The Waiting Room

Stalking the Superbugs

March 20th, 2017
It’s funny how things happen sometimes. When Alexander Fleming woke up the morning of September 28, 1928, he had no idea he would discover the first commercially available antibiotic – penicillin. After the antibiotic was isolated and purified, it came into wide use during World War II. When accepting the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1945, Fleming warned of bacteria becoming resistant to penicillin. More than 70 years later, his warning message has become a reality – in spades.…

Brain Injuries, Briefly

March 8th, 2017
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and organizations like the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) want people to know more about these dangerous injuries and their aftermath. Here’s a little information to help. Brain injuries involve acquired damage to the brain. The damage is not the result of heredity, congenital defects or degeneration. There are many possible causes of brain injury, including certain infectious diseases, oxygen starvation, seizures, stroke, exposure to toxins, trauma and tumors. According to BIAA, more…

Counting Your Steps

December 14th, 2016
Is a fitness tracker on your wish list this year? The wearable technology gadgets seem to be on wrists everywhere, so you’ll have lots of company. By the end of 2015, people in the United States owned nearly 33 million of the devices. Fitness trackers count steps and calorie burn. They can show how many hours you actually slept. Some measure heart rate and estimate oxygen uptake. All from wearing what looks like a rubber bracelet. Keeping up with all…

“Mysterious Illness” on the Rise

December 7th, 2016
There’s a mysterious, polio-like illness cropping up across the US. It’s called acute flaccid myelitis or AFM. It’s quite rare, affecting only one in one million people, but from January 1 to September 30, 2016, 89 people in 33 states were diagnosed with AFM, 37 in September alone. And in October, the death of a 6-year old boy is suspected to be the very first linked to the illness. Those stats are alarming the US Centers for Disease Control and…

Baby Boomers and Hepatitis C

November 30th, 2016
Here’s a heads up, Baby Boomers! The US Preventive Service Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend we all get tested for hepatitis C. That’s because adults born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus than the rest of the population. One out of every 30 Boomers has been exposed. These statements scream two big questions: What’s the deal with hepatitis C and why are…

The Healthcare Election

October 19th, 2016
With news of more exchanges closing, fewer healthy enrollees signing up, insurance companies pulling out, and health insurance premiums set to spike, this October we will see a tighter turn in the death spiral of ObamaCare. There is no doubt about the higher premiums and lack of choices in ObamaCare. What should be done in its aftermath is up for debate. This makes the November presidential election a significant turning point in our national healthcare conversation. When it comes to…

Boggled by Burnout

October 12th, 2016
  In this age of sparse staffs and limitless job descriptions, more employees are staying at work longer, taking work home with them and making themselves available to the office on days off. They do this to get projects “done by deadline.” That’s a great benefit for the employers, but it can lead the employees straight into job burnout!   Burnout is defined as a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion related to…

Good Morning, Sunshine!

September 21st, 2016
Even though we are technically now into fall, here in Florida, the sun is shining most days, and I for one, feel energized by the sunlight. It gets pretty hot in Florida, so I don’t spend a lot of time outside in the sun, except when my sister and I are doing yard word. (I’m the “official” grass cutter at our house.) I didn’t used to be a sun avoider. As a teen in Pennsylvania, I worshiped the sun. Now,…

Pregnancy and the Zika virus

September 14th, 2016
If you’re pregnant in this first summer of Zika in Florida, how worried should you be? I’ve seen news reports about pregnant women in Miami, where the first cases of locally acquired Zika infections in the continental United States appeared in July. One report was about an obstetrician who was making it a priority to spend her off-work hours inside at…

Telemedicine Update

August 31st, 2016
  Last year, I wrote about the basics of telemedicine. That’s the health care delivery system with which patients connect with their doctors electronically, such as over the phone or via the computer. It represents a huge shift in how Americans access care and how physicians provide it. The growth of telemedicine in the United States is astounding. Read these statistics. Last year, there were approximately 800,000 online consultations alone in this country. Right…

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