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Monday, September 30, 2013

Autoclaves come in a variety of sizes and are designed for many different uses. A scientific autoclave is designed to sterilize laboratory equipment and medical equipment, as well as growth media for bacteriological purposes. Autoclaves are designed to use pressurized steam at temperatures between 121 degrees and 134 degrees Celsius in order to kill virtually all bacteria and viruses. Prions and a few bacteria which grow at high temperatures are not affected. The rare bacteria which can survive common autoclaves cannot grow at temperatures found in the human body.


Benchmark Scientific Autoclaves are designed for ease of use and are bench-top models designed for use by medical facilities and research laboratories as well as science labs in schools. Benchmark offers two small bench-top autoclaves, the Bioclave mini autoclave with 8 liter capacity and the Bioclave 16 autoclave with 16 liter capacity.

The Bioclave mini autoclave has 121 degree and 134 degree cycles. This easy to use basic autoclave has a preset cycle for each temperature and is designed to be an easy to use, basic autoclave. The larger 16 liter model offers more preset programs as well as the option of programming all parameters to suit any special needs. An optional printer is available for the 16 liter Bioclave to allow for full documentation of sterilization procedures.

Both models have mechanical and electrical safety interlocks that preclude the possibility of accidentally opening the unit during a sterilization cycle until internal and external pressures are fully equalized. Accidentally opening a pressurized autoclave is an experience to be avoided, since pressurized steam can cause serious burns, especially when superheated.

Both units are fully automated and require the use of only a start button to operate (once any settings are made). They feature large, easy to read digital displays and proceed through the entire sterilization cycle automatically once started. This ease of operation means that virtually anyone working in a clinic, hospital, or laboratory can operate a Biocave. The versatility of the Bioclave 16 means that it is suitable for a wide variety of institutions, including many research facilities.

Many types of facilities have switched to using disposable equipment in order to avoid having to sterilize equipment prior to use. Much disposable equipment should be sterilized prior to disposal. Tattoo artists mostly use disposable needles in order to avoid the need for sterilization. Few clinical settings use reusable needles anymore, and many surgical implements are available in disposable forms. But most clinics and labs still have the need to sterilize equipment and growth media. The small footprint of the Benchmark Scientific Autoclaves and their ease of use make them ideal for many clinics, labs, and hospitals.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013
The Branson 2200 Ultrasonic Cleaner has been replaced by the new 2800 series of Ultrasonic Cleaners. Like the 2200 series, this updated model is an environmental friendly cleaning device used in various applications. It is very efficient, effective safe and consistent especially when cleaning the very intricate parts and other hard substrates. As such, it's capable of cleaning various items within a very short time which is usually 10 minutes or less. More importantly is that the device cleans without destroying the item while at the same time ensuring that the results are of the highest quality. This type of cleaning is so thorough that it cannot be duplicated by steaming, soaking or hand scrubbing. As such, this Ultrasonic Cleaner can be incorporated within the healthcare, electronic, automotive, jewelry and even metal finishing industries among others.

This Ultra Cleaner is made with a compact and stainless steel tank and has both a digital timer and heater. It is highly durable for it's designed to use specially engineered ceramics of very superior power thereby able to provide very high quality levels of cleaning. Other additional features of the Ultrasonic Cleaner include a timer of 0-99 minutes and the capability of holding up to 2.8 liters, a temperature monitor, degas, power cord, a cover and an informative and easy to understand user manual. The approximate size of the tank is 9.5x5.5x4 inches and with the overall size being 13.5x12x11.5 inches.

To ensure that it's highly capable of meeting all of the specified capabilities, the Branson 2800 Ultrasonic Cleaner has high powered rugged transducers similar to the ones found in various electronic industrial systems such as the automotive. The rugged transducers are highly consistent so as to be fully able to meet both the laboratory and medical standards that are safe enough to clean medical equipment, precious jewelry and other delicate electronic parts among others. This is enhanced by the Ultrasonic Cleaner's new sweep capability that ensures that one's items are always perfectly cleaned regardless of the number of times the Ultrasonic Cleaner is used.

Basically, the Branson 2800 Ultrasonic Cleaner is able to reach even the very hard to reach areas of all items. This is made possible by the Ultrasonic's microscopic bubbles that have the capabilities of penetrating through hinges and screw threads among other areas and, cleaning them effectively within a short time hence leaving them looking as good as new.

The Ultrasonic Cleaner can as such be used in all kinds of applications both at home and in the industries. At home, one can use it to clean their jewelry whereas in industries such as in hospitals, it can be used to clean various equipment like medical instruments. As earlier mentioned, the key benefit of adopting the use of Ultrasonic Cleaners is that they are environmental friendly, hence help in reducing biodegradable waste and emissions hence creating a safer environment for all, especially the employees. In addition, the device is very fast, saving time and energy.

The Branson Ultrasonic Cleaner is manufactured to be used on a 130 W maximum power input. Though it's a bit costly, it's definitely makes a very smart long term investment. Furthermore, each of these devices is sold with a two years' manufacturer's warranty.   

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Electro-surgery is the use of a high-frequency electrical current to cut, fulgurate, desiccate or coagulate organic tissue. Electrosurgical devices create meticulous cuts with little blood loss, and are used during surgery in operating rooms. This method incorporates an electrosurgical generator and hand-piece that heats the tissue using an electric current. Electro-surgery is frequently used for gynecological operations, as well as in dermatological, cardiac, ocular, plastic, and neurological procedures. The popularity of electrosurgical devices soared over the past several years with many manufacturing companies producing these popular surgical instruments.
Wallach Surgical Device, Inc. is a privately run company created in 1980. The corporation is established in Trumbull, Connecticut and designs and manufactures therapeutic and diagnostic equipment for women’s health, especially for gynecology, obstetrics and infertility. Wallach Surgical Device, Inc. creates safe, economical and high-quality medical apparatuses such as colposcopes, and cryosurgical systems. They also manufacture specula biopsy instruments, electrosurgical products and products for pain management.

Two prominent Wallach electrosurgical devices are generators and smoke evacuators. The Wallach Quantum 2000 Electrosurgical Generator is a microprocessor controlled generator that monitors the output of power for a smoother, drag-free cut. The generator contains a coagulation mode for post-excision. This mode provides an effective spray fulguration that can seal the tissue without contact.
The Wallach Biovac Universal Electrosurgical Smoke Evacuator effectively eliminates airborne vapor, which may encompass dangerous viruses and microbes. The advanced motor, accompanied with an elaborate disposable filter, can capture and filter particles as small as 0.02 microns. The smoke evacuator comes with accessories that are compatible with other smoke evacuators. These include a filter assembly, disposable straws as well as disposable tubing. Wallach offers an affordable deal with the Wallach Quantum 2000 Electrosurgical Complete System which includes both the generator and smoke evacuator at a price lower than the systems purchased separately.
Additional Wallach electrosurgical devices include coated instruments such as speculums, retractors and hooks that are constructed with precision by expert European craftsmen. Wallach Surgical Device, Inc. not only designs and manufactures certain types of surgical instruments, but provides an array of choices for specific implements. For example, curettes come in a variety of styles such as Townsend, London, Novak, as well as with or without baskets. They manufacture forceps in Burke, baggish, and baby or mini Tischler styles.

Wallach electrosurgical devices are state-of-the-art surgical equipment of the utmost quality. The innovative designs and manufacturing techniques provide medical personnel with reliable and safe surgical paraphernalia.    l

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Monday, September 23, 2013
Hamilton Bell is one of the largest medical supply providers in the world, serving biological and chemical science endeavors since 1948. They are one of the leading suppliers in special science equipment and accessories such as aprons, lab attire, gloves, safety goggles and the main distributor of centrifuge technology, promoting the most advanced designs to date.

The Hamilton Bell centrifuge is a rotating piece of laboratory equipment. They hold two or more rotors inside and several wells where tubular vials and centrifuge entry tubes are placed within. The centripetal acceleration causes heavier substances along the bottom of the entry tubes to separate, leaving lighter objects to float to the top of the entry tubes. They can separate isotopes and provide the technology usage in nuclear weapon programs.

There are several different types of centrifuges such as the ultra-centrifuges, haematocrit and gas centrifuges. The ultra-centrifuges are popular in the microbiology field and typically operate on a high speed rotor. Haematocrit centrifuges are used to measure red and white blood cell count percentages.

The specific Hamilton Bell centrifuge is more widely used for medical purposes and can be found in most medical facilities such as hospitals, physicians' offices and clinical laboratories. It is a six gauge rotor unit with a consistent speed and is small in size. The rotor is covered with a lifetime warranty, automatic shutdown when equipment is not in use, welcoming to specimen analysis with low temperature gauges and hardened aluminum shields. These specifications in the centrifuge are built and enabled for long term use, precise performance and reliability.

There are many practical uses for centrifuges, especially the ones distributed by Hamilton Bell. Centrifuges are commonly used in the food industry to separate sugar crystals from specific substances. Other centrifuges are used for washing and drying clothing when attached to a water outlet, separating fat and protein from milk products. They are active in the oil industry aiding the elimination of solids and waste in drilling fluid and also to assist in the restoration of drinking water from waste-water. Centrifuges are one of the key components in Walt Disney World's EPCOT center posing as a main attraction in a space travel simulation.

When operating the centrifuge, you will need to keep the equipment unplugged from electricity when cleaning or repairing. Always utilize basic lab attire and protective equipment for appropriate protection. Avoid the use of strong and abrasive cleaners and use a disinfecting cleaning agent that will neutralize and eliminate the growth of microorganism pathogens.

The centrifuge is one of the most sought after medical lab supplies and most resourceful pieces of hardware in the world of science and technology providing a variety of medical and practical uses. It is a necessary piece of equipment in any thriving medical or scientific facility. Hamilton Bell will forever be known to provide the most state of the art clinical supplies and reflects that quality assurance with their efficient centrifuges.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013
Brymill cryogenic systems are a valuable asset to any medical or veterinary practice, and are also frequently used in industrial processes, as well. Cryogenics rely on the use of liquid nitrogen, applied as a hand held spray for effective and pinpoint accuracy across all applications.

For medical purposes, liquid nitrogen is sprayed directly on skin blemishes to remove them. It can be effectively used to remove many types of common skin lesions, including skin tags, warts, papilloma, basal cell carcinoma, age spots and keratoses, among others.

Liquid nitrogen freezes the offending blemish, causing it to die and dry up. Liquid nitrogen leaves fewer scars as a result of lesion removal than any other past or presently available method. There is also very little bleeding, and no unpleasant odors. The liquid nitrogen is applied to the specific area needed via a handheld gun, allowing for pinpoint accuracy in placing the medium only where it needs to be.

Cryogenic systems are not only extremely effective, but very easy to use. The handheld apparatus for application is available in a number of sizes to fit any size hand, making it ergonomic and comfortable to use. This provides a great advantage for dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons who are performing facial procedures, or any lengthy procedure.

Brymill cryogenic systems are used in the electronics industry when printed circuit boards need to be repaired, tested or recycled with processes that utilize liquid nitrogen. Because these items are generally very small, the use of an accurate spray is vital to the repair process.

Carbide tool bits which are used in the fabrication of printed circuit boards must be tempered and the industry is increasingly using cryogenics as part of the tempering process. New developments are happening every day, and new uses are being found for liquid nitrogen.

Cryosurgery and use of liquid nitrogen in industry are not new techniques, having been used for decades. What is new, are the latest in delivery and application methods which allow far greater control over the process than ever before, and prevent the unnecessary waste of expensive liquid nitrogen.

Cryogenic systems are available in a number of convenient sizes designed to perfectly fit your specific needs. There are also some fantastic accessories for the use of liquid nitrogen in the medical field. If you have not previously used a cryogenic system, starter packs for specific applications provide everything that you need in one package.

There have been great advances in science and technology in recent years, and the modern Brymill cryogenic systems are an excellent example of those improvements and advancements. When form meets function, and convenience and ease of use have been taken into consideration, what you get is a new and better method of doing something. It also tends to becomes far more economically feasible and advantageous.   

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Friday, September 20, 2013
Disruption of cells is a process whereby biological molecules inside of a cell are released. The disruption of cells  is necessary for methods of cloning or culturing, and the process allows individuals to study the molecules inside of the cell. All molecules can be studied, with the exception of excreted molecules, which are living cells. In order to  disrupt cells, the cell size can be as small as a few milliliters or milligrams. When disrupting cells it is important to be extremely careful, to minimize losing a cell, and to avoid accidental cross contamination. A disruptor can disrupt 192 cells at once. Some cells that are easy to disrupt and others are more difficult; brain tissue is an easy cell to disrupt, while yeast cells can be more difficult.

Branson cell disruptors have been the benchmark when it comes to experiments of this type in the laboratory, having been used in research studies for over 60 years. They are referred to as sonifiers; they are tools used in the the laboratory to apply high ultrasonic energy for chemical and biological tasks such as cell disruption. Branson Cell Disruptors come in several different models, with varying wattage and different types of horns; the model chosen would depend upon its intended purpose.

An example would be the Branson Sonifier 400W Analog Cell Disruptor with ¾” Solid Horn, S-450A. This model uses traditional technology to help produce reliable results. This analog system has an auto tune memory, adjustable power for output which minimizes heat for sensitive samples, a timer and an output meter which helps process power. This system comes with a two year manufacturer warranty. Accessories made for these units include Branson Ultrasonic Cleaning Solutions and replacement parts for maintaining the system. This will make the Branson machine run better and longer. Cell disruptors are available in analog or digital models.

When it comes to the digital models of Branson Cell Disruptors, each one has a consistent power supply, a probe, and a converter, along with the benefits enabled by newer digital technology. In the digital models, cell disruption is done by creating ultrasonic vibrations. The converter on this machine will transmit the vibrations through a mechanical probe, referred to as a “horn”. There are two basic models of Digital Cell Disruptors; Digital 250 and Digital 450, with variations depending upon the size of horn  provided with the unit and the wattage.
When it comes to analog cell disrupters, each one of the models come with a power supply, mechanical probe (horn), along with a converter. In the analog machine the cavitations are created through ultrasonic vibrations. The converter will transmit the vibration through the probe, which will be applied to the samples indirectly or directly.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Riester's 65 years of pursuing a philosophy of quality shows in the Reister laryngoscope. When setting internal guidelines, Reister reviews industry guidelines and sets out to exceed them, which has allowed them to maintain ISO 9001 standards for over 15 years. Always mindful of the intimate interactions between their instruments and the doctors and patients that rely on them, Riester takes exceptional means to ensure that their laryngoscopes fulfill their functions as efficiently and unobtrusively as possible. In an application where millimeters count, Riester has spent countless hours refining the design of its instruments. The research and development department works hand in hand with medical professionals at government research centers and university hospitals to design and refine the tools it provides.

Whether your blade preference is Macintosh or Miller, a Riester laryngoscope that fits your need is available. They offer standard, fiber optic and disposable versions of their blades in a full range of sizes all the way from neonatal up to large adult. To ensure their blades maximize and maintain their usability, all of their blades are made to be compatible with any manufacturer's handle which adheres to ISO 7376 specifications.

Both fiber optic and standard Riester laryngoscopes which are intended for re-use have been designed and tested to ensure that they can withstand the rigors of sterilization. The blades have been exactingly made and tested to withstand the severe temperatures of autoclaving for multiple cycles. The materials used are of the highest quality from suppliers who have been worked with Riester and demonstrated their complete reliability. The design and construction of the blades was done with ease of sterilization in mind. The shape and specially treated surface work exceptionally well at ensuring safety.

The quality of the fiber optics is second to none and the same demanding standards that Riester applies to every other aspect of its instruments is applied to fiber as well. A generous fiber 17.3 millimeter optic cross section optimizes the amount of transmitted light for the best possible clarity.

Macintosh and Miller blades have both been made to exacting tolerances to achieve the perfect shape for providing visibility and insertion. The standard and fiber optic blades are made to be easily exchanged between a wide choice of power sources and are completely interchangeable. The handles and blades can be ordered separately in whatever quantities are needed to maximize cost effectiveness, and both hard and soft cases which hold up to five blades along with a handle keep inventory well ordered and in place.     

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Cryogenic flasks are containers that are specially crafted for holding cryogens, such as liquid nitrogen and liquid helium. Cryogens can potentially be very hazardous and these specialized containers are designed to hold them safely. These containers can come a few different styles, from storage to everyday lab use.

Cryogenic storage dewars are constructed of two or more layers and contain a strong vacuum that is maintained to provide excellent thermal insulation and prevents the cryogenic liquids from evaporating. If these containers are completely sealed, the gas will build up on the inside of the flask and can cause high-velocity explosions which can cause injury and property damage. These containers are constructed with safety valves that allow the evaporating gas to escape through that valve that prevents explosions. More advanced containers are made that are able to trap the gas above the liquid cryogens and are able to hold the gas at higher pressures than standard containers. Some containers may simply be tipped to allow the liquid inside out, but more advanced containers use the pressure at the top to force the liquid out through a pipe in the neck.

Although cryogenic flasks contain the liquids safely, there is no way to prevent the liquids inside from boiling away entirely. These types of containers are not to be used as a permanent home for cryogenic liquids. The vapor from these containers causes a great buildup of gas in the location in which they are stored, which can displace the oxygen in the area. It is highly recommended that these containers be kept in well ventilated areas. Cryogenic dewars are susceptible to ice buildup, which can cause blocked safety valves, which may lead to an excessive buildup of pressure. This is caused by the container being left open and air being able to make contact with the liquid, at which point ice will form and cause this to take place.

Everyday lab use typically requires the use of smaller cryogenic flasks that allow for the ability to transfer and measure the liquid cryogens. These advanced holding containers usually have a specific holding time, which is the maximum amount of time that the liquid cryogens should be left inside of them. They are made of aluminum, polyethylene, glass, and other advanced containment materials to withstand the extreme temperatures of the contents. The flasks often come with weighted bases and are available in many different sizes and depths depending on the various lab uses. This type of flask usually comes with a tip that allows for no-mess pouring.

Shallow, wide mouth flasks are available for lab use and allow a person to contain cryogenic liquids and allow for the option to manipulate them at the same time. Allowing for the insertion of lab tools, this type of flask is convenient for agitation of cryogenic liquids, quick freezing and recovery of organ specimens, and the tempering of stirring rods and pestles.

All of these types of containers are available from laboratory supply dealers. Locate your nearest one, or save time and shop online. Always use proper protection when handling hazardous materials.  

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Riester stethoscopes are made of the highest quality materials and superior workmanship to assure outstanding performance. Their stethoscopes display considerable acoustic improvement over other stethoscopes. The primary cause of poor acoustical performance in most stethoscopes is acoustic coupling from the patient to the listener’s ears. To provide clear, audible sound for diagnostic purposes, the entire diaphragm of the stethoscope must be in contact with the patient’s skin. There can be no air leaking between the diaphragm and the user’s ears. In addition, earpieces that do not fit well can result in poor quality auditory performance with even the best stethoscopes.

The Riester stethoscope is designed with especially soft ear pieces that are comfortable and effectively seal the external auditory canal. They feature a metal screw thread that allows them to easily be removed and replaced. The chest pieces of the stethoscopes are CNC precision manufactured with a specially designed fiber reinforced membrane. The soft, flat membranes include a non-chill rim for better adaptation to the skin. All Riester stethoscopes are equipped with high quality tube systems that provide exceptional sound conductance and are latex free.

There are several types of stethoscopes available from Riester. The Riester Cardiophone stainless steel stethoscope includes a double-headed chest piece. The Riester Cardiophone is especially attuned for audio frequencies in the range of 200 Hz to 500 Hz. This is especially important during the auditory examination of the human heart. The Riester Cardiophone may be used for diagnostics of both adults and children.

The Riester Duplex-de-luxe stainless steel stethoscope also includes a double-headed chest piece. It features specialized membranes on both sides for improved adaptation to the skin’s surface. This stethoscope features a binaural with matte chromium plated finish and an integrated reinforced double spring. A durable Y-tube constructed of PVC shields against undesirable sound interference. The Riester Duplex-de-luxe may be used in diagnosing both children and adults.

The Riester Tristar stethoscope includes three different chest pieces in sizes specially designed for the diagnoses of adults, children and newborns. The stethoscope provides perfect auditory reception in all frequency ranges. The chest pieces are constructed of aluminum with a rapid exchange connector. Specialized membranes supply clear, quality acoustics. It also features a binaural with matte chromium plated finish and an integrated reinforced double spring and PVC Y-tube. Three bells, Ø 36 mm, 28 mm, 24 mm, are included.

Riester’s Duplex aluminum stethoscope includes a precision double chest piece and specialized membranes for superior acoustical performance. Its matte chromium plated binaural can be adjusted by turning the external spring. The PVC Y-tube shields extraneous noise. It includes a 0.36 mm bell.

Riester has many years of experience providing quality products. Their commitment to continuous improvement has led to the newest generation of highly innovative products. They provide stethoscopes uniquely designed for special applications. These high quality stethoscopes are available in a number of colors and styles. All stethoscopes from Riester include a set of replacement ear tips and membrane. Riester’s precision built stethoscopes are designed to provide highest quality available.   

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
If you are presently searching for a new model of autoclave, you are bound to be more than satisfied with the brand new Benchmark Scientific BioClave. This excellent new autoclave model offers quick and efficient sterilization of all of your important consumable items and research tools. These new autoclaves are fully compatible with most industrial and scientific research tools, and the units themselves are fully digital and optimized for original contemporary research.

Both Benchmark Scientific BioClave models are fully portable. The full sized BioClave model has a width of just under 18 inches, while the BioClave Mini has a width of just under 14 inches. As such, both of these new BioClave models are positioned to make an excellent addition to your laboratory table top. They can also quite quickly and easily be set up for research conducted in the field.

Regardless of which new BioClave model is chosen, both will feature large optimized digital displays. Operation on both models is fully automatic. Each separate cycle of the sterilization cycle is designed to begin operation with the simple touch of the "Start" button. The sterilization cycle itself has been fully automated to run through three succeeding modes: Fill, Sterilize, Exhaust and Dry.

If the researcher who purchases either or both BioClave models wishes to make use of a mini printer to record the results of the sterilization cycle, an optional printer is also available by request. It should be noted however that, at present, this optional mini printer is only available in conjunction with the full sized BioClave 16 model. If enough demand is shown to justify the inclusion of the new mini printer with other BioClave models, this may change.

As noted above, both of the latest BioClave models, the full sized and the mini, are equipped to run on a fully automatic process, commencing with a press of the "Start" button. Both models offer a sterilization process which is cost efficient, rapid, and 100% complete.

Likewise, as noted above, both models are completely compact, and specifically designed and engineered to offer portability, both in the research laboratory and in the field. And both BioClave models feature a built-in water tank. Neither model will thus require the purchase of an external water supply, such as a separate tank unit.

Both units come with a complete manufacturer's guarantee. These new BioClave units are backed with a full warranty, which runs for the standard length of one year. If, during that time, the user notices any issues or defects in the machine, whether endemic or systemic, he or she need only return the unit to the manufacturer for a full replacement or refund.

At present, it is believed that these new Benchmark Scientific BioClave models represent the state of the art in modern 21st century autoclave technology. It is hard to imagine a more efficient, durable, and reliable species of autoclave being offered on the market place. Both models will remain the standard in autoclave technology for some years to come.    

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Electrocardiography, often abbreviated as ‘EKG’, refers to a special scientific discipline regarding the electric activity of the heart, specifically regarding heart rate. There is an area of the heart responsible for emitting these small electric signals, and the cells are affectionately referred to as ‘pacemaker cells’. Often, when someone is a cardiovascular crisis, the most effective and quick method to gauge their cardiovascular health is through running an electrocardiogram, which provides a readout of how intense and regular these signals to the heart are. With advances in technology, many EKG machines can not only detect irregular heartbeats, but also heart chamber health and any number of other interpretive measures. One such device is the Bionet Cardiocare 2000 Interpretive EKG, which can utilize over 80 different algorithmic programs to analyze a patient’s cardiovascular health.

Generally, running an EKG is a quick and painless affair. Using external electrodes which are placed on various areas of the body, there is no invasive procedure to worry about and very little maintenance cost as a result of running an EKG. The diagnostic ability provided by an EKG unit is also worth applauding, as a properly run EKG allows for detection of abnormal heart rhythms, problems with the closing or opening of heart valves, detection of damage to specific areas of the heart, and much more based on the abilities and functionality of the machine. In the case of the Bionet Cardiocare 2000 Interpretive EKG, not only does the EKG unit provide a digital readout of heart rate and battery life, but it also allows for entering of patient data such as height, weight, and age to aid in its calculations and algorithms. As if that wasn’t enough functionality, it also has an on-board printer to record patient readouts of vitals for quick record-filing and immediate analysis.

Although the apparent benefits of electrocardiography may make EKGs sound like a necessary test at every checkup, it’s always important to remember that, more often than not, they should only be performed when symptoms of cardiovascular dysfunction are noted. This is due to the fact that incorrect diagnoses of non-existent heart issues tend to be higher when EKGs are performed without noticeable symptoms present. Often, any irregularity that an EKG might note can be attributed to a condition that is either not present or doesn’t require any present action. For this reason, and to keep healthcare costs low, it is only recommended that doctors perform an EKG when there justifiable cause for concern.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
One of the greatest joys of life, or so I’m told, is that of parenthood. Not only is it the most rewarding task one will ever undertake, but also the most frustrating. Regardless of how you personally feel about parenthood, at some point in the journey that is life you’re likely to see a fetal Doppler. Used by healthcare professionals to gauge a developing baby’s heart rate, a fetal Doppler provides not only an audible simulation of the baby’s natural heart beat, but some models also display the heart rate in beats-per-minute. The reason that a digital display model might relate the heart rate in beats-per-minute has to do with the ways that a fetus’ heart rate ties into the baby’s overall health and development.

A device such as the Summit Fetal Doppler, produced by Summit Doppler Systems, works based on a phenomenon known as the Doppler effect. The Doppler effect explains why, as an object moves toward an observer while producing sound, the pitch of sound will increase. Similarly, as the object emitting the sound is moving away from the observer, the pitch will seem to decrease. This is due to the frequency of the object’s sound being altered relative to its location to the observer. As the object moves toward you, the sound waves that it is emitting are technically being emitted from a source that is growing closer and closer to you, i.e. you are hearing faster and faster sound waves. As a sound wave speeds up, its frequency increases, and as its frequency increases, so does its pitch.

A great real-life example of the Doppler effect in action would be at any auto race. Have you ever heard the characteristic ‘zoom’ sound that racecars make as they round a corner? That is caused by the Doppler effect. Since each car is getting closer and closer to you while you watch from the corner, and then further and further away as it speeds down the straight-a-way, you perceive a high pitched roar followed by a fading rumble. The reason I say ‘perceive’ is that the racecar is only making one sound—an evenly pitched hum. However, due to the racecar’s position changing rapidly in relation to the position you are sitting, you perceive a ‘zoom’ sound being made.

Now, this is not to the say that the Summit Fetal Doppler systems are racecars. However, they do utilize the science behind Doppler waves to electronically mimic the beating of a baby’s heart. Importantly, although fetal dopplers are seeing more and more use outside of the doctor’s office, it is still recommended that only professionals use the device due to potential harm if used improperly.

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