Spring Cleaning Safety Tips



We might all be guilty of putting off those dreaded cleaning days while we are staying nice and warm through the winter. As Spring approaches and we are getting ready to open those windows and let the breeze blow through, here are a few of our tips to keep you safe while cleaning away the winter doldrums and cobwebs!

  1. Lets clean out the clutter! Too much “stuff” can create dangerous places in the home for trips and falls. Make sure you have a clear path in every room of the house by removing unnecessary furniture or items. Think about donating or putting them in storage. Also double check edges of carpet or rungs to make sure nothing is frayed and causing trips. pexels-photo-264600.jpeg
  2.  Remember don’t move heavy things on your own! When clearing out that furniture or pile of magazines, always ask for help! Even a simple task as changing a light bulb may require some assistance if you need to stand on a chair or ladder to reach it. Think about replacing that heavy vacuum cleaner with a newer lightweight cordless model. Even something as simple as getting a extended handle for cleaning tools could help: Extended Toilet Brush
  3. Check Expiration Dates! Spring is a great time to go through the medicine cabinet and check all expiration dates. Don’t forget to check the over the counter pills as well such as Tylenol or Advil. Also a great place to look for expiration dates is your refrigerator.  Take a look at that ketchup or mayo bottle. Also remember to check your canned food in the cabinet or pantry. pexels-photo-273026.jpeg
  4. Update your emergency numbers! Double check your saved numbers in your speed dials to make sure that everyone listed has the most up to date information. Also as a tip, if you have a cell phone, be sure to add “ICE*” before your emergency contact. Emergency professionals know to look through a cell phone for ICE or In Case of Emergency contacts to reach out to them if you are unable to. Do you know who to call in an emergency? Have a list of numbers next to your phone just in case.pexels-photo-263402.jpeg
  5. Spring is the time to check those fire detector batteries! The easiest way is to just replace the batteries so they are fresh for the year. Also make sure to check your fire extinguisher and emergency kit for any expiration dates and that all supplies are full.



Top 5 tips to staying safe during Winter and Spring

With our weather fluctuating from snow to rain to sun all the while staying chilly, we want to share with you some tips to make sure you stay safe through both seasons!


    1. Ice, Snow and Rain: Driveways, sidewalks and steps can get slick and pose a serious falling hazard! To maximize safety, be sure that all pathways are shoveled, cleared or cleaned off. Even the pine needles when wet can cause us to slip and slide across the path. Be sure that you have rubber – soled shoes and new treads on your walker or cane. See walker replacements on our site: Replacement Walker Tips
    2. Avoid Falls: Try and stay inside if you can when the weather gets really rough – make arrangements for a family member or friend to shovel/salt/clean your driveways and walkways. A professional caregiver might be able to assist in everyday chores like getting the mail or picking up groceries. Take a couple of minutes each day and be sure to stretch to loosen up your muscles. Wear non-skid shoes or boots when going outside. Make sure to clean up any water or outside dirt that could track inside. Check to be sure your rubber tips on your cane or walker are not worn smooth. See our website for replacement tips: Replacement Cane Tips
    3. Dehydration: You might be especially prone to dehydration because you simply eat and drink less, thus consuming less water every day! Also people tend to feel less thirsty during the winter. A good tip to remember to drink water is set a timer for every hour and get a water bottle you can write times on. That way when the timer goes off you can drink enough to get to your next mark      waterbottlemarkedwithtime
    4. Space Heaters: While these small portable heaters can provide much needed comfort, you need to make sure that they don’t become a safety hazard instead! Be sure to get one with a timer so that its not always running. Keep it away from all flammable material such as blankets or drapes. Double check to make sure your smoke detector is working properly as well just to be safe!
    5. Disaster Kits: You always want to be prepared so make sure you have a kit in your home that will help you get through an emergency such as power outages that may last several days. Your kit should include food and water for several days (at least 3 gallons of water per person per day), a few days worth of medications (make sure they haven’t expired), a flashlight, a weather radio, extra batteries and first-aid essentials.


New Mental Health Coverage

Obamacare Bumper StickerMental health has been on the minds’ of Americans in recent years, with the rise of gun violence and substance addiction, many are asking for a better solution to this epidemic.
In the beginning of this month President Obama pledged to strengthen our nation’s mental health systems by fixing Americans access to healthcare. Obama’s administration plans on preventing mental health issues by making counseling and addiction serves available to everyone. When the 2010 Affordable Care Act is fully implemented next year, millions of Americans stand to gain access to such care for the first time.
Opponents to Obamacare worry that the Affordable Care Act will be a serious strain on providers.  With the concern now on whether the providers and the delivery systems can take care of all of them, the debate over Obama’s initiative has many asking, what is really best for our patients?

For more information READ HERE

Colorful Kinesio Tape

If you have noticed more stripes and colors on athletes, chances are kinesio taping is to blame. The popularity of taping has grown in the last decade and the 2012 London Olympics have made it a household name. But how does this stuff work and is it affective?

Kinesio tape is a thin and pliable tape that is placed on areas of your body that can be prone to over extending, the tapes job is to pull on your skin to remind you NOT to over extend. Some trainers also use the tape as a tool to help improve balance in athletes and to prevent excessive extending. The taping has even been used on animals to help prevent injuries.

Research is still being done to determine the true effects of the tape, and whether it gives you a sense of stability and support or gives you a psychological edge. In the meantime kinesio taping gives us lots of pretty colors to look during sporting events and may have a bigger use in the future.

Read more about this topic HERE.

~Professional Medical Corp.

Is there a linkage between too much coffee and pregnancy rates?

Times Health Land Magazine reported a new study that claims drinking too much coffee may lower  a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Researchers at the University of Nevada conducted an experiment on mice and concluded that too much caffeine hindered the progress of specialized cells transporting the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. These specialized cells are in charge of squeezing the eggs around the fallopian tubes efficiently and into the womb.

Sean Ward, a professor of University of Nevada School of Medicine said, “This provides an intriguing explanation as to why women with high caffeine consumption often take longer to conceive than women who do not consume caffeine.” However, past research shows inconsistency linking pregnancy and caffeine rates.

It is advised that women who want to get pregnant should limit themselves about a cup or two of coffee a day or in other words, about 50 milligrams of caffeine intake. This is equivalent to a soda, five chocolate bars or a cup of tea.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/01/could-coffee-prevent-pregnancy/#ixzz1OWDkV3zC

What do you think of this new study?

Professional Medical Corp

Surgical Errors Too Common

Unthinkable errors by doctors and surgeons—such as amputating the wrong leg or removing organs from the wrong patient—occur more frequently than previously believed, a new study suggests.

Over a period of 6.5 years, doctors in Colorado alone operated on the wrong patient at least 25 times and on the wrong part of the body in another 107 patients, according to the study, which appears in the Archives of Surgery.
So-called wrong-patient and wrong-site procedures accounted for about 0.5% of all medical mistakes analyzed in the study. Although these serious errors are rare overall, the numbers seen in the study are “considerably higher” than previous estimates, researchers say.

In fact, the surgical blunders reported in the study are probably “the tip of the iceberg,” says the lead researcher, Philip Stahel, MD, a surgeon at Denver Health Medical Center. The actual number of patient and site mix-ups is likely much higher, says Dr. Stahel, describing those mistakes as “a catastrophe.”

Catastrophic surgical errors are “a lot more common than the public thinks,” says Martin Makary, MD, a professor of surgery and public health at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

“Each hospital, whether they publicly admit it or not, and whether or not it’s discoverable in a lawsuit, has an episode of wrong-site or wrong-patient surgery either every year or once every few years,” says Dr. Makary, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. “Almost every surgeon has seen one.”

Dr. Stahel and his colleagues analyzed 27,370 records from a database of medical errors maintained by a company that provides malpractice insurance to about 6,000 physicians in Colorado. (The physicians themselves reported the incidents.)

The errors in the database—some of which originated with other doctors or support staff, rather than surgeons—were caused by a range of slipups, including mixing up patient medical records, X-rays, and biopsy samples. All of the mistakes could be traced back to some form of miscommunication.

In one wrong-patient procedure, hospital staff confused two patients with the same first and last name who were in a doctor’s office at the same time; in another, staff members brought the wrong child into the operating room. Examples of wrong-site errors included removing the wrong ovary or irradiating the wrong organ.

“One of the worst cases I saw in this study was two patients who had had prostate biopsies,” Dr. Stahel says. “One had cancer and one did not. Clinicians mixed up the samples and the patient without cancer had a radical prostatectomy—which is a huge surgery, removal of an organ for nothing—while the patient with cancer [was] still walking out in the community, not knowing his true diagnosis.”

Overall, one-third of the mistakes led to long-term negative consequences for the patient. One patient even died of lung complications after an internist inserted a chest tube in the wrong side of his body.

Only about 22% of the mistakes led to malpractice claims or lawsuits. The database is unusual in that it contains information on all incidents (not just those that resulted in a claim), and for that reason the rate of surgical mix-ups reported in the study is likely more accurate than those in previous studies, Dr. Stahel says.

The main culprit in cases such as these is human error, Dr. Makary says. “We rely on the nurse to tell us the side of a hernia repair, and the nurse can make mistakes. We rely on the surgeon’s memory, which is fallible.” Even the best surgeons can be expected to make mental errors occasionally, he says.

Health organizations have tried to put an end to surgical mix-ups. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has launched an initiative called “Sign Your Site” that encourages surgeons to initial the actual surgical site before operating. And the Joint Commission, a nonprofit group that accredits hospitals and other health-care facilities, has developed a protocol for surgeries that includes having a presurgery “time out”—a pause during which the surgical team double-checks that the patient and site are correct.

But these protocols “are not sufficient,” Dr. Stahel says. They only apply to the operating room, he says, and nearly one-third of the botched procedures in the study took place in doctor’s offices. Moreover, the study showed that many operating-room mistakes start out in biopsy labs or during the imaging and diagnosis process.

“A lot of wrong-side, wrong-patient errors occur outside of the operating room,” Dr. Stahel says. “We should have time-outs for labeling for samples. If the lab mixes up the sample, the consequences may be worse than erroneously cutting off the wrong leg. I think we should extrapolate time-outs to internal medicine [and] laboratories.”

Article courtesy of Amanda Gardner for Health.com.

The Cost of Crash Diets

You have a week to fit into that dress, and five pounds (O.K., 10) to drop. The plan? If you were a Hollywood star, you might eat nothing but baby food or grapefruit until then, or forgo meals in favor of liquids. If you were Kim Kardashian, you’d probably prefer a QuickTrim detox formula. Or if you were Michelle Obama, you would opt for a two-day vegetables-only “cleanse,” as she calls the regimen in an interview in the September issue of Ladies’ Home Journal.

“People could eat nothing but jelly beans and if they were eating just a small amount, they would lose weight,” says Donald Hensrud, chairman of preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic and medical editor-in-chief of The Mayo Clinic Diet, a guide to healthy weight loss. “You might be able to get away with it for a period of time, but the more restrictive [the diet] is—and the longer you follow it—the greater the risks.”

Crash diets are a tempting way to lose weight fast, says Hensrud. But most experts agree that they’re not worth the risk. Just one week of overly restrictive dieting can cause serious nutritional deficiencies, alter your metabolism, and undercut your emotional well-being. And most crash diets only set you up to regain the weight, since you haven’t made any long-term lifestyle changes.

“When people go on really rigid, low-calorie diets, they gain the weight back,” says Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietitian and author of Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits and Inspirations. “Their plan backfires. You might lose weight through severe dieting, but you don’t develop the habits you need to keep it off, like getting the right amount of exercise.”

Short-term dieting becomes especially unhealthy below 1,000 calories a day, warns Hensrud. While dipping below that level is dangerous for anyone, the threshold for a particular person could be significantly higher, depending on age, height, weight, activity level, and body composition. The majority of women in their 30s and 40s, for example, need roughly 1,800 calories a day to stay healthy; for men in that age range, it’s about 2,200. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) defines healthy weight loss as one to two pounds per week; for each pound you want to lose, you should consume 500 fewer calories a day—or burn them off through exercise. It’s no trick to shed far more than a couple of pounds each week, but you could run up some serious nutritional deficiencies: It’s hard to get enough calcium, vitamin D, or iron on a radically reduced number of calories. You could permanently damage your organs by not providing them with sufficient working fuel. And—to be blunt—crash dieting could kill you if you lose too much fluid and your electrolytes go out of whack, says Hensrud, who has treated several short-term dieters who were hospitalized for dehydration. One of them had alarmingly low levels of potassium, sodium, and other vital electrolytes, which could cause muscle cramps, dizziness, fainting, or even a heart attack.

Even if a crash diet puts smaller numbers on the scale, the weight loss may be illusory or harmful. The first few pounds to go are usually water, and they inevitably return, says Cheryl Forberg, staff nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser. You can lose muscle mass—on near-starvation diets, the body starts to feed on protein for sustenance. And don’t be surprised if you’re more snappish: Irritability, depression, and inability to handle everyday stress are travel companions of low-cal diets.

There is a healthy way to shed a few pounds fast, merely by bumping up physical activity and making minor diet adjustments. Try eliminating processed foods, which can cause bloating if they’re loaded with sodium, and minimize overall salt intake to prevent water gain. Pig out on fruits and vegetables—especially asparagus, a natural diuretic that will help flush your body of toxins while breaking down fat, says ADA spokesman Jim White, a dietitian in Virginia Beach, Va. You should see a difference within a week. Avoid one-food plans, like cabbage soup, baby food, or vegetable-only diets, say experts. White worked with a client who spent six months on a nothing-but-watermelon diet, which he calls a sure route to malnutrition.

Bottom line: Crash diets are a quick but deceptive fix. “They patch things up instead of addressing the larger issues: cutting down portions, eating five or six meals a day to speed up your metabolism, and getting a variety of foods,” White says. “If you need to look good for a wedding or class reunion, do yourself a favor and plan ahead.”

Article courtesy of Angela Haupt for U.S. News.