Medic Alert Bracelets

This was posted today on Facebook from Jeannie Middlebrooks, an EMS provider. She says “Anyone can message me with questions too!”

I have seen alot of people recently asking for advice as to what to put on their Medic Alert Bracelets, What Kind to buy, etc.
The most common things I see are that bracelets are being bought that look like “normal jewelry” because they don’t want it to stick out.

The other thing is that they are putting the IMPORTANT information on the BACK of the bracelet

Guys I have been in EMS 16 years, and recently Diagnosed SAI this past april. so I have a few things to say on this subject. You can take it for what it’s worth, but please understand this is coming from someone who lives in the heat of the moment taking care of people like us when that moment counts.. When we find an unconscious patient we have several things that we are attempting to do to save that patient, granted looking for a medic alert tag is important, but it is not more important that keeping a compromised airway open, checking vitals, getting an IV, asking family for a history, etc. Looking for a medic alert is usually done en route to the hospital if it is not blatantly obvious upon arrival.

#1 Anything that looks pictures I have posted below, I can 100% promise you, will be looked over in the heat of the moment if you are unconscious. Your family will more than likely be on edge and forget to tell us, or you will be by yourself and no one will know to tell us to look. It looks like standard jewelry.. so I’m not going to look at it.. therefore missing your life threatening emergency.. and if I am one of MILLIONS of first responders that are unfamiliar with Adrenal Insufficiency, I will NOT recognize the signs and symptoms, and you will NOT get the care you need pre-hospital.. leaving your body without the necessary cortisol for that much longer.

#2- If you place your Pertinent information on the back of your bracelet, PLEASE make sure that the medic alert symbol is on the front of the bracelet, BIG AND RED… don’t make it small and pink, or the same color as the bracelet.. yet again. we will overlook it in the moment..

#3- Necklaces are a bad idea.. They almost always get tucked into a shirt, and we almost NEVER see them. they are easily moved.

#4- Your medic alert tag should have your name. What you Suffer From, That you are Steroid Dependant. Where your Injection Kit is location (if applicable), Instructions to give the meds or you will die.. (This alerts bystanders to give you the injection as well.. I can say this because I had a bystander do it based solely on my Medic Alert tag.. she found it, drew it up, and gave it to me), and an emergency contact who can give responders information they need. If you have more than one Critical condition. List the most life threatening in order.

Please Please Please don’t take this post the wrong way. I am saying all of this coming from someone who lives in these moments every day. I know how many first responders are not familiar with the disease that can so easily kill us, and if you are willing to risk your life for the sake of a “pretty” bracelet, then I can’t stop you.. nor can anyone here.. Just know that it is a HUGE risk…

 

medic-alert

World Cancer Day 2016

Other Stuff, Part 2: Kidney Cancer

Until I saw it on Facebook, I didn’t know that today was World Cancer Day.  Over the years, our family has dealt with several types of cancer and I have friends that have had cancers of their own.  I think that most every family has been touched by cancer in some way.

In my family:

Colon cancer

  • My dad had it twice and died after his second surgery
  • My aunt had it twice and died after her second surgery.  She was lucky – she never had any symptoms except looking like she was pregnant.
  • My mom had it twice and she’s still alive at 93.  Hooray!  It can be beat with the right attitude.

Kidney Cancer

According to my “risk factors”, I “should” have had colon cancer because both parents and an aunt had it twice each.  Of course, there’s no guarantee that I won’t get that, too.

And the risk factors for kidney cancer aka renal cell carcinoma?  The majority of kidney cancers are renal cell carcinomas.

Risk factors for renal cell carcinoma include:

  • Age. Your risk of renal cell carcinoma increases as you age. Renal cell carcinoma occurs most commonly in people 60 and older.

I was younger than this.

  • Sex. Men are more likely to develop renal cell carcinoma than women are.

I am female

  • Smoking. Smokers have a greater risk of renal cell carcinoma than nonsmokers do. The risk increases the longer you smoke and decreases after you quit.

Not me!

  • Obesity. People who are obese have a higher risk of renal cell carcinoma than do people who are considered average weight.

A Cushing’s gift

  • High blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure increases your risk of renal cell carcinoma, but it isn’t clear why. Some research in animals has linked high blood pressure medications to an increased risk of kidney cancer, but studies in people have had conflicting results.

Never had this until the kidney cancer.  It went away immediately post-op.

  • Chemicals in your workplace. Workers who are exposed to certain chemicals on the job may have a higher risk of renal cell carcinoma. People who work with chemicals such as asbestos, cadmium and trichloroethylene may have an increased risk of kidney cancer.

What?  Me work?.

  • Treatment for kidney failure. People who receive long-term dialysis to treat chronic kidney failure have a greater risk of developing kidney cancer. People who have a kidney transplant and receive immunosuppressant drugs also are more likely to develop kidney cancer.

Nope.  Some sites also list polycystic  kidney disease.  I don’t have that but half my husband’s family does.  Hmmm – wonder if that’s contagious

  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease. People with this inherited disorder are likely to develop several kinds of tumors, including, in some cases, renal cell carcinoma.

I’ve wondered about this but, you know, it’s too “rare”.

  • Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma. Having this inherited condition makes it more likely you’ll develop one or more renal cell carcinomas.

Not that I know of. 

Pretty close to zero on the risk factors. No signs, no symptoms. I was diagnosed in the ER of my local hospital in 2006.

Skin Cancer

  • My husband has had a variety of melanomas and other skin cancers removed

Breast Cancer

  • Sister-in-Law

Among my friends, there have been many cancers – breast cancers, lung cancers (including people who have never smoked), multiple myelomas,  neuroendocrine cancers (this one is supposed to be really rare.  I have 3 friends with this.), probably some I don’t know about yet – and maybe it is unknown to the person.

Some ideas how to protect yourself and others from cancer.  It could save your life!

New ibuprofen patch delivers drug without risks posed by oral dose

ibuprofen
Some people, such as me!, can’t take Ibuprofen or NSAIDs.  This might be a good solution…
Ibuprofen is used by many people to relieve pain, lessen swelling and to reduce fever. Though there are many worrying side effects linked to overuse of the drug, a new ibuprofen patch has been developed that can deliver the drug at a consistent dose rate without the side effects linked to the oral form.

The patch was developed by researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK, led by research chemist Prof. David Haddleton.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently strengthened the warning labels that accompany nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.

New labels warn that such drugs increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, and these events happen without warning, potentially causing death. Furthermore, such risks are higher for people who take NSAIDs for a long time.

Ibuprofen can also cause ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach or intestine.

With these risks in mind, finding an alternative way to relieve pain without the risks is a worthwhile endeavor. Though there are commercial patches on the market designed to soothe pain, this is the first patch that delivers ibuprofen through the skin.

“Many commercial patches surprisingly don’t contain any pain relief agents at all,” says Prof. Haddleton, “they simply soothe the body by a warming effect.”

Patch drug load 5-10 times that of current patches

Working with a Warwick spinout company called Medherant, the researchers were able to put significant amounts of ibuprofen into a polymer matrix that adheres the patch to the patient’s skin, enabling the drug to be delivered at a steady rate over a 12-hour period.

The researchers say their patch paves the way for other novel long-acting pain relief products that can be used to treat common conditions – such as back pain, neuralgia and arthritis – without taking potentially damaging oral doses of the drug.

Prof. Haddleton explains that, for the first time, they can “produce patches that contain effective doses of active ingredients such as ibuprofen for which no patches currently exist.”

He adds that they are able to “improve the drug loading and stickiness of patches containing other active ingredients to improve patient comfort and outcome.”

The team notes that the drug load made possible by their new technology is 5-10 times that of current medical patches and gels. Furthermore, because the patch adheres well to skin, it stays put even when the drug load reaches levels as high as 30% of the weight or volume of the patch.

Other potential uses for the patch

There are currently a number of ibuprofen gels available, but the researchers say it is difficult to control dosage with these gels, and they are not convenient to apply.

“There are only a limited number of existing polymers that have the right characteristics to be used for this type of transdermal patches – that will stick to the skin and not leave residues when being easily removed,” says Prof. Haddleton, who adds:

“Our success in developing this breakthrough patch design isn’t limited to ibuprofen; we have also had great results testing the patch with methyl salicylate (used in liniments, gels and some leading commercial patches).

We believe that many other over-the-counter and prescription drugs can exploit our technology, and we are seeking opportunities to test a much wider range of drugs and treatments within our patch.”

Medherant CEO Nigel Davis says they anticipate their new patch will be on the market in around 2 years. He adds that they “can see considerable opportunities in working with pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative products using our next-generation transdermal drug-delivery platform.”

Despite the risks associated with long-term use of NSAIDs, Medical News Today recently reported on a study that suggested use of the drugs could reduce risk of colorectal cancer.

8 Energy Boosters to Beat Menopause Fatigue

tired-zombie
Menopause got you dragging? Here are a few simple ways to fight menopause energy drain and regain your oomph.

If you’re like many women, you’ll probably experience bothersome symptoms during menopause — one of which may be fatigue. Fatigue is a common menopause complaint, especially in the early stages of menopause, as your body adjusts to its new chemistry.

But low energy can be also caused by number of other medical conditions, including anemia, coronary artery disease, diabetes, heart failure, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and kidney or liver disease. If you are fatigued, “you should talk to your doctor just to be sure it’s a menopause symptom,” says Wendy Klein, MD, associate professor emeritus of internal medicine, obstetrics, and gynecology and chair of the Women’s Health Conference at the Virgina Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

“Most women don’t need treatment for their menopause symptoms,” Klein says. “The majority of women will have symptoms that are transient. They last two or three years and abate by themselves.” But there are lifestyle changes you can make to help relieve symptoms you may experience.

If you’re dealing with fatigue as you go through menopause, try these eight simple tricks to boost low energy:

1. Exercise daily. You should aim for at least 30 — and preferably 60 — minutes of exercise most days of the week. Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling weak or tired, but exercise actually boosts your energy, says Staness Jonekos, who co-authored The Menopause Makeover with Dr. Klein. “Exercise is your fountain of youth,” Jonekos says. “It produces those feel-good hormones and gives you the energy you’re looking for when you’re not feeling good.” Some people find it helps to exercise earlier in the day rather than close to bedtime.

2. Cap caffeine and alcohol consumption. Caffeine and alcohol can both affect energy levels and interfere with getting a good night’s sleep if you indulge in the evening. They may give you an immediate rush, but when they wear off, they can leave you feeling more drained than before. Nicotine can also have this effect, so if you smoke, quit. You’ll find you have more energy without artificial stimulants.

3. Limit food portions. Being overweight during menopause can cause you to feel sluggish. The best diet is one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and that includes lean sources of protein (poultry, lean meats, and fish) and low- or no-fat dairy products. Limit the amount of fats and sweets you eat. Eating smaller meals more frequently can provide energy throughout the day, Jonekos says. But if you eat more often, be sure you’re not overeating — watch your total calories.

4. Embrace relaxation. How do you unwind? Whether you like to read, take long walks, or meditate, take the time to indulge in your favorite activities. “You’re entitled to pamper yourself and take time for yourself,” Jonekos says. “As a result, you will be more energetic.” Stress and anxiety could be causing your fatigue, and relaxation techniques can be very helpful in learning to overcome them. A study published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society shows that stress-reduction therapy may also help with menopause symptoms, decreasing the degree to which women were bothered by hot flashes by 22 percent.

5. Get your Zzz’s. Another menopause symptom is hot flashes or night sweats, which can keep you up at night. Restful sleep is important during menopause so you’re not overly tired during the day. This may require keeping your bedroom cooler than you usually do. Use a ceiling fan and wear lighter bed clothes. Make sure the room is dark and set your body clock by going to bed and waking up around the same time every day — even on weekends.

6. Stay hydrated. “You need to nourish your body with healthy food and water,” Jonekos says. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you need more fluid. When you’re dehydrated, your body has to work harder to perform, which can lead to fatigue. Dehydration also can cause nausea and difficulty concentrating. Keep a water bottle handy so you can drink when you’re thirsty. Choose water or caffeine-free tea or coffee — not calorie-laden drinks, as weight gain can make you sluggish.

7. Don’t overbook. You may be fatigued because you’re trying to do too much. Learn to say no. Know your limits and what you can and can’t accomplish in a day. Also, if you set reasonable limits, you’ll be less stressed, Jonekos says.

8. Try herbal remedies. Two herbal remedies that may help reduce menopause symptoms that can cause fatigue and anxiety are black cohosh and valerian. Talk to your doctor before taking herbs as teas or supplements as they can interfere with some medications.

“No one recipe fits everyone,” Jonekos says. “But if you’re suffering from fatigue during menopause, you need to take control, and you can do that by adopting a healthy lifestyle.” Eat right, exercise, get adequate sleep, and learn to relax — you will find you have more energy to enjoy your life.

From http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/guide-to-managing-menopause/8-energy-boosters-for-menopause-fatigue/

New Study for People with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the study medication can help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease improve their mental abilities such as understanding, reasoning, and judgment. The study medication will be given together with an FDA-approved Alzheimer’s medication: Aricept® (donepezil), Exelon® (rivastigmine) or Razadyne® (galantamine).

More about the study:

  • The study drug (MK-7622) is administered in the form of one capsule a day in the morning.
  • There will be 830 participants in this trial

If you are interested, please find the full study details and eligibility criteria listed here.

Eligibility Criteria:

Participants must:

  • be between 55 – 85 years old
  • be diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (12 – 24 MMSE)
  • have a trial partner who is able to attend any study visits that require assessment
  • be currently taking a stable daily dose of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) such as Aricept® (donepezil), Exelon® (rivastigmine patch oral), or Razadyne® (galantamine)

Participants must not:

  • have a history of seizures or epilepsy within the last 5 years
  • have a history of mental illness
  • have been diagnosed or treated for cancer within the past 5 years (excluding basal cell, squamous cell skin cancer, in situ cervical cancer and localized prostate cancer)

Please complete the online questionnaire to check if you’re eligible for the trial.

If you’re not familiar with clinical trials, here are some FAQs:

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies to determine whether investigational drugs or treatments are safe and effective for humans. All new investigational medications and devices must undergo several clinical trials, often involving thousands of people.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

You will have access to new investigational treatments that would be available to the general public only upon approval. You will also receive study-related medical care and attention from clinical trial staff at research facilities. Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

Learn why I’m talking about this Clinical Trial