Knowing the Risks When Faced With a Hospital Stay

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Even with incredible medical advances over the past decades, patients still face very real threats from hospitalization. Knowing the common hospital risks and the appropriate questions to ask about your care just might save your life.
“Infections contracted during hospital stays are the fourth largest killer in America,” explains Bruce Smeaton, a spokesperson for the global infection control company Medizone International (medizoneint.com). “They add an estimated $33 billion to hospital and health care costs each year.”
Other experts — like the chief patient safety officer of the Joint Commission in Illinois, Dr. Peter Angood — say patients are simply too passive and don’t ask the right questions.
Familiarizing yourself with these three hospital risks may help you during your next hospital stay:
1. Medication errors. The Institute of Medicine estimates that patients endure 450,000 injuries resulting from medication errors each year. To reduce this risk, make sure each surgeon, doctor and nurse knows of every medicine you’re taking. Ask what medicines are being prescribed and why, and what side effects to expect. If you’re nervous, speak up.
2. Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Superbugs like MRSA
— which is resistant to most antibiotics and only growing stronger
— VRE and E. coli cause 1.7 million infections in hospitals every year. Since this is a widespread issue, don’t shy away from the tough questions: What methods or technologies are being used to prevent HAIs?
“HAIs kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer and car accidents combined. That’s why the recent emergence of a super-disinfection system, like Medizone International’s AsepticSure technology, has been so embraced by the hospital and health care industry,” says Smeaton. “It’s more than 10,000 times as effective at killing superbugs — including tuberculosis — than any other cleaning technology being used by hospitals in North America today.”
Experts also advise patients undergoing surgery to ask everyone to wash their hands before touching them, hospital staff included.
3. Pneumonia. After wounds and urinary tract infections, pneumonia is the most common HAI, especially for patients recovering from surgery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a 33 percent mortality rate for hospital pneumonia. The easiest way to avoid this risk is to focus on deep breathing.
Doctors recommend 10 to 15 deep breaths hourly. At the very least, smokers must stop smoking for a week or two before surgery if they can’t quit altogether.

5 Ways to Help Victims of Crime Cope With Trauma

About 50 million crimes are committed each year in the U.S., with only 14 million arrests made. Most attention is placed on the criminals, but programs exist to help victims.

“There are far more victims of crime than criminals,” stated Dr. Greg Little, a psychologist who specializes in criminal justice. “Crime victims face serious issues that touch nearly every area of their lives. These include feelings of safety and security, financial loss and potential health issues.”

In 2011, Little and psychologist Dr. Ken Robinson coauthored a book for crime victims titled “Self Preservation.”

A Medical Warning for Video Gamers

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Video gamers who participate in marathon sessions may be putting their health at risk.
In May 2011, a 20-year-old video gamer from England died when a blood clot formed in his leg and moved to his lungs. The man often remained in the same position playing video games for 12 hours straight.
“Movement is essential for proper blood flow,” said Anil Hingorani, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Sitting in the same position for long periods of time — whether playing video games or cramped in a car or on an airplane — can result in pooling of the blood in the veins. Blood clots known as deep vein thromboses (DVT) can form.”
The 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics reveal that 300,000 to 600,000 Americans die each year from blood clots in the lungs. In 2003, 39-year-old NBC News reporter David Bloom died when a blood clot in his leg traveled to his lungs. The clot formed after weeks of driving around Baghdad in a cramped military tank.
“Stand up and stretch,” advises Dr. Hingorani. “Walk around. Raise and lower your heels and toes. Tighten and release your leg muscles. This will help promote blood flow.”
DVTs usually occur in persons who are sick and have had long hospital stays. The risk factors for DVTs include the following:
* obesity
* a history of heart attacks
* strokes
* congestive heart failure
* inflammatory bowel disease
Women who are pregnant, nursing or taking birth control pills are also at increased risk for DVTs.
Half of DVT patients do not experience the warning signs, which include:
* swelling
* tenderness
* leg pain
* a sensation of warmth
* skin that turns blue or red
Ultrasound tests can detect blood clots. Treatment options typically use anticoagulant medication.
For additional information about DVTs or other vascular health conditions, visit www.VascularWeb.org.

Adult Comedies Are Ripping Up the Box Office

The box office has recorded the results repeatedly – adult-rated comedies are making a comeback. Rated R comedies of the “bromance” variety in particular have been upstaging other films each year. The trend started in the late ’90s and has permeated the industry ever since. After “The Hangover Part II” recently dominated theaters nationwide, could “The Pool Boys” be next?

“American Pie” established the formula for raunchy, male bonding comedies in 1999. The original was a smash hit, followed by hugely successful sequels. The latest rumor is that an “American Pie 4” is in the oven at Universal Studios. Although it’s slated to be a theatrical release, audiences will simply have to wait with hungry anticipation.

Fun, Exciting Family Time Moves Indoors

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Gone are the days when poor weather outside meant sitting inside with nothing to do but watch television and play board games. The video game revolution known as “motion gaming” is proving to be a great way to boost indoor activity levels while spending time with the whole family — making quality family time an attainable goal in 2011.
Motion gaming allows children to dance or swing their arms in order to win the games. The newest example of the genre is SingStar Dance, which adds dancing to the traditional vocal gameplay, so gamers can sing along to the hottest new hits and learn how to shake and groove alongside favorite pop stars.
The introduction of motion gaming consoles has brought more active video games into families’ living rooms. Dancing, Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Beach Volleyball, Archery, Table Tennis and Bocce games all provide exercise as well as fun.
But video game manufacturers have upped the ante with the latest era of motion gaming: the new Playstation Move Motion Controller for PS3 features more accurate motion control than previous controllers, allowing kids to shoot arrows or aim tennis balls with greater precision. The control system is easy to learn, too; new players can simply pick up a controller and play, although technical skills necessary to beat some of the games’ challenges may take extra time to develop.
One game, Sports Champions for the PlayStation Move, takes full advantage of the controller’s capabilities. Players can compete against each other in six sporting events: archery, bocce, table tennis, gladiator games, beach volleyball and disc golf. The game is fun for all ages and skill levels — it’s even fun to watch.
These motion gaming sports are providing a whole new
way for families to spend quality time together while also enticing interest with more active entertainment than your typical video game. For more information, visit us.playstation.com/ps3/playstation-move/.

5 Tips for Safe and Healthy Travels

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Vacations should be a time of rest, relaxation and adventure. For too many travelers, they’re anything but. A double whammy of stress and anxiety on top of an already compromised immune system is a formula for disaster, sending many jet-setters home sick as dogs. Fortunately, a few essential items are all you need for a safe and healthy getaway. Be prepared for the inevitable with these five health and safety tips:
Bring a first aid kit. While you can’t guard against all accidents, you can foresee the minor surprises with some degree of probability. Have something handy to relieve headaches, diarrhea and insect bites. Your “just in case” kit should also have bandages and plenty of antihistamines. You might not know that you’re allergic to certain plants or insects until it’s too late.
Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often, especially before eating, to ward off germs and viruses. Rely on hand sanitizer when there is no running water available. Use wet wipes to make sure the surfaces you touch frequently are kept as clean as possible.
Beware of pests. Check the seams of your mattress, cracks and crevices of the headboard, nightstand and drawers for critters or droppings. To prevent bed bugs from coming home with you, EcoSmart Technologies (www.ecosmart.com) offers a travel-size bed bug killer and repellant with natural ingredients.
“The pest control industry is trending toward using stronger products to treat bed bugs because these pests have developed resistance to some of the current chemicals,” says Steve Bessette, bed bug prevention expert. “EcoSmart incorporates over 15 years of science into a completely natural, safe and — most importantly — effective line of pest control products.”
Stay hydrated. In a plane or on the road, it’s important to stay hydrated while in transit to prevent achy muscles and deep vein thrombosis. At your destination, rely on bottled water for hydration to ward off various bacteria, viruses and other parasites that can cause diarrhea. If you need to use tap water, pack purification tablets just to be safe.
Remember your smartphone. It’s a guidebook, GPS, Internet connection, dictionary, camera, alarm clock and restaurant-business-movie theater-gas station-and more locator. It’s also a phone that can be used for emergencies anywhere you are. Don’t forget to pack yours in case of emergencies.

Get Big-Screen Video From a Portable Media Player

It’s been said that good things come in small packages. No other expression could more aptly describe the Neo-i — which, depending on your point of view — is a video  projector with an iPod sound dock, an iPod audio dock with a built-in projector, or a new category of product altogether. No matter what you call it, it’s a brand-new device that is revolutionizing the way people watch movies, play video games, share photos and give office presentations from their iPod, iPhone, Blu-ray/DVD player or any media player.

Stay on Track to Your Destination With Regular Tire Maintenance

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When the rubber meets the road this summer, will you be prepared? Summer heat can be tough on tires, which makes regular tire checks a critical part of your general vehicle maintenance schedule. Heat combined with improper tire pressure, uneven wear or damage and poor alignment can cause potentially dangerous driving conditions and put a damper on your summer road trip plans.
“Unfortunately, 83 percent of motorists aren’t aware of how under- or over-inflated tires affect a vehicle’s steering and breaking control as well as fuel economy,” explained Mark Ballard of Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer. “In addition, regularly checking your tires for uneven or worn tread and bald spots, as well as replacing all four tires instead of one or two at a time, will help avoid hazards like blowouts and keep you on track to your destination.”
According to the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (RMA), more than 23,000 tow-away crashes were due to flat tires.
Here are the top five tips to ensure proper tire safety:
1. Get Pressure Right. In its 2011 Tire Care Awareness Survey, the RMA found that 62 percent of drivers don’t know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door or fuel door or in the owner’s manual. For accurate pressure, check tires when cool, and don’t forget the spare. A properly inflated tire will save you nine cents per gallon at the gas pump and improve vehicle fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent.
2. Don’t Overload Vehicle. Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.
3. Rotate Before You Go. Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improve road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 — 8,000 miles prolong the life of the tire and help maximize your tire investment. It makes sense to get a tire inspection when you rotate.
4. Straighten Up. Proper tire alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a ride that is smooth, comfortable and free of pulling or vibration. Proper alignment helps tires wear evenly and last longer.
5. Bald Isn’t Beautiful. The RMA survey also found that 52 percent of drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald. Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip wet roads. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low areas or unusually smooth areas that can increase the risk of road accidents.
To get more information on tire maintenance and safety, visit www.tires.com.

Top Three Reasons Why TV Remote Controls Are Frustrating to Use

The average U.S. household has five remote controls. In fact, many households have 10 or more. But despite being introduced over 50 years ago, TV remote controls still maintain a basic design that can be frustrating to use.

Below are the top three reasons why TV remote controls are frustrating to use:

#3 – Commonly used buttons are too small, making their use awkward. The most commonly used buttons are frequently the smallest buttons. They also are usually surrounded by lots of other small buttons. This is especially problematic in low light.

Keep Road Trips Fun by Avoiding Blowouts

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Now is the time for road trips. But before heading out of town, it’s important to prepare your vehicle. Overlooking something as simple as a vehicle’s tire pressure can cause problems.

“Many people don’t realize that tire pressure affects steering and braking control,” said Roger Fournier, regional vice president for tires.com, part of America’s largest independent tire and wheel retailer. “A tire’s worst enemy is heat, and when warm weather sets in and seasonal driving increases, motorists need to ensure they are properly maintaining their tires to avoid blowouts.”

Under-inflation is the leading cause of tire failure, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). Each year, nearly 700 fatalities and over 30,000 injuries result from car accidents due to under-inflated tires.

Drivers also tend to overload their vehicles on road trips. Excess weight can take an unnecessary toll on fuel economy and tire wear. And when a vehicle is riding on under-inflated tires, along with heavier passenger and cargo loads, the chance of a road accident increases.

Here are five tips to keep your tires in shape for road trips:

1. Get Pressure Right. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost or glove box door, fuel door or in the owner’s manual. For accurate pressure, check tires when cool. Don’t forget the spare. Custom tires and wheels may change standard air pressure requirements, so if you customize, have a pro check them out before you start your long drive.

2. Don’t Overload Vehicle. Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handing, control and braking are also lessened.

3. Rotate Before You Go. Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improve road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles last longer. It makes sense to get a tire inspection when you rotate. Retail stores for tires.com provide free tire inspections.

4. Straighten Up. Proper tire alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a ride that is smooth, comfortable and free of pulling or vibration. Proper alignment helps tires wear evenly and last longer.

5. Bald Isn’t Beautiful. Without tread, tires cannot grip the road. Make sure tires do not have uneven wear, high or low areas or unusually smooth areas that can increase the risk of road accidents.