Friday, February 8, 2008

Need a pick-me-up? A smile?

If you need a smile to get your day going or to finish your day, have a look at the new feature on Help My Hurt, called Friday Funnies.

While you're there - have a look around and leave some comments.

Friday round up

I never did come back yesterday with another post - my apologies. Between being down and my work, I got busy and didn't get a chance to come back.

To make up for it, I found some videos that are really interesting, on several different topics.
If you visit Medical News Today, you can find lots of stuff.

This video is actually 7 shorter ones, only a couple of minutes each. The topics range from chronic pain, to acupuncture for migraines, to third degree burns. Have a look: Videos.

As for the news, you'll see by the first two stories, that the medical community is beginning to figure out that the team approach is often the best way to treat patients. Who'd have thought??

News for Today:
Team-based approach improves diabetes care
Team treatment for depression cuts medical costs
Elderly more likely to deny smoking when asked, says Case Western Reserve University researcher

Thursday, February 7, 2008 server problems

Hi folks, I'll be back with a proper post shortly. Just wanted to say that I know the site isn't working - it hasn't been for over 24 hours now. I don't know what is going on but hopefully, it will be back up soon.

Please continue to check - it will be back!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cannabis and gum disease

This news - serious as it is - struck my funny bone: Cannabis indicated as possible risk for gum disease in young people. The story itself isn't funny, but I was imagining teens saying, "oh no, I can't smoke up, I might get gum disease."

In all seriousness, gum disease is something that is becoming a problem. According to this article, it is striking younger people who do smoke marijuana. If gum problems are not treated properly, this starts of a chain reaction and can end up with severe consequences. To learn more about gum disease, you can visit the American Academy of Periodontology.

News for Today:
New figures reveal changing patterns of stroke and heart disease-related deaths in Europe
Less invasive methods may provide accurate means to determine lung cancer stage
Patients at risk of adverse events within 3 months after stopping certain ACS therapy
Patient Safety - A Road Taken Together

Monday, February 4, 2008

National Burn Awareness Week in the US

According to the American Burn Association, there are 4,000 fire and burn deaths every year in the United States. There are 40,000 hospital admissions for fire or burn injuries. 

Burns are one of the most preventable injuries because of their very nature. Children pull hot pots off stoves, they play with matches or lighters, or they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Unfortunately, many people who do see someone get burned don't know what to do in terms of first aid. Doing the wrong thing is worse than not doing anything at all in the case of burns. If you haven't taken a first aid course, I strongly recommend one. A good course prepares you for many eventualities.

As a refresher or for a beginning, here are some of the rules of first aid for burns as published by MedlinePlus:


      1. If the skin is unbroken, run cool water over the area of the burn or soak it in a cool water bath (not ice water). Keep the area submerged for at least 5 minutes. A clean, cold, wet towel will also help reduce pain.
      2. Calm and reassure the person.
      3. After flushing or soaking, cover the burn with a dry, sterile bandage or clean dressing.
      4. Protect the burn from pressure and friction.
      5. Over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and swelling. DO NOT give children under 12 aspirin. Once the skin has cooled, moisturizing lotion also can help.
      6. Minor burns will usually heal without further treatment. However, if a second-degree burn covers an area more than 2 to 3 inches in diameter, or if it is located on the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or a major joint, treat the burn as a major burn.
      7. Make sure the person is up-to-date on tetanus immunization.


      1. If someone is on fire, tell the person to STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Wrap the person in thick material to smother the flames (a wool or cotton coat, rug, or blanket). Douse the person with water.
      2. Call 911.
      3. Make sure that the person is no longer in contact with smoldering materials. However, DO NOT remove burnt clothing that is stuck to the skin.
      4. Make sure the person is breathing. If breathing has stopped, or if the person's airway is blocked, open the airway. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.
      5. Cover the burn area with a dry sterile bandage (if available) or clean cloth. A sheet will do if the burned area is large. DO NOT apply any ointments. Avoid breaking burn blisters.
      6. If fingers or toes have been burned, separate them with dry, sterile, non-adhesive dressings.
      7. Elevate the body part that is burned above the level of the heart. Protect the burnt area from pressure and friction.
      8. Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the person flat, elevate the feet about 12 inches, and cover him or her with a coat or blanket. However, DO NOT place the person in this shock position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the person uncomfortable.
      9. Continue to monitor the person's vital signs until medical help arrives. This means pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure.

                        DO NOT

      • DO NOT apply ointment, butter, ice, medications, cream, oil spray, or any household remedy to a severe burn.
      • DO NOT breathe, blow, or cough on the burn.
      • DO NOT disturb blistered or dead skin.
      • DO NOT remove clothing that is stuck to the skin.
      • DO NOT give the person anything by mouth, if there is a severe burn.
      • DO NOT immerse a severe burn in cold water. This can cause shock.
      • DO NOT place a pillow under the person's head if there is an airway burn. This can close the airway.


      News for Today:

      Stop-smoking drug linked to mood changes, FDA warns

      Epilepsy drugs may increase risk of suicidal behaviour: FDA

      Laparoscopy: Is it the future of gynecologic oncology?

      Study Finds Widespread Vitamin and Mineral Use Among Cancer Survivors, Although Benefits of Such Use Remain Unclear

      Sunday, February 3, 2008

      If it's suicide prevention week in Quebec...

      Where the hell does it say anything about it?

      I am really upset, really upset. Starting today, February 3, through to the 9, it is suicide prevention week in Quebec, Canada. But, can I find anything about it? No. Do I see anything about it? Yes, a tiny little three line blurb in a weekly local paper that just says that it's Suicide Prevention Week. That's it.

      I did a search on-line and came up with nothing about it. Nothing.

      Quebec has one of the highest suicide rates in Canada. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young men in Quebec. Do you think there would be a bit more noise about it?

      To be fair, the colleges and universities are holding events and information sessions on suicide prevention - this is targeting an important group. The initiative to get this information into the schools is a huge step in the right direction when, at one time, you could't talk about suicide in the schools.

      My frustration lies in the lack of information out there for the people who aren't attending school and - in my mind - ones who may be even more at risk of ending their life. Those who are school drop outs, who are unemployed or in dead end jobs. The disadvantaged, the homeless, the lonely ones. How will the news get out to them or those who love them? We need more action. We need more help.

      Suicide is real. It affects the survivors every day. I had lost touch with my brother before he took his life at the age of 35, but I thought of him often before and I think of him often now. I think of the legacy he left behind for his two sons. Did you know that if a parent committed suicide, your own risk of suicide rises? And the irony of it all? He took his life during Suicide Prevention Week. He died three years ago this month.

      I wrote about this last year, Suicide, not a disease, so no walkathons, ribbons, or research race. I'm just as passionate about it now. I try to bring the topic to the surface; I don't hide that JP killed himself. People need to know that people they know are touched by this. They need to know how close to home it can be.

      I know most of my readers are not in Quebec - but you don't need to be here to make it an issue where you are. Please.