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A Guide to Women’s Reproductive Health Management in an Effort to Reduce Cervical Cancer

In the realm of cancer and cancer treatment, the good news is that the rates of cervical cancer are down in the United States, however, the rates in developing nations is still staggeringly high. While this is not good news for those in developing nations, yet, the good news is that the tactics and efforts employed in the United States have proven to be effective at reducing the rate of cervical cancer as well as the morbidity of those diagnosed. Join us in today’s post as we offer an overview of cervical cancer and the efforts used to reduce cases and deaths caused by cervical cancer around the world.

Cervical cancer is cancer that affects the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina — of women. The problem with cervical cancer is that you can not see it without an exam and many women have no symptoms in the early stages. Once a woman begins experiencing symptoms, cancer has already reached late stages and may have metastasized to other parts of the body. Historically, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of death for women of childbearing age and was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women.

In the 1950s, the implementation of the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear helped reduce the incidence and morbidity rates decline by more than 74%. Cervical cancer can often be detected in its precancerous stages in routine Pap smears. In the United States, and other developed countries, the Pap smear has been standard preventative practice and successful at diagnosing at treating cervical concerns before they become dangerous.

The bad news is that around the world, more than a million women are living with cervical cancer. 85% of these cases could have been prevented with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, Pap smear, and access to medical care. More than 300,000 women will die this year from cervical cancer, which is known to be one of the most preventable and treatable cancers.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a successful women’s reproductive health management plan, including fertility and infertility care, prenatal and postpartum care, contraceptives, vaccinations, breast cancer screening, hormone control, diet and exercise education, chronic disease management, and general women’s health management. These topics can (and are) the topics for entire textbooks and field of study. Today, we will focus specifically on the guidance, recommendation, and importance of routine vaginal exams and Pap smears in the reduction of cervical cancer.

Reducing Cervical Cancer Risk With Routine Screening

In 2018, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released a final publication with findings and recommendations for cervical cancer screening. New recommendations are to screen women who have a cervix every three years beginning at age 21 to 29, unless otherwise warranted, and every five years for women aged
0 to 65.

For many women, the change in recommendations is noticeable, whereas previous recommendations were to receive a Pap smear every other year once she reaches coitarche (engagement in sexual intercourse). The change comes as a result of HPV vaccination, which prevents more than 83% of cervical cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for screening and treatment for women in nations without access to reliable healthcare, treatment, or follow-up options gives priority to women between the ages of 30 and 45, with recommendations to vaccinate as many women and girls as possible with the HPV vaccine.

What HR Pharmaceuticals is Doing to Help

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we develop medical lubricants that are trusted by practitioners around the world for more than 85 years. Our HR Lubricating Jelly has been the preferred medical lubricant in gynecological practices for use during vaginal exams and Pap smears. Our limited-ingredient, water-based formula has a low allergy rate and does not affect cytology samples collected. For the patient, the high-viscosity and superior lubricating qualities make the exams more comfortable and reduce trauma to vaginal tissue caused by speculum insertion. Our single-use or multi-use packaging makes performing exams in any setting possible. Because our lubricants are non-spermicidal, they are safe to use during fertility treatments as well.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we believe that every person has the right to live a cancer-free life and we are doing our part to help make cancer screenings more reliable and accessible for patients around the globe. For all of your lubricating jelly needs, visit our online supply shop.

A Review of the Trends of Colorectal Cancer

In our last post, we discussed rectal health and how you can take care of your gut to help prevent colorectal cancer. In today’s post, we are going to discuss why this is so important and review the trends of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

Before we jump right into the changing trends in colorectal cancer, let’s first discuss a little about colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is, as its name implies, cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer often begins as polyps in the bowel — adenoma. Colorectal cancer affects men and women almost evenly, as well as all ethnic groups and socioeconomic status. Colorectal cancer is more common as people age, being most common in those over 50, but is not exclusive to the elderly. While colorectal cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States, it remains the 2nd deadliest.

Colorectal cancer tends to be more deadly than other types of cancers because the symptoms are less subtle, so the cancer is not often detected as early and by the time it is diagnosed, it has often metastasized (spread) to other areas of the body. 2018 statistics suggest that approximately 66% of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer survive beyond five years after diagnosis.

Armed with some general background information about colorectal cancer, let’s get back to the matter at hand — reviewing the current trends of colorectal cancer and what we can do to decrease the rates.

Food and Beverage Causes

It is not clear to researchers, yet, what causes colorectal cancer. There does not seem to be a clear genetic link, but there does some to be a strong correlation between diet and colorectal cancer incidence. Being overweight or obese, with low physical activity rates seems to put people at a disproportionate risk of developing colorectal cancer. Smoking and consuming alcohol are also contributing factors. Other diet items that place one at an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Red meat including beef, pork, lamb, and liver
  • Processed meats including hot dogs, bacon, and lunchmeat
  • Fried and propane grilled foods expose one to chemicals that increase cancer risks
  • Diets low in fiber
  • Diets high in fat
  • Preserved foods
  • Foods containing pesticides and/or herbicides

The good news is, there are foods you can consume that help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer that include:

  • Vegetables
  • Good quality fats such as olive oil, fish oil, avocado, and nuts
  • High-fiber foods
  • Fruit
  • High-quality carbohydrates
  • Vitamin C
  • Coffee (even decaf)

Staying hydrated, consuming plenty of fiber, and maintaining a healthy weight are important to overall gut health and reducing your risk of colorectal cancer.

Enhanced Awareness and Diagnosis

One of the biggest, and best, contributors to the rise of colorectal cancer diagnosis is increased awareness and the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. For instance. In 2008, there were 148,810 instances of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer cases, and in 2019, it is estimated there will be about 141,000. While this number is decreasing slightly, the surprising news is that the rates for people under the age of 50 are on the rise. Additionally, colorectal cancer continues to cling to its ranking of number two on the list of deadliest cancers, with survival rates increasing by less than 2% in the last decade.

When we look at the hard numbers, it is encouraging to know that while the diagnosis rates for patients 50 and older have stayed steady, the survival rates have improved. On the other side of the coin, however, in patients under 50, diagnosis rates have also not changed much, but survival rates have declined. It is estimated that nearly 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could have been prevented with routine screening. With statistics like these, it may beg the question of how is this encouraging news? These numbers prove, without a doubt, that screening and early detection have reduced morbidity rates. Standard screening begins at age 50 with routine colonoscopies. For those diagnosed under the age of 50, nearly 60% of deaths could have been prevented had screening been conducted to catch the disease before it had progressed and metastasized.

Early diagnosis is the key to positive outcomes with any cancer. Because, as we discussed earlier, the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer in the early stages can be subtle, or embarrassing, most people delay evaluation and treatment. Access to reliable healthcare and medical insurance has helped to encourage more patients to have routine preventative screenings conducted, which is saving tens-of-thousands of lives. Programs including the Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and Screen For Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign have helped implement awareness education and screening nationwide.

Some statistics to ponder include:

  • 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. However,
  • 1 in 3 people are not up to date on recommended colorectal cancer screenings

Elongated Mortality Rates

As with any disease that is more likely to occur as we age, colorectal cancer rates will likely continue to remain relatively stable as long as the average lifespan increases. This is not to say that if we live long enough that each of us will develop cancer, but it does mean that with the average increase in age and the advancement in medical technology and treatment, while many diseases are treated and deaths prevented, it allows for other diseases to manifest. The long-term goal is to prevent what we can and treat what we can identify.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk and Diagnosis?

With a better understanding of what colorectal cancer is and the things that contribute to its diagnosis, we can now begin the discussion of what can be done to reduce the rate of colorectal cancer risk and diagnosis.

Prevention

The best medical treatment for any disease is prevention. We previously discussed the food and beverages that put people at an increased risk, so being aware of what you are consuming on an individual level, and avoiding the foods that increase your risk is a good start. As a society, demanding access to healthier food and beverages that reduce the risk of cancer is another movement that should be a priority.

As an individual, you can help bring awareness to people to help others understand the real threat posed by colorectal cancer and encourage others to schedule their screenings — and be sure to do so yourself. Education, awareness, and screening are vital to reducing the impact of cancer in general. Since you cannot asses yourself for colorectal cancer at home, it is important to have an honest discussion about your risk factors with your primary health provider and conduct screenings regularly.

Understanding your family history is another important piece of information. While there has not been a strong genetic link found, more than 25% of those who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer have a family member who was also diagnosed. This may be attributed to a hereditary link, but is more likely an element of environmental exposure.

Addressing medical concerns is an important element in preventing colorectal cancer, but also to your overall health and wellbeing. Chron’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), diabetes, and obesity are other medical conditions that contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. Effectively managing these diseases can help reduce your cancer risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment

As we have discussed, early diagnosis and effective treatment are the keys to reducing risk and improving mortality rates related to colorectal cancer. Begin by recognizing symptoms and being honest with your primary health provider about concerns. Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in stool
  • Stomach pain or cramping
  • Unexplained weight loss

Regular screening for colorectal cancer should begin at 50 years of age, or sooner if you or a close relative has a history of colorectal cancer or rectal polyps; you have a history of Chron’s disease, IBS, or another cancer; or you have symptoms of colorectal cancer. Screening can be completed with a fecal test, colonoscopy, or medical imaging tests.

Early diagnosis can help treatment be more effective and reduce the incidence of metastasis. In stages 0-2, the cancer is well-contained, isolated, and much easier to manage. Once the rectum or colon has been perforated by cancer, it is much more likely to metastasize to other parts of the body and is much harder to isolate and treat. Colorectal cancer is treated with ablation, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgical removal of portions of the bowel. Diagnosis and treatment should not be delayed.

How HR Pharmaceuticals is Helping

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are passionate about the health of people and being pioneers in the medical community. For more than 85 years, we have made medical products that providers across the world have trusted to use during procedures. Our HR Lubricating Jelly is a water-based lubricating jelly that is used to perform rectal exams and colonoscopies in clinics and hospitals across the world. Our viscous, water-based lubricant helps to make invasive rectal procedures more comfortable and reduces trauma to the bowel during the exams. This makes the procedure safer and more comfortable for the patient and quicker for the medical professional conducting it. We use ingredients that do not influence test results, making it a reliable product to use in all laboratory and sample collection settings. We believe that making superior products help to encourage more people to engage in screenings to help reduce the morbidity rates of one of the deadliest cancers. We also believe in using our newsroom as a platform for educating people and raise awareness to help the fight against colorectal cancer.

For all of your medical lubricant needs, visit our online supply shop today. For more information about colorectal cancer, visit these online resources:

Colorectal Cancer Alliance: https://www.ccalliance.org/
Fight Colorectal Cancer: https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/index.htm
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/cancer/detection/colorectalcancer/en/

A Guide to Rectal Health

In recent years, colorectal cancers have begun getting the attention they deserve. Cancer is the second leading cause of death (behind heart disease) in the United States. Another runner up, colorectal cancer is the second most fatal cancer (behind lung and bronchial cancer). With smoking rates dropping and no recent change in rectal health discussions, many are fearful that these two will one day swap positions on the top of the “deadliest cancers” list. Colorectal cancer and other disorders are frequently ignored until it is much too late. Generally speaking, the normal population is not comfortable talking about their gut or butt health or discussing changes and concerns with anyone. In today’s post, we want to help shed some insight on how you can better care for your rectum and help prevent or identify problems before they become fatal.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we create medical lubricants that make rectal exams more comfortable and limit the effects on cytology specimens. Making rectal exams more comfortable enhances the chances that patients will participate in them regularly and can decrease the incidence of stage 3 or 4 cancers. Our HR Lubricating Jelly is water-soluble so it won’t leave unsightly stains, nor will it interfere with natural gut flora.

Tips For Taking Care of Your Rectum

Maintain Proper Nutrition

What goes in, must come out. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the high fat content of the typical American diet is linked to higher rates of colorectal cancer. Trans fats, grease, salts, and nitrates have all been linked to causes of colorectal cancer. Processed or preserved foods also serve to preserve your intestines, causing damage to your gut lining. Fiber plays a big role in colon health and should be consumed liberally. Eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Reduce the amount of processed and preserved foods. Maintain optimal hydration to keep cells happy and waste moving.

Be Mindful of What Goes In

Regardless of the route, you should be mindful of what is going into your body. In regards to the rectal cavity, there are additional considerations that should be taken before inserting anything. The anus, unlike any other cavity, is incredibly sensitive and full of natural flora and bacteria. The nature of rectal tissues is meant to keep feces from coming out until you are ready. For this reason, the sphincters are very tight and the walls are not smooth like other cavities. When anything is to be inserted into the anus, there are a few steps that should be taken.

Ensure cleanliness.

If you are considering keistering your life savings, don’t. Money and other publically handled items are incredibly dirty and will introduce unwelcome bacteria into your digestive system. For suppositories or medication, ensure the medication comes directly from packaging into the anus. If you participate in anal sex, ensure that your partner showers beforehand (and afterward) or ensure that any adult toys are thoroughly cleaned after every use and again directly before being used again. This prevents any bacteria that may have grown on the toys from entering your body.

Lubricate liberally.

Don’t skimp on the lube! The only time you may want to take it easy on lubricating anything being inserted into the rectal cavity is when you are placing tablets and this is to ensure maximum absorption. Anything else — fingers, scopes, speculums, rectal tubes, phallus, or adult toys — should be lubricated well with water-based lubricating jelly. Not only will proper lubrication make insertion more comfortable, but it will reduce tissue damage and tearing. Shearing of the rectal cavity can cause a variety of infections. Additionally, tears will cause scar tissue to build up, making your sphincters less effective and peristalsis slower. The takeaway? Lube liberally.

Modify Your Habits

There are many day to day habits that can influence your rectal health in different ways. While doing any of these things every once in a while may not cause problems, developing poor habits can cause major issues in the long run.

Don’t wax or bleach.

Waxing and bleaching your anus causes damage to the tissues. Leaving your rectum in its natural state is your best bet to avoid problems. And, if you insist on engaging in these beauty procedures, use them sparingly.

Don’t rest on the toilet.

The toilet should not be a place to read the news or scroll through your phone. Take only as long as it takes to complete your business and then get up. The toilet bowl works like a gravity sink. Combined with the relaxation of your sphincter or pressure from straining can cause hemorrhoids.

Wash with water and soap.

There is no need to use any special products to clean your rectum, or any cavity for that matter. Use warm water and soap only. Avoid using antimicrobial or scented soaps and definitely no scrubbing!

Avoid straining.

Sometimes straining is unavoidable. However, when you have a normal bowel movement, you should be able to simply relax and allow gravity to assist. Straining can cause hemorrhoids to develop and break blood vessels in your colon.

Get Routine Screenings

Don’t skip on routine screenings because you are embarrassed or are concerned it will be uncomfortable. Techniques have advanced to improve patient comfort and providers are well aware of the discomfort that rectal exams and colonoscopies cause and do everything they can to reduce discomfort and protect your dignity.

The type of routine screening you get will vary depending on your risk of colorectal cancer, including inherited and lifestyle risks. Generally, everyone should begin colorectal cancer screening at age 50 and those at an increased risk should begin screening by age 45 or the age an immediate family member was diagnosed, whichever is earlier. Testing may consist of a simple fecal test every year at your physical or may include rectal exams. Rectal exams to test for rectal disorders and cancer include flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography, or a colonoscopy. You can discuss the options and which is suggested for you with your provider.

When It’s Time to Investigate Your Symptoms

Colorectal cancers are somewhat preventable and are relatively easy to treat if caught early. Don’t ignore changes in bowel habits and speak honestly with your provider.

Abnormal symptoms that should be investigated:

There are several symptoms that may indicate gut or rectal disorders or colorectal cancers. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them. Contact your provider to have them checked out right away. When caught early, benign or malignant polyps can be removed fairly easily. If left untreated, colorectal cancers can quickly metastasize to other areas and organs. Symptoms you should seek medical attention for include:

  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits.
  • Unexplained or reoccurring diarrhea or constipation.
  • Feeling that you have not completely emptied your colon after having a bowel movement.
  • Black, tarry, or coffee-ground bowel-movements.
  • Bleeding from the rectum.
  • A constant feeling of “fullness” despite eating or bowel habits.
  • Sudden change in energy levels.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unexplained abdominal pain or bloating.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are determined to help improve patient comfort and increase screenings to promote the health and safety of all people. For all of your anal lubricant needs, trust the industry’s most trusted medical lubricant — HR Lubricating Jelly. Our formula is water-based and bacteriostatic for optimal viscosity and safety. Browse our entire product line online today.

 

The Effect of Lubricant on Cytology Specimens

In the medical community, evidence guides practice and new research is conducted all the time to test theories and challenge current best practice to pave the way for tomorrow’s best practice. The art of medicine and science is ever-evolving and researchers dedicate themselves to testing theories and proving methods. For decades, medical lubricating jelly was used to make invasive procedures more comfortable. In the late 1990s, however, this practice was challenged and many practitioners discontinued the practice of lubing speculums prior to insertion out of concern that the lubricant may affect the integrity of cytology specimens. In today’s post, we will review some of the literature to determine if these beliefs were founded and establish best practice methods.

Medical lubricant is used to make invasive medical procedures more comfortable for patients. For procedures like cervical exams and Papanicolaou (Pap) smears, water-soluble medical lubricants have been preferred over oil-based lubricants to reduce the wear and tear on plastic speculums and, more importantly, to reduce the effects on cytology specimens.

While this has been an accepted practice for the better part of a century without incident, it wasn’t until the 1990s when research was conducted to test the hypothesis that water-based lubricating jellies had little effect on lab specimens. One study used a sample population across five different clinics In a random, double-blind trial that lasted six months, water-based lubricant or plain water was used as lube during Pap smears. The results were an astonishing dead tie. Both the water and the water-based lubricant caused negative effects in less than 1.4% of the samples tested.

In another, similar, study performed the following decade, more than 5,500 samples were tested. With the use of water-based gel lubricants, the cytology error rates caused by unsatisfactory samples was a mere 1.1% as opposed to the 1.5% of samples solicited using plain water as a lubricant. The difference in the results is not statistically significant enough to draw conclusions or make the claim that using a water-based lubricant yields better results than using water, but it is significant enough to confidently state that it does not negatively affect samples or pose a threat to the integrity of Pap smear procedures.

With these results in mind, it would be irresponsible to remove medical lubricant from the procedure. Not only does medical lubricant make invasive vaginal procedures like a Pap smear more comfortable for the patient, making them more likely to follow-up on routine preventative appointments, but it also reduces vaginal tearing, shearing, or tissue damage caused by friction of the speculum. Additionally, water-soluble medical lubricants including HR Lubricating Jelly offer not only premium viscosity that directly translates to patient comfort and safety, but also include bacteriostatic properties that reduce the risk of infection caused by invasive procedures.

HR Lubricating Jelly is paraben and glycol-free and doesn’t contain additives that cause sensitivities to patients or damage to instruments. HR Lubricating Jelly has been the go-to medical lubricant for gynecologists and obstetricians for more than 80 years, and for good reason. If you perform vaginal exams or Pap smears in your clinic, be sure to keep your storage rooms fully stocked with the lubricant that makes your job easier and your patients’ visit more comfortable. Browse our entire collection online today.

For more information and to review the results of more similar studies, visit these online resources.

Lubrication of The Vaginal Introitus and Speculum Does Not Affect Papanicolaou Smears

Association of Speculum Lubrication with Pain and Papanicolaou Test Accuracy 

Effect of Lubricating Gel on Patient Comfort During Vaginal Speculum Examination: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Testimonial Review HR Lubricating Jelly®

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we have been creating products that are the mark of quality and assurance in the medical community for more than 80 years. We’ve reported in previous posts all about the benefits of our products and why we create our products the way we do. We know how great our products are for the patients who use them, but we aren’t convinced that’s enough to give you the confidence you need to purchase our product. In today’s post, we are going to review some of the things our customers are saying about our HR Lubricating Jelly®.

HR Lubricating Jelly is available for purchase by the public as well as prescribed by physicians around the world for patient’s home use. The testimonials featured in today’s post come from a variety of sources, including patients and medical professional

“Thanks so much for the samples of HR Lubricating Jelly; two of four HDR vaginal brachy therapy radiation treatments are done. No problem with HR Lubricating Jelly, I’m so glad I contacted you; radiation is hard enough but to add burning and discomfort that continues long afterward because of the cheap lubricant the hospital uses would have been torture.
I finished treatment at the end of July and I carry HR Lubricating Jelly to all my gynecological appointments and always recommend it to all who tell me they are having a problem; recovery is very slow but I do feel I am making progress. PET scan was clear; so far so good! Hope your company is doing well. You make a superior product.”
M. Langford

We are so glad that we can provide products that provide comfort to you in such a difficult time. We are pleased to hear that our products fair you better than other available medical lubricants. We are disappointed that you have to carry your own lubricating jelly to your appointments, but we couldn’t think of a better one to carry that HR Lubricating Jelly.

“I would like to share with you our HR® Lubricating Jelly One Shot™ Sachet success story. I have been in the field of Colon Hydrotherapy for over 30 years and the manufacturer of Clearwater Colon Hydrotherapy units and speculums. Our disposable speculum kit consists of one speculum, obturator, tubing and a sterile lubricant packet; occasionally we will upgrade and improve our products for added customer satisfaction, when we changed to the HR® Lubricating Jelly One Shot™ Sachet, the feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks again for a great product.” M. Baker

We are so glad to hear that our product can help improve patient satisfaction with your product and procedures. We are always pleased to hear about when our products are featured in kits or bundles and can help make procedures more comfortable while protecting the instruments that are used. Thank you for the positive feedback and we hope to continue our symbiotic relationship.

“I am writing to describe my experience with HR Lubricating Jelly. I have utilized the product for multiple uses in the field of obstetrics intermittently over a fifteen-year period. These uses include assisting with patient examinations as well as unique applications for enhancement of sonographic imaging. In all uses to date, I have not had a adverse event related to use of the product. I have not had a patient complain of burning or discomfort after examination attributable to its use. No other safety concerns have been observed during this observation period.” J. O’Brien, MD

Thank you for the positive feedback. It is experiences like this that are the reason we create the products that we do. HR Lubricating Jelly has been trusted by gynecologists and obstetricians for decades, and we are glad to hear there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for that.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we engineer medical lubricants that are safe for use in almost any setting and on almost any patient. All of our products are water-based, kosher, paraben-free, and bacteriostatic. When you use a lubricating jelly with HR branding, you can rest assured that you and your patients are using a product you can trust. To stock your shelves with a quality lubricating jelly, visit us online today!

10 Nursing Supplies You Cannot Operate Without!

Nurses, once they leave report, are on the floor, working hard their entire shift. In and out of each room, with hardly a moment to spare to use the restroom, they are charged with keeping themselves armed and prepared for any situation they may encounter — roving caretakers. While most facilities provide mobile workstations, this does little for the nurse who is not at their cart the moment they need something. Follow along in today’s post as we discuss the 10 nursing supplies that no nurse can make it through a shift without.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are proud to manufacture quality medical products that support the staff that cares for patients. We use quality ingredients in all of our products to ensure that each experience with our products is as safe as it is comfortable. HR Lubricating Jelly is paraben- and latex-free, and is water soluble for premium viscosity. When you want to keep your cart fully stocked with products you can trust, turn to HR Lubricating Jelly.

Chapstick

Chapstick is the only personal item on our list today. What may seem trivial when you begin reading this list, becomes critical halfway through a 12-hour shift when you have been too busy to drink as much as you should. Applying chapstick is a tiny self-care action that can make the difference between struggling through your shift and comfortably making it to end-of-shift report. Pick one that is moisturizing without becoming tacky and can keep you feeling fresh while allowing you to keep your best face forward.

Penlight

A penlight comes in handy for a few different procedures, mainly assessing pupils, but also for peeking into ears, nose, and throat, when there is no otoscope within arms’ reach. You can also use your penlight to better observe things in less-than-ideal lighting where there is no overhead spotlight available or turning on the room light would open a can of worms you aren’t prepared to wrangle.

Multicolored pens

It is wise to have at least two colors of ink pens on you, ideally a few more. These come in handy when keeping your thorough shift notes. Use black to write the facts, blue to write what you did, red to write what needs to be done, and highlight any significant facts. You can carry several different pens or a multi-tip pen.

Stethoscope

Hopefully, this one is all too obvious. Any good medical professional has a stethoscope at the ready to complete a thorough assessment. Use it to listen to hearts, lungs, and stomachs. There is no standard that prescribes you to drape it around your neck, which can actually get heavy and rub uncomfortably over a long shift, not to mention swing in your patient’s face if you are bending over. You can use specially created hip holders or it fits perfectly in side cargo scrub pockets.

Medical tape

Medical tape is a must-have for most medical professionals to carry at all times. There are so many tubes, lines, tabs, and dressings to keep gently secured to a patient’s skin. There are so many forms of medical tape, and for the most part, what you keep on your person comes down to a simple matter of personal preference. Commonly carried medical tape types include paper tape, clear surgical tape, or dupore tape. What you carry will depend on what is readily available at your facility and your own personal preference.

Shears

Shears, while made to cut clothing off in an emergency situation, come in handy in a variety of settings. Over the course of your shift, you may use them to cut off bandages, shorten tape strands, or open packages. It is wise to clean them after every use to prevent your shears from harboring dangerous bacteria. Shears are curved with a lip and without a pointed tip to prevent accidental poking or stabbing when it is being carried in pockets.

Band-aids

Band-aids are one of the most basic medical tools and have a place in even the most acute inpatient settings. You may use a band-aid to cover your own papercut, apply pressure on a fresh IV line removal site, or hand one over to a patient’s family member or passerby. In the eyes of the community, as a nurse, you are essentially a medical Boy Scout, and should always be prepared.

Alcohol swabs

Alcohol swabs are arguably one of the most useful medical supplies a nurse can have access to. You will use so many throughout your shift, you may want to ensure that you have access to an entire box of them. You will use them to prepare an arm for a blood draw, to clean off medication vials and ports, and for cleaning random areas of concern, like your shears.

Gauze

Gauze 2×2 pads are useful in a variety of settings including putting pressure on needle pokes or removing tape residue off of skin. Clean gauze pads can be used to create a temporary bandage in a pinch. Having easy access to larger gauze pads can be used to cover larger areas. They may be saturated with sterile water or saline to clean wounds.

Medical lubricant

Medical lubricant is a rather useful medical supply that makes the nurse’s job easier and the patient’s role in uncomfortable procedures a little safer and more tolerable. A nurse’s role is full of all sorts of tasks that make lubricant necessary. Lubricating jelly can be used to check a prostate, insert a suppository, or perform a check for cervical dilation.

A nurse’s shift is packed full of tasks and assessments that keep you busy from the moment you clock in until well after you leave the facility. When you miss meals and bathroom breaks to take the best care of your patients, you need quality medical products you can count on. HR Pharmaceuticals’ HR Lubricating Jelly is a quality medical lubricant you can trust and is available in a wide variety of sizes and packaging. Stock your medical supply closet when you browse our entire collection today.

5 Things That Affect the Effectiveness of Your Exam Gloves

Regular exam gloves exist for the sole purpose of providing a barrier between your hands and whatever you are touching. It is important to remember that standard exam gloves in the box are clean, but still require some degree of hand hygiene to protect your patients. In any setting where exam gloves are used, there are a number of things that can affect how well your gloves work that you should be aware of. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of the common things that affect how effective your exam gloves are and what you can do to improve their efficiency, for the sake of you and your patients.

It is important to note that although we will refer to gloves in this article as exam gloves, everything discussed here applies to both sterile and non-sterile gloves as well as latex, vinyl, and nitrile gloves.

Hand Hygiene

Wearing gloves is much more like a bright visual cue that it is an effective barrier to preventing the transmission of disease. Exam gloves are effective at keeping body fluids and other contaminants off of the hands of the wearer, but when they are pulled out of a multi-pack box, handled, and then put on hands, they can be less clean for the person being touched than their own cell phone. To help reduce what the person being touched is exposed to on the exam glove, it is important to follow some simple hand and glove hygiene tips.

  • Wash hands prior to wearing — gloves are not a trade-off to clean hands.
  • Minimize handling of gloves.
    • Take them from the box and put them on
  • Protect the box that the gloves come in.
    • Do not combine boxes of gloves,
    • Do not put gloves back in a box if they fall out
  • Be mindful of what you touch.
    • Do not touch your face or hair.
    • Change gloves between touching objects and patient.
    • Change gloves between removing dressings and applying new ones.
    • Do not handle your cell phone or computer with gloves on.
    • Change gloves after touching common items — door handles, buttons, or carts.
  • Gloves are not your hands.
    • Do not wash your gloves.
    • Do not reuse exam gloves.

Exam gloves are meant to provide a barrier of protection for both you and the patient you are touching. Being mindful of what you touch can help improve the effectiveness of the gloves.

Cleaning Products

A variety of cleaning products can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your gloves. Cleaning products, whether meant to clean surfaces or skin, tend to be corrosive. Cleaning products contain chemicals that kill bacteria and other microbes but can also compromise the integrity of the already thin material of exam gloves. Bleach, rubbing alcohol, Cavicide, and other common medical cleaning products can all break down gloves. Exam gloves are used when handling these products to help prevent the skin of the user’s hand being damaged, but you should be mindful to change exam gloves both between cleaning products used and after using a cleaning product.

Glove Ingredients

The gloves themselves can cause a difference in effectiveness. There are different claims as to whether nitrile, vinyl, natural latex, or latex are best for use, but as a whole, the medical industry has reduced the use of latex overall. Regardless of what type of gloves you have in your facility, the materials that are used to create them can significantly impact the efficiency of the gloves. Fillers that some exam glove manufacturing companies use can reduce the efficiency of the exam gloves by more than 50%. Before you don your gloves, check them for quality, and then check again after putting them on. Check for rips, tears, and holes — even the smallest one will widen with wear.

Time and Friction

Nitrile exam gloves are not meant for long-term use. Continued use can degrade and develop holes as time passes. This is due to the stretching of the fibers and exposure to the environment as well as the sweat and oils on your hands. One study suggests that 12 minutes of use reduces the efficiency of exam gloves by nearly 35%.

Most people understand that time and exposure compromise the efficiency of their gloves and opt to wear two pairs, layered. However, this is very dangerous and the friction between the two pairs of gloves can actually cause both of the gloves to break even quicker. The solution is to wear a single pair of gloves and change them more frequently.

Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants break down latex and rubber by making the cells of the material swell or become brittle. This is not a guarantee that the material of your exam gloves will be completely compromised, but with use and/ or friction, there is a much greater chance of breakdown. While many exam gloves used in the medial industry are now latex-free, they still contain rubber. Water-based lubricants are a safe alternative to any other lubricant of choice. HR Lubricating Jelly is a medical lubricant that is safe for use in a variety of situations that involve exam gloves because it is safe for both the exam gloves as well as the patient.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we make products that are safe for patients and medical professionals alike. Our HR Lubricating Jelly will not compromise the integrity of exam gloves, which helps keep everyone involved safer. Our medical lubricant is pH balanced and water-soluble, so you can rest assured it is not degrading the materials on your exam gloves. Additionally, it is bacteriostatic, meaning it won’t aid in the transmission of microbes. For a medical lubricant that you can count on, trust HR Lubricating Jelly.

Why Lubricant is a Wise Choice For Promoting Fertility

Infertility is a fairly common problem that affects more than 12% of married couples who attempt to conceive. Of this percentage, only about 12% of infertility problems are due to actual medical incompatibility or inability to conceive. A good portion of the difficulties that couples face is due more to the facts that healthy couples only have a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month and a shift in social norms that make conception more difficult. The good news is, with patience and persistence, nearly 60% of couples will conceive within six months of trying.

If you are a part of a couple that is attempting to conceive, this post is for you. Join us as we discuss some of the ways that lubricant can help your efforts be more fruitful. At HR Lubricating Jelly, our medical lubricants are perfect for helping to conceive. From being used as a personal lubricant for the act of conceiving to verifying pregnancy by lubricating a transvaginal ultrasound wand, and then assisting your Obstetrician in checking the dilation of a cervix, we are there for you on your fertility journey, from beginning to end!

Mimics natural lubrication.

The human body is made to reproduce. And, because of this, the naturally-occurring fluids it produces are for that very purpose. Women’s bodies produce a variety of lubricants to promote reproduction, based on what part of their menstrual cycle they are experiencing. During sex, a lack of moisture can cause uncomfortable friction for both partners that will prevent the act from occurring. The body’s natural solution is to produce a moisturizing lubricant during arousal to make things more comfortable for both parties. During ovulation, however, cervical lubrication is produced to provide a slippier glide to help produce male orgasm as well as help healthy sperm on their journey to the awaiting fertile egg.

A pH balanced, water-based medical lubricant is the next best thing to the vagina’s natural lubricant. Because it mimics the body’s natural lubrication, it promotes the natural processes of human procreation.

Increases pleasure.

As we discussed briefly, some changes in social norms have made it more difficult for today’s couples to conceive. Work hours are longer and more stressful. High stress is such a normalized part of our modern culture and coupled with alcohol use, physical intimacy has declined significantly. When a couple is attempting to conceive, knowing that ovulation day occurs only once a month puts a lot of pressure on the procreation “event.” This high-stress, high-pressure set-up can make the event seem more like a chore or another job that needs to be done. As months go by without positive results, the stress and frustration can impact couples by decreasing intimacy and result in a physical difficulty or inability to perform. Using a medical lubricant can help increase pleasure and help both parties relax and enjoy themselves. This helps to yield the best results. It is a medical fact that arousal and a pleasurable experience help promote reproduction and that when both parties climax, the chances of conception increase. Additionally, when pleasure is increased, stress hormones are decreased, resulting in better chances for a healthy baby.

Promotes sperm vitality.

Unlike women, men continue to create genetic reproduction material (sperm) as it is needed. Slow moving or unhealthy sperm find it difficult in making it to the egg and leads to difficulty in conceiving. Less-than-optimal sperm can be the product of a number of things including anatomical abnormalities, testicular trauma, chronic medical conditions, and acute concerns including alcohol or drug use, higher than normal stress levels, and poor nutrition and hydration status. While a lubricant cannot do much about the sperm that is produced, it provides the ideal conditions for healthy sperm to thrive in and help them along to find the egg. In the absence of lubricant, the birth canal of a woman experiencing the same conditions that affect sperm production in males can cause an “inhospitable environment” for sperm in women. A pH balanced, water-based lubricant provides the optimal environment for sperm.

HR Lubricating Jelly is trusted by gynecologists and obstetricians throughout the world as the mark of quality and assurance in reproduction. Don’t just take our word for it or do something simply because that is the way it has always been done. Review the data and draw your own conclusions.

How to Pick Your Lubricant

When you are attempting to conceive, not just any lubricant will do. It is important to note that most commercial lubricants that are intended for adult pleasure are not made with the health and welfare of sperm or normal micro-flora in mind. They are made for the sole purpose of making sex more exciting. Medical lubricants are made with the health of all parties in mind and increased pleasure is just a beneficial byproduct! With that in mind, we’d like to offer a few tips on how to pick your lubricant when you are attempting to conceive.

Viscosity

The viscosity of your lubricant helps reduce friction and irritation and promotes all of the topics we discussed in this post. It helps increase pleasure and helps sperm find the egg that is waiting to be fertilized.
HR Lubricating Jelly maintains its integrity and viscosity better than any other medical lubricant on the market. It is known for not thinning out or dripping from the area where it is applied.

Sperm-Friendly

Creating the ideal conditions for healthy sperm to be transported to an egg means creating a healthy, as-close-to-natural-as-possible environment. A lubricant that alters the pH balance or includes a spermicide will not help promote conception.
HR Lubricating Jelly has been studied by universities and independently to be proven to be compatible with sperm and embryos. Additionally, it is also micro-flora friendly, meaning it will not disrupt the host environment.

HR Lubricating Jelly has been used to support fertility and conceptions since 1931. If you and your partner are attempting to conceive, start the journey off with the support of a medical lubricant that has been proven successful. HR Lubricating Jelly is kosher, latex-free, and made in the United States. Shop our entire product line online today.

How Your Lubricant Affects Conception

Personal lubricant is often a part of a healthy couple’s intimate life. In fact, some recent studies estimate that nearly 65 percent of couples use personal lubricant on a regular basis. So, when you are perusing the aisles at your local neighborhood pharmacy and stop in the family planning section, there are a few things that you should consider.

The market for adult products is overflowing with great options for nearly every desire. The lubricant selection does not disappoint. Whether you are looking for something that flavors or warms to help spice things up in the bedroom, you are trying to prevent a pregnancy, or you are trying to conceive, the options really are limitless.

If you are trying to conceive, the lubricating jelly you select really can make a difference. However, it is important not to grab the first tube sporting the label of “fertility-friendly” or “sperm-friendly” and make some well informed decisions. Follow along in today’s post as we discuss some of the various options and what you should look for in your baby-making lube.

Hospitable environment.

Some lubricating jellies are armed with spermicidal ingredients that are meant specifically for preventing sperm from making it into the birth canal to fertilize an awaiting egg. Some lubes do not include such ingredients, but are not sperm friendly by the nature of the other ingredients. This can mean that there are chemicals that are less than ideal living environments for sperm. These lubes typically include those that are equipped with pleasure-focused qualities — extra scents, tastes, warming or cooling, ect. Non-sperm friendly ingredients that are not necessarily spermicidal can slow sperm motility or integrity. To ensure the best sperm can make it safely to the ripe eggs, the right lubricant makes all the difference.

When a woman is ovulating, she will naturally produce a mucous-like discharge that is a medium for making intercourse more comfortable and enjoyable for both parties, which dramatically improves the chances of conception, as well as helps create a sperm-friendly environment. A good fertility-friendly lubricant will mimic the natural egg-white consistency of a woman’s cervical mucus.

pH balanced.

One of the major culprits of lube induced infertility is an altered pH. The natural environment has a sperm-friendly pH balance and changing it to become either acidic or basic can impact both the sperm and the egg. When trying to conceive, do not use anything that may alter the pH balance in the vagina. Common over-the-counter lubricating jellies will add just enough acid to make the environment toxic to sperm, rendering your reproductive attempts unsuccessful.

Select a lubricant that has as few chemicals as possible and is water-based. These lubes won’t interfere with the natural vaginal pH and will help promote fertility.

Get the best qualities.

When you are inspecting the labels of fertility-friendly personal lubricants, look for qualities that include:

  • Glycerin-free
  • Isotonic
  • pH balanced
  • Water-based

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we have been creating high-quality products for a variety of medical uses for more than 80 years. Our products are known for their simply basic ingredients and the safety that even the most sensitive patient can use and appreciate. HR Lubricating Jelly is a water-based fertility and embryo friendly lubricating jelly. It has been studied by universities and fertility clinics and has been proven compatible with sperm and embryos and a viable option for use when attempting to conceive. Shop our entire lubricant product line online today!

Urinary Catheter: A Review of Your Personal Use Options

Millions of Americans suffer from conditions such as urinary retention, incontinence, or some other disorder that make a urinary catheter necessary. Urinary catheters provide convenience and help prevent a wide variety of health concerns and embarrassments. If you or your loved one use a urinary catheter, take peace in knowing that you have options.

In today’s post, we will review some of your urinary catheter options and some care and maintenance tips for each.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we pride ourselves on making high-quality medical products that are safe for use on even the most vulnerable patients. Our Lubricating Jelly makes insertion and maintenance of urinary catheters much more comfortable.

 

Indwelling Urinary Catheter

Indwelling urinary catheters include the traditional Foley catheter that can be used directly in the urethra, or can be inserted into a suprapubic opening directly through the abdomen and into the bladder. Indwelling catheters collect urine continuously. This is especially convenient for those who leak or who do not have the sensation of fullness or the urge to go.

Indwelling catheters should always be inserted with a water-based lubricant that is viscous. Indwelling catheters should be cleaned, at a minimum, twice daily, with the bag cleaned daily, and the entire system switched out at least monthly. This helps prevent urinary tract infections and other problems.

HR Pharmaceuticals Lubricating Jelly offers a superior water-based lube that features premium viscosity. Our lube will make the insertion process much more comfortable and reduce friction. It also will not breakdown the silicone hose or cause an interaction with the materials of the catheter.

Condom Catheter

A condom catheter is a convenient option for males. The father tubing is attached to a condom that slips easily over the penis. Urine is diverted into a discreet leg bag for clean, comfortable, convenience. This type of catheter is especially convenient for the man on the go, who doesn’t suffer from urinary retention.

Condom catheters should be applied with a tacky skin prepping agent to help gently hold the condom in place. It should routinely be removed to allow the skin to air out and to be cleaned, which is especially important for men who are uncircumcised.

Intermittent Self-Cath

The intermittent self-cath, or straight cath, is convenient for those who suffer from urinary retention, but have the sensation to go and do not leak. For intermittent straight cath, the client will use catheter tubing and insert it through the urethra to drain the bladder. This can be done as needed to relieve urinary retention or on a regular basis to drain a neurogenic bladder.

Managing an intermittent self-cath takes a little bit of patience and a lot of practice. Practicing an aseptic technique is critical to preventing infection. And, using the right lube is absolutely paramount to inserting a catheter over and over. A high-quality lubricating jelly that is water-based and viscous will allow the catheter to be easily inserted without causing friction or tearing.

HR Lubricating Jelly is a premium lube that offers users a latex-free, water-soluble lubricant with superior viscosity. The single-use OneShot® packaging helps to promote the integrity of an aseptic environment and are easy to use. When you have HR Lubricating Jelly in your arsenal, you will be set up for successful intermittent catheterization.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are proud to create superior products that are safe and easy to use, while also providing optimal patient comfort. HR Lubricating Jelly is a smooth and comfortable option that offers a whole host of positive features. If you are managing a urinary catheter at home, try the lubricant you deserve — shop our entire product line online today.

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