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Cat Owners! Take Heed!

25 Aug

My friend, Maddwitch, found an interesting article about the affects of clumping litter on the digestive systems of cats.  Since clumping litter is made with materials designed to absorb moisture and can expand to 15 times its original volume, just licking the dust of clumping litter off their fur can create enough mass in a cat’s bowels to create a life-threatening blockage.  I wonder if this is the “mass” that killed my beloved Missy.

Dogs living in homes that use clumping litter are also at risk if they “snack” out of the cat’s litter box.

What is really maddening is that the companies know this is happening, but say its our responsibility to ensure our animals don’t eat the litter.  Kind of hard to keep a cat from licking itself clean, though.

The only way you can be sure this won’t happen to your cat is to start using non-clumping litter.  If I still had a cat, I certainly would.

Missy was the only one out of four cats that I could bring with me when I moved from RI to FL; she always wanted to be an only child.  Here she is up North showing off her mid-air catching skillz:


And her retrieving skillz; I think she may have been a dog in her previous life lol:


Or maybe she was a nurse, because she was always near me when I was having an HAE swelling (fortunately, this attack was limited to my right hand and forearm):


Want A Portacath? Here’s Some Stuff You’ll Need

10 Jan

I remember what it was like when I was first trying to figure out just what a port was, let alone what a Huber needle was, what it looked like or even how to spell it.  The people I was talking to or corresponding with were so familiar with the terms and ideas that they either were in too much hurry or just couldn’t break down things to my layman’s level.  So here’s a peek at what some of the stuff you’ll be getting/needing looks like.

Portal, Septum and Catheter

Typical Portacath: Portal, Septum and Catheter; whole unit is inserted under the skin; septum is the yellowish space in the middle and is where the Huber needle is inserted

Saline Usually Have White Caps, Heparin Have Yellow

Pre-Filled Flushes: Saline Usually Have White Caps, Heparin Have Yellow

Shows Threads So Syringe Screws onto Clave

Shows Threads So Syringe Screws onto Clave

Example of a MicroClave

Example of a MicroClave: Remove blue cap from left side and attach to end of IV tubing; right side screws into syringe

MicroClave Attached to IV Tubing

MicroClave Attached to IV Tubing

Biopatch -- A Little Bigger Than a Quarter

Biopatch -- A Little Bigger Than a Quarter

These are the types of Huber needles that I know about:

Huber Plus from Now Medical

Huber Plus from Now Medical

The Huber Plus Safety Huber Needle was the first self-contained, passive, safety non-coring huber needle to receive FDA pre-market notification as a safety device. It requires minimal change in user technique and can be activated using a one-handed operation.  The safety feature does not interfere with the normal use of the product. The HUBER PLUS safety wings are color-coded to identify needle gauge size and is offered in several needle lengths ranging from ½” to 1 ½”.  Straight sets are available as well as sets containing a needle free y-site featuring a positive pressure valve.

The Huber Plus is activated by simply grasping the wings with thumb and forefinger and squeezing.  The needle is encapsulated within the locked wings as the needle is removed from the port.  The safety mechanism provides both visual and audible (the safety “snap”) confirmation that the exposed needle is now covered and the clinician is protected from accidental needlestick injuries.  Additional information can be obtained from Now Medical by clicking here or call 610-455-0258.

Gripper Plus from Deltec

Gripper Plus from Deltec

The design of the GRIPPER PLUS® Safety Needle allows the user to de-access the needle in one safe, easy, natural motion. Its unique feature is a safety arm that is lifted to lock the needle into a protected position when removing it from an implanted port.  The fingers are placed on each side of the needle base. With the other hand, place a finger on the tip of the safety arm. The safety arm is lifted straight back until it CLICKS into its locked position.  The product can then be dropped into a sharps container.

The Gripper Plus has a cushioned needle platform for greater patient comfort, needle stabilization and protection of the access site.  It has a removable contoured grip for controlled needle placement. The clamps are color-coded for needle gauge size identification. For more information on the Gripper Plus click here or call 800 426 2448.

LifeGuard™ Safety Huber needle from Horizon Medical Products (HMP)

Lifeguard Safety Huber Needle from HMPLifeGuard Safety Huber Needle from Horizon Medical Products

This is what I used at one point.

LifeGuard’s needle trap fully encapsulates the needle upon removal.  Compared to traditional Huber needles, Lifeguard is designed for maximum control and safety with minor changes to technique. It provides both visual and audible confirmation of safety.  It has colored safety handle for needle gauge confirmation.  To remove the needle from the port septum simply raise the needle trap upward to 90°.

Using non-dominant hand, grasp the safety hinge with thumb and middle finger. Gently push the safety hinge down against the patient’s skin and port.

Flip the safety needle towards the needle trap into the safe position. For more information contact Horizon Medical Products at 800-472-5221 or visit their website here.

Surecan® Safety Huber Needle by B. Braun

Surecan Safety Huber by B. Braun

Whether you’re delivering chemotherapy, antibiotic therapy, or parenteral nutrition, the Surecan® Safety Huber Needle’s patented safety clip will automatically engage as you withdraw the needle from the base plate.

It is color–coded by size with 19, 20, and 22 gauge needles available. The Surecan® is latex-free to avoid the risk of allergic reaction and DEHP-free for compatibility with chemo drugs and lipids. Enables you to inject medication or withdraw blood from the Y–site with a simple luer connection. The base of the port is stabilized by firmly holding down with the non-dominate hand. The needle is withdrawn by pulling straight out by the hub grip. The safety clip automatically activates covering the needle.  For more information click here or call 800-523-9676.

LiftLoc™ Safety Infusion Set manufactured by Specialized Health Products(R) International, Inc. and marketed by Bard Access Systems

LiftLoc marketed by Bard Access Systems

LiftLoc Safety Infusion Set features a robust shield that is deployed as the needle is withdrawn from the port, effectively reducing the risk of accidental needlesticks, including rebound injuries. A Patient Comfort Pad™ is included with each LiftLoc set, and is designed for patient comfort. The use of the Patient Comfort Pad is optional.  LiftLoc’s safety mechanism is easy-to-use and conforms to common user technique. To access simply grasp the wings and lift them.  As the wings are lifted up, the clinician pulls the LiftLoc from the port while covering the needle.

The LiftLoc Safety Infusion Set is distributed under the SHPI label by Cardinal Health, Medline Industries, Inc., and Physician Sales and Service, Inc. (“PSS”), leading distributors with a strong presence in the oncology, chronic hematology and long-term intravenous nutritional markets.  The product line is distributed in the hospital market on a private label basis by Bard Access Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of C.R. Bard, Inc.  For more information about the product contact Bard Access Systems, Inc. at 800/545-0890 or go to their website.

Luther Safety Huber Needle Protector by Luther Research Partners

Luther Safety Huber Needle by Luther Research PartnersLuther Safety Huber Needle by Luther Research Partners

The Luther Safety Huber Needle Set is a device intended to administer medications to a patient through a subcutaneously implanted port.  This safety device is for use on all Huber needles manufactured from ½ to 1 ½ inch.

The Huber Safety Needle cover is manually activated.  It uses a permanent locking tip that renders the sharp portion of the needle inaccessible upon removal of the needle from the implanted port.   It has a foam pad for patient comfort. The sure-grip handle is available for easy insertion and removal from even the most difficult ports. Simply grab the sure-grip handle and lift the needle from the implanted port septum.

The safety system cannot be defeated or reset.   For more information call (714) 434-1564 ext 4 or visit their website here.

Kawasumi Laboratories America, Inc. – K-Shield

K-shield by Kawasumi America

Kawasumi America is marketing a new needle safety device designed to protect oncology clinicians from Huber needle stick injuries incurred while removing needles from subcutaneous ports. The device also provides a convenient means for disposing the Huber needle after removal from patients, but does not discomfort the patient at any time, nor does it present any needle movement during the time of infusion. The K-shield ensures safety for the clinician while maintaining maximum patient comfort. When deaccessing the Kawasumi Huber needle from the implanted port, simply lift up and fold the wings down on top of the needle. [kshield.jpg]   For more information on this product call 800-KAWASUMI (529-2786) or visit their website here.

TriState – Centurion® HuberGuard™ Safety Device ( Manufactured by Harmac and distributed by TriState Hospital Supply Corporation)

Centurion® HuberGuard(tm) Safety Device provides needlestick prevention when used in conjunction with the Centurion® huber infusion sets for removal and disposal. The low-profile needle is comfortable for the patient and reduces bumping and dislodgement from the port.  To deaccess from the port septum the HuberGuard is aligned over top of the Centurion huber needle.  The needle is pulled up by the right wing so that the needle is held within the HuberGuard. The needle clicks securely into place providing both tactile and audible safety lock position indicators. The needle is then disposed of in a sharps container. The Centurion HuberGuard is available in sterile or non-sterile configurations.  For more information contact Tri-State Hospital Supply Corporation at 517.546.5400 or visit their website here.

Huberloc (Manufactured by MedCare Medical Group, Inc. and Distributed and Marketed through Baxter Healthcare)

Huberloc marketed by Baxter

The Huberloc is a safety product that removes the needle from the port and contains it thus eliminating rebound needlestick.  It allows the clinician to use the huber needle of their choice.  The Huberloc Device also offers a positive pressure flush and lock technique.  Because the Huberloc Device enables you to remove a huber needle with one hand, you can perform a positive pressure flush during decannulation with the other hand.

This simultaneous flush and lock technique helps maintain catheter patency. The Huberloc is designed for compatibility with 19 GA x 1 ½” long and smaller 90° winged huber needles.  Simply align the HuberLoc with the needle hub that is opposite of the tubing.  The forks of the HuberLoc are slid forward until the needle shaft is all the way to the back of the forks.  While pressing down on the top of the HuberLoc with your thumb, pull up on the finger grips with your first two fingers (like syringe motion). This extracts the Huber needle. Continue this motion until the slide “snaps” into its locked position. For more information please phone 888-229-0001 or visit their website here.

Is the light getting better in here, just a wee bit?  I hope so.  There are more posts on my website that deal with the sterile procedures on how all this stuff comes together.  Either use the “Search” feature or the drop down menu under “Check Out What Faerie♥Kat’s Been Writing About” and scroll down to “HAE”.

Be well and don’t swell!

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