Lyme Disease Still a Risk for Humans and Pets

Veterinarian and pediatrician groups issue reminders on safety and prevention 

Lyme disease a big risk for humans and pets

Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are still a big risk for humans and pets this time of year.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are issuing reminders about the risk of Lyme disease in humans and pets. Since most pets and pet owners spend a lot of the same time in places where disease-transmitting ticks are found, the risk of infection is high, even as summer comes to a close.

According to both organizations, people whose animals have been given a Lyme disease diagnosis should consult their physician immediately about their own risk of exposure, just as people already carrying the disease should talk with their veterinarians about their pet’s chances of getting infected.

In animals, the clinical signs might not be so obvious, but symptoms of Lyme disease can include a lack of appetite, lameness and joint swelling. For a person or pet diagnosed with Lyme disease, it’s likely that other family members or pets living in the same household could also be exposed, and families are encouraged to contact their physicians and veterinarians for information on further testing and disease prevention.

To read the full report from the AVMA, click here: Veterinarian and Pediatrician Groups Issue Reminder about Risk of Lyme Disease in Humans and Pets.

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 surgical scalpel blades, please click here: Havel’s Veterinary Sutures, Suture Needles and Surgical Scalpel Blades.

 

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Breakthrough Melanoma Drug Gets FDA Approval

New drug gets accelerated approval 

Dermatologist examining mole for melanoma and skin cancer

The FDA granted accelerated approval for the new melanoma treatment drug Keytruda.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) for the use in treating advanced or unresectable melanoma in patients who have otherwise stopped responding to other drugs. The FDA granted accelerated approval to the drug.

Preliminary clinical evidence showed that Keytruda may offer improvement over other therapies, which fast-tracked the FDA’s approval. Clinical trials showed both its effectiveness and safety, and common side effects included fatigue, cough, nausea, pruritus, rash, decreased appetite, constipation, arthralgia and diarrhea.

Keytruda is the sixth new melanoma treatment in a list of drugs approved since 2011, but it’s the first that blocks a cellular pathway known as PD-1, which restricts the immune system from attacking melanoma cells.

“This is the latest in a string of major breakthroughs in melanoma treatment that will galvanize the field of melanoma research and cancer treatment,” said Wendy Selig, president and CEO of the Melanoma Research Alliance.

To read the full article, click here: FDA approves new melanoma drug.

For over 30 years, Havel’s has offered premium quality sutures and surgical scalpel blades to dermatologists and other medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of sutures and surgical scalpel blades, please click here: Havel’s Sutures and Carbon and Stainless Steel Surgical Scalpel Blades.

 

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3 Things to Discuss With Your Anesthesiologists Before Going Under

Anesthesia has never been safer, but that doesn’t mean risks aren’t still involved 

Mature female surgeon in operating suite adjusting latex gloves-anesthesia-anesthesiologist-surgery

The ASA is urging all patients to talk with their anesthesiologist before going under for surgery or other operations and procedures.

In the U.S., over 100 million operations and procedures are performed every year using anesthesia. While it’s true that it has advanced and become safer than ever before, many people still overlook the serious risks involved with anesthesia. That’s why the American Society of Anesthesiologists is urging every person scheduled for a procedure or surgery to have a conversation with their anesthesiologist about their anesthesia delivery plan ahead of time.

 

Here are three things everyone should know about anesthesia to ensure both safety and comfort:

  1. Sedation or anesthesia – Depending on the procedure, it’s good to know whether sedation or anesthesia is the right fit. There are various types of anesthesia and sedation, and understanding their differences is critical before any surgery.
  2. Surgery risks – Preexisting health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and certain lung conditions like asthma could increase the risks of surgery and anesthesia. Discussing these, as well as any history of adverse or allergic reactions to anesthesia, is important for patient safety.
  3. Anesthesia and the elderly – For people 65 and older, surgical risks can increase dramatically. A recent topic of discussion is how the aging brain is more vulnerable to the side effects of anesthesia. Two common conditions tied to anesthesia and the elderly are postoperative delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction, or POCD. Planning ahead of time with the patient, the anesthesiologist and a patient’s caregiver could decrease the potential risks involved with anesthesia.

For more information, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality anesthesia needles and pain management needles for anesthesiologists and other medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of anesthesia and pain management needles, please click here: Havel’s Anesthesia Needles and Pain Management Needles.

 

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American Association of Endodontists Announces New Executive Director

Organization chooses Peter S. Weber, M.S., CAE 

Peter_Weber_Color AAE Exec Director

AAE announces new executive director Peter S. Weber, M.S., CAE.

The American Association of Endodontists have selected their newest executive director, Peter S. Weber, M.S., CAE, who officially took over on September 3rd. Weber was chosen by the AAE Board of Directors after a nationwide search, and brings nearly 28 years of professional association management to the AAE.

Before joining the AAE team, Weber was the executive director of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, where he served since 2003. In his time with the ISVMA the association had a 250 percent membership growth and 500 percent financial growth. Weber also developed the ISVMA Legislative Action Center and helped write and assist in the passage of laws that affect veterinary medicine.

Weber received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Knox College and earned his master’s in educational administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an active volunteer in the American Society of Association Executives and the Illinois Society of Association Executives, and regularly writes and lectures about association management issues.

To read the full announcement from the American Association of Endodontists, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered high-quality surgical scalpel blades and sutures to endodontists and other leading medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of surgical scalpel blades and sutures, please click here: Havel’s Surgical Scalpel Blades, Miniature Surgical Blades and Sutures.

 

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Lower Back Pain? Try an Epidural Steroid Injection

Research shows effective results for treating lumbar radicular pain 

Doctor performing epidural anesthesia in the operating room

Epidural steroid injections were found to be effective in treating lumbar radicular pain.

During the International Spine Intervention Society Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida last August, Dr. Timothy P. Maus, MD, presented new research which shows that single lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections are clinically effective in treating lumbar radicular pain.

Previously, single lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs) were only found to be effective in smaller trials for the treatment of lumbar radicular pain. Observational trials had no more than 250 participants, while explanatory trials had fewer than 100 people in active treatment.

Maus and his colleagues looked at the results from 2,024 patients who underwent single lumbar TFESIs, with assessments made before and two weeks after receiving the treatment, and again after two months. They found substantial reductions in pain using a pain numerical rating scale and the Roland-Morris disability questionnaire.

To read the full article, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality procedure needles and surgical scalpel blades for doctors, hospitals, veterinarians and other leading medical professionals. To learn more about Havel’s selection of procedure needles and surgical scalpel blades, please click here: Havel’s Procedure Needles and Surgical Scalpel Blades.

 

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Tracking Heart Health in the Palm of Your Hand

Two U.S. startups get FDA approval for smartphone heart monitoring 

Social media on smartphone

Two Silicon Valley startups received FDA approval for mobile applications that track patient’s heart health from their smartphone.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for two Silicon Valley startups that are developing mobile applications which can a track a patient’s heart health from the comfort of their phone. The two companies, AliveCor and Vital Connect, are planning releases by the end of the year.

AliveCor has created a device that can detect heart conditions like atrial fibrillation through electrocardiogram (ECG) readings via smartphone. It fits most mobile devices and rests on a patient’s finger or chest to record an ECG.

Vital Connect has developed a patch called the “HealthPatch MD” which can be placed on one of three areas on the chest, and patients can view their own biometric data directly from their mobile device. Users can keep track of heart rate, pulse variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, steps, “fall” detection and more.

As cardiovascular health remains a worldwide concern, early detection and other preventative measures are crucial in reversing heart disease, and digital healthcare trends such as these could become useful tools for both patients and physicians.

To read the full article, click here.

For over 30 years, Havel’s has offered premium quality procedure needles and surgical scalpel blades to doctors, hospitals, veterinarians and other leading medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of procedure needles and surgical scalpel blades, please click here: Havel’s Procedure Needles and Surgical Scalpel Blades.

 

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Clearer, Brighter: Ultrasound and the CCR Evolution

ccr_needlepointingdown-echogenic-needle-tip-ultrasound-guided-needle-injection

Havel’s “4×4 CCR Pattern” provides maximum reflection for echogenic needles under ultrasound.

A change in methodology created the need for an ultrasound-guided needle 

By Zach Rogers

Editor, Havel’s Inc.

Part Two: Corners, Cubes and the Havel’s Advantage 

Earlier, we looked at how ultrasound-guided needle injections are beginning to dominate the field of regional anesthesia. Terms like “echogenicity” and “needle visualization” became important talking points for doctors wanting a better needle. If the biggest problem was visibility, the answer was found in just three simple letters: CCR.

CCR stands for “corner cube reflectors,” and these multi-angled surfaces reflect sound waves back to the transducer, making the needle appear brighter and clearer on screen. These surfaces offer a number of advantages, including improved shaft and needle tip visibility, thus making the needle more echogenic. CCR marks ensure more exact needle placement in ultrasound-guided procedures like peripheral nerve blocks and muscular skeletal injections, and allow you to see the needle and anesthetic in real-time.

In today’s market, CCR-type markings on both the shaft and near the tip of the needle are common, and this placement does help with echogenicity. However, it makes identifying the exact position of the needle tip more difficult, as one might become confused at differentiating between the shaft and the tip. Ultimately, this defeats the purpose of using an echogenic needle, and it’s why Havel’s has developed special echogenic needles that eliminate the confusion.

EchoStim-needle-image-ultrasound-ccr

Benefits of ultrasound guidance include better accuracy, faster needle placement and real-time monitoring of anesthesia flow.

At Havel’s, we’ve created what’s called our “4×4 CCR Pattern,” which helps pinpoint the exact location of the needle tip once inside the body. Our echogenic needles have four rows of four multi-angled indentations at the distal end of the needle, which circle around the entire cannula, making the tip appear brighter and in full-view. A total of 16 corner cube reflectors are placed within the first 5.5mm of the needle, allowing you to focus on the tip without any other distractions.

Other competitors have reflectors as far up as 20mm of the cannula, which drives up cost and could potentially lead to a false assumption of the needle tip’s actual location. An abundance of reflectors could also blur the target area and create a cloud around the needle. In the end, you shouldn’t pay more for what you don’t need, and with our line of echogenic needles, you get exactly what you need at an affordable price.

EchoBlock Tip HR Flip_4 hole

Havel’s EchoStim and EchoBlock needles include four rows of four corner cube reflectors placed within the first 5.5mm of the needle, which helps to easily identify the location of the needle tip.

Havel’s 4×4 CCR Pattern is available on some of our most popular insulated and non-insulated needles, including the EchoStim, EchoBlock and EchoBlock MSK. Advantages to our 4×4 pattern include better accuracy, faster needle placement, increased success rates and reduced needle sticks and breaks. The 4×4 CCR Pattern also lessens the need for needle rotation because the CCR marks appear around the entire tip. Our echogenic needles allow you to see the needle, confirm the trajectory, locate the tip and watch the anesthetic encircle the target area. At Havel’s, our focus is on the tip, and yours should be too.

 

 

 

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality ultrasound needles, anesthesia needles, radiology needles and surgical scalpel blades to doctors, hospitals, veterinarians and other leading medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of procedure needles and surgical scalpel blades, click here: Havel’s Procedure Needles and Surgical Scalpel Blades.

 

Posted in Echogenic Needles, Needles, Nerve Block Needles, Peripheral Nerve Block Needles, Regional Anesthesia, Regional Anesthesia Needles, Technology, Ultrasound, Ultrasound Needles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clearer, Brighter: Ultrasound and the CCR Evolution

ultrasound_machine_2

Ultrasound technology has become more portable and affordable over the years, and is now able to provide a high-quality image on screen.

A change in methodology created the need for an ultrasound-guided needle 

By Zach Rogers

Editor, Havel’s Inc.

Part One: The early days of ultrasound in anesthesia 

In recent years, there has been a shift towards using ultrasound guidance in a number of different regional anesthesia procedures. Most notably, ultrasound has emerged as a leading force in needle-injection procedures like peripheral nerve blocks and muscular skeletal injections, and because of this, there is a large industry demand for better needles that perform well under ultrasound. The market for this demand has exploded in the last five years, and it’s still on the rise today. This new wave in ultrasound technology offers better image quality, better portability and, most importantly, better and more affordable pricing. Because of this, ultrasound guidance is becoming the standard of care for most regional anesthesia procedures.

The emergence of ultrasound-guided needle injections is due mostly to the significant benefits it provides. Doctors are now better able to position the needle where it’s needed, while at the same time monitor the distribution of the anesthetic in real-time. It also allows doctors to observe the needle’s trajectory as it’s inserted into the body, which makes avoiding internal structures easier than before. Adjustments can be made on the spot, and overall success rates are dramatically increased.

Of course, with new methods comes new tools for those methods, and anesthesia is no different. Since ultrasound guidance is becoming such a dominant practice for needle injections, it would be helpful if the needles could be seen clearly under ultrasound. Conventional needles are difficult to distinguish, and it became obvious that in order to make ultrasound guidance easier for doctors new to the technique, the needles themselves needed to be echogenic.

echogenic_lessthan3

Echogenic medical needles have advanced over time to make the needles appear brighter and clearer under ultrasound.

Echogenicity is the ability to bounce or reflect ultrasound waves back in order to see something clearly on the screen. When ultrasound began making its way into needle injections, the development of echogenic needles came into play. Visualization of the needle is the most important factor in developing better echogenic needle technology, and it can be challenging, especially at steep angles. As echogenic needles became more advanced, improvements were made that allowed doctors to see their needles more vividly than ever before.

 

Read Part Two of “Ultrasound and the CCR Evolution” on Friday … 

 

Posted in Echogenic Needles, Needles, Peripheral Nerve Block Needles, Regional Anesthesia, Regional Anesthesia Needles, Technology, Ultrasound, Ultrasound Needles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Less Pain, Speedy Recovery With Regional Anesthesia Procedure

Femoral nerve block shows positive results for pediatric knee surgery 

Ultrasound machines help cut hospitalization rates by 98 percent in children who had knee surgery

Dr. Tarun Bhalla of Nationwide Children`s Hospital uses an ultrasound machine to locate and numb specific nerves during a recent knee surgery on a 15-year old patient.

A recent study showed that an ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia technique called a femoral nerve block is both effective and highly beneficial for pediatric knee surgeries. The study, published in an issue of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, was conducted at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and showed how the technique reduces post-operative pain and speeds up recovery, allowing the majority of patients to go home within hours of surgery.

Femoral nerve blocks work by numbing the femoral nerve, which runs adjacent to the femoral artery and transmits signals running along the front of the thigh, the inner leg and the foot. Numbing the nerve cuts off all feeling to the regions, and can last as long as 12 hours for some patients.

Researchers reviewed 376 patient records ranging from ages 7 to 18 who had arthroscopic knee surgery at the hospital between July 2008 and July 2011. Of these patients, 131 received femoral nerve blocks in addition to general anesthesia, while the rest received general anesthesia only. Patients in the first group experienced less pain, required less pain medication after surgery and had shorter hospital stays than the second group.

To read the full article on ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia for pediatric knee surgery, click here.

Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality anesthesia needles and pain management needles for anesthesiologists and other medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of anesthesia and pain management needles, please click here: Havel’s Anesthesia Needles and Pain Management Needles.

 

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Posted in Anesthesia, Anesthesia Needles, Echogenic Needles, Needles, Nerve Block Needles, Regional Anesthesia, Regional Anesthesia Needles, Studies, Ultrasound, Ultrasound Needles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Teething Pain, No Lidocaine

FDA warns against using prescription lidocaine for teething infants and children 

Baby Chewing On Teething Ring Toy

FDA warns against the dangers of using lidocaine for teething children.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against the use of prescription oral viscous lidocaine 2 percent solution to treat infants and children with teething pain. They’ve also required a new boxed warning to be included on the drug’s label that highlights the potential risks.

Viscous lidocaine is a gel-like medication commonly prescribed to adults to treat pain from mouth and throat ulcers. However, its use in teething children is dangerous and could even be fatal in some cases.

Topical pain relievers and medications that are rubbed on the gums are not necessary or even useful because they wash out of the baby’s mouth within minutes,” said the FDA in its statement. Accidental ingestion of the drug could result in seizures, severe brain injury, heart problems and even death in children.

Common symptoms can include jitteriness, confusion, vision problems, vomiting, falling asleep too easily and shaking. These symptoms can also increase the risk of choking or breathing in food. This current warning follows the FDA’s warning about benzocaine OTC products back in 2011.

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

 

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