There was a time when no help was available for this condition, and people just slowly grew ill and died from the effects of multiple apnea incidents per night. They wondered why. The condition was not understood by the medical profession.

    Then doctors began to understand this problem, and started to search for a way to relieve it. It was discovered that multiple apnea incidents per night, over time, could cause heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory problems, impotence and symptoms of sleep deprivation such as confusion, dozing off at the wheel while driving, etc. Various surgeries were attempted to remove excess flesh in the throat, without much success. Dentists attempted to create dental appliances designed to alleviate the problem, also with little success.

    Then in June of 1980, Colin Sullivan PhD, BSc (Med), MB, FRACP, an Australian physician, invented the Continuous Positive Airway Circuit. The word circuit refers to the tubing, nasal mask and head strap that make up the business end of the CPAP system. Air pumps, the other part of the system, had been around for a long time. One of them simply had to be modified and adjusted to perform the life saving task of providing enough air flow to the circuit to keep the airway open properly during sleep. CPAP was born ..... many people no longer had to die!

    Today, CPAP has come of age. Systems are now available that contain microcomputers allowing them to fine tune themselves to each patient’s precise, individual needs. Pressures adjust themselves on the fly, as the sleeper’s needs change with changes in position and breathing rate.

    Here at Braces, Bandages and Beyond, we are pleased to offer the CPAP user everything he or she needs to maintain their respiratory well being during sleep.
    There’s More To That Little Brown Bottle In Your Medicine Cabinet Than Meets The Eye!

    We’ve all got that bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the medicine cabinet. Your mom probably
    taught you that it is the first thing to reach for when an antiseptic is needed for minor cuts
    and scrapes. It is generally recognized as safe as an antimicrobial agent by the U.S. Food

    and Drug Administration (FDA).

    hydrogen peroxide
    Then, of course, in the world of fashion and beauty, hydrogen peroxide holds a
    distinguished position as the creator of many more blondes than would normally be walking
    this earth. It is heavily diluted and mixed with other chemicals to form hair bleach. If you
    are wondering if blondes have more fun and thinking about lightening your own locks, do
    not apply hydrogen peroxide straight from the bottle! This will likely damage your hair and
    may cause injury to your scalp. It is important to only use commercially prepared hair
    bleach in which the hydrogen peroxide has been properly diluted, and mixed with other
    chemicals, so it may harmlessly perform its job.

    Along with human hair, hydrogen peroxide is used commercially to bleach flour, paper and
    wood pulp, in waste water treatment processes and is useful around the home as a cleaning
    and disinfecting agent. In this latter application it works much like chlorine bleach but
    without leaving that objectionable chlorine odor behind.

    Crossing over from fashion and beauty, we find that hydrogen peroxide can play a major
    role in improving and preserving oral health. Nearly everyone knows about making a very
    effective home made toothpaste by mixing a small amount of baking soda with a tiny bit of
    hydrogen peroxide and applying it to your toothbrush. Hydrogen peroxide is also found in
    most tooth whitening compounds, but once again, heed the warning: no do-it-yourself tooth
    whiteners should be attempted. Stick to the commercial products which have the hydrogen
    peroxide diluted to the correct level and mixed with other chemicals to assure safety and

    You may be surprised to learn that hydrogen peroxide is used as rocket fuel and as a
    propellant for the torpedoes fired by submarines. You may even be more surprised to learn
    that it is also used as the primary chemical in glow sticks and those glowing necklaces and
    bracelets which delight children at fairs and carnivals. You may be amazed to learn that
    hydrogen peroxide is used by farmers to enhance root development and treat root rot while
    simultaneously ridding the crops of various harmful insects. But what you may find most
    astonishing is that tropical fish farmers use small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to safely
    get more oxygen into the water in which their fish are growing.
    green glow
    So now you know that there is more to that little brown bottle in your medicine cabinet than
    meets the eye. As we say about everything available here at Braces, Bandages & Beyond,
    “use it in good health!”

    Nutrition: "The Forgotten Element" of Wound Healing

    Dec17-iStock-619393356-300x216 By Lisa Logan, R.D., CNSC

    The role of nutrition in pressure injury (PI) prevention and treatment is a well-recognized factor and an essential component of wound management. Unfortunately, proper nutritional support is often the “forgotten element” that is necessary in maintaining all phases of wound healing. Wounds will not heal without proper nutrition, and malnutrition is a key risk factor in the development of wounds.

    Protein Energy Malnutrition will result in a marked increase in the incidence of pressure injuries. According to the National Pressure Advisory Panel (NPUAP), the prevalence of wounds or any chronic, non-healing wound, such as a PI, surgical site wound, trauma, or burn injury is a serious healthcare problem. Therefore, employees that work in the supply and distribution industry need to understand how they can provide solutions for customers to help prevent and treat wounds.

    High-risk individuals
    Clinicians require evidence-based tools that help identify residents who are at risk, so that prompt attention is directed on the nutritional status of patients. High-risk individuals can be identified by screening for nutritional risk factors, along with understanding pressure injury triggers.

    Examples of some PI triggers include the following: unintended weight loss >10 percent in 180 days, BMI (Body Mass Index <18.5 or >30), poor oral intake, dehydration, diagnoses impacting cognition (such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease), and/or urinary or fecal incontinence, etc. Advanced wound care programs are now available through various distributors, suppliers and/or manufacturers. These programs provide comprehensive tools and guidelines to help customers develop strategies in areas relating to wound care prevention and treatment.

    Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) treatment plans are an essential component to wound management. The nursing staff and registered dietitian (RD) are primarily responsible for developing a treatment and prevention plan, as well as documenting nutrition and nursing assessment plans. Routine monitoring and validated assessment tools need to be integrated into a patient’s care plan and an organization’s clinical protocols. The goal is to provide adequate calories, protein, fluid, vitamins and minerals, as well as to understand their role in wound healing. Some important components are as follows:

    • Protein is important to help repair damaged tissue and promote healing. (Protein requirements are markedly increased, as collagen – the most abundant protein – is a critical component of collagen synthesis needed for wound healing).
    • Fat is an essential component of all cell membranes.
    • Other semi-essential amino acids like arginine, the building blocks of protein, are required for tissue repair and to help transport oxygen delivery to the wounds.
    • Vitamins and minerals are necessary for all phases of wound healing. A supplement is needed when dietary intake is poor or deficiencies are suspected. (E.g., vitamin C supports formation of new blood vessels and wound strength, and zinc is required for protein synthesis and immunity.)

    Oral and tube feeding
    Patients benefit from fortified and/or high-calorie foods, as well as high protein oral supplements between meals when nutritional requirements can’t be achieved by dietary intake. This strategy can help combat unintended weight loss, anorexia and malnutrition. These supplements may be delivered orally or through a feeding tube. It is important to consider alternatives like enteral (tube) feeding or parenteral (IV) feeding, when oral consumption remains suboptimal.

    Tube feeding is the preferred route, if the gastrointestinal tract is functioning. Depending on the clinical condition, tube feeding necessity will vary in terms of length of need. The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) develop, and frequently revise, interpretative guidelines and compliance standards relating to tube feeding administration. This helps surveyors determine if a facility has clinical deficiencies in this area, which need to be remedied.

    Enteral nutrition formulas are foods intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition. Products vary with respect to macronutrient and micronutrient composition, concentration, fiber, and added nutrients which have been shown to improve immune function and help promote wound healing. These wound-healing formulas contain additional essential nutrients that are required for optimal skin integrity and repair. Often, the resident is offered oral nutritional supplements to provide additional nutrients that are lacking from the diet. Standard polymeric formulas are widely used and tolerated in patients requiring enteral support. These formulas mimic what is in a typical diet and contain a variety of nutrients consumed by healthy individuals to meet the recommended dietary needs. It is the clinicians’ responsibility to evaluate enteral products for clinical efficacy and to develop formularies to meet the needs of their health care setting.

    The primary food ingredients in both oral and tube feeding products include these:

    Carbohydrates, usually in the form of corn syrup solids and maltodextrin
    Protein, usually in the form of soy protein and casein
    Fat, typically canola, soybean or safflower oil
    Fiber – soluble or insoluble

    Quality standards
    Considerable evidence exists regarding the seriousness of pressure ulcers and the relationship between pressure ulcers and pain, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality in aging populations. Therefore, state and regulatory agencies like CMS have funded quality measure projects like National Quality Forum (NQF), established in 2008. These quality standards are tightly regulated by federal and state agencies. The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 requires reporting of quality measures– including skin integrity and changes in skin integrity– using standardizedpatient assessment data across post-acute settings to help improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

    Although the development of wounds arises from a complex set of circumstances, proper nutritional supplementation can positively affect the outcome. Therefore, it is important for distributors and sale representatives to understand their product offerings relating to wound care and treatment. Utilizing clinical resources within your company can familiarize customers with guidelines, such as those published by the NPUAP in 2016, as well as by other national organizations that specialize in pressure injury prevention and treatment. The management of pressure injuries requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary team approach that includes not only the individual, family, and/or caregiver, but also the suppliers, manufacturers and distributors that service post-acute-care facilities.

    Lisa Logan, Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC), is enteral program manager/nutrition support clinician for the extended care-clinical resource team, McKesson Medical-Surgical.

    Nursing home usage declining

    Until recently, nursing home care has been a key component of long-term care, especially for older adults. However, although the U.S. population aged 65 and over increased from 10.6 percent to 14.9 percent in 2015, use of nursing home care began to decline as early as 2000. A variety of factors likely contributed to this ongoing decline, including changes in consumer care preferences and the availability of additional long-term care options with the growth of residential care communities, such as assisted living.


    Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS) for 1977, 1985, 1995, and 2004 data; National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP) for 2014.

    New Blood Pressure Guidelines Released!

    For the first time in more than a decade, new high blood pressure guidelines have been released, affecting the definition of high blood pressure and eliminating the category of prehypertension.

    The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) have released major new blood pressure guidelines that lower the definition of high blood pressure to 130/80 mm Hg rather than the previous 140/90.


    Key highlights:

    . High blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. This is a change from the previous definition of 140/90 and higher

    · The category of prehypertension is eliminated

    · By lowering the definition of high blood pressure, the guidelines recommend earlier intervention to prevent further increases in blood pressure and the complications of hypertension

    More adults now with high blood pressure due to new measurements

    The AHA/ACC estimates that with the new lower guideline measurements, close to half of the U.S. adult population (46 percent) has high blood pressure, or hypertension, rather than 32 percent with the previous definition.

    High blood pressure should be treated earlier with lifestyle changes and, in some patients, with medication – at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90 – according to the report, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers. High blood pressure is a leading cause of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking.

    The new guidelines also eliminate the category of prehypertension, which was previously used for blood pressures with a top number (systolic) between 120-139 mm Hg or a bottom number (diastolic) between 80-89 mm Hg. Patients with these readings will now be categorized as having either Elevated (120-129 and less than 80) or Stage 1 hypertension (130-139 or 80-89). Previous guidelines classified 140/90 mm Hg as Stage 1 hypertension. This level is now classified as Stage 2 hypertension.


    New Blood Pressure Guideline Categories


    Less than 120/80 mm Hg


    Systolic between 120-129 mm Hg and diastolic less than 80 mm Hg

    STAGE 1

    Systolic between 130-139 mm Hg or diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg

    STAGE 2

    Systolic at least 140 mm Hg or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg


    Systolic over 180 mm Hg and/or diastolic over 120 mm Hg


    Elbow Pain? Tennis Elbow? Golfer’s Elbow?


    From wikipedia: “Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a condition in which the outer part of the

    elbow becomes sore and tender at the lateral epicondyle. The forearm muscles and tendons become

    damaged from repetitive overuse. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

    Any activity, including playing tennis, that involves repetitive use of the extensor muscles of the forearm can cause acute or chronic tendonitis of the tendinous insertion of these muscles at the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. The condition is common in carpenters and laborers who swing a hammer or other tool with the forearm, and is similar to golfer's elbow, which affects the medial epicondyle on the inside of the elbow. Continuing activity after onset of the condition and avoiding mandatory rest may lead to permanent onset of pain and only treatable via surgery.”

    OK, what the heck is the

    lateral epicondyle? You don’t have to know, to take steps to ease your pain,

    but for the record, here’s a picture of it ..........

    En-elbow joint.svg

    Relief can be found with the usual remedies: rest, ice and an elbow brace. But you can’t spend entire days not using your arm, or walk around with an ice pack all the time, so an elbow brace can be a great solution. We have an awesome selection here on Braces, Bandages and Beyond. Just go back to our Home Page, click on “Shoulder/Arm”, then click on “Elbow”. You will find what you need, and be back on the court in no time!


    It may be Plantar Fasciitis -- And relief is in sight!

    You wake up in the morning, get out of bed, and YOW! One of your feet hurts badly

    with every step you take. Or, it might be both feet (about 1/3 of people with

    plantar fasciitis get it in both feet).

    This distressing condition "involves inflammation of a thick band of

    tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to

    your toes (plantar fascia)" according to the Mayo Clinic. Here's what it looks like:


    Yup, that's one, big, long tendon there, running from toes to heel. Injure that and

    you're in for some trouble! What causes it? Any number of conditions ranging

    from being overweight, to standing for long periods, athletic activities such a

    running and jumping, even ballet and aerobic dance! But you don't have to be a

    major league ball player or a prima ballerina to get plantar fasciitis .....

    something as simple as stepping off a high curb can cause the injury.

    There are treatments available to ease the pain, but most are inconvenient and some

    can involve a bit of pain of their own. You can take pain killers such as

    aspirin or ibuprofen, but most folks these days are trying to avoid popping

    pills when possible. You can go for physical therapy, but who has time for

    that? The most popular treatment for this condition is the night splint, and we have it for you!

    Our featured product on this blog entry is:

    Item# BRE-6339 Plantar Fasciitis Splint



    Enjoy relief from foot and heel pain day and night!


    This splint was designed specifically to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Wear at night to help

    relieve morning foot pain by gently stretching your foot as you sleep. Magic-cling closure adjusts

    to your perfect comfort level.Fits right or left foot.One size fits most.Washable. Includes a FREE arch

    support to wear during the day for 24-hour foot pain relief.

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