REDLANDS, CA—A new product that rethinks the traditional diaper is improving the experiences of being a nurse, of being an incontinent or immobile male patient, and of funding a medical-care facility.
UI Medical, based in Long Beach, has begun manufacture of a urine absorbent wrap that reduces diaper and catheter use.
The QuickChange Wrap envelopes a penis like a cone, but it lies flat. It quickly absorbs voided urine before the urine can touch the skin.
It is currently being used in some of the most prominent and respected medical facilities in the nation, and also in residential care facilities for the elderly.
Nurses report the product design is safe, simple and highly effective.
“It takes a lot less time to change,” said Gabriela Tauran, director of staff development at Claremont Manor in Claremont, Calif., in a video interview. “There are less loads of laundry per day, less changes, less electricity, less water, detergent, all that.”
Contrast against diapers
This year the Journal of the Wound Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society urged consideration of urine absorbent wraps use in its publication on continence care, because the QuickChange Wrap protects against most issues associated with male incontinence.
Among the contrasts to diaper use, it reduces the need for rolling and lifting patients, which is a major cause of back injury for nurses. Wrap use consequently reduces employee absence and worker-compensation claims.
Wraps minimize the instances of diaper-caused urinary-tract infections because there is no continuity of access for fecal matter to the urethra. They also reduce skin irritation because with wrap use, urine is not in contact with skin on the thighs, buttocks or mons pubis.
Wrap use reduces staffing needs because a single nurse can change a wrap — half of the staff needed to change a male patient’s diaper — and the time needed to change a patient is reduced from almost five minutes to about a minute.
Nurses can change a QuickChange Wrap on a sleeping patient without waking him up.
“Most standard operating procedures are the caregivers check patients every two hours or so,” said Susan Rice, the QuickChange Wrap executive sales administrator. “If you have a dementia patient being awoken and having 20 minutes of changing time, they aren’t going to be happy and they aren’t going to be relaxed and calm. With a QuickChange Wrap, they check on the wrap and if it is dry, they move on. Or they do the change in a minute, drastically reducing adverse issues for the patient.”
Further, there are psychological effects of switching to the QuickChange Wrap, increasing patients’ spirits through comfort and dignity.
In one case, Rice said, a QuickChange Wrap instructor met with staff at a long-term care facility who suggested trying it on an autistic patient who always became agitated or upset when it was time to change him. Weeks later, they invited the instructor to visit and see the results.
“They made a big pomp and circumstance out of it, and he came out and raised his hands and smiled, and they said he had never had a smile,” Rice said. “It was life changing for the kid.”
Another case Rice cited was an 89-year-old man who returned home after hip surgery.
“As you can imagine, rolling to one’s side after hip surgery is at best painful and sometimes impossible,” she said. “With the QuickChange Wrap, the gentleman didn’t have to roll over, and he could do it himself, which reduced some embarrassment for him and his family as he only had daughters to care for him.”
In many situations, QuickChange Wraps can obviate catheters, and eliminate the problems associated with them, including patient discomfort, urethral scarring, catheter acquired urinary tract infections, subsequent temporary or permanent incontinence and avoiding the federal documentation requirements for catheter use.
Keeps patients home longer
Incontinence is a big reason people have to put someone into a care facility.
“The biggest impact will be families that want to keep Dad at home,” said Wade Johnson, managing director at UI Medical “They can save $4,000 to $10,000 a month in long-term care costs by keeping him home a couple years longer. That’s big money.”
The wrap design was inspired by a woman caring for her husband at home.
“A caregiver was taking care of a very heavy set guy who became bedridden and incontinent,” said Baum Harris, chairman of UI Medical. “She was small, she got tired of turning him, and he had bed sores, so she started cutting up a diaper to make an inner diaper. She came up with this basic design. Every time he urinated, all she had to do was change that inner diaper. His bed sores went away.”
He added, “She gave us the inspiration for this and we went right to work on it so we could perfect it.”
QuickChange Wraps are currently in use in many residential care facilities for the elderly, post-acute institutions, and even some acute care facilities.
They are not yet available for in-home use through retailers, but they are available for purchase online. The expense does not currently qualify for Medi-Cal or Medicaid reimbursement.
About UI Medical: The factory is in Redlands, a suburban Southern California community. UI Medical is a closely held business headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., whose focus is to develop products that simultaneously empower patients and caregivers.