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The Importance of Seeing a Urologist

by billf March 22 2017 07:12
the importance of seeing a urologist

 My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. bill f 180 medicalAbout 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to use my experiences to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time talking to our customers on the phone who are new to self-catheterizing.

There are a lot of people who use intermittent catheters and mainly rely on their general practitioner for their checkups and healthcare needs. While this is perfectly fine, it may be a good idea to see a urologist annually for a more thorough checkup. Since urologists specialize in conditions relating to the entire urinary system as well as the male reproductive organs, they may be able to better pinpoint issues that your general practitioner might not catch.

What to Expect at an Annual Exam with a Urologist

Seeing a urologist may seem intimidating at first, but generally, an annual exam is fairly simple and could be potentially life-saving, depending on what symptoms you may be experiencing. There are various procedures that your urologist may use to check for any abnormalities or potential issues, including growths, infections, or stones.

Some tests or examinations that you may be able to expect, depending upon what the doctor thinks is necessary for your individual situation, may include:

  • A physical exam
  • A urine specimen
  • A cystoscopy (where the lower urinary tract is examined with a mini camera) 
  • Imaging studies (ultrasound or x-ray, most typically) 
  • Urodynamics
  • A tissue biopsy

Bladder Cancer and Other Factors to Consider

An annual exam is a wise idea for anyone using catheter supplies, but it's also important to see your doctor if there are any unusual or out-of-the-ordinary symptoms as soon as possible. Waiting on treating something as small as urinary tract infection may lead to the condition becoming a more serious issue.

Bladder irritation may increase the risk of bladder cancer, and this can be from various issues such as repeated UTIs (urinary tract infections) or bladder infections, use of a foley catheter, and bladder stones. There are higher rates of bladder cancer among tobacco users, so if you smoke or vape, this is also a great reason to get a regular check-up.

Additionally, if you are living with a neurogenic bladder or a SCI (spinal cord injury), you may want to consider the importance of checking for bladder cancer regularly too. The risk for this disease for those with SCIs is about "15 times higher than that of the general population" (New Mobility).

Since bladder cancer does not always have obvious symptoms, especially in the beginning stages, it's incredibly important to have a specialist like a urologist look over your bladder and urinary system in its entirety regularly so that any potential issues can be caught early.

Year-Round Maintenance of Your Urinary System's Health

As always, the best thing you can do for your bladder, kidneys, and the rest of your urinary system is to follow your healthcare professional's recommendations.

This may include such advice as:

  • Take any medications you have been prescribed as directed
  • Keep properly hydrated according to your individual needs
  • Continue regular check-ups with your urologist, especially in the case of any unusual or out-of-the-ordinary symptoms
  • Always use good hygiene when using intermittent catheters, such as practicing sterile use versus washing and reusing, washing your hands well, and using disinfecting wipes or swabs
  • Catheterize according to the schedule laid out by your doctor, which is typically going to be often enough to keep the urine volume inside your bladder under 10 ounces
  • Use adequate sterile, water-soluble lubrication when cathing to avoid make catheterization more comfortable
  • Consider using a hydrophilic catheter to further reduce irritation to the urethra and bladder, or a catheter with a gripper or sleeve to avoid touching the catheter directly, which can reduce the risk of infection

At 180 Medical, we not only provide top-quality intermittent catheter supplies; we also offer helpful, educational material whenever possible to make sure you have all the information you need, including instructions on how to self-cath. For more information about catheters that could be right for your needs, feel free to contact us. If you have any questions or seek medical advice, please be sure to consult with your healthcare professional. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of bladder health and the importance of seeing a doctor. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, or consultation with a physician or other professional healthcare provider.

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bill bio pic 180 medical employee
Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.

Four Things You Should Know About Diverticulitis

by Jessica March 15 2017 10:31
4 things to know about diverticulitis

If you are a UFC fan, you might remember a few years back how Brock Lesnar had to withdraw from the sport because of complications from a disease called diverticulitis. Although Lesnar did get better and is currently performing in the WWE, he was on the sidelines for a while. During that time, he lost a lot of weight and strength, and he had surgery to remove a foot of his colon. 

Diverticulitis often affects older individuals, but not always. There are various treatment options available, depending on the severity of the condition and health of the patient.

Here are several other things to know about diverticulitis:

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a sometimes painful condition that features the presence of small pouches or sacs in the colon called diverticula. Diverticula form on weak spots along the wall of the colon, although they can form on other parts of the body as well. This is called diverticulosis, and most people who have this condition experience no symptoms. Diverticulosis can be relatively harmless, unless the diverticula become infected or break open. This then becomes diverticulitis. 

What Causes Diverticulitis?

It's not currently known why diverticula can become inflamed for sure, but we do know that diverticula often form due to a low-fiber, red-meat-heavy diet. A low-fiber diet causes constipation, which forces an individual to strain when emptying their bowels. In Lesnar's case, painkillers from his days as a wrestler and fighter may have also been a factor, as those can cause constipation as well.

What Are the Symptoms?

It depends on the severity of the condition. In its most mild form, diverticulitis may cause no symptoms. In the most extreme cases, it can be quite painful and require surgery.

Symptoms may include:
  • Pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Cramping

Are There Treatments Available for Diverticulitis? 

high fiber diet for diverticulitisDiverticulitis can be treated, but it depends on the severity of the condition and how long the symptoms have been present. Treatment usually includes eliminating certain foods and adding more fiber to one's diet.

Occasionally, a patient may be asked to go on a liquid diet for a few days. Medications may also be a part of the t, usually to a high-fiber diet and medications such as anti-inflammation drugs and/or antibiotics.

A patient may also be asked to go on a liquid diet for a few days. If it becomes severe enough, one may have to undergo surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. In its worst cases, diverticulitis may require an ostomy surgery. 

There's no question that diverticulitis can be life-changing, but it is possible to live a normal life with a few modifications. 

If you have had an ostomy procedure as part of your diverticulitis treatment, our Ostomy Specialists are ready to help you find the products you need to make the transition easier. In addition to ostomy supplies, 180 Medical is proud to offer affordable catheter supplies and products too. Contact us today at 1-877-688-2729.

180 medical ostomy showcase

All About Confirmation Calls

by Tina March 13 2017 09:08
all about confirmation calls

What Is a Confirmation Call?

Most insurance companies require medical supply providers to contact customers before their next orders are shipped out. 180 Medical makes this a convenient and easy process for our customers -- no need for you to have to remember to call in and ask when you're ready for more. 

Typically, we make a confirmation call about 7 to 10 days before your regularly scheduled order is set to ship from our warehouse to allow us plenty of time to reach a customer. This is all done to ensure that we follow and meet all insurance requirements, as well as making sure that our customers have the right amount of supplies. We don't want you to run out of your necessary medical supplies, but we also don't want to ship more than you need so you don't build up too much of an overstock.

customer confirmation specialist

What Information is Needed?

During the call, we typically need a few bits of information on record, as required by one's insurance guidelines. Usually, these are the basic questions, although this will vary depending upon one's insurance requirements:

  • Are you ready for your next regularly scheduled order?
  • How many supplies (catheters, lubricant packets, other urological supply accessories, ostomy pouches and accessories, etc.) do you have left on hand from your last orders?
  • If you have Medicare or a Medicare replacement policy, you may also be asked if you have a Home Health nurse or physical therapist coming to your home, just to ensure there are no billing conflicts.

Frequently Asked Questions about Confirmation Calls

Q: What other options do I have if I prefer not to receive phone calls?
A: We also have an email confirmation option to confirm your regular orders. If this would be preferable, please let us know so that we can adjust your account accordingly.
Q: What happens if 180 Medical cannot reach me to confirm my order?
A: We will make several attempts to confirm your order via phone, email (if an email address has been provided), and even mail a letter if we are unable to reach you. Unfortunately, if we are not able to confirm your order, we are not able to ship your supplies out. This is why it is always important to keep us updated on changes of address, phone number, or any extended travel plans. 

Q: Why do you need to know if I am receiving Home Health?

A: For those who have Medicare or a Medicare replacement policy, we ask this information to make sure there will be no billing conflicts so that your insurance does not get over-billed. If your home health agency bills through Medicare, they are required to supply your catheters or other necessary medical supplies until their services end. Once their services have completed, they must send a discharge summary to us. From there, we can resume supplying.

Q: My order requirements do not vary from month to month. Can I just sign a paper to tell you to ship these every month?
We understand regular confirmation of your supplies may seem unnecessary, but we do this to follow insurance guidelines to the letter. For supplies of this type which are provided on a recurring basis, billing must be based on prospective rather than retrospective use, so we must contact you prior to refilling your order and not automatically ship on a pre-determined agreement, even if you authorize it.

If you have any other questions, concerns, or changes to make to your account, contact our team of friendly Confirmation Specialists at 1-877-688-2729. 

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tina l
About the Author:

Tina has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years. Her current job title is Confirmation Specialist, Level III. She loves helping others and making people laugh.  


180 Medical Product News: GentleCath Glide

by Jessica March 7 2017 09:15
180 medical product news gentlecath glide

Interested in keeping up with the latest catheter and ostomy products available on the market? 180 Medical is always ready to share the details on new products with you, and today, we'd like to introduce you to the GentleCath™ Glide.

What are some key features to know about the GentleCath™ Glide?

gentlecath glide hydrophilic catheterThe Glide is a recently launched low-friction hydrophilic catheter with options for both men and women that was specifically designed with FeelClean™ technology to reduce the mess left behind by lubrication after cathing. It's a fast and easy option for those who want a comfortable, super-smooth catheterization experience from start to finish. Simply break the included water sachet to coat the catheter and activate the low-friction hydrophilic surface, and it's ready to go with no additional waiting time. The No-Touch sleeve helps make insertion more simple and lessens the risk of contamination from your hands, which may also reduce the risk of infection. 

Here are some of the main product features:
  • Manufactured without DEHP or latex
  • No-Touch handling sleeve to minimize risk of infection
  • Water sachet included for activation
  • FeelClean™ technology reduces mess
  • Hydrophilic surface
  • Available in both male length (16 inches) and female length (6 inches)

glide catheter user testimonial 1

How do I use the GentleCath™ Glide?

ConvaTec offers a helpful online video guide which you can easily personalize for yourself and your individual needs in less than 30 seconds, including choosing instructions for adults, children, or parent/caregiver, as well as options between male, female, and whether you are a wheelchair-user or not. Once you have selected the options that fit your situation best, a personalized video will be ready for you to watch, offering step-by-step instructions for this easy-to-use hydrophilic catheter. Personalize your GentleCath™ Glide instructional video here.

gentlecath glide hydrophilic catheter how to cath instruction video

Once you have prepared for catheterization by washing your hands, or putting on gloves and using a disinfecting swab or wipe on the area of your urethra, lay out the Glide in front of you. Make sure the included sterile water sachet is near the funnel end of the catheter, and break the sachet by pressing on the blue guide dot. You'll want to let the water coat the entirety of the tube from end to tip to activate the hydrophilic properties, and it's ready to use! Just open the pack by peeling apart the easy-open tabs and handle the catheter by the funnel and the included blue No-Touch sleeve to avoid contaminating the catheter with your hands, and you're ready to insert the catheter. glide catheter user testimonial 2

For step-by-step information about how to catheterize, you can visit, which offers instructions for men, women, and children in all options from straight, hydrophilic, and closed systems.

Feel free to contact us at 180 Medical, as well. One of our friendly, trained specialists will listen to your needs and individual preferences and walk you through the process of catheterization. We also offer one-of-a-kind instructional materials that can be sent to you with your order, including printed color brochures and a DVD. 

Which GentleCath™ products does 180 Medical carry?

180 Medical is proud to carry the full catheter product line from GentleCath™, including straight catheters, coude catheters, hydrophilic catheters, closed system catheters, and more. 

How can I find the catheter that's right for me?

Just contact 180 Medical by filling out our online inquiry form, connecting to us via Live Chat, or giving us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak to one of our trained, friendly specialists. We are happy to find the right catheter for your needs, and we can verify your insurance to determine if and how these products are covered on your policy. 

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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Supports MS Awareness Month

by Jessica March 3 2017 09:00

Each year, the beginning of March is the start of National MS Education and Awareness Month. At 180 Medical, we like to make sure to do what we can to raise awareness about this condition and support the millions who are affected by MS all across the world, including many of our customers, who depend on us for their catheter supplies. Take some time to learn a little bit more about MS and find out what you can do to help raise awareness this month. 

What is MS & Who is Affected?

MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is an "unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body." (Source: National MS Society)

This can affect one's optic nerves, spinal cord, brain, and nerves of the body in general, and the condition seems to attack the myelin sheath, the fatty protective material surrounding nerve axons that transmits impulses through the body).  

Since over 2,500,000 people around the world live with MS, there's a chance that someone you personally know is currently living with MS. 

What are the symptoms of MS?

MS can present itself in a multitude of different ways in the body, so the symptoms are not the same for every single person living with this condition.

Early warning signs of MS may include:
  • Vision changes
  • Cognitive issues
  • Sudden lack of coordination or difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Sudden or gradual weakness in your limbs 
If you suspect you may have Multiple Sclerosis, see your doctor as soon as possible to begin the process of diagnosis, as some of these symptoms are attributable to other conditions. The first diagnosis usually occurs when one is between twenty to forty years old, but symptoms can appear earlier or later in life.

Other MS symptoms one may experience include: 
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination and balance issues
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Cognitive dysfunction, mental fogginess
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • For a more comprehensive list, visit National MS Society's MS symptoms page.

Getting Involved in Raising Awareness About MS

A great way to connect with others and share information in order to help people understand more about this condition is through social media, so if you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another social media account, consider using it to help raise awareness. 

One of the fun happenings that we here at 180 Medical love to participate in is the annual National MS Society Walk MS event with the local Central Oklahoma chapter. Find a walk near you, sign up, and even a group of friends or family together to have a great time while taking steps to find a cure.

Some other fun ideas might be having a day during March for you and your co-workers, fellow students, or family to wear orange as a way to promote awareness, or having a fundraiser like a bake sale or car wash to donate to one of the great foundations and organizations that are working toward a cure for Multiple Sclerosis or dedicated to supporting and helping those living with MS. 

Life After an MS Diagnosis

If you or one of your close loved ones have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis by a qualified healthcare professional, please know that life is not over. There are many ways to manage your symptoms, including medication, changing your diet, getting better sleep, and getting regular exercise, all of which may help you feel your best. Support groups and connecting online with others living with MS in forums can be a big help. Sometimes just knowing someone else is living through and dealing with what you are can be a big relief and a way to feel less alone in your diagnosis.

This year, the National MS Society is launching Breakthrough MS, where those living with MS can share their personal stories, what inspires and keeps them going, and what their personal breakthrough with MS has been or one that they hope to achieve in the future. Learn more at

At 180 Medical, we understand that there are some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis that can feel embarrassing to discuss, like the inability to control your bladder, whether that's incontinence, bladder retention, or a combination of those symptoms. Talk to your doctor to find the right solution for your individual needs, and if intermittent catheters are recommended or prescribed as a treatment plan, know that when you contact 180 Medical at 1-877-688-2729, you will speak to understanding, professional specialists who are ready to offer you a compassionate, listening ear and set you up on the best catheter supplies for your needs.

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 7 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Questions You Might Have About an Ostomy Procedure

by Jessica February 28 2017 18:42
Have you been recently told by your doctor that you may need to have an ostomy surgery as a treatment for your health condition? It's completely natural and normal to have some concerns and questions before your procedure, whether you will have an ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy.

Here's a helpful infographic that will let you know a little bit more about what exactly an ostomy is, what life will be like after your surgery, and more: 

questions you might have about an ostomy procedure

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 




Tips for Managing Urinary Incontinence in the Winter

by Jessica February 23 2017 09:40

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. There are a number of causes, ranging from getting older, childbirth, accidents, nerve damage, and other interrelated conditions. The severity of urinary incontinence ranges as well. An individual may leak urine occasionally or during physical activity only, or there may be no warning at all before a sudden and intense urge to urinate. 

If you are currently living with incontinence, you are certainly not the only one. In fact, it's quite common; people just don't talk as openly or comfortably about it as other conditions. According to the Urinary Care Foundation, a quarter to a third of men and women in the United States has some form of urinary incontinence. When medication or other treatment methods such as surgery are not enough, intermittent catheters may be prescribed to help manage the incontinence. 

older couple in winter As we are now in the winter season, it's important to prepare yourself for the symptoms of urinary incontinence to maintain your day-to-day life.

Here are several things to keep in mind:

Stay Hydrated: It might seem counter-intuitive to drink more liquids to manage urinary incontinence, but hydration is important for managing the urinary system as well as maintaining the health of your entire body. Dehydration can cause thickening of the urine, which may irritate the bladder. You lose water every time you breathe, especially in the cold, dry weather in winter. Even though you may not feel dehydrated, monitor your fluid intake just to be on the safe side. 

Avoid Diuretics: Pay attention to the types of fluid you drink. In winter, you may be more likely to drink tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, which all contain levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a known diuretic, which can irritate the bladder and worsen the symptoms of incontinence.

Empty Your Bladder Before Leaving the House: Symptoms of urinary incontinence often come without warning. Before you leave the house on a day when you know you are going to be gone for a while, use the restroom beforehand to ensure your bladder is empty. This is especially important in winter when extreme weather occurrences are more likely, which may create traffic delays and other issues which might keep you away from a bathroom. 

If you use intermittent catheters to manage urinary incontinence, we have a wide variety of catheters to choose from. Contact us today to learn more about our products, services, and more. 

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Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

by Jessica February 16 2017 02:19
why do i need to use coude catheters blog header

Have you been recently told you need to use a catheter with a coudé tip? There are a few key reasons why the coudé catheter is often utilized in place of the standard straight tip variety of intermittent male length catheters, and we'll shed some light on that as well as letting you know some of the basic information about a coudé and how this can benefit you, based on your individual needs. 

What is a Coudé Tip Catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or foley catheter (most often available in male length, which is typically about 16 inches on average to accommodate for the length of the male urethra). Instead of the standard straight tip catheter, the insertion tip of the coudé catheter is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. In fact, the French word for elbow is how the coudé catheter got its name.

These are available from most of the major brands on the market today and are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials (vinyl, silicone, and red rubber latex varieties). You can get a coudé tip in most every common catheter type as well, from basic straight intermittent catheters, pediatric sizes, hydrophilic and pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters. 

coude vs straight tip catheters

When is a Coudé Tip Catheter Necessary?

Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably. This is due to a few reasons, usually related to a stricture or blockage in the urethra, which is the tube in the body which carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. The curved tip of a coudé catheter is often a better choice to bypassing those problem areas and drain the bladder with far less discomfort. 

A few of the most common factors that contribute to this need:
  • Enlarged prostate (or benign prostatic hyperplasia, almost known as BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma
The majority of coudé catheter-users are men or occasionally boys, which is why most coudé catheters are male length or pediatric length. However, they can be used for any gender when a straight catheter does not pass, depending upon your individual physiology and needs.

Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?

Most major insurance companies, including Medicare and many state Medicaid programs, cover coudé catheters, although the amount you can receive per month will likely depend upon your specific policy's coverage. 

Medicare, for instance, will typically cover up to 200 catheters per month (enough to self-cath between 6 and 7 times a day in a 30 day period), as long as there is a doctor's prescription for that amount as well as some supporting documentation offering justification why a coudé tip is necessary rather than the standard straight tip.  

At 180 Medical, we can handle verifying your insurance coverage to determine how your policy will cover your catheters and let you know if you will have any out-of-pocket cost, and we will also work with your doctor's office to get the necessary documentation, so that's one less thing for you to worry about as you begin your journey of learning to self-cath with a coudé catheter.

How Do I Insert and Use a Coudé Catheter?

Your prescribing healthcare professional will likely offer help and instructions in their facility or office, as well as letting you know how many times per day you will need to self-cath. But here are some basic how-to instructions for coude catheters that should help.

  1. Gather all of your cathing supplies and keep them nearby.lubricating the catheter
  2. Wash your hands, as well as the insertion site with warm soapy water. If available, disinfect using betadine swabsticks or wipes, wiping with a circular motion around the urethral opening. This may help reduce risk of infection. 
  3. If available, put on gloves to further reduce risk of contamination of the supplies by any possible germs left on your hands.
  4. Take your catheter out of the package and lubricate it with a sterile, water-soluble lubricant.
  5. While holding the penis gently in one hand, use your other hand to hold the catheter. Pull the penis up and hold it at a 45-degree angle away from your stomach.
  6. Insert the catheter slowly into your urethra. Some brands of coudé catheters have helpful guide dots or stripes available to help you keep the curve of the coudé tip in the angle and direction as  your doctor has suggested/shown you. If there is any resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle of your bladder, take a deep breath and gently apply steady pressure but do not force the catheter.
  7. When the urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a little further and lower the penis to allow your urine to flow into the toilet, urinal, or other receptacle.
  8. Once the flow of urine has stopped, you can slowly remove the catheter. 
  9. Throw catheter away.

We can also send you full-color instructional brochures and videos that will walk you through the catheterization process step-by-step with visuals. 

No matter what kind of intermittent catheter you need, 180 Medical can help you find the right supplies for you and your individual needs and preferences. Give us a call today at 1 (877) 688-2729 to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly Product Specialists to discuss your catheter options. 

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 


Ostomy Product Highlight: Eakin Cohesive Seals

by Jessica January 19 2017 21:12
ostomy product highlight eakin cohesive seals
Are you interested in keeping up-to-date on the available catheter and ostomy supplies available on the market today? At 180 Medical, we believe that educating and informing customers is a great way to make sure you know all of your options, so we love to share the scoop on what makes some of the many products we carry so great. Today, find out a little more about a product just for ostomates: Eakin Cohesive® Seals.

What Are Eakin Cohesive® Seals?

If you ever find yourself having issues with leakage around your stoma with your normal skin barriers, this product might be a good option for you!

These moldable, moisture-absorbing rings can be manipulated into a various shapes to accommodate for just about any size of stoma. The Eakin seals may be a great addition to your ostomy pouching system, because they act as a sort of putty to fill in any possible gaps between your skin surrounding the stoma and your pouch, thereby reducing the possibility of embarrassing leaks from your ostomy system.  

What Are Some of the Features?

Eakin Seals with Cohesive® technology offer a variety of helpful benefits and have some unique features you may want to know about, including:
  • Moldable to the precise fit of your unique stoma
  • Prevents leaks and offers skin protection
  • Absorbs more moisture than other stoma seal*
  • Alcohol-free (so it won't sting your skin)
  • Resistant to fungal growth
  • Increased wear-time
  • Very skin-friendly, even for those with sensitive or already damaged skin
  • Resistant to drying out
  • Does not lose its stickiness -- in fact, the more you handle it, the better
  • Does not expire
  • May be broken or cut and rejoined to fit around more difficult sites
  • Forms a gel that protects the skin
  • Can be used with all skin barriers and pouching systems
  • Especially great for those with flush or retracted stomas
  • Suitable for all types of ostomies, including an ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy

What Are the Size Options?

The Eakin seals come in four main varieties, as shown below. You can also contact one of our Ostomy Specialists to help you determine the right size for your individual needs.

eakin cohesive seal sizing chart

How Do You Use Eakin Cohesive® Seals?

You can also find helpful step-by-step instructions here.

To try a sample or to find out more about this great product, give us a call to speak with one of our highly trained Ostomy Specialists, who will be happy to help you with finding the right ostomy supplies for your needs as well as verify your insurance to determine how the Eakin Cohesive® Seals are covered on your policy.

ostomy product showcase
*"Effect of a long life ostomy seal on faecal enzyme activity" by Dr Grace McGroggan, TG Eakin Ltd and Dr Lorraine Martin, Queens University, Belfast

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 


What to Know About Folic Acid Awareness Week

by Jessica January 10 2017 19:42

January 8th through the 14th of this year is National Folic Acid Awareness Week, and we encourage all of our customers and readers of our blog to mark the dates on their calendars. If you want to take it a step further, share this post with your friends and family to help raise awareness. Folic acid is a vitamin that every person needs, but it is especially important for women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. With that in mind, here are a few notes about folic acid and its importance.

What is Folic Acid?

healthy pregnancy with folic acidFolic acid is an essential B vitamin the body needs to produce new cells. This is helpful for fetal development in the womb, but many others also take it for cardiovascular, brain, and nervous system support. 

Folate and folic acid are the same thing; folic acid is just the man-made version. You can get an adequate amount of folic acid in most pre-natal vitamins, but you can also get folate naturally in certain food sources, such as:

  • Lentils
  • Dark green vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, or asparagus
  • Beans (pinto, garbanzo, black, kidney, and more)
  • Cruciferous veggies like broccoli

What Birth Defects Could Be Caused by a Lack of Folic Acid?

There are primarily two:

1. Spina Bifida is a life-long condition which occurs when the neural tube doesn't completely close while in the womb, leaving the spinal cord often unprotected, depending on the severity of the condition. This can result in paralysis or poor limb function, neurogenic bladder and bowel issues, muscle weakness, and more.
2. Anencephaly is another condition associated with a lack of folic acid, which ultimately causes death because the brain does not completely form.

The CDC says that an adequate amount of folic acid could reduce the chances of having these birth defects by as much as 70%.

How Much Folic Acid Is Needed?

Pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant should aim for at least 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid at least a month before getting pregnant and every day during pregnancy. The easiest way to achieve this is by taking a pre-natal multivitamin supplement, although folate can also be taken in through natural food sources, such as the examples listed above. 

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