Friday, 25 January 2013

Sleep Apnea: The Basics

Sleep apnea, an interruption of breathing while asleep, is a sneaky disorder.  It is estimated that a full 90% of people who experience these episodes are unaware they are happening.  During these episodes, choking or gasping is common, as the body struggles for air.  An individual may experience hundreds these episodes each night,  though they may be completely in the dark that they’re struggling for breath. Not surprisingly, it is often the bed partner who first notices their mate is struggling to breathe. If left untreated, this common disorder can be life-threatening.   

The mechanics behind sleep apnea are easy to understand: when you stop breathing during sleep due to sleep apnea, carbon dioxide builds up in the blood, and essential oxygen stores are depleted. This imbalance stimulates the brain to restart the breathing process. The brain signals you to wake up so that the muscles of the tongue and throat can increase the size of the airway. Then, carbon dioxide can escape, and oxygen can enter the airway. These waking episodes are necessary to restart breathing (and to save your life), and you may not remember them, but they do disrupt your sleep and cause daytime exhaustion.

Sleep apnea is categorized into different types, but the warning signs and symptoms for both are similar: 

  • Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea) ·                    

  • Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs

  • Loud snoring 

  • Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat 

  • Daytime sleepiness and feeling un-refreshed by a night’s sleep, including falling asleep at inappropriate times  

The most common way to diagnose sleep apnea is by analyzing a patient’s medical and family histories, a physical exam, and sleep study results. After these factors are considered, your doctor will decide if seeing a sleep specialist is right for you. If you are referred to a sleep center, a specialist will monitor you while you sleep, assessing your sleep patterns, brain waves, heart rate, rapid eye movements using monitoring devices attached to your body.  Based on your results, a treatment program may be prescribed.   

At Symbius, we can provide you with equipment to monitor both your wakeful and sleeping activities at home, and the knowledge technicians to get it up and running.  Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.


Friday, 18 January 2013

Bariatric Patients Require Special Products

In 1946, the American population jumped 22% from the previous year, marking the beginning of the baby boomer generation.  Now, as this generation enters into retirement, we are faced with how to care for this large aging population, and the need to consider their unique needs.    
obesity, Symbius Medical
Obesity appears to be an issue of primary concern for this generation.  Studies show that more than 35% of this demographic (Americans between the ages 55 and 64) are obese, with 62% suffering from obesity-related diseases (diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease).  So, as these millions of baby boomers enter old age, the demand for a variety of bariatric home medical equipment has risen.  Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity and associated diseases.  

The needs are many for an obese individual.  To ease the daily lives and facilitate easier mobility, they may need a cane or a walker to help support their weight and ease stress on joints. In the home, a specially-designed bariatric bed, or special bathroom home medical equipment, like custom-made bath tubs, shower benches and chairs, may be needed.  Power chairs and power lifts may also prove helpful to allow the individual to move more freely about their home.    

Our Patient Services Technicians can deliver and set up your home medical equipment and provide you or a caregiver as needed. Once you’ve started using our bariatric products, we can help answer any questions. Our team will even take care of processing your insurance claim with your primary or secondary insurance provider.    

Symbius Medical’s products and training can provide the different mobility product options to support the weight of bariatric patients and help them have a better daily lifestyle. Contact us today toll free: 800-948-1868 or at visit us online.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Updating the Home for Handicap Accessibility

Whether it’s to allow seniors to age comfortably at home, or making your home accessible after an unexpected change in circumstances, retrofitting the home for handicap accessibility is a task to be undertaken thoroughly and with great care.  While some aspects of retrofitting may seem obvious, you may not immediately think of others.  Here is a brief overview of what to consider when updating your home.  

Getting in and out of the home:  handicap accessibility, Symbius Medical

    • Driveway: in areas that experience inclement weather, ensure that the driveway is a safe route to enter the home. For instance, if it snows in winter, is it possible to shovel a clear route to the door?   

Garage: If you routinely park in the garage, ensure that there is enough room to move a wheelchair freely around the vehicle, or that there is enough space to maneuver a walker.

  • Gates and doorframes are recommended to be at least 36 inches wide, and door thresholds should be no more than one-half inch in height. 

  • Ramps are also recommended to span 36 inches, with as shallow a grade possible.  Where applicable, ensure the ramp can be completely cleared of snow, and has enough traction in rainy weather. 

Going up and down within the home:  

  • If the handicap individual will have access to only one level, the home should have a clear exit, full kitchen and bath, plus living area, and bedroom on that level. 

  • If that individual will have multi-level access, consider installing a chair lift or elevator for easy transport up and down stairs. 

In the kitchen:

  • Cabinets and countertops: Standard-height countertops are often too tall for those in wheelchairs, so lower them, if possible. Other options are to keep regularly-used items within reaching distance, or to keep a reacher tool on hand. 

  • Sink: To allow better access, remove cabinet doors below the sink so the individual can get as close as possible.  Also consider updating the faucet to a model with a hand-held or elongated spout, and with paddle-type lever handles. 

In the bathroom:

  • Toilet: Standard models may be too low for handicapped individuals.  Consider replacing the existing toilet with a tall-height toilet, or installing a toilet seat riser.

  • Shower: A hand-held showerhead, and a bench located inside the shower are 2 great ways to add comfort and safety. 

  • Grab bars: Slips, trips and falls are always a concern for those with limited mobility, but especially in a area like the bathroom, where conditions are often wet and slippery.  Installing grab bars in the shower and near the toilet adds a good measure of safety.   

There are myriad ways to make your home safe and accessible to a handicapped individual.  This list is far from comprehensive, but should get you thinking about areas in the home that will require updating.  Medical supply companies offer products for accessibility, from the wheelchairs and walkers themselves to grab bars, shower benches, and lift chairs.  

More information is available from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which outlines federal regulations for public buildings and accessible housing (Fair Housing Act).  Professional organizations and consultants who are knowledgeable about the ADA also offer services to help assess your home’s individual needs.   While updating the home for handicap accessibility can seem an overwhelming task, helping a loved one to live comfortably in the home is invaluable. Taking the time to do the research, or enlisting the help of professionals for a thorough update is a gift beyond measure, one that will endure for years to come.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Symbius Medical Corporate Philosophy

With all the medical supply companies in the world, it’s hard to choose which is best for your needs. Unless you’re been referred to a specific company by a medical professional or a loved one, deciding which company to go with can be a bit like bobbing for apples. Researching online can complicate matters, with many medical supplies companies’ websites flashing images and sale prices across the screen. We believe it’s time for responsible, accountable medical equipment companies to take the lead in the healthcare industry; we’re leading by example.  
Home medical supplies   Symbius Medical

Things are different at Symbius, where customer service is our passion. We follow an unwritten philosophy: if you err on the side of the customer, you’ll never make a bad decision.  We truly care about the customer because we are also end-users. Keeping the customer top-of-mind is what drives us in everything we do, and we believe the right thing for you is the right thing for us. We tie our success to your success. If we do a great job for you then we know we are performing well as a home medical equipment company.   

We’re selling clinical expertise with every product, to every customer. In addition to exceptional customer service, every medical supply and product we offer is backed by the clinical expertise of our people. Medical supply home delivery is about much more than bringing the equipment to our customers. All Symbius employees undergo continuous training and education, so when your equipment or supplies arrives, our trained employee can answer your questions, and we encourage customers to call with any question they may have. We have been serving our customers nationwide for over 17 years, and we offer a 24-hour on-call service. Call our helpful customer service line today, to learn how we can help you.