Customer Testimonials

  • I use NBMS for my catheter supplies and words cannot express how satisfied I am. My orders are always filled quickly and the staff is so friendly and efficient. They are so helpful when I have questions and are generous with information. I appreciate New Britain Medical and all they do for me. They definitely have a fan for life!

    - Molly H.

    I was a little hesitant leaving my previous medical supplier consisting of 50 plus employees because I was comfortable with them. Now after over 7 years using New Britain Medical Supplies, I have been completely satisfied. I am greeted on a personal basis and all of my physical and personal needs are met promptly. Whether it is a change in medical supplies or insurance, they have helped me get my supplies the next day to my door with no questions asked. I know I can trust New Britain Medical because of Joey’s insights and personal experiences using the products he sells.

    - Darrell R. - Occupational Therapist, T-8 Paraplegic

  • Partnership with Reeve Foundation’s Peer Mentor Program

    New Britain Medical Supplies is excited to announce our partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the start of our Peer Mentoring Program. This program is designed to help people living with paralysis and their families/caregivers to live a fulfilled and happy life by speaking to mentors who can offer emotional support as well as provide local resources. Whether you are newly injured or have been living with paralysis for a period of time, there are always questions that would be better answered by someone who has a similar experience.

    By partnering with the Peer and Family Support Program, New Britain Medical will be offering office hours for those who are interested in the program that wish to speak to a “Reeve Mentor.” We will strive to match people with certified peer mentors who are of similar age, location, gender and level of injury or type of paralyzing injury. Even if it’s simply to offer advice on where to sign up for a sport, how to maintain health and wellness, or to just “chat,” our mentors can provide a myriad of resources and support.

    If you or someone you know may be interested in the mentorship program, contact:
    Joe Paladino – President, New Britain Medical

    Todd Johnston- Northeast Regional Coordinator

    For more information about the Peer and Mentorship Program.

    Mentor Program

    Click to Enlarge Image


    How Catheters – the Lifesaver of Millions – Came to Be

    Living in the 21st century in the United States, there’s no bones about it – we get pretty spoiled, especially when it comes to medical supplies. Rarely do any of us think about where these products came from, how they came to be and by whom, but it’s hugely important to know this.

    Any product that saves your life deserves to be respected, and respecting something definitely means knowing its history. If you use catheters daily and haven’t looked at the fascinating history of them before, now is definitely the time. It’s been a rocky history, mainly because of a lack of adequate materials.

    But with plastic being invented in the last hundred or so years, everything has changed for the better. You can now catheterize yourself without fear of getting a UTI every other week. It’s really quite amazing what the invention of the few modern materials can do for the human race.

    To learn more about the history of catheters, check it out below!

    3,000 years ago…

    Amazingly, archaeologists have discovered evidence of catheter-use from over 3,000 years ago by the Syrians, who would either use straw, the tops of onions, or palm leaves, rolled into a catheter shape, to create a catheter. I can’t even imagine the infections that came from using these things…or maybe not? Perhaps the body gets used to it, just like a lot of things that introduce bacteria to the body.

    Whatever the case, this tough situation reminds me of that episode from Lost where Jack has to create a needle, and does so using a piece of a tree. While admirable, let’s just say it barely worked. With so many modern medical supplies, including catheters, you should definitely feel lucky for being alive today.

    Ben Franklin Designs a Catheter

    Although the design was not initially for him, but for his brother who suffered from kidney stones, Benjamin Franklin can be credited for helping develop the modern catheter. While plastic or rubber were not around while he was alive, he was still able to fashion a catheter using silver, as well as it being completely comprised of movable joints so that it can remain stiff during insertion.

    Ben Franklin refuses to take credit for the flexible catheter design however, saying he got the idea from famous Italian urologist Francesco Roncelli-Pardino, who designed this catheter in 1720.

    Hellooo Vulcanized Rubber

    The entire landscape of catheter design changed in 1844 when Goodyear’s patent for vulcanized rubber was approved. While this rubber was far from perfect for catheter-use, it was definitely much better than anything that had come before it. It allowed the catheter to bend, which is huge for insertion. Goodbye organic materials for catheter-use and hello safer man-made materials.

    Dr. Foley Makes History

    In St. Paul, Minnesota in 1935, urologist Dr. Foley debuted his brand new catheter design with an inflatable balloon; this allows the catheter to easily remain in the patient indefinitely without having the use any tape, which is a good thing because tape can affect the skin negatively after long-term use (as we all know). Unfortunately however, Dr. Foley was not able to patent his design, despite the common catheter still bearing his name.

    WWII and Plastics

    After World War II, an influx of injured veterans with spinal cord injuries occurred and doctors had to scramble to find better ways to help these men catheterize without living with chronic bladder issues. David S. Sheridan is the urologist who developed the modern disposable catheter made completely of silicone, and he’s credited for saving thousands of lives because of his invention.

    Catheters, the ultimate device for helping things get to where they need to, are without question one of the best medical miracles of the last century. Initially created for the bladder, they’re now used for all types of procedures and organs, including heart surgery, constantly lives with each use.

    What organic material do you think would work for creating a catheter in an emergency situation?

    Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

    Peeing Through Your Belly Button with the Magical Mitroffanoff

    bellybuttonWhen you find out you can’t voluntarily use your bladder anymore, let me tell you it’s no walk through Central Park.

    When it’s due to paralysis, your options are even more limited since both your sensation and ability to move the muscles are affected. Now that’s an uphill battle, and when you’re in this oh-so coveted position, you only have about 4 options, and none are perfect.

    There is however one option in my mind that’s better than any in-dwelling catheter, and that’s the Mitroffanoff procedure; the 4 to 6 hour surgery where they put a stoma (hole + conduit) in your belly button, which after a month of healing you can catheterize yourself through. If you’re lucky, it should heal in a non-descript way, hiding out in your belly button and no one knowing the wiser.

    This procedure was named after the doctor that invented it, Dr. Paul Mitroffanoff, a surgeon frm from Germany. He began doing this procedure in the 1980’s, and fyi – there’s disagreement among surgeons over where the stoma should be placed. Some prefer to put the stoma to the left or right of the belly button and not directly inside it. Most however have no problem putting it directly in the belly button as to better camouflage it (hopefully you’ll find a doctor willing to do this).

    I have to admit it was difficult though to finally get on board for this surgery. At first it seemed like such a massive change to my body that I couldn’t bear it. I had just broken my neck; voluntarily messing up my bladder permanently wasn’t something I was interested in. It was so scary to think of, and the video they showed me of this procedure in rehab really did not help.

    But after years of using another bladder option – an indwelling catheter – and having my body reject it after 12 years (my bladder began voiding around the inflated balloon) I had no option but to seriously consider the Mitroffanoff procedure.

    Luckily, there was a surgeon in my area, so after meeting with him it was only a matter of scheduling the surgery. The surgery was a toughie thoough; I’ll warn you.

    To enlarge my bladder, which was an additional part of my surgery (this isn’t always required; some bladders do not shrink like mine did), they used part of my lower intestines to make my bladder bigger, and this is quite ingenious. This made it possible for me to once again retain fluid in my bladder for longer periods without voiding or having to rush to use the catheter. I’ve been amazed at how effective this surgery can be.

    It’s been almost 10 years since having my Mitroffanoff procedure done and it has improved my life more than anything prior. Not only are my fashion options better (no more “external plumbing” to hide), I feel more way confident in my body, and that is priceless.

    But one of the most important reasons to get this surgery – the health benefits. No longer do you need to rely on a catheter that’s in you 24/7. These have been linked to bladder cancer. You’ll also get less UTIs.

    If you decide to get this procedure, make sure you order enough catheters each month. I use about 4 to 6 straight silicon (size 14 french) catheters everyday, but I often times run out by the end of the month and will have to reuse catheters, which usually always produces a UTI. I’ve been OCD about ordering on time for years, and it’s one of the smartest things I do on a regular basis.

    Happy cathing, and hopefully this post has enlightened you to even more exciting bladder management options.

    – Learn more: the Mitroffanoff on Wikipedia

    Do you have the Mitroffanoff procedure? How is it working for ya?

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