Orfit Blog

Story by Nashville Public Radio: Nashville Cancer Survivors Find Meaning in Radiation Masks After Treatment

18 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Listen to this powerful story by Nashville Public Radio about cancer survivors who find meaning in Radiation Masks after treatment. Survivors of head and neck cancer sometimes see the mask, which bolts them to a table during radiation, as representing the trauma of cancer. Some patients destroy their mask and others turn into art. Have a look at the beautiful art work at the bottom of the article.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/blog/2014/09/15/radiation-masks-shaped-faces-cancer-patients-linger-symbols-treatment/

Every 15 minutes, for 10 hours a day, patients walks into a radiation room in the basement of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. They pick up their mask. Walk to a machine. Lie down underneath.

The masks are made of hard, white plastic and shaped exactly to the patient’s face and shoulders. Nurses fit them, and then, they snap them down.

“It was awful,” says Barbara Blades, who was diagnosed with cancer in her lymph nodes and tongue nine years ago. “It was awful to have your head bolted to a table. Not being able to move. Not being able to move your head.”

One interviewed patient then expresses how scary the experience of wearing a mask could be with claustrophobia. We believe that our Open Face Mask will become the standard in radiotherapy as it leaves most of the face uncovered, thereby reducing the often significant discomfort and high anxiety experienced by claustrophobic and most patients undergoing head and neck Radiation Therapy.

Other survivors say it felt safe in there: The treatment was helping fight their cancer.

“Honestly, when I was under the mask, I found it comforting,” says Steve Travis, who had a tumor on the base of his throat and another on his neck. He used the 15 minutes a day to pray.

But when Travis finished treatment, he became angry at the mask. “It sort of represented everything that had happened for the last four months,” he says. “So I destroyed it.”

He took it out to a family farm in West Tennessee and set it next to a tree. Then he took aim with a shotgun. “Two magazines from a 45 automatic,” he says. “And then, I burned it.”

Travis didn’t hate his radiation mask, he says. He just wanted closure from the cancer.

Listen to the rest of this story here.

 

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Splint in the Spotlight (1): Gauntlet thumb post splint for Functional Positioning of the Thumb

17 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

 

Each Wednesday, we feature our Splint in the Spotlight. With these articles, we offer you inspiration and
ideas for your future splinting projects and for the wide variety of pathologies you encounter with your clients.

In this first article, we focus on the gauntlet thumb post splint.

Pathology:

Patients with a variety of different diagnoses and conditions will benefit from immobilization of the base of the thumb.  Therapists treating thumb arthritis, fractures, sprains, ligament injuries and more know the benefits that immobilization splints offer their patients: relief from pain, stability, prevention or correction of deformity, and improved functional ability. Therapists always need to perform a careful ongoing assessment of the patient’s current status, particularly in relation to function. Custom made orthoses may require adaptations to meet the patient’s changing needs. Inflamed or injured swollen joints require rest and immobilization; however, prolonged immobilization may lead to loss of ROM due to joint stiffness. Often, correct orthotic fabrication may help prevent the development of soft tissue and/or joint contractures and may improve function, allowing the patient to maintain independence!

  • Goals of orthotic fabrication include: pain relief, prevention of deformity and improvement of function.
  • In practice, the patient may benefit from:
    • Resting splints-possibly for use at night to immobilize and stabilize joints
    • Functional splints during the day-for relief of pain and improvement in function

Patient education is paramount to instruct patients on the proper wearing schedules that offer them the greatest benefit.

*Careful consideration should be given to the splint strapping. The strapping must not cause pressure areas or decrease the patient’s level of functioning. Patients should be able to put on and take off their splints unaided.

Splint solution:

Collage

One potential splint solution for the thumb is the Gauntlet Thumb Post Splint made out of Orfit Classic Soft (1.6mm), Orfit Colors NS, (2mm micro), Orfilight and Orfilight Black NS (1.6mm micro). Continue reading

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September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

3 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:
[Source: news.cancerconnect.com]  
 

As the month of September brings prostate cancer into focus, it’s time to increase public understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening and prevention, treatment options, and resources that offer updated prostate cancer information throughout the year.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and is a leading cause of cancer death in men, second only to lung cancer. Staying informed with the latest news on prevention and screening is an important step in reducing your risk of developing prostate cancer. And, should a diagnosis occur, access to current, in-depth treatment information can help you find the best care.

Here at Orfit Industries, we strive to offer the best possible solution to immobilize patients with prostate cancer and make sure that the intestines of the patient stay out of the radiation fields when treating malignancies in the pelvic area. Our AIO Solution contains a cushion set specifically designed for treatment of the belly and pelvis area. Next to this solution, Orfit Industries also offers the Pelvicast High Precision System with hardware that is only used for belly and pelvis treatment.

Learning More About Prostate Cancer

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Supporting a good cause: The Global Rainbow Foundation in Mauritius

25 August, 2014 | Tags: , , , | Categorised in: ,

Orfit Industries decided to support an NGO in Mauritius, the Global Rainbow Foundation.They have recently launched a Rehabilitation and Training Centre for Disabled to empower differently abled persons and vulnerable groups through Rehabilitation, Education & Training and to provide them the opportunity for holistic human development so that they can lead a happy and rewarding life with dignity and respect in the local and global community.

Global Rainbow Foundation

We received a kind letter from the president of the Global Rainbow Foundation, prof. Armoogum Parsuramen. He explains why our donation of sheets of Orfit Classic and Orficast (6cm) is so important for Mauritius:

“We offer rehabilitation services to people with different forms of congenital and acquired disabilities. Many of our patients require orthoses that are difficult to get around our island. Your kind gesture will allow us to manufacture the required orthoses and splints that will enable our patients to become independence in their daily lives and/or correct deformities they have.  As the leader in thermoplastics and splinting materials, your generous donations is very much appreciated and will aid us in our endeavour to better the quality of life of people with disabilities.”

The goods are now in production at Orfit Industries and will be delivered to the Global Rainbow Foundation within the next couple of weeks.

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Thesis: Prone versus supine treatment position when irradiating the left breast (R. de Vries, J. Karst)

21 August, 2014 | Tags: , , , | Categorised in:
In a graduation thesis of the education “Medical Imaging and Radiotherapeutic Techniques” (MBRT), conducted for the Medisch Spectrum Hospital in Twente, R. de Vries and J. Karst compared the prone and the supine treatment position when irradiating women with breast cancer. For the prone position, the Sagittilt Prone Breast Solution of Orfit Industries was used.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Common treatments for breast cancer are breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery is followed by radiation therapy. A part of the heart and a part of the lungs are irradiated during irradiation of the breast in the current position (supine). This can lead to heart failure and lung injury after 10 to 15 years. Therefore, it is important that the dosage for the heart and lungs is kept as low as possible. Irradiation of the breast in prone position is a technique that aims to save the heart and lungs. The advantages and disadvantages of this position compared with the supine position were investigated in this study by creating a treatment plan for both positions.

Based on this study it can be concluded that treating breast cancer in the prone position is a good alternative to the supine position. It provides a lower dose of irradiation in the heart and the left lung upon irradiation of the left breast after breast-conserving surgery.

Sagittilt Prone Breast SolutionSagittilt Prone Breast Solution

The Sagittilt Prone Breast Solution has recently been cleared by the FDA and is now officially for sale in the United States as well. It will be presented at ASTRO 2014 in San Francisco (booth no. 1438).

More information about the Sagittilt Prone Breast Solution can be found on our website.

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Orfit’s SBRT solution extensively tested by Jolimont Hospital in Belgium – The results

1 August, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

 

The Orfit SBRT-solution has been extensively tested by the Jolimont Hospital in La Louvière, Belgium. Their radiotherapy department was looking for an SBRT-system and decided to do a clinical verification of the Orfit SBRT Solution. We are happy to be able to share their experiences.

They decided to test the long SBRT base plate, and they experienced the following positive features:

  • The base plate offers many immobilization possibilities;
  • The reproducibility of the immobilization is suitable for SBRT-treatments;
  • The solution is comfortable for the patients.
SBRT33

The long SBRT plate with vacuum bag

Because of the dimensions of the long SBRT base plate, the radiotherapy department also wanted to try out the short base plate. This lighter, thinner and shorter SBRT base plate is easier to handle, but offers less possibilities for immobilizing with a thermoplastic mask.

SBRT22

Jolimont hospital compared the long SBRT base plate to this short SBRT plate

Continue reading

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Humanitarian Prosthetists & Orthotists – Supporting a good cause

28 July, 2014 | Tags: , , , | Categorised in: , ,

The Humanitarian Prosthetists & Orthotists (HP&O) is a Belgian organisation whose main goal is to make orthopaedic materials accessible on a larger scale so it becomes a right even for the poorest.

HP&O regularly goes on missions to developing countries where help is needed. In April, they went on an orthopaedic mission to Bombouaka, Togo. In order to provide suitable materials to the orthotists & prosthetists in these countries, they collect used prostheses, carts and plastics in Belgium and give them a second life over there.

HP&O1

 

Orfit Industries decided to help this organisation in their noble goal by donating splinting materials as well. The Humanitarian Prosthetists & Orthotists received 100 sheets of Orfit Classic. We selected Orfit Classic because it can be used for all splint types, which makes it the perfect material for the local therapists to gain experience.

HP&O2

 

The region where HP&O is active also has many prosthetic needs. For example, there is the case of Mouchatou, a 6 year old girl in Togo, who needs a prosthetic leg. We introduced our Orfitrans range to HP&O, and Orfitrans Excel and Orfitrans Extra Soft in particular with the aim of supporting HP&O in their ambition that equipment and healthcare should be available for everyone.

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Splint edging and lining materials, tools and accessories that improve the quality of splints

4 July, 2014 | Tags: , , , , | Categorised in:

Recently, new edging and lining materials, tools and accessories have been added to the Orfit range of splinting solutions. These products lead to an expansion of the current range of possibilities for nice splint fabrication, trimming and edge finishing. Have a look at the following products to find out how they can improve your future splints:

1) Splint edges can be finished with our new Soft ‘velvet’ Edging Strip.

Soft “velvet” Edging Strip.

This thin, stretchable, elastic and self-adhesive textile strip will cover up slightly sharp splint edges that sometimes cannot be avoided. The soft skin contact improves the wearing comfort to a maximum.
More info >>

2) This goes for the new Orfilastic Black as well.

Orfilastic Black

It will be your first choice of materials offering excellent body contact and skin care. These two new black coloured padding and lining materials match perfectly with our beautiful painter ‘s pallet of Orfit Colors NS splinting materials.
More info >>

3) Our new stainless steel Bandage Scissors and Sharp Scissors will make it easier to remove and trim the splints during and after the fabrication.

Bandage Scissors and Sharp Scissors

Their designs are excellent for cutting around curves as easy as possible.
More info >>

4) A new low-cost durable stainless steel Suspan Water Bath has been added to the range as well.
Continue reading

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Orfit Crystal NS – Improved splinting product with unique transparency and softness

25 June, 2014 | Tags: , | Categorised in:

At Orfit Industries we have a mind-set of permanent improvement. The development and production of splinting materials that offer the highest possible quality and performance is a vital element of this attitude.

A new version of Orfit Crystal NS is the result of our mind-set. The makeover of this product was focused on patients and therapists, listening to their needs, issues and challenges, and finally meeting those challenges with a product, unmatched in comfort and functionality where soft splinting/bracing is required.

Orfit Crystal NS – Improved splinting product  with unique transparency and softness

The new Orfit Crystal NS is one of the most “powerful” products we have ever developed!

Designed for soft splinting, the new Orfit Crystal NS is proving to be a patient’s dream come true. It offers a unique combination of soft-feel, transparency and an anti-bacterial NS coating. It is the only transparent material that can be moulded directly on the patient’s skin. It allows to make a thin, lightweight and less noticeable custom-made splint providing comfortable support and protection in combination with optimal soft skin comfort and proper ventilation. You have to wear it to appreciate how pleasant this material is! At the same time, Orfit Crystal NS is the perfect low cost solution compared to prefab soft braces that are costly.

Recommended applications for Orfit Crystal NS

We recommend Orfit Crystal NS to make:

  • Proprioceptive and supportive orthoses, especially when resuming daily activities during and after the recovery process;
  • Circumferential orthoses offering soft and flexible support, for example lightweight sports braces;
  • Orthoses to monitor healing wounds and scars. Can be used as a well-conforming interface between the burned skin and a hard shell pressure mask. Continue reading

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Unordinary applications of thermoplastic materials

10 June, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in: ,

Orfit Thermoplastic materials used in unusual, creative ways to improve patient comfort

Felix de Beer, moulding technician at the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), uses Orfit thermoplastic materials in rather unusual ways. One of the patients, René, has now expressed his wish to share a moulding technique that has severely improved his quality of life.

In 2012, a brain tumour was found in Rene at very early age. To protect his skull, Rene had to wear a very eye-catching helmet. He found this to be annoying because it drew a lot of attention, which was the last thing he wanted. For this patient, Felix de Beer created 2 caps of Efficast 2,0 mm micro perforation, which he then integrated into a baseball cap. Rene could now go outside without being stared at.

Blogpost

Brain cancer patient René needed protection for his skull.
Integrating Efficast into a baseball cap was a perfect solution to camouflage this protection.
(Source: Catharina Hospital Eindhoven)

Besides this patient, Felix de Beer has also helped other patients with his innovative moulding techniques. He made a similar baseball cap for a 9-year old patient that wanted to play hockey but couldn’t because of a fontanelle that was not closed. At the request of the little boy’s orthopedist, the moulding technician made a plaster cast of the boy’s skull, and then made a perforated mask on the plaster copy of the skull, which was then integrated into a baseball cap. The boy is now able to safely practice hockey without the other players noticing his protection.

Continue reading

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