Category Archives: Health & Wellness Information

How To Wash Your Hands Correctly

How do I wash my hands correctly?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them, and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and then throw it away.

How do I clean my hands without soap or water?
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your until your hands are dry.

Take a minute and enjoy the brief informational hand-washing video

Good Handwashing Is the BEST way to stay healthy

 

 

How To Wash Your Hands Correctly

How do I wash my hands correctly?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them, and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and then throw it away.

How do I clean my hands without soap or water?
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your until your hands are dry.

Take a minute and enjoy the brief informational hand-washing video

Good Handwashing Is the BEST way to stay healthy

 

 

Natural Ways to Keep Ticks Away From You and Your Pets

Tick Season has arrived and is in full-swing.

There are natural ways to keep the ticks away and decrease their existence.  This will help both you and your pets and decrease the risks in having a tick bite and acquiring Lyme Disease

It is recommended to keep the weeds down.  Ticks live in tall grass, weedy areas and in shrubs where they can easily hitch a ride on pets and people as they brush past. You can prevent ticks in your yard simply by keeping it well mowed. In your gardens, keep the weeds down as much as possible and maintain plenty of space between shrubs and perennials. This helps cut down on the number of places for ticks to hide, and it also makes it easier for your pets to walk through the gardens without brushing against the plants.

It’s a good time for the long-haired pets to try a shorter-summer haircut.  Ticks are a bigger problem for cats and dogs with long hair because all that fluff makes it easier for ticks to hitch a ride and hide. Consider giving your dog a short summer clip (but not too short because it protects them from sunburn). If you’d rather not trim a long-haired cat for the summer, your best bet may be to keep the kitty indoors or give them a confined outdoor area away from high grass and weedy spots. Be certain to do a thorough tick check before heading inside.

Try a Lint Roller.  After going for a walk in the woods, use a tape-style lint roller on your slacks, socks, sleeved shirts, jackets, and if there is a fellow-walker or group together — take turns rolling the lint roller across the clothing of each other to remove any hidden ticks and us the lint roller on your dog to pick up any ticks that have decided to hitch a ride

Add Food-Grade DE to the Gardens.   You can maintain plenty of space and weed regularly, and still there may be a few ticks hiding in your flowers and shrubs. You can protect your pets by using food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) in the gardens. Because it dehydrates insects, this is an effective solution against ticks, fleas, and other pests.   Diatomaceous earth (sometimes to referred to simply as DE) is one of those handy substances that has all kinds of uses around the home and garden. It is mainly used for pest control, effective at killing everything from fleas and roaches indoors to aphids and slugs outdoors.  What is Diatomaceous Earth?   It’s useful, but what is it, exactly?   The short answer is fossils! Diatomaceous earth (pronounced “dia-toMAY-shus” earth) is ground fossilized remains of a type of phytoplankton called diatoms, which have existed on earth for millions of years. Of course, to look at diatomaceous earth, it doesn’t look like fossils and it is more of an off-white powder that looks similar to talc and has no odor.  Contact a local home-improvement garden center for more information.

Frequent Tick Checks.  Despite your best efforts, ticks will find their way onto you and your pets. To prevent tick bites, inspect yourself, your children, and family members along with your pets each day, and preferably each time you have all come in from the outside. With the pets: pay special attention to areas that your pet can’t easily reach such as around the head, behind the ears, and underneath their legs. Smaller deer ticks even hang out on eyelids. It’s a good habit to get into and try to be thorough.  If a tick is located contact a health care provider and for the pets contact their veterinarian to discuss tick removal and treatments.

Preventing Lyme Disease = Preventing Antibiotic Therapy = C.difficile Prevention and MORE.

Working together to prevent pain and suffering in both individuals and our pets. 

National and State Healthcare-associated Infection (HAI) Progress Report from the CDC 2019

Between 2016 and 2017, healthcare-associated infections decreased in the United States, according to the most recent National and State HAI Progress Report   from the CDC.

The report includes a summary of rates for select HAIs across four settings: acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term acute care hospitals.

Key findings from the report include:

1. Central line-associated bloodstream infections saw a 9 percent decrease, with the largest decrease occurring in hospital wards.

2. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections dropped by 5 percent, with ICUs showing the largest decrease of 8 percent.

3. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia declined by 8 percent and Clostridioides difficile events reduced by 13 percent.

4. Ventilator-associated events and surgical site infections both decreased, by 3 percent and 1 percent respectively. The decrease in SSIs was related to 10 procedures tracked in the report.

5. There were no significant decreases or increases in abdominal hysterectomy SSIs and colon surgery SSIs.

 

Source:  https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/hais-decreased-in-2017-c-diff-down-13-mrsa-down-8.html

Do You Have A Penicillin Allergy? Fact or Fiction

Are you allergic to penicillin? If so, are you sure about that?

It’s surprisingly common for people to wrongly think they have a penicillin allergy — and that misconception can be dangerous for their health.

Ten percent of all patients in the United States claim to have a penicillin allergy. Of those people, 90 percent are not truly allergic and can tolerate the drug. That means millions of people take alternative antibiotics, which are more expensive and can put their health and potentially the health of others at risk. The solution is a simple allergy test.

A study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) looked at six years’ worth of medical records for patients in the United Kingdom and found that those with a penicillin allergy had an almost 70 percent greater chance of acquiring a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection and a 26 percent increased risk of Clostridium difficile-related colitis (C. diff.). MRSA and C. diff. are major health risks worldwide. The study compared adults with a known penicillin allergy to similar people without a known penicillin allergy.

People labeled with a penicillin allergy are usually instead given broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may kill off more good bacteria along with the bad. This appeared to increase a patient’s risk of infection with MRSA or C. diff., which are common in our environment and can live without causing any problems on someone’s skin or gut. However, if a broad antibiotic kills off competing good bacteria, MRSA and C. diff. can thrive and start to cause problems.

“Penicillin-related drugs, that whole class … they’re very effective at killing, and they’re very targeted. So for some bacteria they’re still the best. Oldie but goody,” said Kim Blumenthal, lead author of the new study and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“I have seen so many terrible, terrible outcomes” from C. diff. infections, Blumenthal said, including serious diarrhea, sepsis and death.

“All of us need to understand that antibiotic use is not a free ride, it carries a lot of risk,” said Paul Sax, clinical director of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was not involved in the study but he says the study adds to the “substantial body of evidence” which shows that a penicillin allergy has been linked to longer hospital stays and an increased risk of acquiring resistant infections.

Using non-targeted antibiotics can quickly breed resistant bacteria. “Not only is it harmful to the world and the general population . . . but it’s harmful to the individual patient. So the message to the public is that it could be dangerous to you or me,” said Helen Boucher, director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at Tufts Medical Center, who was not involved in the study.

“In antibiotic resistance we don’t have a very loud patient advocacy voice . . . and the reasons for that are complicated, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that a lot of the victims aren’t here to speak for themselves because they died,” Boucher said.

The infections are resistant to many known drugs and can quickly become life-threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 million people, equivalent to the approximate population of Brooklyn, are infected with resistant bacteria every year. At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result and even more from complications. 

Diagnosing penicillin allergies is challenging. Symptoms such as a rash, nausea or diarrhea could be a sign of allergy, or they might coincidentally occur when someone is taking antibiotics, according to Jonathan Grein, medical director at the Department of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Children frequently get rashes that are mistaken for penicillin allergies, Blumenthal said.

Even if people are diagnosed correctly as children, they can grow out of an allergy, said Sax.

Which raises the question, what exactly is an allergy? The Internet is full of “answers,” as any late-night Googling hypochondriac can tell you, but an allergy is simply an exaggerated immune response triggered unnecessarily. It can be anything from a rash to trouble breathing.

“Part of the problem is that ‘allergy’ means different things to different people,” said Grein. “Making that distinction between these intolerances and side effects and life-threatening immediate allergic reaction, that’s where the challenge is.”

For example, a patient of Sax’s, in his mid-20s, had a life-threatening heart infection. Penicillin could save him, but his medical record said he was allergic to the drug. Careful questioning by his medical team was able to determine that although he had nausea and diarrhea while on penicillin, he did not have an allergy, Sax said. Knowing this, the hospital administered the appropriate penicillin antibiotic to save his life.

In the case of penicillin, it is important to know that the risks of the allergy diagnosis are sometimes worse than the symptoms of the allergy itself. In most cases, penicillin should only be avoided if the allergy is immediate and life-threatening.

“There are over 30 million Americans who have a penicillin allergy on their record. And there are things we can do,” Blumenthal said.

Examine your own medical record, Blumenthal said. “I would want patients to think, ‘Hmm, am I really allergic to penicillin, or did my mom just tell me and it’s not really true, and should I get that evaluated?’ ”

If it’s been more than 10 years since you were diagnosed, talk to your doctor about getting retested.

Please click on the following link to review the article in its entirety

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/08/10/most-people-who-think-they-have-a-penicillin-allergy-are-wrong-thats-dangerous/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.47ced452875d