Tanisha Y. Winslow, CPht
Central Supply Manager
Southern Hills Nursing and Rehab

What is DME (Durable Medical Equipment)?

DME, or Durable Medical Equipment, is a reusable item ordered or prescribed by a physician to a person with an illness, disability or injury.  These items serve a medical purpose and can stand repeated use.  They can be used in the home or in a care facility.

We have residents at Southern who bring in their own DME to use while they are here.  Having familiar equipment that they know how to operate can be a comfort to those recovering in a new environment.  For any residents who are unable to bring in their own, the central supply department has a wide array of DME that can be borrowed or rented (depending on insurance) during a stay here.  Below are a few examples of some common DME you or your loved one may need to use during a stay:

Oxygen concentrators/generator: for those with trouble keeping up the oxygen levels in their blood.  This device takes in air, removes the nitrogen from it, and delivers purified oxygen to the user.  Just by plugging it into an outlet, it provides an endless supply of oxygen at up to 10 liters per minute, or LPM.

Low Air Loss, Alternating Pressure or Dual Therapy Air Mattress: As prescribed by a physician, this mattress system is for residents who have certain types of wounds or are at high risk for skin ulcers.  Tiny holes in the cover of these mattresses continually blow out air to reduce skin pressure.  This air flow also wicks away moisture from the skin to prevent breakdown.  This type of mattress also contains multiple cells of air that inflate and deflate very slowly to change pressure points and promote circulation.

 

Nebulizer machine:  A small device for residents who need certain inhaled medications, or breathing treatments.   You may need to use one of these machines if you have a chronic condition such as asthma, or an acute issue like pneumonia.  A nebulizer uses an air compressor to disperse medication in the form of a mist that can easily be inhaled.

Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy Pump or NPWT Pump:  As prescribed by a physician, NPWT promotes healing of certain types of wounds by applying a vacuum through a sealed dressing.  The reduced pressure caused by the vacuum draws fluid away from a wound and increases blood flow to the area.  The sealed dressing turns an open wound into a closed wound in a controlled environment.

These are just a few examples of the DME available for use by our residents here at Southern.  Our Therapy department also carries an array of wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility devices for use by our residents.  If you would like more information about the availability of a particular DME item during your stay, please ask about it during your tour!