Category Archives: Awareness

July is Social Wellness Month

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Humans are a social species. No matter how often or how much we socialize, having some sort of a social life is very beneficial to our health! July has been dedicated as Social Wellness month as a reminder that no matter what our social goals are, creating new and maintaining current relationships is so important. Here are some facts about having social connections:

  • Socially isolated people are more at risk to have illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not.
  • Those who have social support do better under stress and are physically and mentally healthier.

Social media and technology has become a huge part of many peoples’ lives. It helps us stay connected with friends and family and know what is going on around us. Want to stay connected with long distance friends or family? You can stay connected through email, but you could also get connected though social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Do you have a friend from the past that you want to reconnect with? Find them on social media! Social media and technology have made it easy to stay connected! Start building up your social connections today! Your overall health will thank you!

 

Sources:

https://worksmartlivesmart.com/social-wellness-july/

http://keywordsuggest.org/561502-social-wellness.html

Cord Blood Awareness 2017

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Cord blood is the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta when a baby is born. When the cord is cut, some blood stays in the cord and the placenta attached to it and the baby no longer needs it. However, research has shown that saving this blood could be very beneficial and lifesaving in the future! Cord blood has all elements of blood plus blood-forming stem cells.

There are many uses for cord blood. Instead of using bone marrow in transplants, cord blood can be used! Transplants are used to assist treating people with blood, immune system, genetic, and metabolic diseases. There are so many people that benefit from transplants. Cord blood can make the transplant process easier as it can often be difficult to find a matching donor. Another use for cord blood is the stem cells that are in it. Research has shown a possibility that stem cells could replace other tissues of the body. They could be used to treat various cancers, blood diseases, and many other conditions.

There is still a large amount of research that needs to be done to learn more about cord blood and its benefits. Dedicating July as Cord Blood Awareness Month is a way to promote what we do know about cord blood. Take the time to learn more about cord blood and you’ll be amazed with how much science is changing and creating possibilities for the future!

Sources:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/directorscorner/messages/national-cord-blood-awareness-month

http://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/qa/

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-awareness/cord-blood-awareness-month.html

Practice Fireworks Safety – 2017

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It’s finally fireworks season! There is a lot of fun packed into fireworks as there is a huge variety! Loud, quiet, big, small, what is your preference? These exploding pieces of entertainment are so fun, but don’t let them end up putting a damper on your Fourth of July celebration! Incorporate the following safety tips to ensure a night full of fun and prevent potentially serious accidents.

  • Know the laws of your city in regards to fireworks and follow them!
  • Read instructions and warning labels before lighting. Know what the firework will do so you know what to expect to ensure the safety of others in the area.
  • Responsible adults should supervise the use of fireworks. Fireworks should not be lit by someone under the influence of alcohol.
  • Wearing safety glasses can protect your eyes from debris and sparks.
  • Light one firework at a time and back away quickly.
  • Do not relight “duds.” Instead, wait 20 minutes then put it in a bucket of water.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby.
  • Do not put fireworks in pockets or shoot them into glass or metal containers.
  • Avoid the use of homemade fireworks.
  • If you have pets, make sure they had IDs and keep them in a safe place.
  • If it is windy, make sure the wind won’t blow the fireworks into the crowd or wait to light the fireworks until the wind dies down.

Follow these rules and use common sense when around fireworks. It may seem ridiculous to have so many rules, but they are there to protect everyone! Have a fun and safe fireworks season!

 

Sources:

http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/

https://www.fireworks.com/fireworks-university/fireworks-safety-tips/

https://www.firefighter-pgh.com/author/i-g-o-t-a/

Celebrate Nursing Assistants!

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Nursing assistants are a huge part in healthcare! Nurse aides, orderlies, and geriatric aides are other names associated with this occupation. Nursing assistants work under registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, plus other medical staff. The duties of nursing assistants seem endless! Some dutiesĀ  include bathing and feeding as well as assisting with other patient needs. They also pass on information regarding their patients to the supervising nurse. Nursing assistants spend a lot of time with their patients and often build wonderful relationships with them!

Some work settings that may employ nursing assistants include hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, nursing homes, and many more. Requirements to become a nursing assistant vary. Most require a high school diploma or equivalent. Training also varies as it can be offered at vocational schools, community colleges, geriatric facilities, or by the employer.

The work that nursing assistants do is not always appreciated enough! That is why June 15-22 is Nursing Assistant Week! Although they should be appreciated regularly, take these next few days to give an extra special thanks for the work that nursing assistants do!

Sources:

http://www.mshealthcareers.com/careers/nursingassistant.htm

http://www.carepromotions.com/blog/Celebrate

Donate Blood to Save Lives!

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Blood is vital to our lives, but sometimes we need to share a little bit of it with others! Blood Donor Day takes place on June 14th. It is a day to bring awareness for the need of blood. Every year, emergencies affect over 250 million people. This fact inspires this year’s slogan: “What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give Often.” Donating blood is very helpful for emergencies. Blood transfusions are very common in healthcare and having enough blood in stock is important to ensure that the best care possible is provided to patients.

Some benefits of blood for the recipient include helping the patient live longer, improving quality of life, and supporting surgeries when blood loss could be significant. A single donation of blood can save up to three people!

To be eligible to donate blood and platelets, you must be healthy and feeling well, be at least 17 years old in most states, and weigh at least 110 pounds. To be a Power Red donor (donating two units red blood cells and keeping your plasma and platelets), you must be healthy and feeling well, be at least 17 years old, be at least 5’1″ for males or 5’5″ for females, and weigh at least 130 pounds for males and 150 pounds for females. Keep in mind that some of these requirements may vary by case. Before you donate, you will have a mini physical to record your temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin to make sure your blood is safe to use. If you have any health conditions that you know of, check with your blood donor site to see if you are still eligible.

Please consider to donate blood! So many people are in need, and so many people can be saved!

Sources:

https://www.askideas.com/42-world-blood-donors-day-2017/

http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day/2017/event/en/

http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements

http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/types-donations/double-red-blood-cells-donation

Make Every Day World No Tobacco Day!

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Every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors World No Tobacco Day. The purpose is to spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco. Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the United States. Around the world it is the cause of death for almost 7 million people. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD, and lung disease are just a few health conditions that can be a result of tobacco use. Read the following facts to get an idea of how serious tobacco use is.

  • In the United States, 480,000 deaths per year are caused by smoking. 41,000 of those deaths are victims of secondhand smoke.
  • In the world, 890,000 of the 7 million deaths per year caused my tobacco are victims of second hand smoke.
  • Smokers die about 10 years earlier than those who do not smoke.
  • At the current smoking rate for American’s younger than 18, one in thirteen are expected to die prematurely.

Preventing tobacco use in middle school and high school students is an important part of stopping tobacco use. They are more at risk for nicotine addiction and are more likely to smoke into adulthood. Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes are just a few of the tobacco products common in this generation.

What is happening to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco? Ideally, everyone who uses tobacco would quit, but that is a tedious process. One thing that has taken a step toward ending tobacco use is taxes. Higher taxes are used to discourage smokers from buying tobacco as many tobacco users are in low-income communities. Another tactic is the use of anti-smoking commercials. Have you ever seen those commercials where individuals with a stoma are interviewed? How about the ones where tobacco users have to pay for their tobacco products with some of their skin? There are many more, but the intent of these commercials is to encourage people to say no to tobacco. Laws are another tactic used to avoid smoking in public places. These laws are used to prevent harmful effects of secondhand smoking unto those who choose not to smoke.

Do you or someone you know use tobacco? Become educated about all of the health risks associated with tobacco whether you do or do not use it. There are places to go for help to quit smoking. Becoming educated about all of the benefits from quitting tobacco will amaze you. Our bodies start to heal almost immediately after quitting. Tobacco affects everyone and the best way to prevent those affects is to eliminate tobacco use all together. The benefits of quitting can begin to happen in as little as 20 minutes and continue throughout life. Encourage your friends and family to be tobacco free!

 

Sources:

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/world-no-tobacco-day.html

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/

 

Are You Ready to Beat the Heat?

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Summer is finally here! Now you can spend your time at the lake, going camping, attending baseball games, and going swimming! These outdoor activities are exciting and fun. It would be unfortunate if the high heat had to ruin it! Heat illnesses cause more deaths per year than the combination of hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods! Death can be the result of very severe cases of heat illness, but many people are victims of heat illness and are able to recover if proper action is taken. There are several factors that affect the risk of getting heat illness:

  • Climate – those who live in hot and humid environments have a higher risk
  • Exercise and Activity – these can make it even harder for the body to cool off
  • Age – the elderly and young children are more at risk
  • Pre-existing illness and conditions – these may affect how the body responds to heat
  • Drugs and Medications – Some may make a person more susceptible to dehydration

Here is a list of heat illnesses:

  • Heat Cramps: these are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that are a result of strenuous activity in high heat. Loss of fluids and electrolytes are the underlying cause
    • To treat heat cramps, rest then massage and stretch the cramped muscles. Also make sure to drink fluids.
  • Heat Exhaustion: this illness occurs when lost fluid is not replaced. Signs and symptoms include weakness, dizziness, rapid and weak pulse, heavy sweating, nausea, fainting, and more. Heat cramps can also occur.
    • The first thing you should do if you are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion is to remove yourself from the heat. You will then want to cool your body down by removing excess clothing, spraying body with cool water or applying cool, wet cloths to skin, and rehydrating with an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or just drinking milk.
  • Heat Stroke: this is the most serious heat illness. The body is not able to cool itself down. The main signs and symptoms include a body temperature above 104 degrees, flushed skin, decreased level of consciousness, altered mental status, convulsions/seizures, and unconsciousness.
    • To treat a heat stroke, the most important thing to do is to seek medical help immediately. Next you will want to try to cool the body using ice water soaked towels until medical help arrives. Bringing down the body temperature helps to reduce the chance and severity of brain damage, organ failure, and death.

It is so important to understand and know how to take care of heat illnesses. Although staying out of the heat is encouraged, at least try to limit your time exposed to the heat and take frequent breaks in the shade. Limit your time outside between 11am and 6pm which is when the heat is highest. It is also important to stay hydrated. Remember to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Don’t let the heat put a damper on your summer fun!

 

Sources:

https://toolkit.climate.gov/nihhis/

http://www.weather.gov/rah/heat

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/social_media/spring_heat.html

American Red Cross emergency medical response. Yardley, PA: StayWell Health & Safety Solutions, 2011. Print.