Blog posts of '2015' 'June'

Why Do We Use Plastic Cord Clamps?

Probably the most popular selling umbilical cord clamping product we carry is the plastic cord clamp. It is also the bulkiest and least environmentally-sound choice available. We decided to look at why many midwives and hospital birth wards favor the plastic cord clamp, and what alternatives are available that are just as effective without causing discomfort for newborns.

According to a 2004 article posted in NeoReviews: an official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, plastic cord clamps were designed to offer a secure, reliable constriction to ensure no bleeding occurred from the umbilical cord after it was cut. The traditional method prior to plastic cord clamps was cotton umbilical tape, but concerns developed regarding the possibility of babies hemorrhaging if the tape was not tied tightly enough.

Convenience was another factor. According to the authors of Management of the Umbilical Cord: Care Regimens, Colonization, Infection, and Separation, JoDee M. Anderson, MD and Alistair G.S. Philip, MD: "The first method [of umbilical cord ligation] was to use constricting bands, which were effective, but somewhat difficult to apply...the more usual method in developed countries currently is plastic or metal clamps, which produce safe, reliable constriction"1.


For those who are interested in an effective alternative, options are available that are economical and more environmentally-friendly than plastic cord clamps. Cord rings, also referred to as cord bands mentioned above, are an effective way to discreetly secure the umbilical cord without excess bulk or materials to irritate the newborn. Popular among midwives, cord rings are relatively easy to apply and the procedure only requires a pair of hemostatic forceps. For those who have difficulty applying cord rings manually, another alternative is the Cord Bander - a reusable device specially designed to apply cord bands. Cord Banders allow you to clamp a cord and place a latex band on the stump with ease.

In both instances, the cord rings and cord bands shrink along with the umbilical cord, so there is no need for removal. Cord banders are made of sterilizable metal, making them reusable. Both options also eliminate the need and cost of cord clamp clippers. Metal clamp clippers can be reused, but plastic clippers are still popular amongst midwives wanting to give parents a plastic clipper to cut their baby's clamp or hospitals following regulations mandating a new clipper for each baby's cord clamp. Cord rings and bands are a simple way to reduce the excess waste cost of disposing of plastic cord clamp clippers and used cord clamps.

Even though concerns have been raised about not tying umbilical tape tightly enough, it is still a popular option for those looking for a biodegradable, lightweight solution to cord clamping. Umbilical tape is a braided cloth that comes in 100% cotton as well as a polyester-cotton blend. For those wanting to take extra precautions to ensure the tape it effectively tied, tying it in two different locations on the cord will provide additional ligation.

So although plastic cord clamps have proven reliable at securing umbilical cords, there are effective alternatives for those looking for a less invasive, lightweight option that is also more economical. Choosing the cord care option that works best for you and the needs of the families you work with is of optimal importance. Equally as important is knowing what options are available to you.

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'How to Choose Sutures', 'Measuring Up Infant Scales', and 'Entering the New Age of Midwifery'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products



Cord Care, Cascade HealthCare Products:

1JoDee M. Anderson, MD and Alistair G.S. Philip, MD. 'Management of the Umbilical Cord: Care Regimens, Colonization, Infection, and Separation', 2004, NeoReviews

Iron Duck Equipmenbt Bags: American Made Strength

Iron Duck Equipment Bags - there are many reasons why this brand has become a trusted name among active professionals from midwives and emergency service providers to fire fighters, the military and law enforcement agents. After carrying them for 15 years without a single quality complaint, we have a few reasons of our own.




Iron Duck has an exclusive line of midwife equipment bags. From extremely well placed compartments for organizing a cornucopia of supplies, to spacious designs sturdy enough to hold resuscitation (yes, they hold full oxygen tanks) and diagnostics equipment, each bag is designed with forethought of what type of organization a midwife needs to stay calm and efficient during the fast-paced moments of the birthing process. And the icing on the cake? All of the bags are designed in purple - the official color of midwifery - with the midwifery logo proudly emblazoned on the bag.


Nowadays it can be difficult to find products that aren't manufactured in other countries, where quality often takes a back-seat to affordability. Iron Duck is a proud American-owned family business that manufacturers their bags in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The fact that their product is also a standard for exceptional quality and durability is more reason to support the national company.

What we appreciate most about Iron Duck is how effectively we can prove that making an investment in a quality product definitely pays off in the long run. We have carried the brand for 15 years and haven't had a single complaint, which says a lot about the level of quality and design. They also offer a lifetime warranty on zippers, which is the most common part of equipment bags that tend to falter over the years.


The material used for the construction of Iron Duck bags is what makes it so strong and durable. When you see and feel the bag, you can immediately see the difference between a standard equipment bag and an Iron Duck bag. Made from a strong, tightly woven canvas fabric, each bag offers years of service without fear of deterioration or wear. Even their external compartments are designed to be sturdy, so they act as an extension of the entire bag as opposed to a flimsy extremity that can easily be damaged or torn by constant use.


The bags clean easily, which is a necessity for professionals using them regularly on the go. Many of the liners are removable and can be machine washed, but it is recommended that you wash your Iron Duck bag by hand. General cleaning simply requires an all-purpose cleaner and cold water (for stains, using hot water increases the risk of setting the stain). Dirt and soil stains are easily removed by brushing the area with a household detergent. You can use dry cleaning fluid for grease and oil stains.1

For professionals that need to remove blood stains, you can find more specialized cleaning instructions on Iron Duck's website by clicking here. They also include easy steps for preventing your zipper from freezing if you are using your bag in colder climates.

For more details on each bag and to see our full selection of professional Iron Duck bags, click here. For the complete line of midwifery line of Iron Duck bags, click here. We also use Iron Duck midwifery bags exclusively for our Midwifery Kits because of their durability and quality.

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'How to Choose Sutures', 'Entering the New Age of Midwifery', and 'How to Properly Clean and Sterilize Your Instruments'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products



Iron Duck Midwifery Equipment Bags, Cascade HealthCare Products

Iron Duck Equipment Bags and Immobilization Equipment, Cascade HealthCare Products

1Iron Duck Cleaning & Care

How To Choose The Right Doppler


As a major supplier of medical Dopplers for over 30 years, we often get questions from customers about the difference in Dopplers and brands that we carry. Some of the most common questions include: Which type of Doppler is the best? What brand is the most trusted? What probe would be best for my practice?

With so many different options available to you, the easiest thing to remember is that there is no 'ideal' Doppler. Choosing the right Doppler is really based on understanding what you will be using it for and what features are most important to you as a practitioner.

To help you out, here are the top 5 questions we ask customers when they are looking for a new Doppler.

  1. What brand of Doppler have you used this far?
    Each brand is different, whether in size, shape or probe shape. If you are accustomed to, and enjoy the handling of a specific brand's design, we often suggest choosing the same brand.

  2. If purchasing an obstetric Doppler, how important is early detection for your practice?
    This helps when choosing your probe. 2 MHz probes are for general use and commonly detect Fetal Heart Rates (FHR) around 10 weeks; whereas 3 MHz probes are more enhanced, offering early detection of FHR around 8 weeks.

  3. Do you require a waterproof probe? If so, how frequently?
    This helps for brand choice. Huntleigh waterproof probes are fixed to the Doppler so you can't change the probe. Nicolet Elite, Summit LifeDop and Newman DigiDop Dopplers are all multi-use units, which means their probes are interchangeable, allowing you to use the same unit with different probes when desired.

  4. Do you need a Doppler that can be used for obstetrical and vascular purposes? If so, which will you use it for the most?
    Huntleigh offers dual-use handheld Dopplers and all the other brands we carry are multi-purpose handheld Dopplers for both obstetrical and vascular use. However, when using the same Doppler for both purposes, regardless of brand, you will lose specific features depending on the unit you choose. Digital display units designed for showing FHR will not function when used for vascular purposes and audio-only units designed for vascular readings will not show FHR when used for obstetrical purposes. Always choose a Doppler designed for the predominant application, and if you regularly perform both obstetrical and vascular examinations, get an obstetric and a vascular Doppler for best results.

  5. Are you going to want to use different probes regularly?
    If the answer to this question is yes, it is more economical to choose a Doppler that allows you to change the probes. You will save money by only needing to buy one Doppler that you can purchase different probes for, allowing you the flexibility to simply attach a different probe to suit the situation. We sell obstetrical and vascular probes separately for all the brands we carry.

Now that you've answered those five simple questions, here is a general breakdown of the key features each brand offers.



Huntleigh was the first brand to introduce waterproof Dopplers, and have since been the most well-known brand for waterproof units.

  • The waterproof probe is sealed where it attaches to the Doppler - meaning it is not interchangeable. This feature makes it shock resistant and protects the unit from accidental fluid spills.
  • Huntleigh obstetric Dopplers are known for the quickness of their response to changing heart tones.
  • All Huntleigh Dopplers have built-in shock resistance that helps protect them against bumps or jostling.
  • Digital display and audio-only options are available, depending on your preference.
  • Huntleigh offers 8 MHz sterilizable vascular probes for use with their Intraoperative Dopplers.



Nicolet Elite and Nicolet Imex handheld Dopplers are multi-use and are among the most economical portable Doppler units we offer.

  • Nicolet Doppler probes are known for a shorter, wider, round shape, which some find preferable.
  • Elite offers a 2 MHz waterproof probe for use with all handheld Elite Dopplers.
  • Imex offers a 2 MHz waterproof probe for use with the Imex Pocket-Dop II and Imex CT+ Doppler.
  • All Nicolet Elite and Imex Dopplers are multi-use. Elite probes are interchangeable with any Elite Doppler and Imex probes are interchangeable with any Imex Doppler, allowing you the flexibility to use multiple probes without the cost of having to buy multiple Dopplers.
  • Digital display and audio-only Dopplers are available depending on your preference.



Summit LifeDop handheld Dopplers are multi-use units as well. What makes the LifeDop Doppler stand out is the convenience and portable design of their vascular ABI handheld Dopplers with portable printers.

  • All handheld LifeDop Dopplers are multi-use units, allowing you the ability to use a variety of probes with the same Doppler.
  • Summit offers a 5 MHz transvaginal probe for early fetal heartbeat detection. This probe is specially designed for use on women who are obese or have a retroverted uterus.
  • Summit offers a 2 MHz waterproof probe.
  • Summit offers 8 MHz sterilizable LifeDop vascular probes.
  • LifeDop probes are all interchangeable and can be used with any LifeDop Doppler, except the ABI System Dopplers. LifeDop ABI Dopplers can only use LifeDop ABI vascular probes.
  • The LifeDop ABI Systems with portable printers are one of the best ABI systems with printers available and the most portable option we offer.
  • Digital display and audio-only options are available, depending on your preference.

As far as probes are concerned, here is a quick reference guide for the general uses of each type of probe. To see the selection of probes available for each brand, just click the brand name: Huntleigh probes, Nicolet Elite probes, Nicolet Imex probes, Newman DigiDop probes, Summit LifeDop probes.

Obstetric Probes

  • 2 MHz probe: detects Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) as early as 10 weeks for most Dopplers.
  • 3 MHz probe: enhanced to detect FHR as early as 8 weeks for most Dopplers.
  • 2 MHz waterproof probe: same function as the regular 2 MHz probe, only it is waterproof and commonly used for water births.
  • 3 MHz waterproof probe (offered by Newman DigiDop): same function as the regular 3 MHz probe, only it is waterproof and commonly used for water births.
  • 5 MHz transvaginal probe (offered by Summit LifeDop): for early detection of FHR in women who are obese or have a retroverted uterus.

Vascular Probes

  • 4 MHz probe (offered by Huntleigh and Summit LifeDop): for detection of deep lying vessels.
  • 5 MHz probe: commonly used for vascular testing above the knee and above the elbow. Ideal for detection of deep lying vessels.
  • 8 MHz probe: most common general use vascular probe, commonly used for vascular testing below the knee and below the elbow. Ideal for detection of peripheral vessels.
  • 8 MHz sterilizable probe (offered by Huntleigh and Summit LifeDop): offers all of the same functions as the regular 8 MHz probe but is sterilizable.
  • 10 MHz probe (offered by Huntleigh): for detection of smaller vessels in specialist superficial applications. Commonly used by plastic surgeons for checking blood flow for skin grafts.

At Cascade HealthCare, we have carefully selected each brand of Doppler we carry for three common reasons. First, all of the brands offer high quality Dopplers - none of which are made in China. Secondly, each brand we carry is known for designing durable, reliable Dopplers that will serve you for years. Thirdly, we only choose companies that stand behind their products, that have excellent customer service departments, and that offer good warranties for their products. Good customer relationships are part of the foundation that makes up Cascade HealthCare Products, which is why we only work with companies that provide you with the same high level of service and quality we expect and offer.

Hopefully the above information will be useful during your next Doppler purchase, but as always, if you have any lingering questions, let us know! You can find our email and telephone number in our Contact Us section by clicking here.

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'How to Choose Sutures', 'Entering the New Age of Midwifery', and 'Making Urine Test Strips Last Longer'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products