The Waiting Room

AFib: Hurried Heartbeats

September 21st, 2020
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia. With AFib, your heart beats much faster than the normal 60 to 100 beats per minute. To create a normal heart rhythm, or sinus rhythm, your heart’s upper and lower chambers must work in concert. But with AFib, the activity of those chambers is out of sync. The heart pumps blood to the rest of the body, and the pumping is controlled by the heart’s own…

Conquering Childhood Cancer

September 15th, 2020
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is observed every September by cancer organizations around the globe. According to the American Cancer Society, just over 11,000 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and about 1,190 children are expected to die from it. After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. The most common cancers in children are not the same as the cancers seen most often in adults.…

Raising Voices for MPN Awareness

September 8th, 2020
When asked to name a blood cancer, most people will respond with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. That’s not surprising because those are among the most common blood cancers. In fact, new cases of those cancers are expected to account for 9.9 percent of the estimated 1,806,590 new cancer cases diagnosed in the US in 2020. But for this Blood Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a closer look at another less common blood cancer called myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs. Like other…

Addiction Recovery Month 2020

August 31st, 2020
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month was created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. With SAMHSA, we observe Recovery Month every September to increase awareness of substance use disorders and celebrate individuals in recovery. Alcohol and drug addiction are also referred to as substance use disorders. Whether the substance is alcohol, opioids, stimulants or sedatives, substance abuse has a widespread impact on life…

FDA Asks for Plasma Donations to Fight COVID-19

August 24th, 2020
In an effort to further combat the spread of Covid-19, the US Food and Drug Administration is encouraging people who have completely recovered from the virus to donate their plasma to help hospitalized patients who are currently fighting the virus. The FDA made this request on Sunday, August 23, when it gave emergency approval to the expanded use of antibody-rich convalescent plasma for coronavirus patients. People who have had COVID-19 and completely recovered from it now have plasma that contains…

Immunization: It’s Not Just For Kids Anymore

August 17th, 2020
Most people think immunization is just for kids. But National Immunization Awareness Month, which is celebrated in August, underscores the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. After all, the old adage that says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true throughout life. The term immunization refers to the action of making people resistant (immune) to certain infectious diseases, many of which can be very serious or even deadly. Immunization is typically accomplished through…

Stomach Stillness

August 10th, 2020
How well do you know your digestive system? Your stomach is an important part of it. The stomach is a hollow organ made up mainly of muscle. It takes in food that is eaten, mixes it up and breaks it down into smaller pieces. What’s left is passed from the stomach to the small intestine, where digestion continues. But sometimes, the muscles in the stomach or the nerves that control those muscles don’t work correctly. That slows the movement of…

It’s a SMAall World

August 4th, 2020
August is typically one of the hottest months of the year, so today is an excellent time to stay indoors in the air conditioning and read a blog. The topic of this one is a genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) that primarily affects infants and children and, more rarely, adults. August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month.  SMA is a neuromuscular disorder. It is a progressive disease that destroys motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscle movement.…

Iron Overload

July 20th, 2020
Every year, Americans observe Hemochromatosis Screening and Awareness Month in July, and this year is no exception. Hemochromatosis is a big word for a disorder in which you absorb more iron from the food you eat than your body needs for optimal function. It’s essentially iron overload. Everyone needs some iron. It’s an important nutrient that helps the hemoglobin in your blood carry oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues. But if you absorb too much, it stores up in…

Youth at Risk

July 17th, 2020
As the summer rages on, coronavirus infection rates continue to climb across the country. States such as Texas, Arizona and Florida are seeing record spikes on an almost daily basis. As of July 15, there were more than 3.41 million infections and at least 134,000 deaths from the virus in the US, and it’s not done. Unfortunately, in the midst of all this bad news another negative trend is emerging. Some states are seeing an increase in the number of…

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