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X-PLO₂R™ Portable Oxygen Concentrator Receives FDA Clearance

Belluscura is excited to announce that the X-PLO2R portable oxygen concentrator has been granted 510(K) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We are extremely proud to bring this technology to the market, in doing our part to help improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide who suffer from chronic lung diseases, such as the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), respiratory distress caused by COVID-19, and many other respiratory disorders.

View the full press release and continue to follow Belluscura for future updates.

 

wise healthcare

How to Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer

Americans spend more time researching purchases such as cars and appliances than they do choosing health plans, according to the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. Being a wise healthcare consumer means making the right choices that are best for you and your family when it comes to your health.

At times, we take our health, especially lung health for granted. Our lungs work hard every day to make sure they keep germs, bacteria and serious health conditions at bay. They provide oxygen-rich blood to our body to ensure it functions properly. Therefore, it is important that we prioritize our lung health, starting by prioritizing the healthcare we receive as consumers.

As an example, if you or a loved one develops a respiratory condition, you will want to thoroughly research respiratory therapy, which involves caring for patients with chronic breathing problems and lung issues. Factors that cause respiratory problems such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema are often treated with respiratory therapy, and you will want to find a respiratory therapist that is right for you.

We have provided 6 tips to help you navigate and stay on the right track by taking charge of your healthcare.

Choosing a Healthcare Provider for Your Health Needs

Finding a provider that can help you with your specific healthcare needs can be overwhelming. When choosing a provider, it is important to understand the different specialties of healthcare providers. Common healthcare providers include:

  • Pulmonologist: A pulmonologist is a doctor who diagnoses and treats diseases of the respiratory system which include the lungs and other organs that help you breathe.
  • Internal Medicine: Internal medicine physicians typically treat adults and specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and management of disease and chronic conditions.
  • Family Practice: Family practice physicians treat patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. They are generalists who can treat a wide variety of conditions and can often save you a trip to a specialist’s office.
  • General Practice: General Practice physicians are like family practice physicians and can treat patients of any gender or age. This category is one area where you might also find osteopaths, which are physicians that practice a type of alternative medicine with a special focus on the musculoskeletal system and are distinguished by the “D.O.” after their name instead of “M.D.” General Practice physicians can usually refer you to a specialist if needed.

Know Your Healthcare Coverage

Be sure you are familiar with your health insurance plan. It is important that your plan covers everything you would like it to, including any specific health difficulties you may have. Your insurance should be tailored to your specific needs and health conditions. You may need to switch healthcare plans if you need additional coverage or if you need to reduce the coverage you currently have if you buy your own insurance. Pay special attention to the cost of your current insurance and do not be afraid to shop around to compare costs of various insurance companies. You do not want to pay more than you need to!

Communication is Key

Before a trip to the doctor, always research and write down any questions you may have for them so that you will be ready for your appointment upon arrival. Always be sure to communicate with your doctor honestly and clearly since they need your compliance to best treat you. Always follow the doctor’s instructions and be sure to ask questions if you are confused or if there is something you do not understand.

Get Regular Check-Ups

Regular check-ups are essential to catching medical problems sooner than later. This is especially true for lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious. The sooner a condition is diagnosed, the less complicated it usually is to treat, which will drive the costs down for you. If you are over 50, you should be getting a check-up at least once a year. For those with underlying health conditions, you may need more regular check-ups. Your doctor will know what is best for you, so be sure to ask them how often you should visit.

Get Unusual Symptoms Treated

If you think something is wrong, seeking medical attention is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Waiting out your symptoms out at home can increase your chances of complications, which can make for a more costly visit to the doctor as well as pose risks to your health. The sooner you get help the better to confirm that nothing serious is going on.

Use Generic Medication

When prescribed medication, ask if there is a generic alternative you can try instead. Generic medications are usually less expensive than name brands, and most of the time they work just as well as branded ones. Using generic medications will save you money while still getting you the treatment that you need.

Takeaway

Following these tips can ensure that you get the most out of your healthcare plan. By doing these 6 things, you are on your way to becoming a wise healthcare consumer!

Sources

https://healthylife.com/wise/

 

 

 

Respiratory Therapist Spotlight: Ruthie Marker MSRC, RRT

Each year, Respiratory Therapists (RT) are celebrated during Respiratory Care Week, happening this year from October 25th to October 31st. RT’s play a vital role in the lives of various patient populations, and most notably this year, providing hands-on care for patients whose breathing has been compromised by the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 Virus) pandemic.

Ruthie Marker MSRC, RRT, Manager of Clinical Affairs at Belluscura, has worked as a respiratory therapist for over ten years in various clinical settings and locations and, most recently, as manager of clinical affairs at Belluscura. We interviewed Ruthie recently to get her thoughts and feedback regarding her clinical and non-clinical medical device careers.

respiratory therapist

Ruthie Marker MSRC, RRT, Manager of Clinical Affairs at Belluscura, plc

Q: What was your first job as a respiratory therapist?

A: In my last year of undergraduate coursework I applied to University Medical Center at Brackenridge (UMBC) in Austin, TX as a respiratory care assistant. In that role, I helped with things such as disinfecting equipment and maintaining supplies stocked throughout the hospital. That summer, I completed two internships at UMCB in the Level I Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I enjoyed my internships so much that after receiving my degree and passing the required board exams, I started my respiratory career at UMCB and called it home fore the next four years.

Q:  What did you like most at UMCB?

A: What I liked the most about UMCB was working closely with the group of pulmonologists. The group consisted of about six highly experienced pulmonologists. What I enjoyed the most was assisting with bedside tracheostomies.  A procedure that once required the patient to go to the operating room can now be performed in a patients’ room which conserves cost, time, and most importantly, reduces infection risks.

Q: What was the most important lesson you learned working there?

A: The most important lesson I learned at UMCB was that life is very short. Trauma happens when you least expect it and I saw a lot of it there. It taught me to be thankful for every moment I have on this earth. I attribute much of who I am today as a respiratory therapist to the lessons learned while working with such amazing clinicians and the hands on experience I gained.

Q:  After Brackenridge, what did you do next?

A: The next two years were very fluid due to relocations, and in 2013 I started working at the Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, TX, specifically the Medical ICU. In 2016, I began working in Parklands Level III Neonatal ICU (NICU). I fell in love with the NICU and learned so much, I was part of a resuscitation team that attended all high risk and preterm deliveries.

Q:  What was the most challenging and rewarding part of working at Parkland?

A: The NICU has by far been the most challenging, yet most rewarding area I have had the pleasure of working in. The resilience of these tiny humans is unbelievable! I have cared for babies that weigh less than a pound, 370 grams to be exact! With the amazing multidisciplinary team at Parkland NICU and the progressive treatment approaches, these babies thrive!

Q: As an RT, have you worked with COVID-19 patients?

A: Working in the NICU was a relatively ‘safe’ place to work since many of our patient interactions were with babies. While we did risk exposing ourselves in various other areas of the hospital, it remained my haven.

When I left Parkland, I took a crisis RT position in Baltimore, MD. The hospital I worked at in Baltimore was extremely understaffed and not equipped to handle the surge of patients now making their way to hospitals for treatment. I wanted to challenge myself, seeing if my skills for treating adult patients were still there. The transition was a bit bumpy, but I got back in the swing of things fast.

Q: What did you find was the most difficult part of dealing with patients during this pandemic?

A: As a respiratory therapist, treating both adult and preterm infants, I was used to treating patients with various chronic and acute conditions. COVID-19 is something no one was prepared for and forced us to adapt quickly. In the beginning, there were many unknowns, for example how best to manage patients requiring respiratory support.  I’ll admit I cried the first week I was there, feeling an overwhelming amount of emotions and experiencing the physical toll it took on me.

It was difficult to feel as if I was making a difference in patients’ lives and still see patients dying. My time in Baltimore was short, I applaud all my fellow RT heroes that are showing up, day after day, overcoming physical, emotional, and mental stress!

Q: When and why did you decide to leave the clinical practice of respiratory therapy and join a medical device company?

A: After graduating with my masters in December 2019, I wanted to explore the potential of my profession outside of clinical practice. As RTs, we depend on the technology developed by respiratory care and medical device companies to care for our patients, both in the acute care setting as well as outpatient care. I wanted to immerse myself in the industry responsible for helping make patients’ quality of lives better, currently through the development of a portable oxygen concentrator, and continue my passion for being a patient advocate.

I think it is essential for RTs to be at the heart of any products or therapy that will improve the lives of patients. After all, we help patients breathe easier! I still have a close relationship with many practicing RTs, and I read more clinical trials and articles now than ever before. This helps me stay current with treatment practices and enables me to continue growing my knowledge of patient care.

Q: As a respiratory therapist yourself, why is Respiratory Care Week important to you?

A: Have I mentioned one of the perks of Respiratory Care Week is all the delicious treats?! Ok, all kidding aside, the most important thing for me is for the world to know who we are. Breathing is a synonym for respiratory, and in my opinion, should be synonymous with a respiratory therapist. We are an integral part of patients’ lives, not only in the hospital setting but also in outpatient care, sleep medicine, asthma clinics, pulmonary rehabilitation centers, and soon will be involved in treating COVID-19‘long haulers.’

Takeaway

As healthcare continues to evolve rapidly, so will the various roles held by respiratory therapists. This Respiratory Care Week be sure to show your appreciation for the respiratory therapists in your community! They do so much behind the scenes with doctors and nurses and deserve recognition for what they do.

 

Ruthie has been a respiratory therapist for over ten years. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. She started her career working in a Level I Trauma center in Austin, TX, and most recently spent the last five years working at Parklands MICU and Level III NICU. Currently, she is the Manager of Clinical Affairs at Belluscura plc, a medical device company focused on developing innovative oxygen enrichment technologies designed to create improved health and economic outcomes for patients, healthcare providers, and insurance organizations.