New EPA Restrictions on Methylene Chloride: What Is It and Why Is It Dangerous?

From bathtub refinishing to furniture stripping, methylene chloride takes center stage in a variety of household projects. Increasingly, however, health authorities are alerting the public to the substance’s dangers — and claiming that it’s to blame for a myriad of tragic deaths. What Is Methylene Chloride? Why Should Consumers Avoid It? Sometimes referred to as dichloromethane or DCM, methylene chloride is a solvent used in a wide array of products. It is most commonly seen in paint strippers, but can also be used in adhesives such as acrylic cement. The substance is also sometimes seen in automotive and general cleaning…

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Cervical Health Awareness

The United States Congress voted January Cervical Health Awareness Month. Each year, nearly 13,000 women get cervical cancer. Fortunately, it is preventable, but you have to take your health into your own hands. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes nearly every case of cervical cancer. Nearly 80 million Americans have HPV, but many do not know they have it. Fortunately, we can take decisive action against cervical cancer. Prevention A vaccine can prevent HPV infection. Both boys and girls should get the shot in their pre-teen years. The vaccine produces a stronger immune response during these years. After the age of fourteen,…

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What Can You Do If Your Privacy Is Violated?

Privacy is a principal concern in the healthcare industry. Your doctor knows more about you than almost anyone else. We often tell doctors things we would never tell anyone else and it is all stored in your medical records. Medical records are a convenient way to store information from multiple institutions and from multiple specialists in one place. Doctors make use of the convenience, but they are not the only ones. Unscrupulous individuals, both inside and outside the healthcare field, want access to your private information. According to recent reports, they are getting that access. Source of the Leaks Many…

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The Presence of Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Hospital Sinks

When you visit a hospital, you expect the facility to be clean and sterile. In fact, hospitals must adhere to strict regulations when it comes to cleanliness. However, a new study at a hospital in Milwaukee found that strains of drug-resistant bacteria existed in multiple sink drains in the hospital. In spaces where sick patients reside each day, these bacteria can pose a significant hazard. Drug-Resistant Bacteria Study A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the cleanliness of a 26-bed intensive care unit in Milwaukee. The hospital had an open concept design for each room, with…

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Winter Can Be Hard on the Heart

The cold and the snow of common with winter weather can also be health hazards. The cold air can decrease oxygen flow to the heart by constricting blood vessels. Even simple acts like walking become more challenging, and many individuals are at risk for a heart attack. Strenuous Activities Many people perform activities in the winter which they cannot during warmer weather. Cross-country and downhill skiing can be strenuous activities if your body is not prepared for them. Shoveling snow also puts a strain on the heart. Even pushing a snow blower carries a risk. Everyday activities become more difficult…

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How to Use the 2018 SoberRide Program for Halloween

Statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that drunk driving accidents increase on Halloween. According to NHTSA, 44 percent of motor vehicle accident deaths on Halloween night between 2012 and 2016 involved drunk drivers. The National Safety Council reports that children have a twofold risk of being killed by drunk drivers on Halloween. Fortunately, you have options for getting home safely from a Halloween party in the D.C. area. SoberRide is a designated driver program that is operated by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). The program partners with Lyft, a ridesharing service, to offer inebriated…

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Loved One Hospitalized for an Infection? Here’s How You Can Ensure Their Good Care

From surgical sites to the urinary tract, a variety of infections can result in hospitalization. If a loved one is stuck in the hospital due to infection, it’s your job as friend or family member to provide unwavering support. Keep the following in mind as you help your loved one through this difficult ordeal: No Physical Contact Do your part to prevent the spread of infection. It’s tempting to hug or kiss loved ones, but this could cause further suffering not only for the two of you, but also for countless others. Don’t visit if you show any signs of…

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Who’s at Risk During a Heat Wave, and How Can You Help Them?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prolonged heat exposure causes hundreds of deaths every year. Those who survive may suffer greatly. This suffering can be prevented by understanding who is most at risk and how they can best prepare for heat waves. Who Is Most At Risk During Heat Waves? While heat waves can cause problems for just about anybody, the following groups should be on extra alert: Young children. Kids’ bodies can heat up three times as quickly as their adult counterparts. Kids also tend to be more active and may fail to slow down when…

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Tips to Prevent Overheating in the Elderly

The summer seems like an innocuous season for senior citizens—a time for chatting outdoors, grilling and playing in the sprinklers with your grandchildren. But summer heat and humidity create serious dangers. The body’s response to abnormal temperatures slows as we age, and many older adults suffer from chronic diseases that weaken their ability to self-regulate. Here are some common sense strategies to minimize the chances of overheating injuries. Stay Hydrated Heat and sun dry out the body: so rehydrate. Encourage everyone in your orbit, especially young children and older family members, to drink water irrespective of activity level. Minimize alcohol,…

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How Tired Are Doctors and Nurses, Really? (By the Numbers)

Tired doctors make more mistakes. Intuitively, we know this. And we may have read studies like this one (or related news reports). Yet medical culture still glorifies 28-hour shifts and puts residents through the ringer, often forcing them to work 80-hour weeks, all on an irregular sleep schedule that makes recovery from fatigue harder. The medical field has tried in the past to address this worrying problem, but how much have they achieved in recent years? How Tired Is Your Doctor? Regulations prohibit doctors from working more than 80 hours in a week or in excess of 28 hours in…

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