Calorics: To Cool or Not to Cool?
How to Decide Between Air Vs. Water Cooled Air
Secure Health exclusively offers three caloric irrigator options that are all manufactured by Difra Instrumention, a global leader for more than 48 years. We sell the AirStar caloric irrigator, which is air-only and by a wide margin, our most popular caloric irrigator, accounting for an estimated 80% of our caloric sales.
Our second most popular caloric irrigator is the CoolStar. This one features water-cooled air.
We also offer the AquaStar caloric for those who want a water-only caloric irrigator.
Today, most VNG systems include an air caloric irrigator instead of a water-only irrigator. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it's less messy using air compared to water. Then there is the problem of patient comfort and a decreased likelihood of the patient becoming sick. Finally, there is no need for a water source in the room and the required plumbing that a water caloric demands.
In this post, we are not going to discuss the merits of water versus air calorics because this is a lengthy discussion with much debate regarding which is more effective or is most preferred. Instead, I will explore the differences between the AirStar and CoolStar irrigators to help you decide which one is the best choice for your needs. The water-only versus air debate will be addressed in a future post.
AIRSTAR: Air Only Caloric Irrigator
As I mentioned, the AirStar caloric is our most widely chosen irrigator option. This is due to ease of use and a reasonable price, which makes it a popular choice. It does a great job for most applications.
The AirStar features an otoscope-type handle with a lighted tip and magnified end, making insufflation much easier and accurate. The AirStar uses a twist-on speculum tip that you can source from your medical supply house or order from us. The main drawback of the AirStar is the lowest temperature it can adjust to is directly related to the ambient room temperature.
AirStar has four default temperature settings: 27°C, 30°C, 44°C and 47°C. You can easily change these default settings to your personal preference on all three types of the caloric irrigators. If your balance lab is overly warm or humid, the AirStar may not reach the lowest default setting of 27°C. If it does not, you can always use the 30°C setting until the ambient temperature comes back down in that room. It's not necessarily ideal, but it still is very workable. In my opinion, I would recommend making a note of the low-temperature setting of 30°C in the notes section of your VNG software so whoever is doing your interpretation knows of the slight change in the temperature setting. It certainly is fine to provide more detail then fewer details in the notes section.
CoolStar: Water-Cooled Air Caloric Irrigator
The CoolStar has all the features of the AirStar:
--Twist-on speculum tips
It also has a water container attached to the back of the irrigator. Basically, the pumped air generated by the CoolStar passes through tubes submerged in distilled water to cool the air.
The temperature defaults for the CoolStar are 24°C, 30°C, 44°C, and 47°C. As with the AirStar, these default temperatures can be adjusted to your preference. If needed, the CoolStar can reach a cool temperature of just 10°C. In the instance where your balance lab is too warm for an AirStar, you can now use the CoolStar to reach your targeted low temperature. Plus, if you are not stimulating a response during irrigation, you have the option of using a lower temperature (as low as a 10°C) setting to see if a response can be generated without having to resort to using water or ice-water.
The CoolStar is rapidly gaining in popularity due to its wide temperature range while also possessing the other features of the AirStar. The CoolStar is a very versatile caloric irrigator at a reasonable price.
Now that I have introduced you to the features of both the AirStar and the CoolStar, can you answer the question, "To Cool or Not to Cool?" Which one will you choose, the AirStar or the CoolStar?
As always, if you have other questions about our full line of VNG products, please contact me.
--Dan Scherer, CEO
Secure Health, Inc.
260.804.4041 or [email protected]