On July 27 last year, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issued Department Personnel Order No. 2007-2192 on the creation of a committee on the phaseout of mercury in all Philippine health care facilities and institutions.
This followed the memorandum issued on Feb. 12, 2007 Health Undersecretary Ethelyn Nieto, M.D., addressed to all regional/hospital directors on the guidelines for handling elemental mercury spills at home, school, and medical facilities.
It is a recognized fact that elemental mercury, which can readily vaporize at room temperature, is hazardous to both environment and health. Exposure from it can damage directly the body, which includes the nerves, the eyes, and the reproductive system, among others.
As stated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States government and the country’s own Bureau of Working Condition, exposure to mercury vapor should not exceed an eight-hour time weighted average of 1 mg/10 cubic meter (about the size of 10 executive tables side by side) or 0.1 mg/ cubic meter.
As the hazard of mercury is considered closely today, alternatives are being explored actively. A&D UM101 mercury-free sphygmomanometer is now considered a direct, acceptable alternative by medical practitioners. Instead of using mercury, it has an LCD bar. It still requires a medical professional to listen for the Korotkoff sound to determine a patient’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
The A&D UM101 mercury-free sphygmomanometer is clinically validated by the European Society of Hypertension. It automatically yields pulse rate and minimizes human errors, which are related to poor recall, rounding off, and non-eye level reading, as it allows the user to mark where the systolic and diastolic sounds occurred.
It allows multi-angle reading. The sleek, robust, and easy-to-carry mercury-free sphygmomanometer has an open system concerning cuffs and comes in three models — desk top, wall-mounted, and floor standing.
It delivers on productivity gains in high usage instances and on assured mercury elimination for all.
It is widely used in Japan, US and Europe to date. It is ISO-certified, CE-marked, and USFDA-registered.
In the Philippines, leading hospitals and doctors now use the A&D UM101 mercury-free sphygmomanometer. It was even used as an official raffle prize during the 2007 Philippine Heart Association Convention.
The A&D UM101 mercury-free sphygmomanometer is exclusively imported from A&D Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan by Wellness PRO Inc., a duly BFAD-licensed importer/distributor of medical devices.