Archive for October, 2013


Is Your Doctor Telling You the Truth?

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A recent survey suggests that many times they are not. From a collection of data from 2009 by the Charter of Medical Professionals, found that openness and honesty in communications between doctor and patient wasn’t always present.

Of the 1,891 physicians that participated in the survey, 10% admitted to lying to a patient within the past year. Another 40% felt it was unnecessary to disclose a financial relationship they had with a drug company before prescribing medications.

On the bright side, the vast majority of surveyed physicians agreed that patients should be fully advised about the risk and benefits of interventions, and they should never disclose a patients confidential information to an unauthorized person.

The most startling part of the survey is that nearly 1/3 of the participating physician admitted to not telling patients of a mistake they may have made in their care, for fear of being sued. It’s important that patients have a form of recourse in cases where a physician is clearly negligent, but doctors are human and mistakes will happen, we must find a way to allow a physician to feel confident in making full disclosures to a patient especially when it come to their health, without the constant fear of litigation.

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Be Safe This Halloween

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Ghost, goblins and vampires…Halloween will soon be here. For kids, Halloween is an exciting holiday and nothing ends a great time more quickly than a trip to the emergency room. To ensure a happy venture, here are some “tricks” for a safe Halloween.

Watch for children darting out between cars.
Watch for children walking medians and curbs.
At twilight and later into the evening, watch for children in dark costumes.

Designate an adult or older child to supervise younger children during the outing.
Plan and discuss the route the trick-or-treaters, plan to follow.
Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas.
Teach children to stop only at houses that are well-lit and to never enter a stranger’s home.
Remind children of safety rules about crossing the street.
Always have them walk and not run.
Tell them to only eat candy that you have inspected first.

Costume Design
Use only fire-retardant materials for costumes.
Costumes should be loose, so that warmer clothes could be worn underneath.
Costumes should not be so long that they become a tripping hazard (falls from running, tripping over lawn decorations or costumes are the leading cause of Halloween injuries).
Costumes should be of light colored or use strips of reflective tape to make children visible at night.

Masks or makeup
Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Facial makeup is a better alternative.
Make sure the Halloween makeup is labeled with “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives, “Laboratory Tested”, Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics, or “Non-Toxic”. Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.

Knives and swords should be made of flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

Remind children before going out the following rules:
Do not enter any homes or apartments without you being with them.
Walk, don’t run between houses. (Tripping over unforeseen objects and uneven terrain can end their evening early)
Walk on the sidewalks and not in the street.
Always look both ways before crossing streets.
Cross all streets at the corners.

Give children a meal before the outing.
Use the restroom just before leaving the house.
Inspect all candy before allowing children to eat them.
When in doubt, throw it out.

Following these simple safety rules and everyone will have a “fang…tastic” time.

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Are You Prepared for the Next Earthquake?

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The dramatic scenes of the devastation after any large earthquake, should remind us to take preventive actions to make sure that when an earthquake of substantial size strikes us, that we are prepared.

California sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire contains 452 volcano’s and is one of the most seismic active areas in all the world. Approximately 90% of all the world’s earthquakes and 80% of the most powerful earthquakes, happen along this Ring.

Researchers warn that California is due for another powerful earthquake. It would be in our best interest to be prepared. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home and which supplies you should have at hand.

Hazards in the Home
• Place heavy objects on lower shelves.
• Locate beds away from windows and chimneys.
• Use straps or strapping to secure your water heater from falling.
• Store valuable documents and special small keepsakes in a fire-resistant place.
• Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with locked latches.
• Secure shelves, mirrors, pictures and large cabinets to the wall. Most injuries happen from falling items.

• Teach all family members how to turn off the water, gas and electricity.
• Turn off gas if you smell gas or hear a hissing noise.
• Take a CPR and First Aid training course .
• During an earthquake duck, cover and hold on. Most injuries from earthquakes come from items falling on to you. You need to protect your head and body by finding a safe haven under a table or doorway and hold-on until the earthquake ends.

Disaster Supplies
Here is a list of items we suggest you have available. Plan on being on your own for at least 3 days. Emergency services will be overloaded and general services may take several days before they are reinstated.
• Flashlight with extra batteries.
• Battery powered radio.
• First Aid Kit and Manual.
• Food and Water (Plan on at least 3 days of food and water. For water, plan on 12 liters per person per day. Get food that is easy to prepare, does not need heating of cooling and is easy to preserve or consume).
• Water purification tablets.
• Non electrical can opener.
• Essential medicines.
• Cash or credit cards.
• Sturdy shoes.
• Small fire extinguisher.
• Water proof matches.
• Wrench (turn off gas).
• Toiletry items (soap, toothpaste, bath tissue).
• Plastic tarp or tent, in case staying inside is not an option.
• Sleeping Bags or blankets.

Extra items to Consider
• If water is still running fill bathtub and extra containers.
• If you turn off your gas a professional must restart it. DO NOT restart it yourself.
• Designate an out of State contact. Telephone lines within the State maybe overloaded. You may find better success calling a relative out-of-state.

Leave messages here for other family members.• Confine pets. Being scared they may act aggressive or they may hide making it hard to locate them.

Here is a start for you to begin getting prepared. For more information visit the FEMA, CDC or local government websites.

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Cell Phones and Cancer

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San Francisco recently introduced legislation that will require cellphone retailers to label their devices with the level of radiation they emit. This has been a continuing discussion in the medical community upon the safeness of cell phones. A recent study cast new doubts on any links between cellphones and the two most common types of brain disease.

This study looked at the number of incidence of glioma and meningioma from 1973 to 2003. They compared it to a study conducted from 1998 to 2003. Their conclusions showed no changes or trends of increasing incidences.

These researchers warned that this study was not conclusive and suggested more research needs to happen. It was strongly suggested that children should be restricted in the use of cellphones. The American Cancer Society states that the radio frequency emitted by cellphones are not strong enough to alter or damage DNA.

With all this conflicting information, as a consumer, what can you do:

1) The FCC limits the amount of radiation all cell phones must meet, but there are wide variations between types of cell phones. The Environmental Working Group has a website that ranks the phone by the amount of radiation they release. Use this as a guide when deciding on a new phone.

2) Use a wired or wireless headset. Though cordless Bluetooth devices operate at a much lower transmission they still emit some radiation.

3) Use your speakerphone function as much as possible.

4) Don’t use cell phones for extended calls. Obviously the longer the exposure the bigger the risk. Use landlines or wired headsets for those longer conversations.

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Does Order of Birth Matter?

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Many psychologists say that birth order affects several aspects of a child’s personality. Here is a quick rundown of some of the differences.

First Born
Firstborns tend to be reliable, conscientious and perfectionists. Over half of U.S presidents were firstborns. Although, they are typically aggressive, many are also compliant people pleasers. Most are model children who have a strong need for approval from anyone in charge.

Only Children
Only children are firstborns to the third degree. They tend to be even more responsible and even bigger perfectionists. Usually they get along better with people older than themselves.

Middle Child
Middle children are the most difficult describe. They often feel like their older brother gets all the glory while their younger sister escapes all discipline. The middle child tends to be more secretive and does not openly share thoughts or feelings. They may not feel they have a special place in the family so friends and peer groups become much more important. They can usually read people well, are peacemakers who see all sides of a situation and can be independent and inventive.

Last Born
Babies of the family are social and outgoing, they are the most financially irresponsible of all birth orders. They just want to have a good time. While lastborns may be charming, they also have the potential to be manipulative, spoiled or babied to the point of helplessness.

Any Exceptions?
There can be several variables can affect the above descriptions. The years between the first and second child, or if the firstborn is a girl and the second a boy, the son will have some first-born characteristics because he is the family’s first male offspring. Also a sibling deaths, adoptions and blended families can also upset the traditional birth order.

In the end all children can be different and have to be parented in different ways.

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