How should I protect myself from COVID19 at home?
Personal protective equipment is not just for frontliners battling COVID19 and other infectious diseases.
The pandemic has made the need for PPE even greater, especially in the home. Sanitizers have proven their worth to ensure contamination free deliveries of food and boxes of stuff.
But, is it always necessary? What should you absolutely wear and what should be avoided?
Food and Groceries
When handling food and groceries at home, many have come up with formulas to wash their produce and sanitize other packages.
Fruits and vegetables are considered to be safe from transmitting the COVID19 causing virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
When it comes to the question of boxed goods, whether from the grocery store or home delivery – containing food or other products – the WHO again recommends safely washing your hands with soap and water prior to handling the material. If you don’t have them nearby, then a sanitizing spray may be used to disinfect the package.
Which Sanitizer will help kill the coronavirus?
If you suspect someone has COVID19 or they have tested positive, then it is necessary to sanitize your surroundings. Using sanitizing spray and sanitizing wipes and containing 70% or more of ethanol or ethyl alcohol will help you clean and disinfect your home, in this case.
Wipe it down on surfaces such as tables, chairs, desks, knobs, and other areas that have the possibility of transmission.
Basic Facts of Coronavirus Safety
The coronavirus needs an organic aka living organism in order to transmit itself or multiply. This is why disinfecting food packaging or deliveries, while considered ‘playing it safe,’ is unnecessary – based on the latest data from the WHO.
Wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and opting for contact-free delivery is more important in terms of protecting yourself from the virus than anything else.
What to do if you suspect someone in the home has COVID19
You should definitely wear a mask that has a comfortable fit and covers your nose. There are a wide variety of KN95 masks, 3 ply masks, and even NIOSH approved N95 masks available for your personal and workplace needs.
In addition, if any member of your household is traveling frequently, then it becomes essential to maintain social distancing from them, even within the home.
While each case will differ, these are the suggested guidelines by the CDC. If someone is known to have COVID19, then they should be isolated in a separate room and should not be preparing meals or having meals with others. If they sneeze or cough, it should be covered. They should discard all these materials in a lined trashcan.
Also, it is advisable for them to wear a mask throughout the day.
Please visit the CDC website for detailed instructions.
Avoid these products if you have Latex Allergies
List of products containing latex
Anyone with an allergy to latex will tell you that it is not to be taken lightly.
Symtpoms of latex allergies include itchy skin, shortness of breath, or even a fatal bout of anaphylaxis – where the individual having the allergic reaction is unable to breathe due to a swelling in the throat and experiences shortness of breath.
How will you know if you are allergic to latex? If you experience any of these symptoms when coming in contact with products containing latex, then you may have an allergy. But, consult with your doctor to know, for certain.
- Mild to severe itchiness
- Redness of the skin
- Appearance of hives or rashes
- Frequent sneezing
- Running nose
- Difficulty in breathing
- Water filled eyes or itchiness in the eyes
Patients having an extremely severe reaction can even lose consciousness, experience dizziness, or have a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Regulations on Latex Products
Because reactions to latex can be fatal, regulators in the United States introduced new laws for medical device companies to label products containing NRL or natural rubber latex, to mention the presence of the substance clearly.
The trouble is, that many patients don’t know that they are in fact allergic to latex. Or what they’re experiencing is a result of latex.
Allergies come from reactions to certain proteins. It is believed by medical professionals that those who are allergic to foods like bananas, chestnuts, and avocados would more likely be allergic to latex.
Which products contain latex?
There are more than 40,000 products that contain latex. So to have a full list of products containing latex is a daunting task.
In the scenario of a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, urgent care unit, etc. the following medical products are known to contain latex:
- Medical gloves used in surgery and examinations
- Tubes of many varieties such as catheters
- The grips of crutches and tips of crutches are latex
- Wheelchair tires
- Vials of medicine
- PPE items that contain latex include goggles, masks, and respirators
- Certain dressings
- Deep breathing exercisers
- Nasogastric tubes
- Bouffant caps
- Shoe protectors
- Needle counting systems
- Rubber breathing circuits
- Ventilation bellows
- Exercise bands and balls
- Rubber aprons
The above is just a sampling, be sure to check with your doctor. Also, check your products for the langage that states “not made with natural rubber latex.” Even if an item is not made with latex, chances are it may be in contact with similar items during the production process.
If you happen to be allergic to latex, definitely be careful when around the above mentioned products.
When to Use Lubricating Jelly in the Medical Field
Medical lubricants help ease discomfort in patients and make it quicker and easier for surgeons, doctors, and medical practitioners to perform certain medical and surgical procedures.
Medicinal castor oil, Surgilube, Lignocaine, and even K-Y jelly are popular surgical lubricants.
When should a medical lubricant be used?
Invasive medical procedures requiring the insertion of a medical device or equipment into an orifice are usually the ones you need a proper medical lubricant for.
Just a few include :
- Rectal examination
- Vaginal examination
- Ocular injury – a bland surgical lubricant may be used on the eyes before the lids are shut in procedures when treating injuries such as a corneal abrasion.
- Indwelling catheter insertion – the usage of medical lubricant helps reduce the risk of causing harm to tissue and mucous membrane. It also helps prevent urinary tract infections.
- Inserting a feeding tube
- Reproductive procedures
- Suppository – Using a water based medical lubricant is advised as something like a petroleum jelly would render the biascodyl suppository ineffective.
When should you avoid the use of medical lubricants:
Any area of the body that is usually dry should be operated or examined without the use of a medical lubricant. So if you are thinking of using lubricants with the otoscope or auriscope, you need only to look from afar – and avoid any introduction of water or oil based surgical lubricants to the patient’s ear, unless the situation absolutely demands it.
Avoid usage in any procedure of the ear and with the exception of bland lubricants, no lubricants should come near the eyes, either.
If you are accessing veins and making a puncture in the skin, then avoid all types of lubrications for this procedure. While some may think that the addition of lubricants for these procedures would help – it actually would create more harm to the circulatory system of the patient rather than being helpful.
Medical lubricants are excellent for reducing friction and helping doctors in several procedures as well as ensuring patient safety.
Masks for everyone
Somebody Stop Me … from wearing the Wrong Type of Mask!
Learn everything you need to know about the wrong types of masks.
Repeated multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of incurable diseases. The coronavirus pandemic has brought along with it a ton of new information – so here’s our attempt to shed light on the hot topic of masks.
We agree that masks should be worn. But, which mask is the one that’s going to give you the most effective prevention from COVID19 or similar diseases? Here are our thoughts:
Once used by cowboys, outlaws, and anyone who didn’t want to be visible in the public eye – bandanas have started cropping up around the world as makeshift masks. This is basically handkerchief that protects you from droplets of cough and gives you the persona of someone who doesn’t mess around. But that’s about it.
Cute Cloth Masks
It’s cute. But does it work? Well, it depends on who’s made it. An ordinary, average facemask is 50% effective, at best. The best ones which would offer the greatest level of protection would, on average, be around 85%. Make sure it has at least three layers of fabric (but ideally cotton).
Filter Cloth Masks
These masks may look cool but are dangerous for people surrounding the one wearing it. The vent on these masks allows unfiltered air to be exhaled. So, that’s not exactly a comforting thought.
3-Ply Masks (Disposable)
These masks can be effective if made by the right manufacturer. These face masks help prevent the entry of any liquid particles. These masks help minimize the incidence of cross-infection while working within clean areas.
N95 Hard Shell Cup Mask (N95 Hard Shell Covid Mask)
The N95 is the respirator of choice for frontliners. The shell cup makes a comfortable fit for those wearing it – also enabling longer time usage. Perfect to defend against COVID19, H1N1, and simlar diseases like the flu or even SARS.
N95 Foldable Masks
As long as the N95 made is approved by a leading agency like the CDC or has a NIOSH approval – they are the best bet to prevent against the coronavirus. The foldable version offers a smaller fit, and can be used for physical outdoor and indoor activities.
Wearing a mask prevents spread of particles that could lead to an infection of disease. Especially those that spread by the exchange of tiny droplets of bodily fluids – such as sweat, nasal discharge, or cough particles. But in 2020, due to the excessive overload of information and hucksters trying to sell their unreliable products – the marketplace is flooded with bad masks or ineffective masks.
The above guide is only our attempt at putting together neutral information to guide you in choosing the right mask for yourself or family members.
Stay safe, stay socially distant. Wear a mask!
All I Want For Christmas is The Perfect Stethoscope
Our Top 5 Bestselling Stethoscopes for Cardiologists, Nurses, and Medical Practitioners
Choosing the right stethoscope is always a challenge. You want precision and a good deal. We’ve all been there, it’s Christmas and we don’t know what to get for our colleagues at the nursing home, hospital, or clinic. Well, look no further!
We’ve pulled together Pipeline Medical’s bestselling stethoscopes and put them all in one place, along with their descriptions, making your Christmas shopping list, just a little bit easier this year.
Oh yeah, if you want, you can go ahead and purchase one for yourself as a treat!
5. Kit, Stethoscope Dual and BP Cuff Blue (Ideal for nurses and students)
Product ID: 7194
- Compli-Mates Dual-Head Combination Kit combines an aneroid sphygmomanometer and a dual-headstethoscope.
- Kit comes complete with an aneroid sphygmomanometer and matching dual-head stethoscope.
- Packed together in a matching nylon carrying case.
4. Stethoscope, Dual Head Green 22
Product ID: 7004
- Lightweight dual heads feature a non-chill ring on the bell for increased patient comfort 22 (56cm).
- Thick walled tubing minimizes background interference.
3. Esophageal Stethoscope 18FR W/400 Series
Product ID: 13184
- Provides 28% better auditory response (sensitivity) than leading competitor. Designed for use in surgical setting to monitor heart and respiratory sounds and to measure core body temperature in anesthetized patients.
- Provides outstanding heart and respiratory sound transmission.
- Fully compatible with most monitors.
- Atraumatic, low-friction surface for ease of insertion.
- Thin distal cuff allows optimal sound transmission and fidelity.
- Positive locking connector for secure cable connection.
- Packaged sterile 50/Cs. Latex free.
2. Probe, Temperature Sensor Stethoscope,18FR
Manufacturer: Smiths Medical
Product ID: 44635
- Exceptional sound quality.
- Smooth, heat-bonded cuff to tube transition minimizes potential for esophageal irritation.
- Long lead wires ensure that the connection to cable is away from patients face. Insulated sensor cap decreases risk of patient shock or burn during electrocautery. Available in adult and pediatric sizes.
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm
1. Sensor Stethoscope Esophgeal, Temp 18FR
Manufacturer: Medtronic USA
Product ID: 33332
- The esophageal stethoscope is offered with a soft, thin cuff that provides outstanding clarity of heart and lung sounds.
- The atraumatic tip and Satin SlipTM finish enable easy insertion and greater patient safety.
- The male luer fitting conveniently attaches to standard acoustical earpieces.
- Depth markings aid in proper placement.
- The long lead wire keeps the connector away from the surgical field.
- The probe quickly and accurately reflects changes in core body temperature.
- The product offers single-#patient use convenience and infection control.
- The product is compatible with most multifunction patient monitors.
COVID Vaccines and What We Know So Far
A vaccine is a biological cocktail that is designed to give you immunity to a certain disease. It usually contains a key ingredient that mimics the disease-causing organism. It uses a weakened or dead form of the disease itself to develop immunity within the vaccine recipient’s body.
When will a COVID vaccine be available?
There are multiple countries, labs, and organizations around the world working on a vaccine. Each one is at a different state. The WHO lists the known projects working on the vaccine here.
The Four Types of Vaccines
When you hear of a vaccine, you don’t really think about its origin story. But the truth is that every vaccine is unique.
- Inactivated or weakened virus vaccines, as mentioned above, use an inactive/dead/weakened form of COVID-19 virus.
- Protein-based vaccines use innocuous fragments of proteins to recreate the COVID-19 virus that would incite the immune system to activate a fighting response.
- Viral vector vaccines use genetic engineering so that the recipient would not feel the effects of the disease, but will be able to put the immune system to work.
- RNA and DNA vaccines use DNA or RNA that create proteins which generate a response from the immune system.
After learning the above, it would make sense for you to choose the right vaccine for the right patient. Ultimately, it’s the testing that decides which vaccine will hail supreme. Along with the building of a successful vaccine, the secondary concern is ensuring that it reaches the masses
How Long Until You Can Use a COVID-19 Vaccine?
The World Health Organization already knows that vaccines prevent millions of deaths every year, worldwide. And certainly COVID-19 has been one of the deadliest viruses in the new millennium.
But how long until the vaccine is in your country?
The vaccine by Pfizer has been approved for use in the United Kingdom as of Dec 2nd 2020. Shipments are on their way even today. The United States and Europe are expected to be next.
Russia’s Sputnik V is a protein based virus similar to the one being created by AstraZeneca-University of Oxford’s vaccine. Several countries have ordered this version as well.
Pricing will also determine who uses the vaccine, while all the vaccines are in limited testing – to roll it out further means testing modes of delivery.
But, one vaccine or multiple vaccines may be available shortly in the United States, as well. Stay tuned to the WHO website and your local government’s health advisory notices to get the latest vaccine updates.