If you’d like to live longer, consider getting a dog. According to CNN, a meta-analysis of more than four million people in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K. found that dog owners were about 24 percent less likely to die from any cause than people who didn’t own dogs. And according to the journal Circulation, dog owners reap the health benefits of increased physical activity, better social support and valuable companionship.
But if pet ownership is off the table, you can still enjoy at least some of the benefits. A 2015 study from Indiana University found that just watching cat videos is a great mood booster.
FEMA recommends three days of supplies What emergencies are likely to occur in your area? Could you be affected by a hurricane? A tornado? A wildfire? A blizzard?
All of these emergencies could leave your family and pets stranded for a number of days. You’ll need to eat and drink. You’ll need to be warm. You’ll need an emergency supply kit and a plan.
A “supply kit” sounds like something you could carry, but it isn’t. It takes planning and space to prepare for three days on your own.
If flooding is possible, you can store your survival supplies in an upper floor or attic long before an emergency. Store water and food (plus manual can opener) on upper floors. You could also store some paper products like toilet paper, disposable plates and towels. You should also plan on a three-day supply of water and food per person (and pet), plus clothes, shoes, a sleeping bag or blanket for each one, plastic sheeting and duct tape.
If you are more likely to be trapped by a blizzard, tornado or earthquake, a part of the garage or basement would be better. Build your store of supplies there. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends including garbage bags and closures, toilet paper, hand tools, a bottle of bleach, moist towelettes, a first aid kit, disposable plates, cups and dinnerware, and a fire extinguisher. If a forest fire is heading your way, leave early and take your pets. You’ll need a little cash, IDs, your medicine and gas in your car. Get going and don’t wait.
Upload copies of those insurance policies, banking information, and identification into cloud storage protected by a secure password. Some emergency items don’t take much room.
They include: * A flashlight, battery-operated radio and cell phone with extra batteries and matches in a waterproof container. * A three-day supply of medications, plus cash, pencil and paper, and a dust mask. * Personal hygiene items and feminine supplies. * If you have a baby, don’t forget the diapers.
Make a plan for your pets. You will absolutely be responsible for their very lives. In cases of flooding, rescuers won’t be taking the family dog. Get out long before flooding is projected.
Biogen has updated its prescribing guidelines for its controversial Alzheimer’s drug. The updated guidelines for the drug Aduhelm say the drug should be prescribed to patients with milder mental impairment and not those with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. The drug was tested on patients with mild disease.
According to USA Today, Aduhelm reduces the amyloid-beta protein plaques present in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The plaques may or may not be the cause Alzheimer’s, but no one knows for sure — it’s just one theory of many.
Aduhelm is the first drug approved in 18 years for the Alzheimer’s, the cause of which is unknown. The new drug hasn’t been shown to reverse dementia. One drug trial found that a high dose taken over the course of 18 months slowed cognitive decline by about four months while a second clinical trial failed to show any effect. Meanwhile, at a cost of $56,000 a year per patient, Medicare could be strained. Followup studies could refine the amyloid-beta plaque theory as a cause of Alzheimer’s.
Got ear buds? Beware of hearing loss They’re small, they’re discreet and just about everybody uses them these days. Ear buds are a ubiquitous accessory, but users should be cautious — prolonged use of these devices can cause permanent hearing loss. And because younger people are more likely to rely on ear buds than anyone else, they face the highest risk for early hearing loss as a result. According to CNET, nearly one in four US adults is affected by noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by loud noises for prolonged periods of time. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a good rule for ear buds is 80 percent of max volume for no more than 90 minutes at a time. But because ear buds allow more outside noise to enter the ear, users tend to crank the volume up to dangerous levels. Noise-canceling headphones or ear buds are a good alternative, but not always appropriate, such as for runners who need to hear oncoming cars.
When you do listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks, make sure to take listening breaks. According to CNET, a five-minute break every 30 minutes can give your ears a chance to recover and reduce your risk of permanent damage.
You can also change your device’s maximum volume. Many mobile devices, including the iPhone, allow users to change how loud the device can go. By eliminating the option to go too loud, you might just save your hearing.
According to KidsHealth, if you hear ringing, buzzing or roaring in your ears after a loud noise, or muffled or distorted sounds, you may have already incurred some damage to your ears. Call your doctor right away. You may be referred to an audiologist, who can determine the extent of the damage and help you make a plan to preserve your remaining hearing.
People report that statins cause muscle aches and other side effects, but a 2020 study suggests that may be true for only a small percentage of patients. Stains are cholesterol-lowering drugs, usually prescribed for those at risk for cardivascular disease.
Reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, British researchers enrolled 60 people in a study of statin side effects. Every participant previously took statins, but stopped because of side effects. They were given 12 prescription drug bottles. Four of the bottles had a month’s supply of atorvastatin. Four bottles had a placebo pill that looked like the statin pill. Four bottles were completely empty. During the next year, participants used each bottle for one month, following a random pattern. Every day participants recorded their symptoms by smart phone, ranking their symptoms from 0 (none) to 100 (worst possible symptoms.)
What researchers found was that average symptom scores during the empty bottle month was 8.0. That was twice as high as when participants took the statin pill. However, there was no significant difference in average scores when people took the fake pills. The average symptom score for the statin was 16.3 and the average score for the fake pills was 15.4. Some participants reported worse symptoms from fake pills.
Still, researchers do think statins may cause symptoms in five to 10 percent of users. Here’s how you can analyze symptoms while taking statins:
* If the ache or weakness is recent and started within a month of starting the statin.
* If the pains are symetrical. For example, leg pain would affect both legs. Body pain would be on both sides.
* If the pain is unexplained and not caused by new activity or an injury.
Wanda Hernandez, Placement Specialist
My name is Wanda. I started with MNA in September 2020, as Care Concierge, and really enjoyed the role. I helped the Placement Specialists keep up with their workloads, and most importantly worked with our travelers by assisting with timesheets and answering any questions or concerns they had. In December of 2020, I transitioned to a Placement Specialist, also known as a Recruiter. As a Placement Specialist, the joy I have speaking to my potential travelers is amazing. Each and every one is so unique and different. I have such a sense of accomplishment when I can place a traveler on an assignment. The work our CNAs, LPNs and RNs do on daily basis is immeasurable. They are our true heroes not only during this pandemic but before this chaos started, and I am sure for many more years to come! I salute you all!
I was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to Chicago, IL when I was two. I’ve lived in Florida now for 11 years and moving here was one of the best decisions my family and I made. I’ve formed some great relationships along the way. I’ve been happily married for 25 years and have 3 amazing kids! In my spare time away from the office, I love to spend time with my family. My hobbies are sewing, cooking, reading, going to the beach, and caring for my Sun Conure named Buddy, but we call him “Pterodactyl”. The way he screams for attention is impressive to say the least. 😊
And here is Buddy, helping me sew!
Walking through a field of weeds might give some an asthma attack, but a thunderstorm?
According to the journal PLOS ONE, researchers in Australia think that, under unusual conditions, lightning storms may cause a surge of asthma attacks.
Thunderstorm asthma is rare, but deadly. The first such recorded event occurred in 1983 and 22 accounts have since appeared in medical literature, according to Live Science.
When pollen counts are high, high wind may distribute pollen particles, but the pollen grains are normally too large to get deeply in the lungs. They mainly make you miserable in the eyes and nose.
Thunderstorm asthma events seem to occur when there is high pollen, high wind gusts, little rain and, what may be the key factor, lightning strikes and static electricity in low-humidity air.
Researchers think lightning and static electricity in the air break down the large pollen into breathable particles, triggering asthma attacks. Another theory is that wind gusts drive pollen to the clouds, where water saturates them and they burst.
The most dramatic example of thunderstorm asthma occurred in Melbourne, Australia, on Nov. 21, 2016. The weather that day was hot and dry. In the peak of the grass pollen season, the air held more than 133 grains of pollen per cubic yard. The storm dumped little rain while lightning and static electricity crackled through the dry air.
Public hospitals saw a 672 percent increase in patients with respiratory problems. Emergency calls inundated the medical system. In the end, 10 died from storm-related asthma.
Australian researchers are trying to develop an early warning system for thunderstorm asthma. They say the lightning theory isn’t perfect and more research has to be done.
Artificial intelligence offers hope for better colon cancer detection
It’s one of the most common — and deadliest — cancers in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal (colon) cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer, after lung, breast and prostate cancers.
While colonoscopies — the standard diagnostic procedure used to screen for irregularities in the colon and rectum — are highly effective, they aren’t perfect, according to Wired. Some precancerous and cancerous spots may be hidden or exceptionally difficult to identify.
Now, Medtronic, the makers of the new GI Genius diagnostic tool, says its AI-powered technology can identify even the most shadowed and difficult-to-identify precancerous polyps along the lining of the colon.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Medtronic has provided data to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the safety and effectiveness of the device, including clinical data. The results are impressive — one study found that the GI Genius increased cancerous and precancerous cell detection rates by 14 percent over colonoscopy alone.
AI technology is being used to detect more than just colorectal cancer. According to Nature, in one study of about 43,000 lung scans, an AI detection tool outperformed six radiologists who also viewed the scans. The AI tool reduced the number of false positives by 11 percent and false negatives by 5 percent.
While no one expects AI tools to replace physicians, according to Nature, researchers have high hopes for the future of cancer screening as more new AI-powered diagnostic tools are developed.
It’s Nurses Week! Did you know nurses get access to freebies and deals all week long? We put together a list of the TOP 10 best deals we could find, check them out below.
Dunkin’: Healthcare workers who show their ID at Dunkin’ coffee shops on May 6 will be treated to a free medium hot or iced coffee at participating locations—no purchase necessary and while supplies last.
Free Crocks: The company known for the comfy slip-on shoes gives away 10,000 pairs of free shoes to nurses each day. The virtual queue is set up daily at noon ET on their website, so happy clicking!
IHOP: Show your healthcare ID at a participating IHOP restaurant and receive a 25% discount on your meal.
Asics: Get yourself a discount code for 40% off all full-priced items at Asics.com when you verify your status as a nursing professional.
Lululemon: The athleisurewear company offers a 25% discount (in-store only) when your valid ID is presented.
Free Insomnia Cookies: Bring your ID to an Insomnia bakery to grab a free cookie, no purchase required. And if you spend $5 in the store, you’ll get a free six-pack of cookies.
Under Armor: Through May 9, nurses and other first responders can enjoy 40% off purchases in stores and online. After that date, healthcare professionals (and military) can verify your identity at UnderArmor.com to receive a 10% discount.
Discounted Gas: BP gas stations are offering healthcare workers and other essential employees 15¢ off every gallon of gas for 60 days. Get the details here.
Are You What We Are Looking For?
If you have recruitment experience and are comfortable taking high-caliber caregivers to market,
then drop us an email with your resume to: HR@mnahealthcare.com