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Home Medical Supplies Glossary

What does it mean? Discover home medical supplies & associated medical terms found in many of our product descriptions.

Bath / Shower Bench - Bench usually made of non-slip plastic used for sitting during showering and bathing.
Elevated Toilet Seat - A platform that sits directly on the toilet bowl for easier mobility when sitting down and standing up from the toilet.
Grab Bars - A plastic bar affixed to a wall or solid surface for the use of support when standing, sitting, or moving; useful in bathroos for the privacy of those with limited mobility.
Handheld Showers - A showerhead that extends from the wall with a hose, allowing the user to easily control the flow of water from a seated or limited mobility position.
Toilet Frame - A lightweight frame that sits around a commode for ease of mobility when sitting and standing.
Transfer Bench - A bench used in bathrooms for easy, more comfortable transfer of patients with limited mobility from assisted mobility devices to bathtubs, showers, toilets, or beds.
Tub Grips - A grip that affixes to the edge of a bathtub to make getting out/in the tub easier for those with limited mobility.
Athletic Recovery - Graduated compression socks and leggings designed specifically to provide compression for the faster recovery of muscles due to athletic activity.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - A serious but preventable and treatable medical condition, involving the formation of a blood clot deep within the body, typically found in legs but sometimes in the hips or arms. DVT can result in a dislodged clot traveling to the lung and resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE). For more see:
Graduated Compression - A term used in compression therapy stockings, refers to a gradually decreasing level of compression from the ankle and up the leg for the purposes of encouraging blood flow from legs to the rest of the body.
Lymphedema - Swelling caused by the obstruction of the lymphatic system.
mmHg - Also known as "Torr", it is the measurement of compression level in compression stockings, determened by the fluid pressure exerted by millimeters of mercury.
Post-Thombotic Syndrome - A swelling or aching pain in the body after venous thrombosis and DVT (a clot within the leg). Commonly treated with compression therapy - a condition that can cause potentially fatal complications, health care physican should be contacted for diagnosis and treatment.

Vacuum Pump - A device used to encourage blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection and used in conjunction with a tension ring immediately before sexual activity. Vacuum pumps can be either manual (hand pumped) or automatic (battery-operated).
Tension ring - Used in conjunction with a vacuum pump, tension rings are placed at the base of the penis to constrict the blood flow temporarily from leaving the penis to prolong an erection.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) - The consistent inability to achieve an erection for sexual performance, due to physical or mental reasons. ED is often a symptom of a broader health condition and should be discussed with a health physician.
Male Impotence - See "Erectile Dysfunction"
Lubricant - Lubes can be used for sexual activity, but also used in conjunction with vacuum pumps for safety from skin abrasions and for a solid seal between the penis and the pump.

Adhesive Coupling (AC) - Adhesive technology used to connect pouches and barriers without plastic rings commonly snapped or locked together.
AF300 Filter - Hollister's integrated filter system for select pouches. "AF" stands for "air flow" and "300" represents the mm2 air flow surface.
Baseplate - See "Flat Skin Barrier" and "Convex Skin Barrier"
Closed Pouch - A pouch with no opening, clamp, or spout attached to it. Closed pouches are discarded after use.
Colostomy - An ostomy with a surgical opening through the abdomen the large intestine.
ComfortWear Panel - Hollister's soft pouch outer lining to make the pouch more comfortable and discreet to wear.
Convex Skin Barrier - A Skin Barrier used when the stoma is flush or retracted from the skin. It presses more deeply into the skin than standard skin barriers for a secure fit.
Cut-To-Fit - Skin barriers that can be cut down to the size and shape of a stoma. Choose a size range that accomodates the stoma.
Drainable Pouch - A pouch with an opening that can be emptied for further use and is secured by a clamp or integrated closure system.
Extended Wear Barrier - Barriers with an extra strong adhesion for an extra secure fit and resistance to breaking down. Ideal for illeostomies and urostomies.
Filter - Air filters on pouches that allow the gas to release without odor.
Flange - A simple plastic ring on a two-piece ostomy system used to connect the pouch to the barrier.
Flat Skin Barrier - A standard skin barrier, used when the stoma protrudes from the skin.
Flextend Skin Barrier - Hollister's extended wear barrier, designed for high resistance to leaks and breakdown.
FlexWear Skin Barrier - Hollister's standard wear barrier, designed to be worn for multiple days and resist breakdown over standard barriers.
Floating Flange - A flange that allows fingers to go underneath for extra support when attaching the pouch to the barrier.
Illeostomy - An ostomy with a surgical opening through the abdomen to the small intestine.
Irrigation - A process (generally done by a nurse or physician) used control the time of elimination from colostomy.
Karaya Skin Barrier - A barrier made with "karaya gum" - a natural, soft material used for ostomy patients with more sensitive or weepy skin.
Lock n' Roll Closure - Hollister's patented system with plastic interlocking fasters used to keep drainable pouches closed and secure.
Odor-Barrier Pouch - Pouches that provide extra resistance to allowing odors to pass through.
Pre-Sized - Skin barriers that are already cut to a specific, round size. These barriers are ready to use and require no cutting.
QuietWear Fabric - Hollister's pouch fabric and film, laminated together to help eliminate pouch noise and sit gently on the skin.
Rustle-Free Pouch - Pouches designed not to make noise during normal wear.
SenSura - Coloplast's double-layer skin barrier technology for minimizing skin problems.
Skin Barrier - Necessary part of an Ostomy pouching system that adheres to the skin to protect it from stoma output. The pouch will sit on top of the skin barrier.
SoftFlex Skin Barrier - Hollister's short term wear skin barrier; while they break down faster, they are designed to be as gentle as possible to the skin.
Standard Wear Skin Barrier - A skin barrier designed for regular wear; they will break down faster than extended wear barriers but adhere more gently.
Stoma - A small surgical opening in the skin for ostomy drainage. It's a small red and moist opening in the body with no physical feeling.
Urostomy - An ostomy with a surgical opening for the drainage of urine.
Urostomy Pouch - Pouch designed for urostomies with an integrated drain valve so urine can quickly be emptied.
Wafer - See "Flat Skin Barrier" and "Convex Skin Barrier"
Wear Time - The amount of time that a product can be worn without the risk of failure.
Wide Outlet Pouch - A pouching system designed for colostomies and illeostomies with thicker output.
Anti-Reflux - A term used to describe the ability of a product to prevent urine from re-intering the tubing, causing possible contamination.
Application Collar - For Hollister's external male catheter, this is a guide with notches to help affix the device properly.
Bladder - An organ in the pelvis that stores and expels urine.
Bladder Catheterization - Passing a catheter through the urethra (or a stoma) to drain the bladder or perform tests of urological function.
Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK) - Antimicrobial solution for disinfecting the uretheral opening prior to inserting a catheter.
Catheter (Urinary) - A rubber, vinyl, or silicone tube inserted through the urethra (or a stoma) to drain the bladder.
Closed System - A "touch less" catheter that is designed with a urine bag to be inserted without being directly touched. This helps to prevent UTIs, common in catheterization.
Collection Bag - A leg bag or bedside bag designed to collect urine that passes through tubing connected to a catheter.
Condom Catheter - See External Catheter
Connectors - A small tool that connects tubing to a catheter or pouch.
Coude Tip - A slight curve on the top of a catheter designed to make insertion easier and more comfortable for some men. Many coude tip catheters have a notch to help guide insertion.
External (Condom) Catheter - A device secured with adhesive externally to the male penis shaft for urine collection, and connected to a urine bag or collection system.
Eyelet - An oval-shaped opening at the insertion tip of a catheter for draining the bladder. Smooth eyelets allow a catheter to insert smoothly without causing friction to the urethra.
Female Urinary Pouch - Hollister's one-piece pouch designed to fit externally to the vaginal area, designed for female immobile patients.
Firm Catheter - Refers to lesser pliability of a urethral catheter.
Flextend Barrier - Hollister's skin barrier with strong adhesive seal designed for less breakdown from fluids.
French (Fr. ) Units - A unit of measurement equal to .33mm. Used in sizing the diameter of an internal catheter.
Funnel - Attached to the non-insertion tip of an internal catheter, designed to make fluid control easier or to connect a syringe for fluid instillation into the bladder.
Guide Stripe - A line of color along the catheter to use as an alignment guide during insertion. Particularly useful in coude tip catheters.
Hydrophyllic Catheter - Designed to be lubricated by moistening with water to make insertion easier and lessens friction against the urethra.
Incontinence - Loss of control of bladder and/or bowel function.
Indwelling Catheter - A small thin tube that remains continuously in the bladder to drain urine. Also sometimse known as a Foley catheter.
Latex - Natural rubber material used for red rubber catheters and some male external catheters. Some individuals have skin sensitivities and allergies to latex.
Leg Bag - A bag worn around the leg and connected with tubing to a catheter, used for the collection of urine. Also see "Collection Bag".
Leg Bag Straps - Straps used to secure a urine collection bag in place against the leg.
Luer End - A catheter without a funnel on the insertion end.
Lubricant - Water soluble jelly or gel used on the catheter before insertion to minimize pressure and friction on the urethra.
Male Urinary Pouch - Hollisters' one-piece pouch designed for short, flush, retracted penises, generally used on immobile patients.
Meatus - The name of the urethral opening for both men and women.
Neurogenic Bladder - An unstable or uncontrollable bladder due to neurological conditions such as diabetes, stroke, or spinal cord injury
Non-latex - A term used to describe any product not made of natural rubber, used to distinguish products for those with skin sensitivities and/or allergic reactions to latex.
Olive Tip - Oval-shaped catheter tip used to help find the uretheral opening for female catheterization.
Pre-Lubricated Catheter - A catheter lubricated either by its packaging or the application of the catheter prior to insertion.
PVP - Povidone iodine solution, used as an antimicrobial for the urethral opening (meatus) before insertion of a catheter to help prevent infections. PVP can stain clothing or garments.
Self-Cath - A popular Mentor-Coloplast line of single-use catheters, designed with silicone surfaces and latex-free.
SpeediCath - A popular, portable Coloplast line of pre-lubricated catheters designed for ease of use and portability. "SpeediCath Compact" is a slim, discreet version for women.
Soft Catheter - A catheter designed to be soft and flexible.
Straight Tip - The rounded insertion tip of a catheter.
Texas Catheter - See External Catheter
Urine Crystallization - The formation of crystals and salts from alkaline urine,which may allow bacteria to grow in the bladder and potentially cause catheter-associated Urinay Tract Infections (CAUTI). Acidic urine will help prevent crystal formation.
Urethra - The bodily tube through which urine exits the bladder and the body.
Vented Leg Bag - A leg bag with a vent system for vacuum relief; designed to prevent a vacuum from creating in the leg bag and tubing & stalling urine drainage.
Abrasion - A wearing away of the skin due to friction or trauma.
Abscess - Accumulation of pus formed as a result of an infection.
Alginate - Highly absorptive dressing derived from brown seaweed.
Bandage - A material used medically to support the body or another medical device such as a dressing, splint or other purposes for medical purposes.
Cellulitis - Inflammation of tissues, indicating an infection, usually seen as redness, edema, and tenderness.
Collagen - The supportive protein of the skin and connective tissue.
Debridement - Removing foreign material and contaminated tissue from a wound as part of the healing process.
Dehiscence - Seperation of wound edges.
Denude (Denuded) - Removal or loss of superficial skin layers.
Dermis - Directly beneath the epidermis, the dermis holds the sweat glands and blood vessels for structure and strength support of the skin.
Dressings - A medical material used on direct contact with wounds to stop bleeding, lessen pain, promote healing, protect from infections, and prevent further abrasions to the wound tissue.
Edema - Swelling, usually due to abnormal fluid buildup beneath the skin.
Epidermis - The outermost layers of skin, with varying thickness, and replaces itself every 4-6 weeks.
Erythema - Diffuse redness of the skin.
Eschar - Thick, leathery black crust on a wound, colonized with bacteria.
Excoriation - Linear scratches on the skin.
Exudate - Wound drainage and fluid.
Friction - Rubbing that causes abrasions to the skin.
Full-thickness - Used to describe wounds with destruction extending past the skin, affecting the subcutaneous levels and possibly muscles, fascia, or bone.
Granulation - Formation of connective tissues and new capillaries in full-thickness wounds.
Hydrocolloid Dressings - Wound dressings made with gelatin, pectin, and carboxymethylcellulose that adheres to the wound and provides a moist healing environment.
Hydrogel - Maintains a moist wound healing environment and helps absorb wound exudate.
Hydrophilic - Attracting moisture.
Infection - An overgrowth of microorganisms in quantities that overwhelm the body's natural defenses.
Maceration - Softening of tissue by soaking in fluids.
Necrotic - Devitalized tissue that appears yellow, gray, and/or dark and leathery.
Partial-thickness - Wounds that extend as far as the dermis.
Peri-Wound - The area around the immediate proximity of a wound.
Pressure Ulcers - An ulcer that forms on the skin due to being in one position for too long. Common with wheelchairs and immobile patients, the blood leaves that region of the skin and causes the tissue to die. There are multiple stages of pressure ulcers (Stages 1 - 4) with increasing degrees of tissue loss and trauma to the skin and underlying tissue.
Pus - A thick, sticky fluid on wounds composed of bacteria, cellular debris, and leukocytes.
Shear - Sliding of skin over subcutaneous tissues and bones obstruction cutaneous capillaries, which may lead to ischemia.
Sinus Tract - A course or pathway extending from the wound base, resulting in potential for abcess formation.
Slough - Stringy, necrotic tissue with a yellow, gray, green, or brown appearance.
Strip - Removal of epidermis by mechanical means, usually with tape.
Subcutaneous Tissue - The layer of tissue directly below the dermis, composed of major blood vessels, lmyphatic, fat, and connective tissue and above the bone, tendons, fascia, and muscles.
Ulcer - Loss of skin or mucous membrane. There are many types of ulcers including Pressure Ulcers, Venous Ulcers (caused by vein damage), Arterial ulcers (arterial insufficiency), and neuropatic ulcers (loss of sensation in the legs and feet). All ulcers require treatment to prevent from advancing to more serious ulcers and health conditions.
Undermine - Skin edges of a wound that have lost supporting tissue under intact skin.
Wound - A injury/break in the skin surface that causes a disruption in the normal continuity of body structures.

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