Grandparents Encouraged to Keep Meds Up and Away From Grandchildren

GrandkidsMedicationsCGrandparents love to spend time with their grandchildren. Many times, however, tiny fingers can end up in places they shouldn’t, which is why putting precious or breakable objects out of reach of curious little hands is important. Equally important (if not more so) is keeping medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of young children.

Consider this: more than 70,000 children end up in emergency departments each year after getting their hands on medicines left within reach. That’s 165 kids—or roughly four busloads of kids — per day. Quite often, that medicine belonged to a grandparent.

Grandparents, Keep Your Meds Up and Away From Young Children

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren. Grandbabies bring so much joy. However, it’s not unusual for the curious, tiny fingers of youngsters to end up in places they shouldn’t. Putting precious or breakable objects out of reach is important, and so is keeping medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of young children.
More than 70,000 children end up in emergency departments each year after getting their hands on medicines left within reach. That’s 165 kids — or roughly four busloads of kids — per day. Far too often, that medicine belonged to a grandparent.
Where are young children getting their hands on medicines? From countertops and bedside tables, purses and pockets, and loose pills on tables or floors. Weekly pill minders can help you keep track of multiple medications, but they rarely have child-resistant features so a curious child can’t get into the colorful medicines stored inside.
“Grandparents and parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach or see them,” says Dr. Dan Budnitz, director of the Medication Safety Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “A few simple steps — followed every time — can protect our children.”
So, grandparents, enjoy your precious time with your young grandchildren. But whether hosting them in your house or visiting at theirs, remember to store your medicines in a place they cannot access. Here are some tips from CDC’s “Up and Away and Out of Sight” initiative:
* Keep all medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight in a high cabinet or other place inaccessible to your grandchildren. If you think you may forget to take your medicines if they are not in sight, leave yourself a reminder on the refrigerator or somewhere you check daily.
* Never leave medicine or vitamins out on a counter or bedside table, even if you have to take the medicine again in a few hours.
* Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click.
* Never tell children medicine is candy so they’ll take it, even if your grandchild does not like to take his or her medicine.
* Keep purses, bags or coats that have medicines or vitamins in them out of reach and sight of young children.
* Program the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) into your phone so you have it in case of emergency.
Visit UpandAway.org for more tips on safe medicine storage.

As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients Struggle

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s a David-vs.-Goliath dispute, and millions of patients are caught in the middle — perhaps even unaware they’re about to lose coverage for the compounded medications they need for their conditions.
At issue are the customized medications pharmacists prepare for patients who can’t metabolize or tolerate commercial drugs. Compounded medicines often are the only option for doctors treating certain children and seniors, patients coping with the pain of cancer and diabetes, and those with liver or kidney diseases.
In one corner: powerful insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) hell-bent on saving money by eliminating or cutting coverage of those medications.
In the other corner, fighting to reverse their moves: a coalition of patients, physicians, pharmacists and pro-patient groups like the Veterans Advocacy Group of America, the Kidney Cancer Association and the Arthritis Foundation.
“This is about shifting costs to patients,” says Jay McEniry, executive director of Patients and Physicians for Rx Access (saverxaccess.org). “Physicians are being placed in the impossible position of either prescribing a compounded medication the patient needs but can’t afford, or prescribing a less effective treatment because it may be covered by the patient’s insurance.”
The list of “Goliaths” who’ve announced or already implemented such cutbacks now includes United Healthcare/Optum Rx, Catamaran, CVS/Caremark, Harvard Pilgrim and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in several states.
But the coalition’s immediate wrath is directed at the nation’s largest PBM: Express Scripts, which in September is slated to stop covering 1,000 drug ingredients commonly found in compounded medications — effectively “eliminating an entire class of medications,” says McEniry.
Express Scripts and others argue that commercial drugs can do the job just as well for less money. But try telling that to patients like Linda Sauer.
The Dwight, Illinois, woman relies on her doctor-prescribed compounded medications for relief from several painful and debilitating conditions, and is outraged that Express Scripts’ decision leaves her no choice but to pay for them out of pocket.
“They’re denying me access to medicines that work better than the mass-produced drugs I’ve tried,” she says. “It will cost me and others hundreds of dollars per month.”
Sauer at least has read the advisory notice from Express Scripts, which the coalition claims gives “misleading reasons” for targeting what it calls “essential medicines” whose ingredients are purchased from FDA-regulated suppliers. But what of patients who didn’t?
Sadly, they’re in for a shock the next time they try to fill a prescription.

Some Jobs Are More Prone to Back Injuries, Study Finds

WorkRelatedInjuriesCMore than 200,000.

That’s the number of nonfatal occupational back injuries—217,666 to be exact—that resulted in lost workdays in a single year, according to the most recent annual data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This equates to more than the number of work-related head, neck, arm and foot injuries combined.

As a result, this can have a huge economic impact. Consider this: The World Health Organization has estimated that low back pain alone costs the U.S. between $100 billion and $200 billion annually.

Here are some of the jobs that are more prone to back injuries than others:

4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – If you happen to be a person who just can’t seem to find enough hours in the day, it might be time to get an earlier start. And, if you’ve already tried waking up before sunrise, only to meet a crashing halt following lunch, these four tips may help:
Tip 1: Avoid hitting “snooze” at all costs. Try moving your alarm clock far enough away from the bed so you’ll be forced to stand up and walk to turn it off.
“When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you’re fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting, so it is of poor quality,” says Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.
Tip 2: Fuel up with a hearty breakfast. So, you’re probably tired of hearing this advice by now. Yet, if more people actually followed through with it, there wouldn’t be a need to stress it over and over. According to a January 2014 Penn Schoen Berland study, although nearly 85 percent of Americans believe breakfast is important, just over half say they choose to skip it because they don’t have enough time, would rather sleep in or don’t like preparing it. If time is really an issue, consider quick options like Hormel Compleats breakfasts (www.hormel.com), which can be ready in just 60 seconds.
Tip 3: Power up with protein. According to health.com eggs –and even bacon — can be potent breakfast options to keep you going and give your body the energy it needs to get through the day. Some easy-prep breakfast options — like the Compleats varieties mentioned in tip number two — even feature eggs.
“Eggs are a great source of nutrients,” said Mitch Kanter, Ph.D., executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center. “Just one egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and antioxidants.”
Tip 4: Set an earlier bedtime. If you are a night owl by nature, but want to start your day sooner, gradually shift your bedtime earlier each night. Once you find a time that allows you to wake up early and get through the day without feeling like you need a nap, stick to it. The most productive early birds aren’t sleep deprived. As Aristotle noted, “It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom.”

If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Remember how mom always reminded you about your posture? Turns out she was right.
Years of poor posture, we now know, puts undue pressure on the spine and supporting muscles and ligaments that can result in everything from back pain to muscle strain to degenerative arthritis. And many of us make things worse on a daily basis.
How so?
Research has found that common things like stress, obesity, incorrect posture while sleeping, walking and working, and — yes, all you fashionistas out there — wearing high-heeled shoes can contribute to poor posture.
And the back pain alone that often follows hurts us in more ways than one. “Americans spend at least $50 billion each year (seeking relief from) back pain,” notes the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. “And it’s one of the most common reasons for missed work.”
If you just read those stats while seated, here’s a quick checklist to see if you’re maintaining the correct posture:
* Relax shoulders and keep forearms parallel to the ground when working at a keyboard.
* Don’t cross your legs.
* Use a footrest if your feet don’t reach the floor.
For those who are past the checklist stage, know that the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research almost twenty years ago recommended spinal manipulation provided by a doctor of chiropractic as a “safe and effective, drugless” treatment for sufferers of low back pain.
“Old habits die hard,” says Ron Kirk, DC, an avid supporter of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and founder of Straighten Up America (straightenupamerica.org). “But a doctor of chiropractic can recommend exercises to strengthen core postural muscles and can help you choose proper postures to reduce your risk of injury during activities.”
For more information, visit www.yes2chiropractic.org.

Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – NewsusaInfographic – “Join The Force” and Help Save Lives is an initiative formed to fight lung cancer in women, which is the No. 1 cancer killer of women. LUNG FORCE will make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding. Learn more at Lungforce.org.

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How Chiropractic Care Can Help Lower Your Chances of Back Surgery

ReduceSurgeryCWhen faced with the thought of having to undergo back surgery, who wouldn’t want a real alternative?

Those who suffer from back pain may finally be able do just that as evidence mounts supporting the growing movement toward chiropractic care as the “first option” for relief over costly and invasive procedures such as spinal surgery. One job-related statistic underscores just how big a deal that really is: Back pain injuries outnumber all other occupational injuries in the U.S.

Guiding Treatment of Advanced Breast Cancer Using Subtypes

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – For patients with breast cancer, knowing whether the diagnosis is early stage or advanced is needed to help treat the disease.
Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer for Georgia Cancer Specialists, Cheryl Jones, MD, has experience in treating patients with advanced breast cancer, an incurable but treatable disease, which comprises metastatic (stage IV) and locally advanced (stage III) breast cancer.
Metastatic breast cancer occurs when the cancer spreads to other parts of the body and is treated differently than earlier stages of the disease. Dr. Jones explains the importance of understanding tumor subtypes to help patients become more involved in treatment discussions.
Here she addresses questions about the different subtypes, which include human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 positive (HER2+) and hormone receptor-positive (HR+).
Q: How do HR and HER2 status help determine a treatment plan?
Dr. Jones: Each tumor’s genetic makeup helps oncologists identify the best approach to the treatment of advanced breast cancer.
HR+ tumors, which occur in approximately 70 percent of cases, are fueled by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Therefore, postmenopausal patients may benefit from hormonal therapy, such as an aromatase inhibitor, which blocks the production of estrogen from helping the cancer grow.
If the breast cancer is HR-, accounting for about 15-20 percent of cases in the US, then we treat with drugs other than hormonal therapy, such as chemotherapy.
If the tumor overexpresses the HER2 gene it is known as HER2+ and requires aggressive treatment such as with drugs that target the HER2 protein. This occurs in about one in five breast cancers.
Q: What are the biggest considerations when treating advanced breast cancer subtypes?
Dr. Jones: For advanced HR+/HER2- breast cancer, we consider how this type can outsmart hormonal therapy over time and become resistant, resulting in tumor progression.
Treatments exist that may extend the benefits of hormonal therapy. For example, Afinitor (everolimus) is a prescription medicine used to treat advanced HR+/HER2- breast cancer, along with the medicine exemestane (an aromatase inhibitor), in postmenopausal women who have already received certain other medicines for their cancer. Afinitor can cause serious side effects, including lung or breathing problems, infections and kidney failure which can lead to death.
Even though HER2+ tumors tend to be more aggressive, HER2 targeted treatments also exist.
Tumors that are both HER2- and HR-, known as triple negative breast cancer, cannot be treated with HER2 targeted or hormonal therapies, so we will commonly use a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Visit www.Afinitor.com to learn more about advanced HR+/HER2- breast cancer.

Reducing the Likeliness of Back Surgery With Chiropractic Care

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Who wouldn’t want to avoid back surgery if there was a real alternative?
Countless back pain sufferers could finally do just that as evidence continues to mount supporting the growing movement toward chiropractic care as the “first option” for relief over costly and invasive procedures like spinal surgery. One job-related statistic alone says it all regarding how big a deal that represents: Back pain injuries outnumber all other occupational injuries in the U.S.
To that point, the latest study to show that seeing a doctor of chiropractic first reduced the odds of having to undergo surgery was conducted by a collaboration of prestigious institutions that included Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine and the University of Washington School of Public Health. Their published results (“Early Predictors of Lumbar Spine Surgery After Occupational Back Injury: Results from a Prospective Study of Workers in Washington State”) found that while close to half — or 42.7 percent — of that state’s workers who visited a surgeon wound up going under the knife, only a scant 1.5 percent of those who consulted a chiropractor first shared the same extreme fate. The outcomes reflect conditions of similar severity.
Prior studies have also focused on chiropractic patients’ consistently better health outcomes, less use of opioid medications, and considerably lower medical expenses.
“As more data continues to surface, I expect that patients and practitioners will move toward considering chiropractic care first, medicine second, and surgery last,” said the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Gerard Clum, D.C., in noting that health providers like the University of Pittsburgh have already adopted just such an approach.
To locate a doctor of chiropractic, visit www.F4CP.org/findadoctor.