American Academy of Dermatology Releases Statement on Sun Exposure, Vitamin D Levels


American Academy of Dermatology President Brett M. Coldiron, MD, FAAD, released a statement on sun exposure and vitamin D levels.

The Journal of Internal Medicine published a recent study that suggested women who avoid sun exposure are twice as likely to die when compared to women who actually receive exposure. A statement from American Academy of Dermatology President Brett M. Coldiron, MD, FAAD, later clarified these findings.

The authors of the study have already emphasized the difficulty of distinguishing the consequences of unhealthy lifestyle choices and avoidance of the sun. This new statement from the AAD adds that the study also had no data on vitamin D supplementation or vitamin D levels.

Instead of attempting to get the majority of vitamin D through potentially dangerous, unprotected UV exposure, the AAD recommends a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, foods/beverages fortified with vitamin D and vitamin D supplements. With the public consciousness already tuned in to the dangers of UV radiation, the AAD is helping to remind people of what they can do in order to live a healthy lifestyle and practice safe protection along with it.

To read the full statement from the AAD, click here.

For over 30 years, Havel’s has offered high-quality sutures and surgical blades to dermatologists. Click here to see Nylon Sutures, Synthetic Absorbable Sutures, and Carbon and Stainless Steel Surgical Scalpel Blades.


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Veterinarian Medicine Mobility Act Passes in Congress

Legislation now waits for President’s signature 


New legislation hopes to eliminate problems many home-based and mobile veterinarians faced.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed new legislation that will allow veterinarians to carry and dispense drugs outside of their registered locations. The law, known as the “Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act,” works to amend the Controlled Substances Act, which previously prohibited veterinarians from transporting medicine and other substances to animals outside of their registered locations. The U.S. Senate also passed the legislation, and it now moves forward to the White House for approval.

Problems arose in 2012, when veterinarians who operate home-based practices and provide mobile services to many of their patients began receiving warnings from the Drug Enforcement Agency saying they were in violation of the Controlled Substance Act. This new law will look to eliminate the difficulties in technicalities many of these veterinarians faced over the last few years.

For more information on the Veterinarian Medicine Mobility Act, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality veterinary sutures, suture needles and surgical scalpel blades for veterinarians. To see Havel’s selection of sutures, suture needles and blades, please click here: Havel’s Veterinary Sutures, Suture Needles and Surgical Scalpel Blades.


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Best Hospitals 2014-15: Honor Roll

16 out of 17 top hospitals rely on Havel’s


U.S. News & World Report released their annual rankings of the nation’s best hospitals.

Earlier this week, U.S. News & World Report released their annual power rankings of the nation’s best hospitals. The study covers nearly 5,000 medical centers and spans 16 medical specialties, ranging from cancer to neurology. The hospitals with high scores in at least six specialties received a spot on the Honor Roll, with only 17 hospitals making this year’s top honor. For the first time, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota took the No. 1 spot on the Honor Roll, followed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital at No. 2 and No. 3.

U.S. News also ranked more than 600 different hospitals by state, region and metro area, for people who are unable to travel great distances for care. The best regional hospitals were evaluated using the same standards as the national rankings. U.S. News also published a ranking of the best children’s hospitals in the country, which was released in June.

Out of the 17 hospitals that made the Honor Roll list, 16 of them use Havel’s medical products. These include some of our most popular products, from the EchoStim, EchoBlock and EchoTuohy line of specialty needles to our stainless steel and carbon steel surgical blades and autopsy blades. Havel’s is both honored and proud to be serving some of the nation’s best hospitals and medical centers, and will continue to uphold our standards of quality, functionality and care in each and every one of our products.

To see the full list of hospitals and read more in-depth content on the rankings, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality specialty needles and surgical blades to doctors, hospitals, veterinarians and other leading medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of specialty needles and surgical blades, please click here: Havel’s Specialty Needles and Surgical Blades.


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The Great Epidural Debate

New study furthers the question on epidural steroid injections


Epidural steroid injections are one of the most commonly used pain treatments in recent history.

Researchers at the University of Washington published a new study in The New England Journal of Medicine that found epidural cortisone injections used to treat spinal pain “offered minimal or no short-term benefits” when compared to patients injected with only lidocaine, a local anesthetic. Although this kind of information isn’t necessarily new, the question of whether or not epidural injections for spinal pain are beneficial for patients is still a hot topic.

Epidural steroid injections are one of the most commonly used pain treatments in recent history. For this most recent study, researchers compared two groups, one that was injected with cortisone and one that was injected with lidocaine. After six weeks, they found no significant differences in pain levels or disability scores between the two groups. However, the cortisone group did show a statistical advantage when it came to their satisfaction of the treatment, and they also had greater improvements in their depression. So the question is: since these patients seemed happier with their treatments, even though their pain levels were no different than the other group, does this mean epidural steroid injections are the better form of treatment?

The answer appears more complex the deeper you go. Things like patient satisfaction and how we look at and measure pain all play a role in determining which treatment is best. Regardless, epidural steroid injections continue to be one of the most popular forms of pain management, with an estimated 10-11 million procedures performed in the United States every year.

To read the full article about the new study, click here.


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Bone Marrow Hormone Plays Positive Role in Body’s Health

New study shows link between hormone and metabolism, deadly diseases


Bone marrow fat tissue plays larger part in body’s health than previously thought.

According to a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers from the University of Michigan have found that bone marrow plays a larger role in our body’s health than previously thought. New evidence shows that bone marrow secretes a little-known hormone that directly influences metabolism, and might reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases, including certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

In the study, researchers described how the fat tissue inside our bones, known as bone marrow adipose tissue, might actually be a part of the body’s endocrine system. Evidence shows how bone marrow adipose tissue is a significant source of adiponectin, a hormone that helps break down fat and maintain sensitivity to insulin. Previous studies of bone marrow adipose tissue have usually linked it to negative health consequences. This new study examined the role bone marrow adipose tissue had in patients going through chemotherapy or who have anorexia, and found that under conditions where calories are restricted, the fat tissue can do more good than harm.

Dr. William Cawthorn, co-lead author of the report, said, “These findings really underscore how little we know about marrow adipose tissue, and also the mechanisms affecting circulating adiponectin levels. This is really just the beginning of much further research to better understand these relationships and their implications.”

To read the press release from the University of Michigan’s website, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has supplied medical professionals with top quality bone marrow biopsy needles. Click here to see Havel’s selection of Bone Marrow Biopsy Needles.


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AVMA Wins World Veterinary Day Award

Organization launched online hub for animal welfare on World Veterinary Day 2014 


The American Veterinary Medical Association wins 2014 World Veterinary Day Award.

The American Veterinary Medical Association took home the 2014 World Veterinary Day Award for the development of an online hub focused on animal welfare. The AVMA launched the hub on World Veterinary Day 2014, on April 26, with the purpose of providing easy access to the organization’s resources on animal welfare and issues, with news, updates, reviews and other information available in one easy to find location. The hub also features a new discussion forum for AVMA members and student AVMA, as well as international veterinarians. The World Veterinary Association and World Organization for Animal Health received about 25 applications for this year’s award, which is given out for the most successful celebration of the date. World Veterinary Day falls on the last Saturday of April every year.

To read the full article on the AVMA website, click here.

For over 30 years, Havel’s has offered veterinarians outstanding quality and value in Veterinary Sutures, Suture Needles and Surgical Scalpel Blades.


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Havel’s at AIUM Postgraduate Course: 8th Annual Hands-on Diagnostic and Interventional Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: A Problem-Solving Approach

Shelly Ast, Havel's Assistant Sales Manager

Shelly Ast, Assistant Sales Manager

This weekend, July 10th-12th, 2014, Havel’s Shelly Ast will be attending the 8th Annual Hands-on Diagnostic and Interventional Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: A Problem-Solving Approach conference hosted by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Shelly will be on hand discussing the Havel’s EchoStim, EchoBlock and EchoTuohy line of ultrasound needles.

The conference is a 3-day course that will review the techniques and applications of diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound in the upper and lower limbs. Lectures are set to include live demonstrations, clinical focus sessions, special topic sessions and over 13 hours of hands-on experience scanning live models and performing sonographically guided procedures on unembalmed cadavers. Attendees will be grouped by experience and profession as much as possible, with the course benefiting the needs of both beginners and intermediate/advanced levels. Course material is appropriate for physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists, sonographers and other health care professionals who treat patients with regional musculoskeletal disorders.

Havel’s Echo line of specialty needles includes both insulated and non-insulated needles for use in ultrasound guided treatments. Havel’s offers the best in both quality and care, using some of today’s leading technological breakthroughs in each of their needles. Shelly Ast is the Assistant Sales Manager for Havel’s. For more information on this year’s AIUM Postgraduate Course, click here.


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New Video Glasses Reduce Patient Anxiety in IR Procedures


Video glasses worn by patients help reduce anxiety during treatment.

Video glasses worn by patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures help reduce anxiety without disruption to medical staff

According to an article published on the Radiological Society of North America’s website, new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y. shows that patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures who wore video glasses showing television and movies were less likely to have high anxiety after their IR procedures. The study also showed that the glasses did not interfere with medical staff or the procedure itself. Researchers selected 49 patients, both male and female, who were undergoing a variety of IR procedures. Of those selected, 25 used the video glasses and 24 did not. Patients were asked to complete a standard 20-question State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form before and after the procedures to assess anxiety levels. Adam Fang, M.D. and co-author of the study, said, “We think this technique can be used to reduce anxiety and actually be applied safely in a variety of IR procedures without disturbing the physician or support staff. It can be used to improve the patient experience and overall satisfaction.”

To read the full article on the RSNA website, click here.

For over 30 years, Havel’s has offered innovative needle devices with enhanced tips for ultrasound-guided procedures. Click to see Havel’s Ultrasound and Biopsy Needles popular for use in interventional radiology.


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Combating Lateral Deviation in Spinal and Procedure Needles

John Barrett, VP Sales & Marketing

John Barrett, VP Sales & Marketing

Part Three: The Interview 

By Zachary Rogers

Today, we’re wrapping up our three-part series on lateral deviation with an interview with one of Havel’s own. John Barrett is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Havel’s, and has a wealth of knowledge about our products and the industry at large. Here, he discusses the advantages of our Hakko specialty needles and why more leading medical professionals are turning to Havel’s for their medical needs.

Which of our Hakko needles are specifically designed to help reduce lateral deviation to a specific target or target area?

All of our Hakko needles have additional back bevels for the exact purpose of reducing lateral deviation. However, it is more important and beneficial with longer needles. The longer the needle, and the greater the distance is to the target, the more likely lateral deviation will be an issue. With our needles, the potential for lateral deviation is reduced because the needle takes a much straighter path to the desired target. – John Barrett

What’s different about our spinal and procedure needles that separate them from other bevel-tipped needles out there?

Hakko is the only needle manufacturer I’m aware of that pulls their own steel in-house. This process ensures the stainless steel is purged of all impurities, making it less likely to break. In fact, Hakko is the only manufacturer we’re aware of with no negative incidents (broken needles left in patients, for instance) listed on the FDA website, which shows their outstanding quality. This lack of impurities also makes for a firmer cannula which will flex but still resist breakage. The firm cannula allows Hakko to make 10” and 12” needles in small gauges that do not bow or bend in route to their target. The bevel also aids in this direct route to the target.

All needles have a standard bevel which typically determines what the needle will be used for. For example, an 18 degree bevel is used on a typical spinal needle. This allows for easy insertion through muscles and the ligamentum flavum, if you’re actually injecting or withdrawing fluid from the spine. It also helps for deep pain injections through muscles, or biopsies like a fine needle aspiration of a mass or tumor. A 30 degree bevel is normally used for nerve blocks since the needle is less sharp and therefore less likely to cause any nerve damage.

Ours differ because Hakko adds two small back bevels to their needles, which makes puncturing the skin much easier. It also keeps the needle on track to its target because it’s cutting smoothly as it goes through the body. Most needles do not offer any back bevels, which makes our needles stand out better in the crowd. – JB

Why should someone consider switching to Havel’s for their specialty needles?

First and foremost, our quality is unmatched. We offer safe, quality needles at a competitive price. Next, we offer many sizes most companies don’t carry. This solves a lot of problems for our customers and makes procedures safer for patients because doctors aren’t trying to make the wrong needle work when they should be using a longer and more unique size. A lot of doctors come to us for our unusually sized needles. They buy the 8” needle from us and buy the smaller, more common sizes from their regular supplier. Then, after working with our longer needles and experiencing our quality, they come back asking for samples and pricing for the more common sizes. Finally, the quality firm cannulas and back bevels leads to more exact needle placement, which then leads to safer, more successful outcomes. These factors are what make our needles stand out from others on the market, and it’s why practitioners should consider a switch to Havel’s. – JB


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Combating Lateral Deviation in Spinal and Procedure Needles

Hakko spinal and procedure needles

Havel’s line of Hakko specialty needles.

Part Two: Quality Control

By Zachary Rogers

Earlier, we discussed the importance of our Hakko multi-bevel spinal and procedure needles and the effect the multi-bevel has on reducing lateral deviation. Now let’s look more closely at another key component of our needles: the cannula.

The cannula is a hollow tube that can be inserted into a vein, artery or other part of the body for the purpose of administering medication or removing fluids. Cannulas, or cannulae, come in a variety of different styles depending on its use in a particular treatment. The cannula, along with the hub or handle, work together to form a functioning needle. Whether you’re performing regional anesthesia or a fine-needle aspiration biopsy, you need a needle that’s capable of getting the job done right, one where every detail is crafted to perfection.

The quality and care during the manufacturing process is vital not only for the cannula, but for every part of the needle. The quality with which your needle is made, and the quality of the steel in particular, significantly affects how your needle will handle itself. High-quality stainless steel will reduce what’s called the “bowing” effect, or the unintended bending of the needle inside the body. While some procedures may call for a needle to bend for maneuverability, you’ll need absolute confidence in the needle’s ability to bend, but not break. That’s why Havel’s goes the distance with our line of Hakko spinal needles and procedure needles.

Hakko guarantees quality by pulling all of their stainless steel in-house, which eliminates all impurities and promises a better product. The lack of impurities creates a solid, flexible cannula that will bend without fault. Because of this unique attention to detail, Havel’s promises exceptional quality in each and every one of our Hakko specialty needles.


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