Running head: DME THE MIRACLE OF LIFE Medical Equipment-The Miracle of Life Laura Makula University of Phoenix HCS/402 Medical Equipment-The Miracle of Life When one thinks of Health Care, most think of the Doctor or Nurse that takes care of the impaired individual. However, not too much thought goes into the Medical Equipment used to save lives everyday like, cardiac defibrillators, dialysis machines, ventilators, oxygen therapy and apnea machines.

Durable Medical Equipment companies are an important factor in today’s world, for if we did not have the capacity or technology that entails DME, many would not survive serious diseases, internal complications due to accidents and trauma and even sleeping problems. Home care is commonly used due to studies proving that a patient’s healing time is far faster then if the patient was confined in a facility/hospital. According to the National Association for home care, about 7. 7 million people are receiving home care, of which only 15 percent require medical assistance from a paid source.

The trend is clearly toward continued growth. According to industry analysts, combined sales for in-home kidney dialysis, IV chemotherapy and antibiotic therapy, oxygen and oxygen therapy equipment, and intravenous and enterable (tube feeding) nutrition are expected to climb above $1. 3 billion in 1987, with a growth rate of more than 17. 5 percent annually for the five years ending in 1991. Indeed, home care has long appealed to consumers (Borfitz, 1988). It helps keep the family intact and gives the ill and handicapped a greater degree of comfort and dignity.

Moreover, its cost is from one-tenth to one-half that of institutional care. Caregivers of the family can use medical equipment if expenses are too high. Home health specialists are sometimes hired to provide care and to give instruction as well, so that eventually the family can take over the care-giving role. They teach the patient and family about the proper use and care of equipment, signs of equipment malfunction, possible side effects of medications, and signs of infection, for example. The Food and Drug Administration regulate the safety and effectiveness of home-care medical devices.

Since a medical device reporting regulation went into effect in 1984, manufacturers have been required to report to FDA any deaths or serious injuries from a device, or any malfunction that might result in a death or serious injury. In addition, an FDA computer data base receives reports of device-related problems directly from health-care professionals. (Borfitz, 1988) Ventilators and Oxygen Therapy and the number and types of ventilators in the home-care market have expanded so rapidly that communication between medical device manufacturers, distributors and users sometimes breaks down.

For example, companies that sell durable medical equipment do not always inform consumers of the manufacturer's preventive maintenance schedule on a piece of equipment. Also, Barbara Ferguson, physical therapist in FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, notes that although some companies employ trained professionals to instruct patients on equipment use, the owners and staff of many small "mom and pop" firms do not themselves know how to use the device.

Even some home health agency nurses may be unfamiliar with home ventilators unless they have had special training. In addition, when a problem with a ventilator occurs, users who need to be alerted may be difficult to find because the distributors have not kept good records. These and other issues relating to home use of respiratory devices will be addressed at a conference planned for mid-1988, sponsored by FDA and the American Association of Respiratory Care. Since then the website at Fda. ov on Medical device reporting have a special hyperlink called MEDWATCH if you are a consumer or healthcare professional, this program is for reporting significant adverse events or problems with medical products. Another aspect of DME that the FDA implemented was the (SMDA). Under the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990 (SMDA), device user facilities must report device-related deaths to the FDA and the manufacturer, if known. Device user facilities must also report device-related serious injuries to the manufacturer, or to the FDA if the manufacturer is not known.

In addition, SMDA also required that device user facilities submit to FDA, on a semiannual basis, a summary of all reports submitted during that time period. The device user facility reporting section of SMDA became effective on November 28, 1991 (U. S. Food and Drug Admin, 2002) Individuals with disabilities are also very greatly impacted by the need and/or use of DME. Unfortunately some health care plans place a limit on coverage, and/or have none at all. Barriers to access to are those factors that contribute to preventing a person from utilizing a service when needed.

Although many of the health-care needs of individuals with disabilities are similar to those of people without disabilities, the presence of a disabling condition can place the individual at greater risk for secondary conditions, higher utilization of downstream services, increased need for durable medical equipment, functional decline, decreased independence, and psychological distress than is found in the general population (Sutton & DeJong, 1998). Infusion Therapy products for in-home infusion therapy are among the most widely used high-tech, home-care equipment on the market today.

Prescribed doses of antibiotics, chemotherapy, or chemical food substitutes can be delivered from a sterile bag or bottle through a flexible tube, called a catheter, into the patient's body (Borfitz, 1988). One of the most common applications of infusion therapy is parenteral hyper alimentation for patients who, because of accident or disease, can no longer digest food. Infusion therapy care-givers are highly trained specialist’s and can also train a family member to administer the product.

The delivery from one health care system to the other such as a patient being discharged from the hospital and a nurse administering IV feeding is another important aspect of how medical equipment helps the patient accommodate him or her self in their home. There are many products that stand in the category of durable medical equipment and some were not mentioned, however, the probability of medical equipment being critically important are addressed, and moreover through careful and thorough studies the patient feels that DME is a very important aspect of their lives, for if they did not have it their life would be dramatically changed.

Trained health professionals require basic tools to diagnose and treat patients and medical equipment is essential to the delivery of health services. The absence of such materials such as stethoscopes and blood-pressure cuffs to anesthesia machines, surgical equipment and operating tables can be a source of great frustration to physicians and nurses and can prevent patients from getting adequate care. Shortly put, Durable medical equipment saves lives nd is an essential part of taking care of seriously ill patients, if we did not have medical equipment where would we be? It affects everyone, the elderly, children it also effects the healthy population. DME has come along way since it began, and is only getting more advanced; DME is unquestionably here to stay. References Deborah Borfitz, "Home Is Where the Health Care Is," FDA Consumer Apr. 1988, Questia, 23 May 2006 ;http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? =o=5002140341;. Jessica Scheer, Thilo Kroll, Melinda T. Neri, and Phillip Beatty, "Access Barriers for Persons with Disabilities: The Consumer's Perspective," Journal of Disability Policy Studies 13. 4 (2003), Questia, 23 May 2006 ;http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o=5001705978;. U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (2002, September 22). Retrieved May 23, 2006, from Department of Health and Human Services Web Site: http://www. fda. gov/cdrh/mdr/mdr-general. html