Medical Equipment - New And Used

Written by Norene Anderson
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Advances in medical equipment are changing the way health issues are diagnosed and treated. Many invasive diagnostic procedures of the past are now accomplished using imaging without any invasion. Internal three-dimensional imaging has many applications for diagnosing cardiac irregularities. With some 450,000 dying every year in the United States from SCD (Sudden Cardiac Death), early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is important.

It is critical that hospitals keep up to date equipment in order to provide their patients with the best, most cutting edge treatments. From electrocardiograms to automated external defibrillators, these technologies help to save lives every day throughout the country. An outdated machine can cost medical professionals valuable time, which could have been used to save a life.

Technology not only invents new diagnostic techniques, but improves on old ones. There are many new models of defibrillators, for example, that work using a single control, making them easy to operate for even inexperienced technicians. This ease of use can mean the difference between life and death in a high pressure situation.

Purchasing Medical Equipment

Unfortunately, even in the medical supply industry, there are dishonest distributors. If you are in charge of purchasing medical equipment for a doctor's office or hospital, make sure you buy from a reliable source. Especially if you plan on purchasing used equipment, which is often the most cost-effective method of obtaining necessary equipment, you need to determine the reliability and trustworthiness of the vendor before you buy anything.

One of the simplest ways to determine the reliability of a distributor is by finding one through the Independent Medical Co-op, Inc. (IMCO). IMCO is a network of independent medical supplies distributors, and IMCO ensures that integrity of all its members. There are also other medical supply networks from which you can find a reliable source of equipment.

Diagnosing Potential Cardiac Disease

One of the most common tests that can be done immediately to screen for the possibility of heart disease is an electrocardiogram. This test records the electrical activity of the heart. It identifies any abnormal impulses or rhythms. All it requires is the attachment of electrodes on the arms, legs, and chest. Some of the newer models can be configured with fax and communication capability, making it easier than ever for different medical professionals to share important diagnostic information.

It is necessary in some patients to monitor the electrical activity of the heart for a longer period, in which case, a Holter monitor may be worn. This is a continuous ECG for 24 hours. In some instances, the patient may be asked to wear the monitor for more than one day. The patient will be asked to journal any symptoms experienced during the time the monitor is in place. Some monitors have a button to push when symptoms are experienced. This places an identifier on the tape showing the time of symptoms, making it decidedly simple for a physician to process the tests results.

Other non-invasive cardiac medical equipment includes echocardiograms and stress tests. The echocardiogram (ECHO) identifies problems with the valves or muscle of the heart. The blood flow through the heart and the valve activity is visualized on a video screen as ultrasound records the activity. A stress test involves exercise on a treadmill or exercise bicycle with electrodes attached in much the same way as for an ECG. It monitors the response of the heart to stressful activity.

Nuclear imaging is another result of medical equipment advances. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream. The radioactivity is detected by a special camera that is a sort of motion x-ray, and the activity of the heart is recorded in images used to identify any areas of abnormality. A more invasive procedure is the angiography study. This is an actual surgical procedure more commonly known as a cardiac catheterization or heart cath.

Saving Lives Using Defibrillators

Early identification of heart problems can save hundreds of lives every year. Some of the latest medical equipment making a big difference in the survival rate of heart attack victims includes the automated external defibrillators. Several kinds are on the market. This piece of medical equipment requires training to use properly and safely. It delivers an electrical impulse to the heart to cause the heart to resume a normal rhythm.

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