Thursday, October 24, 2019

Is the HPV vaccine safe?

The Human Papillomavirus also known as HPV is a common infection most people will come into contact with. This infection is commonly linked with different cancers in men and women as well as genital warts. People can carry the Human Papillomavirus without having any problems of their own but are still able to pass it onto someone else.

HPV is spread through sexual contact or coming into contact with other bodily fluids. Mothers who are infected with HPV can pass it onto their babies through the birth canal or from breastfeeding. HPV cannot be cured but it can be prevented with the Human Papillomavirus vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is more commonly known as Gardasil and Gardasil 9. It is recommended the vaccine is given between the ages of 15 and 26. These are the years most teenagers and young adults are at risk for contracting the Human Papillomavirus. Gardasil can be given 3 different times over the patient’s adolescent years.

The patient is given the first dose, then will receive the second dose 6 months later. The third and final dose is recommended for extra precaution but is not necessary. The difference between Gardasil and Gardasil 9 is the amount of HPV viruses it prevents.

The original Gardasil protects against four different HPV viruses. And like the name says Gardasil 9 protects against 9 different viruses.

Is the HPV vaccine safe? With anything sort of vaccine or medication there is potential for a reaction. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention put a lot of time, money and research behind these vaccines to make sure they are safe before being available to the general public. The HPV vaccine went through numerous clinical trials and studies to guarantee your safety.

And once a vaccine is released the CDC continues to watch these new vaccinations. The CDC has implemented three different systems that continuously monitors these vaccines. One is known as the Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System. This allows doctors, patients and nurses to report adverse reactions in patients or themselves.

Another system used is the Vaccine Safety Datalink. This allows the CDC and different health care organizations to continue monitoring those who have received the vaccine.

And the final system is called the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment project. The purpose of this system is to conduct trials and research on certain groups of people.

The Human Papillomavirus vaccination has been known to cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects associated with Gardasil include: irritation and redness at the point of injection, low grade fever, drowsiness, headache, minor muscle pain and nausea.

Sometimes the patient may feel dizzy up to 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination. It is important to have the patient remain sitting and laying down for a few minutes to prevent falling. In some rare instances an allergic reaction can occur.

Yes, the HPV vaccine is safe. The side effects associated with the HPV vaccine seem so minor in comparison to what the Human Papillomavirus can cause later in life.

There are risks associated with any sort of vaccine or medication. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has done an excellent job making sure this vaccine is safe for the general public.

It’s important before receiving any vaccine that people are always aware of the risk and benefits. This vaccine may not be recommended for certain people. But it is recommended for people with an autoimmune disease or disorder. Even though Gardasil is not a required vaccination it is definitely recommended for young adolescents.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Tips for Reducing Your Medical School Debt

For the majority of medical students, and future ones, debt remains one of the primary concerns. More than two-thirds of medical students graduate carrying debt. College is expensive, and most students have to get a loan for medical school if they want to pursue their dreams.

At the same time, many are discouraged and frightened by all of these stats and figures. The average debt of graduating medical students is around $200k, and for many people, this is a challenge they don’t want to face.

Even though the costs are high, there are ways that students can organize themselves to make the whole thing as painless as possible.

Today, we are going to share some tips on how students can repay their loans, manage expenses, and cut down costs.

Find a loan forgiveness loan

There are non-profit options where students work like in the government, military, or other underserved areas to reduce their debt. In some institutions, students will have to work for a specified period for their debts to be paid off completely. On the other hand, some of them can help you lower your debt.

Here are some departments that offer loan forgiveness programs in the US:
  • NSHC (National Service Health Corps)
  • Department of Health and Human Services 
  • NIH (National Institutes of Health) 
  • Centers for Disease Control 
  • Indian Health Service 
  • US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
Create a payment plan and stick to it

The data shows that the students who are always keeping track of their debt and asking questions are the ones who are most successful at getting rid of it. This makes sense because they are always thinking about ways to repay the debt and look for options that are available to them.

Those students who have no plan whatsoever and aren’t considering their options are the ones who struggle the most. What’s even worse is that these kinds of students often don’t start repaying their loans after they graduate.

In these situations, the debt gets increased even further, which makes paying it off even more difficult.

Talk to your advisors and financial counselors to learn what your options are. Whenever you can, try and repay the debt and always keep that in mind. When you establish a plan, don’t make up any excuses and try to execute it.

Reducing upfront costs

There are ways to cut down upfront costs when applying for a medical college. It’s generally a good idea to go through the Medical School Admission Requirements where you have guides, how applying for fewer schools works, and targeting applications.

When students get their first admission, they have the option of ruling out all other schools, and this reduces application expenses, interview expenses, and travel costs. All of these costs might seem small, but when they stack up, they can make a big difference.

Get private refinancing

Private refinancing is a new option that fresh doctors can now utilize. When doctors are on residency, they can get private refinancing to pay off their debt each month.

There are a lot of different options because these programs are private, and it’s important to talk to different institutions to learn about their terms and get quotes.

For example, some programs aren’t available to interns, while others are. This is probably the best option if you want to pay off the debt aggressively. However, to get refinancing, you will have to find a good income job and have a good credit score.

Still, it’s a good deal because you will save thousands on the interest that could potentially pile over your debt.

Make a balance

When in med school, you can’t expect to live like royalty. Be smart about managing your finances and try to cut down costs wherever you can. Your life as a medical student is reserved for studying and developing yourself as a person.

This means being responsible and taking care of all the financial needs you might have.

At the same time, if you want to go out with your partner from time to time or visit your family, you shouldn’t feel bad because of it. It’s all about creating a balance while being modest.

For more information about medical tuition, please visit Additionally, before you apply for a school, consider some colleges that are cheaper but aren’t so popular. This doesn’t mean you won’t get a good education.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Administration, Scoring, Reporting, and Samples of the ASRS

The Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS) measure the behaviors indicative of an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ASRS can prevent under- or over-diagnosis, helping to ensure proper treatment. This rating scale is important to ensure that each individual gets a correct diagnosis and the care they need moving forward.

Implementation of an intervention plan is critical for individuals with ASD and diagnosing it early ensures that they can be provided with the tools and techniques they need to lead a relatively normal life and manage their disorder accordingly.

The ASRS is reliable and valid for individuals ages 2 to 18 years and can accurately diagnose those with ASD for the development of proper treatment plans.

Administration and Scoring Options

Every form can be administered with paper and pencil or by using the ASRS Online Assessment Center. Scoring can likewise be done using paper and pencil, the ASRS Scoring Software, or the ASRS Online Assessment Center.

Scoring options include a standard scoring method that can be used for individuals who do not have limited speech or an alternative scoring method for people who speak infrequently or not at all.
ASRS reports can be obtained by using either the ASRS Scoring Software or the ASRS Online
 Assessment Center. There are three different types of reports available:

●    An Interpretive Report, which includes detailed information and results from a single administration;

●    A Comparative Report, which includes perspectives from multiple raters and combines results from up to five different raters;

●    A Progress Monitoring Report, which includes overviews of change over time and combines results from up to four administrations by the same rater.

Components and Scale Structure

The ASRS includes both a full-length and a short form for children ages two to five years, and for older children and adolescents ages six to eighteen years.

The full-length ASRS form for ages two to five has seventy items and the full-length form for ages six to eighteen has seventy-one items. Separate rating forms for parents and teachers are included for each group.

The full-length form offers comprehensive and complete assessment information regarding the Total Score, ASRS Scales, DSM Scale, and Treatment Scales. The full-length form should be used when an individual is being evaluated for the first time, or if a full re-evaluation is being conducted.

The ASRS short form includes selected items that are best for differentiating nonclinical youth from ASD-diagnosed youth. There is a short form for children ages two to five years and a short form for youth ages six to eighteen years.

Both of these short forms contain fifteen items and the same form is used for both parents and teachers. The form provides one total score and is used to determine which children are more likely to need more evaluation or additional services for ASDs or related issues.

The short form is best used for monitoring treatment or intervention rather than initial screenings or re-evaluations.

Normative and Clinical Samples

From October 2006 to October 2008, more than 6,000 assessments were given and included normative data, clinical data, and reliability and validity data. Of the 6,000 assessments, 2,560 were in the normative sample.

These normative samples are evenly distributed among age and gender. They reflect roughly the same distribution as the most recent United States Census for race and ethnicity. Most normative samples include ratings for nonclinical children, but 7.6% of the ASRS normative sample includes ratings of children with clinical diagnoses or educational classifications.

They were included in the normative sample to provide an accurate representation of the general population of the United States, which includes children with and without various clinical conditions.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Allergy Relief Supplements You Need

If the thought of the arrival of seasonal allergies brings you dread, then it is about time you looked into finding some relief from them. Allergies can leave you suffering from symptoms such as sinus congestion, hives, dermatitis, hay fever, and even asthma. These are all signs of a weakened immune system and are symptoms that affect over 50 million Americans.

Depending on what the allergy is, it can persist for a number of months and can become frustrating. To combat them, most individuals usually go for the standard decongestants and antihistamines, which can be purchased from pharmacies and even supermarkets. However, these come with negative side effects such as feelings of dizziness and / or drowsiness.

But there is a way of getting the required level of relief without the unwanted side effects, and that is by using Allergy Relief Supplements that enhances the immune system. Some of the most effective include:
  • Minerals / Multivitamins – These are essential for the functioning of the immune, digestive, metabolic, and nervous systems. It also helps with the growth of muscles and detoxification of the liver. Research shows that most Americans have a deficiency in many essential minerals and nutrients as a result of a poor diet. The consumption of things such as caffeine and drugs, as well as exposure to pollution and / or stress are responsible for the depletion of vital nutrients. Therefore, a comprehensive mineral and multivitamin supplement is absolutely necessary in ensuring good health.
  • Some favorite products include Pioneer’s 1 + 1 Vitamin Mineral and Nature’s Way Alive! Max Daily Multi Vitamin with Iron.
  • Quercetin – This is a bioflavonoid and improves the effects of antihistamines, as it decreases the activity of histamine. It is formed of natural anti viral compounds that can prevent common colds and the breakout of herpes, as well as combating the symptoms of bronchitis, flu, sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Quercetin works by stabilizing the immune cells that are responsible for causing allergic reactions and decreases histamine release.
  • Some favorite products include Life Extension’s Optimized Quercetin and Source Naturals’ Activated Quercetin.
  • Probiotics – Research suggests that taking a probiotic reduces both the severity and frequency of infections. The balance of bacteria in the gut can be negatively affected by the excessive consumption of carbohydrates and sugar, as well from taking the birth control bill and from using antibiotics. A probiotic that contains between 10 – 15 billion live cells per capsule should be taken daily on an empty stomach.
  • Some favorite products include Flora’s Adult’s Blend probiotic and Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotics.
  • Plant Sterols – These work to stabilize the body’s immune system by bringing down any aspects that may be running overly high, such as when suffering from allergies. At the same time they also bring up any aspects that are running too low, such as when suffering from the flu or a cold.
  • A favorite plant sterol product is Now’s Beta-Sitosterol Plant Sterols.
This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Understanding Different Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and 10% of all deaths occur as a result of negligence. Medical malpractice involves an instance where, given competent and proper care, a consequential error could have been prevented. Contrary to popular belief, medical malpractice is more common than you might think: in fact, half of all doctors will deal with a medical malpractice lawsuit at least once in the duration of their career.

Many doctors make critical mistakes that are never taken to court, absolving them of responsibility. However, there are multiple types of medical malpractice, and the more you understand about these various categories, the smarter you’ll be when it comes to dealing with medical institutions.

Birth Injury Malpractice
There are many long-term issues that could be caused by medical malpractice during birth, including cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that typically occurs during birth due to a lack of oxygen, and stunts muscle growth in the child.

This limited mobility will affect the child for the duration of their life. There are several reasons the doctor could be at fault here; perhaps they didn’t use birthing tools correctly, failed to detect the necessity of an emergency C-section, pulled too hard on the infant’s head during birth, or didn’t detect maternal infections.

According to The Lancione Law Firm, “Issues that result in cerebral palsy could have almost always been prevented with proper pre-birth and birthing care, and parents should never feel forced to accept life-changing mistakes and simple accidents they have to deal with.”

A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to recognize the correct illness. This is considered a medical malpractice because a more competent doctor could take a look at the same charts, lab results, and/or symptoms and come to an accurate conclusion. When a misdiagnosis occurs, a patient fails to receive the proper treatment, and the consequences could be life-changing, or even deadly. For instance, the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that cancer misdiagnosis occur as much as 28% of the time—which is why it’s so important to seek second opinions. Stroke, heart attacks, fibromyalgia, and depression all also among the most common misdiagnosed issues.

Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can dramatically reduce the quality of life for an individual. This could involve the doctor performing the wrong type of surgery, using non-sterile surgical equipment that leads to infections, damaging internal areas during surgery, administering an inaccurate amount of anesthesia, and much more.

There’s a common misconception that patients who suffer as a result of negligent surgical error have no right to file a lawsuit because of the mountain of consenting paperwork they’ve signed for treatment. These documents are often null and void when it comes to medical malpractice. Just because you signed a paper warning you of the consequences of a particular operation, for example, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for a doctor to treat you negligently.

Medication Mishaps
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 1.3 million people are injured every year because of medication errors. It’s critical for every doctor to carefully analyze a patient’s medical history before they give them any prescriptions. Any time a doctor writes a script, they need to have a comprehensive, 360-degree view of that patient’s health history and current medication list and dosages. Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage could result in disastrous consequences. Sometimes, patients might be given the wrong medication as a result of a misdiagnosis.

In other cases, the doctor fails to warn the patient about potential side effects. It’s a medical professional’s job to educate a patient about the medication that they are taking. For instance, perhaps there are certain foods you shouldn’t take, or medications that you shouldn’t mix. Without the proper knowledge, you could easily make a mistake that further compounds this issue, or even creates new complications.

Speak Up Against Medical Malpractice
It’s important that you always speak up if you believe you or a loved one have suffered as a result of medical malpractice. Unfortunately, although many deaths and complications occur because of negligence, the majority of those victims never take these cases to court. This is because they are either uninformed or don’t believe they have a case on their hands. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; many lawyers will advise you whether you have a strong case on your hands, and some don’t take money from you until the case is won. Always look into your options to determine the best course of action.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

10 Steps To Getting Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Realizing you may have a substance abuse problem can be frightening, but there is a way to get help and start feeling like yourself again. Substance abuse problems impact people from all walks of life and a variety of socioeconomic groups. No one starts off attempting to get addicted to drugs or alcohol, but it's important to take action if you suspect you have a problem. If you are struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol, or illegal drugs, there is a way to get your life back. Here are 10 steps to getting help for an addiction. 

1. Determine If You Have a Problem

The first step to getting help is identifying that you have a problem with a substance. Some drug and alcohol users can use recreationally and experience no addiction issues. Prescription drug users may also have no substance abuse warning flags going off in their life. You may have a problem if you can't stop thinking about using, you've taken more than your prescribed dose, your drug or alcohol use has interfered with your job or personal life, or if you've stolen money to get more drugs or alcohol.

2. Confide in a Friend or Family Member

Once you've recognized that you have a problem, it's time to seek help. It may be helpful to tell someone about your struggles before you take steps to get help from a medical provider or drug and alcohol counselor. If you have a trusted friend or family member in your life that you feel comfortable confiding in, it may be beneficial to talk to someone. Hopefully, you'll realize, admitting a substance use disorder doesn't make you a failure.

3. Call an Addiction Help Line
Another way to get immediate help and advice about a potential substance use problem is through an addiction hotline. The National Helpline from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a good place to start. Simply call 1-800-662-HELP to get free 24-hour access to addiction services and advice about what you should do next to get treatment.

4. See Your Family Doctor
You may also be able to get addiction treatment through your primary care physician or family doctor. Don't be embarrassed about admitting your problem to your doctor. Your treatment and concerns will always be confidential. Your doctor may be able to give you a referral for psychiatric treatment services that could potentially be covered by your health insurance and save you some money.

5. Research Different Types of Treatment
Drug abuse typically requires some sort of treatment plan because it is a disease. Once you've accepted that you have a problem, it's important to do some research about potential treatment options for your addiction. For some drug and alcohol addictions, your physician can prescribe medication to help with the cravings, withdrawals, and side effects of dependence. Another form of treatment is outpatient behavioral therapy. Many drug addicts seek in-patient intense therapy in the form of a drug treatment center.

6. Check Out a Treatment Center

If you decide to consider a treatment center for your substance abuse problem, you should explore the options before committing to any plan. Residential treatment centers may start off with a detoxification program to help your body adjust to the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Detoxing on your own at home can be dangerous and lead to potential problems, so it's important to seek medical help during this step. Then, the treatment program may focus on counseling and other addiction support therapies for 30 or more days.

7. Connect With Support Groups

Throughout your recovery, it's vital to stay connected and reach out to others possibly going through the same experience. There are many different support groups around to help people on the road to recovery, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. The people in your group all understand why calling for addiction help can be difficult and can offer support on your journey to healing.

8. Consider Counseling 
Counseling services are also essential to anyone who is serious about recovery and living a sober life. Residential treatment centers usually offer intense counseling during their programs, but it's up to an individual to continue counseling once time at the treatment center is up. In some cases, addiction is simply a symptom of a bigger issue in mental health, such as bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety. You can work with your therapist to deal with certain areas of your life and avoid using drugs and alcohol to numb yourself.

9. Avoid Triggers
Once you're in recovery, it's important to stay out of situations that could possibly trigger your addictive tendencies and get you back into using drugs or alcohol. That may mean you might need to cut out certain people out of your life, such as friends and family members who have their own addiction problems. Addicts may also have to avoid functions that center around alcohol and stay away from bars and nightclubs.

10. Practice Healthy Habits

The last way to help yourself is to begin a new, healthier lifestyle. Start adding regular exercise to your daily routine, such as a cardiovascular program or a weight training schedule. Design a wholesome eating plan that will give you back the vitamins and nutrients into your body and continue the healing process.

If you are experiencing problems with substance abuse, there is a way you can get help and get back to being a healthier you. Once you take on your problem head-on and get the help you need, you can start improving your life and reaching your goals and dreams.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Dr. Michael Lange Analyzes the Pros and Cons of Corrective Laser-Eye Surgery

(AdobeStock - Licensed 10/3/2019 | File #64432840)
For many patients, wearing either glasses or contact lenses has become a routine part of daily life, and the thought of having 20/20 vision without them is almost unfathomable. Luckily for most patients, 20/20 vision has become a reality with newer technologies and the advent of laser eye surgery, allowing for patients to undergo a one-time procedure to give them near-perfect vision without the need for corrective lenses. As an optometrist, Dr. Michael Lange of Ocala, Florida understands that many of his patients may be compelled to undergo corrective surgery, but he does warn that as is the case with almost any medical treatment or surgery, there are both benefits and risks – which Dr. Michael Lange has outlined below:

Reduced need for corrective lenses

One of the most obvious reasons and benefits for undergoing laser eye surgery is to reduce or completely become free from the need to use corrective glasses or contact lenses. While all patients may have their own reasons for wanting to take away the need for glasses, most will agree that waking up in the morning without having to fumble around looking for glasses can definitely be added to the pros list. For many patients, glasses and contacts are a nuisance in daily life; especially for those partaking in physical activity, and laser eye surgery gives patients more freedom allowing them to do what they want to do without having to worry about their vision.

Better visual acuity quickly
Laser eye surgery provides a precise correction of vision, and most patients are able to see just as well without the need for glasses or contacts within 24 hours, with vision improving in as little as a few days to weeks. Depending on the type of procedure being done, it can be as quick as 20 minutes per eye, and most patients are able to go home the same day. Dr. Michael Lange explains that those patients with lower to mid range prescriptions generally see the best results, while those patients with fairly high prescriptions may not see at 20/20 but will have greater vision without the need for corrective lenses.

Permanent pain free vision solution
Another big pro of laser eye surgery is that it provides a permanent solution to a patient’s vision needs, compared to glasses and contact lenses which are temporary and are replaced fairly often. Dr. Michael Lange assures the patients who express concerns about pain tolerance and discomfort, that the procedure is relatively pain-free as they receive anesthetic eye drops for the procedure, and most patients only experience a mild amount of discomfort during the healing process.

Not perfect vision

Some patients may find that their vision is not as good as it was when wearing glasses or contact lenses, and this can worsen over time. Known as ‘myopic regression’, a patient’s prescription may actually continue to change over the years, sometimes warranting the need to wear glasses or even the need to redo the procedure. According to Dr. Michael Lange, patients with higher initial prescriptions have an increased risk of this and should talk to their optometrist or consulting laser eye surgeon about concerns prior to surgery. It does become more difficult to redo a laser eye surgery, and patients should understand that it is not a cure for poor vision. Some patients may find they require glasses for particular tasks, such as meticulous tasks or for nighttime driving. Sometimes surgeons may overcorrect on purpose to negate the effects of myopic regression, and these patients may find difficulty in reading and may require reading glasses.

Laser eye surgery is not cheap, sometimes costing thousands of dollars per eye, and while some argue that it is cheaper in the long run, the other cons, such as need for redoing the surgery, should be kept in mind. One thing that Dr. Michael Lange notes is that some patients do not realize that most private insurance does not cover laser eye surgery, and a majority of the cost is out of pocket.

Side effects and other risks
As with any surgery, there are associated side effects and risks present. One of the most common side effects is the dry-eye that patients will experience during the healing process. Although symptoms typically go away after a couple of weeks, some people can develop long-term dry eyes due to the procedure. Another common side effect is a glare or halo around lights, especially during the night, and again is something that will usually disappear within the first few months following surgery. Other risks include surgical site infection and bleeding, while serious complications such as loss of movement and loss of vision can occur, although Dr. Michael Lange states this very rarely occurs. One common worry for patients is getting subconjunctival hemorrhages after the procedure, which are small bleeds that occur in the white part of the eye due to the procedure itself. These fortunately are not cause for worry and are similar to bruises and self-resolve within a few weeks.

Dr. Michael Lange’s Final Thoughts
Thanks to technological advancements in the medical equipment used, corrective laser-eye surgery is safer and easier than ever. Of course, there are risks to this procedure, but they are manageable, and the more severe risks are rare. Dr. Michael Lange noted “as with any medical procedure, the viability and safety comes down to patient health and fit. The only way to determine if you are eligible for corrective laser-eye surgery is to visit your optometric physician for a consultation.”

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Should You Hold Onto Ketamine's Promise to Relieve Depression?

 In case you've heard of ketamine, it's unlikely that you've heard of it as a possible treatment for depression. It's mostly known as a recreational drug that is quite popular in clubs. However, if recent research is anything to go by, ketamine might also turn out to be the greatest drug of modern times to be used to treat severe depression and ketamine treatments for depression will become commonplace. 

If you're wondering how this is so, then it is understandable. How can ketamine be so effective and promising? Well, it all has to do with your brain. Ketamine takes over certain receptors in your brain and, in the process, it can save you from the debilitating depths of depression.

Ketamine started in the 1960s as a form of anesthesia. It was commonly used on the battlefront in the Vietnam War. It was found to be quite effective as a pain reliever when taken in small doses. It helped people to get off of addictive painkillers, such as morphine, and was very powerful when working with sedatives. When ketamine is taken in large doses, it can cause hallucinations and cause a feeling of dissociation from the environment as well as from self. For this reason, it has infamously been used before as a date rape drug.

There is an opportunity for redemption for this drug with a checkered reputation: the opportunity for a new life as an antidepressant.

Ketamine as an Antidepressant 

You might have heard that there is research being conducted into the possible use of ketamine as an antidepressant. Well, hold on to that promise because it seems to grow stronger and more promising every day.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a ketamine-based drug, called Spravato, for sufferers of depression. There are numerous studies that have been conducted to find out the effectiveness of ketamine and also efforts to make drugs based on ketamine. These studies were carried out on people with depressive symptoms that had resisted conventional treatments. In some studies, as many as 85 percent of participants who took ketamine saw a significant ease in their depressive symptoms.

A significant setback with ketamine is the fact that there are attendant sights and sounds that come with large enough dosage. There is a lot of research into how to measure doses so that the effectiveness remains, but the side effects are lost.
Ketamine Clinics

There is much interest in ketamine and its utility as a treatment for depression. Ketamine is currently licensed as a form of anesthesia. It can, therefore, be used without legal repercussions as long as it is prescribed by a doctor. For this reason, many ketamine clinics are popping up all over the country, with patients going for doses every few weeks to deal with their depressive symptoms. The duration of the effects varies from individual to individual, with some coming back for a dose after a few days and other coming back after several weeks.

Perhaps the most inhibiting factor to using ketamine as a treatment is its forbidding cost. A single session can cost anywhere between $400 and $1,000, depending on the clinic, and the treatment isn't covered by insurance. This, however, has not stopped patients with depression from trying it out. It is a testament to their willingness to try anything that gives them hope of escaping the throes of depression.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

When “Oops!” Becomes “Ouch!” What To Do After a Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident

If America has learned anything from Bob Saget and America’s Funniest Home Videos, it’s that it can be incredibly funny to watch people fall down, and of course, it’s even better if that person is doing something stupid like trying to skateboard along a railing.

But what about someone who slips on the ice outside of a store and seriously injures themselves? That’s not nearly so amusing — and it can be actionable.

Read on to learn more about slip, trip, and fall accidents, and what to do if you have had one.

What Is Premises Liability?

Public buildings, workplaces, parking lots, and walkways — in other words, any premises — are required by premises liability law to be safely maintained. To make sure that people who traverse these buildings and other parts of a property stay safe, that means they should be kept clean. Spills of all kinds should be cleaned up quickly, and caution signs should be displayed after cleaning or waxing a floor or when obstacles are present.

Walkways, steps, parking lots and other outdoor surfaces should be kept free of snow and ice, as well as other debris.

If You Fall

It’s important to know what actions to take in the event of an accident of this nature. If you should slip or trip and then fall, be sure to report the incident. Get in touch with an employee or manager, or the owner of the property right away and explain what happened.

Make sure they complete a written incident report and get a copy to take with you. It’s also a good idea to gather the contact information of any witnesses who saw your accident, or who could testify to the dangerous conditions that caused it.

Take Pictures and Videos 

Now that almost everyone has a cell phone capable of taking photographs and videos, it’s pretty easy to document conditions on the premises after an accident. If you don’t have a smartphone, ask a bystander or witness to use theirs and send you the pictures to your email or to a relative’s phone.
It’s usually not enough to get a wide-focus shot of an icy parking lot. Try to snap (or even better, record) the exact spot where you slipped and fell.

Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

Your fall may require an ambulance. Even if it doesn’t, get to your doctor’s office right away for a checkup. Tell your doctor exactly what happened, and make sure everything is documented properly. This paperwork — and the fact that you sought medical attention — can be crucial down the line, if your case ends up going to court.

Remember, too, that some injuries don’t always show up right away. You might feel fine and even be able to walk away from the scene of the incident seemingly unharmed. But you never know when you’ve tweaked a muscle, pulled a nerve, or otherwise set off a chain of medical reactions that will end in pain and complications.

Contact an Attorney

It doesn’t hurt to seek out the services of a personal injury attorney after an accident like this. There is no commitment required upfront, and it’s always good to know your options and be able to make an informed decision. You might not end up having a case, or you may choose not to pursue legal action. But let a lawyer take a look at the facts and talk to you about the specifics of your circumstance.

“All personal injury attorneys worth their salt will offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations just to chat with potential clients,” say the experts at “And they should never charge any fees upfront.”

Wrapping Up

Slipping or tripping, then falling, can lead to serious injuries like broken limbs, traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, chronic back pain, and more. If it happens in or on a piece of property where premises liability means someone owed you a duty of care, you may have the right to pursue legal compensation.

Report the accident, document the scene and collect witness information, and seek medical treatment. Then, consider consulting with an attorney to get the justice you deserve.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Holiday Tour Packages to Check Out

So, you have finally begun the process of planning for your dream vacation. However, since you are not an experienced traveler, you might not know how to get the best travel agency. Finding a good travel agency requires you to be keen on the details of the holiday tour package. With this information, it will be easy to choose the most appropriate agency for your travel needs.

Health Insurance

There is a saying that tells you to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This means that while you’re looking forward to a great vacation with a lot of fun and laughter, you should also be prepared for any health incidents that may occur along the way. For example, if you have traveled to another country, there are chances that the local cuisine will not sit well with you. This means that you may get sick. A good travel agency is one that will cover your medical bill outside the country or will at least have a plan to fly you back to your home country immediately and see that you are treated with the best medical care available.

If you have preexisting conditions, it is crucial for you to find all the information you can, about visitor health insurance USA. With the right coverage, your preexisting conditions will not keep you from having fun during your trip.

All travel insurance is not the same. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are aware of what the travel agency covers so that you do not seek for coverage that is already available in the travel insurance. To claim the insurance, make sure that you keep all the receipts of the treatments.

Safety and Security

The last thing anyone wants is to have their luggage lost in the airport. Because you might pack a lot of valuable items, you need to be sure that the travel agency will take you through safe routes. Similarly, make sure the motels you will be staying at, are also secure. A good agency is one that guarantees you safety and even offers to compensate you for any damage to your property or in case of loss. This gives you the peace of mind you need to travel comfortably.


Some of the cheapest travel agencies will usually link up flights so that they can save money. While
this is a great way of traveling long distances because you get to rest midway, it may be very inconvenient if you miss one flight. When trying to find USA Holiday Tour Packages, you need to ensure that they are convenient both for you and the people you will be traveling with.


Traveling on your own will be expensive. One sure thing about going to foreign countries is tourists always pay more. Because you may not know much about the country you are going to, it may take you a while to find hotels and restaurants. If you search and find USA Holiday Tour Packages, you should go for that as you will be saving a lot of money on both the costs of flights and the accommodations. Great packages give you the chance to enjoy the best facilities and services and still save money because you will be paying so much less.


A good travel package is one that will not cost you a lot of time. If they have what you want, they will let you know right away. If they do not, they will also inform you right away. If the company takes time to contact you, you need to find another option. Poor communication with companies will make it harder to claim insurance after or during the trip.


The most important thing you need to look for is health insurance. Make sure the company has a policy that makes sense to you. You also need to ensure they allow you to book the best hotels, flights, and find food that is affordable. While you want to enjoy the trip, the last thing you want is to clean out your bank account for it.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

When do you need to use an intermittent catheter?

If a patient is unable to have the natural function of the kidneys and the urinary tract, they are required to fit a catheter in order to perform those functions. Catheters involve a drainage bag which helps to capture the urine discharged by the patient. For patients who are bedridden or who are hospitalized, the bag would drape over the bed. Such a bag can be discarded or emptied once filled or as the need arises. An Intermittent Catheter is a device that needs to be inserted and removed multiple times during the day, and as such is contrasted with a continuously draining Catheter, which causes the patient to become immobile, as the device is a stationary device.

What is a Catheter?

A catheter is basically a plastic tube that needs to be inserted through the urinary channel, also known as the urethra and directly through to the bladder. With the help of an intermittent catheter, the bladder can be emptied easily, and the urinary passage cleared on a regular basis.

The time period between insertion of the catheter and the removal of the same is dependent on the amount of water that is consumed in that interval. The important thing to keep in mind is to not fill the bladder to the maximum capacity, and to pace the intake of liquids. With an intermittent catheter, the insertion and removal can be done by the patient only, as compared to a continuously draining catheter, which needs to be inserted by trained professionals.

What is the advantage of an intermittent catheter?
By using an intermittent catheter, the patient can easily have a mimicked natural feeling of the bladder being full and emptying. Being an intermittent catheter, the catheter is not permanently lodged in the urinary tract and so is very comfortable for the patients to constantly use. This decreases the risk of infection.

What are the disadvantages of using an intermittent catheter?
One must manage fluid intake over a period of time, limiting consumption of alcohol and caffeine which lead to an increase in the production of urine. In order to perform the insertion process, one must have the use of their hands, and so it requires a bit of manual work. At the start, each insertion will take up a bit of time as the process needs some time to get used to, but in the process of time, the speed of insertion will increase.

Depending on whether the patient is male or female, there are different intermittent catheters for both sexes due to biological reasons. These catheters are available as non-coated and coated, which differ with the lubrication needed for insertion.

If you are looking for a trusted medical supply store in Toronto to procure these catheters, you can do a search on the internet and find a single store and stick with them, because the regimented use of catheters is very important to maintain bladder function.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, September 09, 2019

The Importance of Maintaining Good Mental Health in Seniors

Growing old isn’t always an easy process, and some individuals who suffer from mental health issues can experience dark periods of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and more.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has estimated that the prevalence of mental health issues in people over the age of 65 years in Canada ranges from 17 to 35 percent. Mental health issues are not a common factor in aging, but they are quite common and can be extremely detrimental to a person’s wellbeing.

As we age our bodies start to wear down and we develop mobility issues such as arthritis. There is more risk for developing chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of dementia as we age. Coming to terms with the reality of growing old is incredibly challenging. It’s easy to isolate and to shut the world out.

It’s very important that friends and family members demonstrate support in every way possible. Consider Integracare home health services — a Senior health care service that provides in-home nursing care and personal support.

With in-home care, your loved one will never be alone and you won’t have to worry about monitoring medication or whether or not they’re staying safe and being looked after. With a compassionate Personal Support Worker (PSW) who prioritizes interaction and engagement, Seniors are encouraged to communicate, utilize cognitive thinking, and to break away from their own thoughts for a little while.

Staying connected and mentally alert is crucial for seniors battling depression or anxiety. Keep your loved one engaged and improve their mental health with these tips.

Get Physical

There is nothing quite like physical exercise to elevate a person’s mood. Not only does keeping active increase endorphins, but regular exercise will also keep your loved one feeling fit, healthy, and steady.

Gentle exercise routines such as chair yoga, light walks around the house or, if possible, around the block, and other stretching and cardio workouts create stronger muscles and bones. They will also help to prevent accidents and falls by increasing stability.

Play Mind Games

Regardless of age, our brains need constant stimulation to stay strong and healthy. However, Seniors require a little extra brain activity to maximize communication and engagement with others.

Solving problems keeps the mind active. Some common activities to increase brain health include:
  • Learning a new language
  • Playing card games and solving puzzles
  • Taking up a new instrument such as the keyboard or recorder
  • Reading and keeping a journal
Start a New Hobby

Encouraging your loved one to begin a new hobby is an excellent way to keep them engaged and to maximize brain health.

It’s important to keep a routine as people age. Perhaps your loved one has had a dream to start a garden but never had the time when he or she was working full-time. Or maybe they would like to continue an art project they started years ago.

The feeling of completing something boosts confidence and self-awareness. Working on a project for a few minutes or a couple of hours each day encourages brain stimulation and a sense of fulfillment.

Maintaining good mental health is essential to your loved one’s overall wellbeing. If you’re still finding that your friend or family member is not getting any better, even with these tips, be sure to inform their doctor and health team.

This is a guest blog entry.

Are Chiropractors Effective? 6 Truths and Myths

If you or a loved one suffers from migraines, back pain, or musculoskeletal (MSK) illness, you probably know about chiropractic treatment. According to, 27 million Americans receive chiropractic treatment every year. This translates to approximately 1 million treatments every business day. Chiropractic medicine has, in fact, become so mainstream that it is now the third most commonly practiced treatment after medicine and dentistry.

Even with the positive vibes surrounding chiropractic treatment, some people still have a hard time believing its effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal (MSK) illnesses and disorders. If you fit the description, here are 6 myths and truths about chiropractors that can be helpful to you.

Truth 1: Chiropractors undergo rigorous training

Typically, a chiropractor completes approximately 8 years of higher education training before acquiring a license. This includes four years of undergraduate education in a pre-med major and a further four in a chiropractic graduate program. Before joining the undergraduate program, one must have taken a course in sciences such as chemistry, biology, psychology, and physics.
Once the education phase is over, chiropractors would join a clinical internship to put their skills to the test. After education and training, they will sit on a licensing board. If they succeed, they will obtain certification and licensure after which they can become doctors of chiropractic.

Truth 2: Chiropractic care is effective

Unlike medical doctors, chiropractors use natural methods to ease pain in the muscles, bones, and tendons. Despite their success in treating back pain, headaches, and other nerve issues, there are still millions of people who don’t believe in this kind of medicine. The United States’ National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health claims that chiropractic treatment is the number one solution for back pain. Approximately 74% of Americans suffering from back pain have undergone chiropractic care at some point. In addition, a 2010 study of the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment done by the center showed that spinal manipulation may help treat migraine headaches, back pain, whiplash, and a wide range of conditions affecting both the upper and lower extremities.

Truth 3: chiropractic treatment goes beyond back pain

Chiropractors are trained in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of biomechanical disorders in the MSK system. These refer to disorders arising from the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Alongside managing the MSK complaints in the spine, chiropractic care has also been shown to help treat headaches, extremities, and TMJ pain. Some chiropractors can even offer sound counseling on fitness, ergonomics, and nutrition. When you visit Demaine Chiropractic and Rehab Centers, you will essentially be helped on how a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle.

Myth 1: a chiropractor is not a real doctor

There’s a notion among many people that chiropractors are not doctors and therefore don’t really deserve much attention when it comes to the treatment of the body. Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Chiropractors are doctors entitled to utilize the “doctor” title just like optometrists, physicians, and dentists do. Once you complete your Doctor of Chiropractic degree and obtain your licensure, you immediately become a doctor.

Myth 2: Chiropractic Treatments Are Painful

Another myth that gets people terrified at the thought of using chiropractic treatment is that it can be painful. Spinal adjustments and manipulation are especially thought to be a nightmare. Ideally, spinal manipulation and adjustment is done to help the body regain its mobility and flexibility and relieve aching, stiffness, and soreness in the muscles and joints. The treatment is performed by trained and licensed doctors and although you will feel some discomfort, the pain is quite manageable.

Myth 3: chiropractic treatment is like signing a life sentence

Many people think that once you book an appointment with a chiropractor, you will have to see them as long as you live. This is not true. Ideally, when you see a chiropractor, they should assess your issue and determine its root cause. From the diagnosis, they should develop an effective treatment plan according to your needs. This can cover a number of visits to the doctor. They will then advise you on how best to maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid making too many doctor visits. If you stick to the advice, you might never make a trip back to the doctor.

There it is -- 6 truths and myths about chiropractors. The short of it is that both science and past practice proves that people with MSK issues can benefit from chiropractic treatments. However, like other treatments, its effectiveness depends on your approach and commitment to taking care of your body after the treatment.

This is a guest blog entry.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Processed Food

Processed foods by general definition are edibles that are physically or chemically treated to prevent them from rotting. The result has been an extension in shelf life. It can be vegetable, meat, or your favorite dessert.

Source: srnutrition

The goal is to increase the longevity of the food for storage and later use. Food Item that we pack in such a manner saves it from contaminating.

This term is common in canned goods. However, in a broad sense, it can be any edible item that has some additive to it. A newly harvested crop or raw meat is used as a raw ingredient to store it for later use.

Thus, there are many pros and cons to using processed food. Here are some of them:

Pros of Processed Food:
  • Variety:
If we only eat what we can buy from around our market or the area we live in, then we will be hard-pressed to find different kinds of vegetables and meats. In some countries, getting your hands on fresh food is difficult. In urban areas, it is tricky to get things like raw meat and fresh eggs.

Source: srnutrition

It will mean that we won’t enjoy a variety of food. Processed food can solve that problem for us to a great extent.
  • Longevity
Food often goes through the process with the intent to preserve them. The purpose is to use them when things are scarce. In some places, the weather becomes too cold or too hot for anything to grow. At such a time, people rely on canned foods to keep themselves and their loved ones fed.

The food receives treatment before they are sealed shut. It involves salting, freeze-drying, or vacuum sealing food items. They can be convenient during a disaster. Since processed food is usually affordable,  you can use them at any given moment.
  • Salt and Minerals:
Salt is usually the main ingredient for preserving processed food. It has an antibacterial property, which is why it is used all over the world for keeping food safe. Moreover, salt and other minerals are essential for your body. It helps you in lots of ways. Thus it can be a great supply for you if you are not meeting your minimal daily needs.

Source: thetakeout

  • Ready Meal:
Nowadays, people have such a busy lifestyle that it has become increasingly challenging to cook a meal. An excellent option is MRE or Meal Ready to Eat as they are commonly known.

They come in different dishes and sizes. You can prepare your food in less than 15 mins. They are usually pre-cooked, so all you have to do is either heat them directly or pour some water and then heat them in a microwave or oven.

You can even take them outdoors with you if you go hiking or camping. Since a lot of companies are making them, you can make the dish of your desire in any part of the world.

Source: alloutdoor
  • Better Taste:
There are particular foods that taste much better after they have been through the process. Dried fruits such as peach and apricots can fill up your belly and provide you with a delicious treat at the same time. More often than not, the taste of the fruits will increase in flavor.

They can help us in our craving because, at times like these, we desire food rich in fats. It may not be the most healthy of choice, but it sure lifts our mood. The food that is frozen also lasts longer while retaining all the essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Healthy Choice:
If we feel like eating some healthy food, but nothing is available in your local shops, or the farmer's markets are away, then canned food can provide you with a lot of healthy options. You can have salmon fish or canned soup, or tuna for lunch or dinner.

As with everything artificially created or preserved, there are some cons to it as well. Here are some cons of processed food:

Cons of Processed Food:
  • Loss of Nutritional Value:
As the food receives a chemical or physical treatment, their structure changes. It means that some of the benefits which you can get by eating it fresh are gone. The vitamins are either completely gone or significantly reduced. Sometimes to supplement these lost nutrients, an establishment will add additional supplements. However, they are a lot less than what you will get when you eat it fresh.
  • Preservation:
Since preservatives are added to food to increase their life, they can be harmful to people in large amounts.

When processing food, the consumable items pass through different pipes and barrels in a factory. To prevent serious problems from happening, the factory should do regular maintenance. Moreover, they should only use the best quality of pipes and other essential elements like high-quality industrial valves at and more.

Since a lot of times, a canning company uses an excessive amount of salt in preserving, so the food becomes an unhealthy item. If you consume such food, you run the risk of having high blood pressure.
  • Quality of the Food:
Different companies are preparing processed food. Since the competition is so severe, some of the companies cut corners by choosing low quality food. They do that to gain more profit, and you inadvertently end up with a low-quality product.

Source: today


Although there are a lot of merits and demerits of eating processed food, one can argue that it is more about making a healthy choice. In some places where access to fresh fruits and vegetables are limited, people tend to use alternative in the form of canned products. Moreover, raw foods are way too expensive for many people to afford.

Nowadays, with the advancement in food packaging, it is somewhat safe to eat canned food if you are unable to get your hands on fresh produce. The simple answer is to select a processed food by reading the label first and making sure you buy from a reliable company.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, August 30, 2019

What is the Most Effective Treatment for Correcting Refractive Errors?

Over 20 percent of children suffer from refractive errors which have been found to run in families. Refractive error, also known as refraction errors, means that the shape of your eye is causing a problem with focusing and bending light accurately onto the retina. Most common refractive errors are farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and nearsightedness (myopia). However, they can be fixed by eye specialists who will recommend you glasses, contacts, or surgery if required. To learn about the treatment, you can take to counter these eye conditions. Make sure you read the article until the end.

What Is Astigmatism?

It may sound terrifying, but it means that your eye shape is neither accurate nor completely round. Usually, everyone has a rounded eye shape to some degree. Perfectly round eyeballs makes light come into it and bend accurately, which gives you a clear vision. In astigmatism, an abnormal curvature of the cornea makes light bent more in one direction, which means distant objects may look blurry and wavy.

What Is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is another frequent refractive error. In this eye condition, distant objects may look clear, and those up-close do not come in proper focus. Farsightedness occurs when your cornea has a little curvature, or your eyeball is too short. Usually, in children, hyperopia causes them to over-focus, which leads them to double vision or other eye conditions. However, some people may not notice any difficulties with their vision.

What Is Myopia?

The last common refractive error is Myopia or nearsightedness. Like hyperopia and astigmatism, light does not bend correctly. Due to its abnormal bending, images appear unclear. Myopia can also be caused by the cornea being too curved for the length of your eyeball. In this condition, objects that are close to you appear clear while those that are at a distance seem blurred.

What is the Treatment for Correcting Refractive Errors?

LASIK is the most advanced and commonly performed laser eye surgery to counter the above mentioned refractive errors. The word LASIK is the acronym for "laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis." In this procedure, the cornea of the eye is reshaped with the help of a laser. It enables light to enter the eye and to focus correctly onto the retina for clearer vision. It can correct low, moderate, and high levels of refractive errors.

If you live in the northeastern area of the United States and want to improve your vision, then you should consider visiting the Kremer Eye Center. They have a wide range of surgical options and lasik in Pennsylvania. It is essential to know that in most cases, LASIK is a pain-free procedure which takes only about 15 minutes for both eyes.

How the Procedure Goes?

Before surgery, your eye specialist will perform a thorough examination to make sure your eyes are ready for the procedure. The doctor will analyze the shape and thickness of your cornea, tear film on the surface of eyes, eyeball size, refractive errors, and other eye conditions.

Generally, a corneal topographer, which is an automated instrument, is used to undergo a wavefront analysis. It sends light waves through the eye to give an even more accurate map of abnormalities affecting your vision. Your doctor will also recommend that you stop wearing contacts and lenses before you undergo LASIK eye surgery. The results of LASIK should enable you to see clearly without any contacts and glasses.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Does Physician Licensing Serve a Useful Purpose?

When you need a physician you simply book an appointment and visit one. Of course, you may spend a few moments considering which is the best one for your specific need, but you probably don’t waste much time considering whether they are licensed or even fully qualified.

After all, the state takes care of this, right?

In a perfect world, yes. The state will monitor the creation of any medical practice and ensure it is fully licensed and compliant, for the safety of its clients.

Unfortunately, there remains the possibility that a physician could be practicing without the proper license.

Fortunately, you can verify the status of any physician through the HCP license validation product.

What HCP License Validation Does

HCP license validation will verify for you whether the Health Care Provider is licensed, what state it should be operating in, its current address, the field of specialty, and a whole host of other information.

It will tell you everything you need to know to confirm that the medical professional you want to see is capable of offering you the right service.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak to family and friends to see if they have had treatment with a specific physician. Their experiences and social media can be extremely helpful.

Does This Make Licensing Redundant?

Actually, no. The need for licensing remains as important as ever. It can be argued that the licensing authority exists to aid medical professionals, at the very basic level it is an indication that the physician is professionally qualified.

Knowing that a physician is licensed will help you to feel confident about your choice of treatment, being able to verify that license and see any other relevant information will make it easier for you to make the right decision when choosing a physician.

The licensing procedure and even the monitoring of qualified professionals needs to be improved. In many cases licenses are not verified or suspended until there is an issue, this is something that needs to be adapted and improved.

The risk of being sued for malpractice has dramatically increased in recent years, this has made physicians and hospitals more cautious.

But, for this to really have value, it is essential that the licensing boards verify licenses quicker and investigate even small issues. The information can be used by licensing validation products to ensure you know all of the relevant facts about your chosen medical professional.

With the right controls on licensing and the ease of access to data, it should be possible to know exactly what type of care you’ll receive. This could actually reduce the number of incidents of malpractice. Coupling this with an increased level of vigilance and monitoring by hospitals and you may not have a perfect system, but you’ll have something that is significantly better than what is currently available.

This is a guest blog entry.

Understanding Health Care Licensing and Certifications

You’ve probably used the same doctor for years and would happily recommend them to your family and friends. In fact, recent research suggests that this can actually reduce your risk of death!

While this is potentially great news, have you ever stopped to consider whether your doctor is licensed, certified, or both? You may assume they are licensed, and they certainly should be. But, assuming something is not the same as checking it.

Licensing Vs. Certification

To become a physician you need to spend years studying to earn a degree in medicine and your specific field of interest. You’ll also need to get the relevant experience and you must have a health care license.

This is obligatory and issued by the state, not by a medical board such as AMA.

Licenses are issued for a set period of time, although renewal can require very little effort.
In contrast, certification is voluntary. This simply confirms your skillset and will improve the credibility of any doctor. In fact, having a certificate will confirm to your consumers that you take your profession seriously and are good at what you do.

The Issue

The problem is that you can study and get a license, but this doesn’t make you a good doctor or that you really know what you’re doing in a practical situation.

The licensing board doesn’t have the time or enough people to check the practices of every doctor. In reality, they will only react to incidents, which is when they’ll want to check licenses and may even terminate a doctor’s license to practice.

This leads to the problem that a doctor can keep practicing even though they are not that good at what they do.

In addition, unless you are involved with a malpractice case, or it is high profile, then you’re unlikely to know what is happening to a specific doctor. It is relatively easy for them to move and continuing practicing without many of their patients knowing.

The Solution

Fortunately, hospitals are keen to monitor the doctors in their care and can find a life sciences aggregate spend solution that is acceptable to their budget and time available. This monitors all the relevant information regarding any physician and their practices/medical experiences so far.

The great news is that it’s not just medical professionals that can access this information. Any doctor or consumer can also take a look.

For a patient, this means the ability to verify that the doctor is properly licensed and qualified. The doctor can also use the service to ensure that their record is accurate and reflects their commitment, level of service, and care.

Data has become extremely easy to store and access, which means that it can be used to improve the services offered and verify licensing or certification.

Of course, as this area grows there will be more onus on you to verify the level of treatment you’re going to get.

Don’t forget, any doctor found running an unlicensed practice can face criminal charges. By using data and verifying the competency of your chosen doctor you’ll actually help to reduce the number of unlicensed doctors able to practice.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Oral Care: How to Improve Your Oral Hygiene

Many of us dream about having a pearly white smile. Not only is it a good reflection of great oral health, but it is also a huge contributor toward your overall well-being. Looking after your teeth and gums is incredibly important, so here are a few ways on how to improve your oral hygiene.

Royalty Free Photo

Finding the Right Toothbrush

If you struggle with reaching the back corners of your mouth when brushing, you should consider purchasing a new toothbrush. You may not realize it, but the toothbrush you use could be doing more harm than good to your oral health. It’s important to use a brush that has soft bristles, otherwise, you could cause inflammation in your gums. You may also want to consider purchasing an electric toothbrush, which can give your teeth and gums a thorough clean.

Use a Fluoride Toothpaste

Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is crucial, so you should be using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, helping to strengthen your teeth and slow down and reverse tooth decay. It’s important that you get the most out of each tooth when brushing, so make sure to look out for toothpaste that is ADA accepted. This means that the toothpaste has been evaluated by the ADA (American Dental Association).

Brush Twice a Day

We all know how important it is to brush our teeth twice a day. If you don’t brush regularly, your teeth will accumulate food particles and plaque which can result in bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. It’s best to brush your teeth after a meal but try and refrain from brushing straight after eating acidic foods or drinks like fruit juice or coffee. Getting yourself into a routine is important, so why not set an alarm on your phone to remind you to brush?

Lifestyle Changes

Making small but subtle changes to your lifestyle can make a big impact on your oral health. If you are a smoker, you are probably aware of the damage you are doing to your teeth and gums. The types of foods you eat can also cause tooth decay. Although it won’t be easy, stopping smoking will bring a wide range of benefits, as well as improving your oral health. You should also try and stick to a balanced diet and incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meals.

See a Dentist

Finding the right dentist is incredibly important. Whether you’ve had a bad experience in the past or have a fear of the dentist’s chair, you may want to consider joining Elite Dentistry of Simi Valley. Based in California, the dentist offers a full-service state-of-the-art technology approach to oral health care.

Whether it be using the right toothbrush, brushing your teeth twice a day, making lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking or seeing your dentist every six months, these are just a few things that you can do to improve your oral hygiene. Also, make sure to floss your teeth once a day and if you experience any pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing for Long-Term Care

To many people, arranging for the care that they will need when they are old and weak isn't something that bothers them. The need seems far away and irrelevant. However, research suggests that most older people need long-term care at some point. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, if you're 65 or over, there is a three-quarters chance that you will need long-term care. Long-term care is a term that is used to refer to the assistance that older adults need with basic activities such as cooking, visiting the toilet, mobility, or bathing. Usually, long-term care is provided in the recipient's own home, or at an assisted living facility. Wherever it is provided, care can be costly. Some studies indicate that it can cost as much as $4,000 a month and around $3,500 within San Antonio Texas.

Many seniors do not plan for as much expense. For this reason, often, they need to cut back on the amount of care that they receive and get by with only a little care. If you're over 40, you need to think about how you will take care of yourself when you're old and weak. It can especially help to determine to avoid the top three mistakes that people make regarding long-term care.

The first mistake: Avoiding the subject of long-term care. 

It isn't pleasant to discuss long-term care with your spouse or children. It can be hard to think about moving yourself to an assisted living facility. It’s important to remember, however, that your family is an important part of your long-term care plan. In the early stages of an age-related disability, family members are the ones who help.

Usually, care by family members starts with help with activities such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Over time, seniors can begin to need intimate care with visits to the toilet, the shower, or for following doctor's advice for treatment. In some cases, people are forced to depend on their family members for help with these activities. Many seniors discover that their loved ones are unable to offer as much care as they would like. It's important to talk about how much time they may have and to work out alternatives.

The second mistake: Depending on Medicare or Medicaid for your long-term care

Medicare provides valuable healthcare for the elderly. It can offer health coverage for everything from visits to the doctor to prescription drugs and even hospitalization. Many people believe that Medicare offers coverage for long-term care, but it doesn't. The reason people believe it does is that Medicare often pays for nursing care for a few days after hospitalization. They take this to mean that nursing care is always covered.

When care by nursing staff or other caregivers is needed for frail health, rather than for recovery from an illness, Medicare doesn’t usually help. Medicaid may be able to pay for long-term care, but it doesn't apply to care provided in the home, and recipients need to have nearly no income and no assets to qualify.

For the above reasons, it is wise to choose a residential care home (still known as an assisted living facility in most places) rather than a big commercial nursing home. This reduces the cost to a resident as well as giving them more personalized care. Medicaid will pay for all their medication needs and even trips to the doctors or hospital. Heartwood Seniors (a San Antonio Assisted Living senior care home) claims most of their resident are on Medicaid and that the residents enjoy it.

This is a blog entry by Michelle Gheliuc.