The Electrode Store would like to wish everyone much success and joy in 2017!
We will be closed for a company New Year's holiday on Monday, January 2nd, 2017, but we will return bright and early on Tuesday January 3rd, ready to supply you with any monopolar needle electrodes, concentric needle electrodes, surface electrodes, EMG injection needles (pictured), subdermal EEG needle electrodes, gels/pastes and other electrodiagnostic supplies and accessories for EMG and EEG.
Happy new year and thank you for your business!
Botulinum Toxin – Approved Medical Indications (USA)
In addition to their use in cosmetic or aesthetic procedures, various botulinum toxin products have been approved for medical/therapeutic indications in the USA for certain spasticity or movement disorders. The table below summarizes some of the top brands, such as BOTOX®, and the indications each has been approved for. This is for the US ONLY, and unless otherwise noted, the products are indicated for ADULTS and have not been approved for pediatric use.
The use of electromyographic-guided hypodermic needles (injectable EMG needle electrodes) is common for guided injections of botulinum toxin substances for the treatment of limb spasticity, cervical dystonia, and strabismus. EMG injection needles are occasionally used for detrusor overactivity, but are generally not used for blepharospasm, overactive bladder, chronic migraine, or severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis.
Each of the brands is a registered trademark of their manufacturer. This article is intended to be a summary and not advice or a recommendation for medical treatment; see the prescribing information available on the manufacturers’ websites or product packaging for more information. The Electrode Store is a supplier of needle electrodes and is not affiliated with or representing any of the botulinum toxin manufacturers or products.
Concentric Needle Electrodes from The Electrode Store
Concentric Needle Electrodes
(Photo courtesy of Technomed)
Have you had a chance to try The Electrode Store’s concentric needle electrodes? We are an authorized distributor of the high-quality yet economical Technomed brand. With a recording surface area as low as 0.02mm2 on the beveled side of the needle tip, you get a good steady signal with consistent, repeatable, precise readings. Other key features are listed below or in the table:
Flexible yet strong stainless steel outer cannula (reference electrode) and stainless steel inner core (active electrode). (Optional gold-plated cannula with platinum-iridium core may be special-ordered)
- Extra-thin 0.30mm diameter available on 25mm and 30mm lengths
- Newly re-designed ergonomic hub
- Machine-sharpened trocar (beveled) tip means minimal bleeding, friction, and discomfort
- Optimal signal quality; excellent noise-reduction
- Disposable; individually packed in easy-open sterile pouches
With our new lower base price of just $168.75 for a box of 25 of these needles, we are very economically priced compared to larger "name brands," and we can compete with anybody on pricing at higher volumes. Search for the “UTC” family of concentric needle electrodes on our website at www.electrodestore.com. FYI, our concentric needles require a reusable detachable 50” five-pin DIN cable (Model SFC, shown here).
What is the meaning of “quality?”
Like many companies, we at The Electrode Store try to hold ourselves to high standards. We strive for excellence in our products and service, and we want satisfied customers. But what does “Quality” really mean? There are many definitions of the word Quality.
One of my favorite descriptions is by Webster Dictionary: Quality = “degree of excellence.” It is simple and straight to the point.
The American Society for Quality defines “Quality” as:
The characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs;
- A product or service free of deficiencies.
Wikipedia has several descriptions as well, including five aspects of quality in a business context:
- Producing – providing something.
- Checking – confirming that something has been done correctly.
- Quality Control – controlling a process to ensure that the outcomes are predictable.
- Quality Management – directing an organization so that it optimizes its performance through analysis and improvement.
- Quality Assurance – obtaining confidence that a product or service will be satisfactory.
We try to adequately ensure quality in all five of those aspects above in our quality management system. In fact, as an ISO 13485-certified medical device manufacturer, we are expected to have a rigorous quality management system as well as an official “quality policy.” Ours is:
The Electrode Store is committed to designing, manufacturing, and distributing the highest quality neuromuscular electrodiagnostic electrodes and accessories. Our goals are to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers, to continually improve, and to grow, while adhering to our core values of integrity & honesty, quality in our products and processes, communication, respect and dignity, technology in our products and processes/systems, good customer service, and long-term relationships.
So, as we start the year 2016, we make it our resolution to live up to our stated quality policy, and we wish all of our customers, suppliers and other friends and acquaintances all the best in 2016!
Comfortable Electrodes for the Eyes
The ERG-Jet, manufactured by Fabrinal SA, and distributed in the US and Canada by The Electrode Store, is a disposable contact lens electrode used for performing an electroretinogram (ERG) procedure. Essentially, Electroretinograpy measures the eye’s neural/electrical responses to a series of flashing lights to determine whether the retina has a disorder. Often, ERGs are done as a screen to determine if cataract or retinal surgery would be beneficial or not.
The ERG-Jet is packaged and sold by the pair, or in a box of 25 pairs. It is inexpensive, comfortable, small (12 mm diameter and just a few angstroms thick), and has a 7.90 mm radius of curvature, a gold-poly surface, and neutral optical quality. Pre-sterilized and intended for single-use only, the ERG Jet comes with a 27” attached lead wire with a standard 1.5 mm plug.
Not just for people: In addition to the thousands of ophthalmologists who perform ERGs on humans, there are also hundreds of veterinary ophthalmologists who now use ERG as a tool to help restore or improve the vision of dogs, horses, cats, and even birds!
The ERG-Jet has been a key part of the transforming improvements we have seen in the field of ophthalmology in the past quarter-century. If you would like additional product information, please contact us, or if you would like to place an order it can be done online or by calling us at 1-800-537-1093.
Attention online customers: The Electrode Store has just updated our online ordering capabilities at www.electrodestore.com, so that you may now do a complete order from start to finish on our website - from shopping cart through credit card payment. You no longer need to call us to confirm shipping costs or to give us your credit card information - it can all be done automatically and electronically now.
Having said that, we still enjoy interacting with our customers, and you always have the option to call and talk to our customer service team over the telephone. We are available between the hours of 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST (9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST) Monday through Friday (excluding major holidays), especially if you have questions regarding:
- Product availability
- Pricing or volume discounts
- Large or non-routine orders
- Special shipping considerations such as expedited freight
How Our Electrodes are Sterilized
Did you know how our electrodes are sterilized? At the completion of final assembly and packaging, our disposable needle electrodes are sent out to a world-class sterilization lab to be sterilized right in their individually sealed packs. The sterilization firm we use offers three different types of sterilization: Gamma Irradiation, Ethylene Oxide and Electron Beam (E-Beam). The Electrode Store products undergo E-Beam sterilization because it is the best fit for the type of products and packaging we have. Some plastics and other materials may undergo material changes during sterilization, but our materials have been selected to withstand the E-Beam radiation doses with no degradation in materials or performance. Essentially, E-Beam kills microorganisms on the devices that otherwise could present a risk of infection upon use. The product packages are safe to handle after the process, and a red dot on the product’s label indicates it has undergone sterilization. As long as the needle electrodes remain sealed in their packs, they are deemed sterile at least until their 3-year expiration date. For more about E-Beam radiation, read on…
What is E-Beam radiation? According to Wikipedia, E-Beam radiation is a form of ionizing energy that is characterized by its low penetration and high dosage rates. The Beam – a concentrated, highly charged stream of electrons – is generated by accelerators capable of producing continuous or pulsed beams. As the product/material being sterilized passes beneath or in front of the E-Beam, energy from the electrons is absorbed, altering various chemical and biological bonds and destroying the DNA and reproductive capabilities of microorganisms. Sterilization with electrons has significant advantages over other methods of sterilization currently in use. The process is quick, reliable, and compatible with most materials, and does not require any quarantine following the processing. For some materials and products that are sensitive to oxidative effects, radiation tolerance levels for electron beam irradiation may be slightly higher than for gamma exposure. This is due to the higher dose rates and shorter exposure times of e-beam irradiation which have been shown to reduce the degradative effects of oxygen.
What are Surface Electrodes?
What are surface electrodes? They are conductive metal plates used by physicians to read neuro-muscular electrical signals through the skin. They are typically composed of Ag/AgCI (Silver or Silver Chloride) metal, placed on the skin, and kept in place with adhesive or elastic bands. They are attached to a cable that plugs into the doctor’s electrodiagnostic equipment. Sometimes conductive gels are used to improve the electrical conduction between the skin and the electrode. Various electrodes can be used as reference or ground electrodes in electromyography (EMG) procedures, or active, reference or ground electrodes in electroencephalography (EEG).
The Electrode Store sells all types of surface electrodes, from bar electrodes, disc electrodes, ground electrodes, and disposable electrodes (like adhesive stickers), to ring and finger clip electrodes.
We manufacture our reusable surface electrodes here in our Washington facility. Shelly is our lead surface electrode assembler who makes most of our surface electrodes, and has been with us for several years. When asked what she likes about her position here, she stated “It’s like a craft project every day. I take raw materials and build something from start to finish, and it’s fun! My co-workers also make coming to work enjoyable.” Her duties include collecting raw materials, precisely measuring, cutting and stripping of wires, soldering the electrodes onto the lead wires, applying shrink-tubing, connecting the sockets to the wire, and putting the housing on. Once her work is complete, the items are sent to quality control to be inspected. Because these surface electrodes are re-usable, they are not sent out for pre-sterilization. After inspection, the products are packaged and received into finished goods inventory - ready to be sold.
WHAT INTEGRITY LOOKS LIKE
Differentiating Traits of the Honest and Ethical
Honesty and integrity are core values we strive for in our company. Here, I try to describe what that should look like.
Think of the most honest and ethical person you know. What separates him or her from the pack?
To be thought of as a “person of integrity,” try to embody some of these differentiating traits of the honest and ethical that I have observed in others over the years:
BE TRUTHFUL AND NOT DECEPTIVE. This is an obvious prerequisite! In business, point out to clients how they can save money, even if it costs you a sale. Never sell someone a product that is unsafe or not really needed. And, don’t assume your employer wants to deceive a customer or ship a defective product in order to make a quick buck – if they do, find a better employer!
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE FIRST. Do what you say you’re going to do. Work hard and do your job. Volunteer to do the crappy tasks no one else wants to do. Acknowledge your failures. Don’t cheat, even on your diet. Conversely, have the integrity to tactfully confront problems or people rather than be complicit in allowing something wrong to occur.
BE COMPASSIONATE AND EMPATHETIC, PUTTING OTHERS AHEAD OF SELF. Understand the needs and problems of others. If you see someone struggling, jump in and help without thinking twice, regardless of the personal inconvenience. In business this might mean calling someone on behalf of your client to chase down an answer, helping a co-worker with a tough task, or gracefully giving a customer the benefit of the doubt on a product they want to return.
BE HUMBLE. Don’t exaggerate or talk about yourself too much, and don't brag about how honest and ethical you are. Don’t say a bad word about anybody.
BE CONSISTENT OVER TIME. Give consistent, authentic answers or treatments over time, and from one person to the next. Treat others fairly regardless of who they are.
To some people, the above behaviors come naturally. To others, it requires more effort. Either way, behaving ethically and honestly will enhance your reputation, generate the respect of the right people, and ultimately help you attain your business goals.
How to Clean Your Reusable Surface Electrodes
The proper cleaning of re-usable surface electrodes (such as EMG surface electrodes, ground electrodes, and EEG surface electrodes) continues to be a topic of keen interest to our customers. We are often asked, “How should we clean our surface electrodes to prolong their useful life?” To ensure your surface electrodes enjoy a long and healthy life, we recommend the following:
It is important that your electrodes be washed with soap and water after each use. Electrolytic compounds (electrolytes; e.g., pastes, gels, etc.) are water soluble, NOT alcohol soluble. That means if alcohol, rather than soap and water, is used to wipe or soak electrodes, the electrolytic compound is just smeared rather than removed. Although the electrode may appear clean, a residue is left that has cumulative negative effects on the performance and lifetime of the electrode. With electrolytic compounds containing salt for better conductivity, the smeared compound accelerates the formation of corrosion, eliminating the benefit of using a saline-based electrolyte. Smeared compound also can cause a direct electrical circuit (also known as bridging) between the electrode contacts; this is particularly true with bar electrodes.
The Electrode Store recommends that a container of common tap water be kept near the exam room. Immediately after use and disconnection, electrodes should be placed in the container to soak for no more than 90 minutes. After removing from the tap water, wash the electrodes with liquid dish soap (Ivory, Dawn, Palmolive, etc.) and rinse thoroughly under warm running water. Gently wipe and air-dry the electrodes until thoroughly dry before their next use.
Originally written by Tim Cooke