Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What a good idea--urgent care "ambulance"

I heard about a woman who thought she was having a heart attack, but the EMTs said no and charged her a ton for the ambulance call since she did not need to go to the hospital.

According to Government Executive Magazine, Sept 12, 2014, in a story by Eric Whitney, South Metro Fire Rescue Authority in the Denver suburbs has a specially equipped vehicle--basically a station wagon--that can treat minor injuries on the spot.

A mobile care unit.

They carry a nurse practitioner so can prescribe. They can suture minor cuts. They also have a lab better equipped than some urgent cares--blood counts, strep throat checks, flu.

They call up records on patients electronically.

So far the insurance companies won't pay. So for now, they work for free.

They expect with an emphasis on cutting costs, this will change in the future.

Denver, huh?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Football can make you ill

Football stress, that is. The excitement during, the anticipation leading up...according to Jody Gilchrist, a nurse practitioner at the Univ of Alabama Birmingham's Heart and Vascular Center.

Time for yogurt.

Tight games, crushing defeats...these produce heightened sensory inputs that release adrenaline and increase BP.

The body does not know from good and bad stress--it's all stress.

Then people eat and drink more--and more "bad" things. Two drinks should be the limit, the docs say.

Some other tips:

Watch the game with people you enjoy.

Do some pushups and situps during the breaks (does anyone do this?).

Take a walk at half-time.

Veggies instead of chips.

Keep salt to a minimum.

Forget sodas--high in sodium

Are you having fun yet?

All probably good advice--you decide.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Babies born in winter crawl sooner--or so they say

There is a new study at the Univ of Haifa in Israel that seems to show babies born between December and May start crawling sooner than those born June-November.

Small study--fewer than 30 babies. They used the reliable Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) measure of development.

The average age of crawling was 31 weeks. Babies born in winter crawled off at an average of 30 weeks. The summer-born at 35 weeks.

The bigger the difference between winter and summer in a place, the more this held. In a cold place like Canada with a lot of indoor heating, the difference was not pronounced.

What does this mean? Just interesting. Maybe it's cold on the floor and they learn to crawl fast to a warmer place.  

What does crawling itself mean? Your life will never be the same. Wait'll walking. These little suckers are fast!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One in five nurses quit after a year

A study in the current issue of Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice shows that 17.5% of newly licensed RNs leave their first nursing job within the first year.

One in three leave within two years.

Hospitals tends to retain them better than other healthcare organizations.

The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

RN turnover is costly for hospitals and other orgs and affects the care you get.

Boy howdy! Nurses who are experienced and know the hospital and how to work the system can keep you alive!

Is it money? Shifts? Office politics? Insurance? Someone better find out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

People over 65 may need two pneumonia vaccines

If you are creaking around or maybe have a parent who is, you might want to ask about the pneumonia vaccine situation.

An advisory panel to the CDC recently recommended that people get a second vaccine called Prevnar 13 in addition to the older one, Pneumovax 23.

Both are usually given once in older people--or sometimes every 10 yrs. They both protect against the strep form of pneumonia--but work different ways.

Almost a million people a year get this pneumonia each year and up to 7% die from it.

The vaccines also protect against bacteremia (bloodstream disease) and meningitis.

BUT--the CDC did say it would revisit the decision on Prevnar 13 in 2018 if the number of people getting sick declines enough.

Prevnar 13 has been used in kids and enough were vaccinated to prevent outbreaks (herd effect).

This 13 stuff is also expensive--$135. The other one is $68. Medicare may not cover it or at least not until 2016.

About 60% of oldies have had the first shot.

I have no idea where this is going. I hate to say it--but ask your doctor.

I have had two of the first shots--and got pneumonia.