eNews December 16, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

Vendor credentialing during COVID-19

Vendor credentialing has always been muddy. Now add a pandemic to it. During a recent members-only IMDA/HIRA webinar, Rhett Suhre, one of the founders of the Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing (C4UHC), brought clarity to the situation. Suhre reported that the Consortium is seeking standards regarding personal protective equipment and testing for novel viruses/communicable illness. Among them: Supplier representatives entering all areas should be screened for general wellness, exposure, and specific symptoms as recommended by CDC in the same manner as staff, patients and patient visitors.

COVID-19 and blood clots

While respiratory issues continue to be the most common symptom of a COVID-19 infection, new research indicates the disease could also be associated with hypercoagulability, or increased tendency of the blood to clot. In a study published November 20 in the journal EClinical Medicine by The Lancet, researchers from UC San Diego Health found that blood clots led to an increased risk of death by 74 percent. They reviewed 42 different studies involving more than 8,000 patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Overall, 20 percent of the COVID-19 patients were found to have blood clots in the veins, and among patients in the intensive care unit, that statistic increased to 31 percent.

Gel may decrease medical-device-related blood clotting

As long as there have been medical devices ― mechanisms ranging from stents and tubing to catheters and implants ― patients have faced the risk of infections and blood clots. That’s because artificial surfaces can be sticky when placed in the body. Scientists refer to this “stickiness” as the frictional coefficient of the material. But now a research team reports it may have a way to decrease these risks: a hydrogel lining that will allow molecules to slip by without sticking, according to Christoph Nabzdyk, M.D., a cardiac anesthesiologist and intensivist at Mayo Clinic. He is the co-lead author of recently published findings that show the team’s “ultrathin and robust” hydrogel prevented clotting and bacterial presence in lab and animal experiments. In a controlled experiment with tubing, 40% of the blood in contact with the uncoated surface clotted, compared to just 6% of the blood in contact with hydrogel-coated tubing. In another test with an animal model, it took 60% longer for an ultranarrow silicone tube to block when it was coated with the hydrogel than when it was uncoated.

Plan on it

Plan on attending the IMDA/HIRA Annual Conference, June 21-23, 2021, at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois — just a few miles from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. What are you interested in learning? Let the conference committee know by emailing IMDA Executive Assistant Katie Sizemore at imda@imda.org.