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J.Adderton

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Reputation Activity by J.Adderton

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Like 4

Reactions Received

Like 40
Thanks 1

  1. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    Thanks for sharing your story.  There are probably many who read this and can relate to your experience.  
  2. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from tnbutterfly, BSN, RN in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    Thanks for sharing your story.  There are probably many who read this and can relate to your experience.  
  3. Like
    J.Adderton reacted to traumaRUs, MSN, APRN in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    When I worked in HF this was a valuable tool for those with AFib, especially for those who can not tolerate anticoagulation 
  4. Like
    J.Adderton reacted to Susie2310 in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    Thank you very much for this information.  I had heard of this device but hadn't got round to doing more research yet.  This information is very useful.
  5. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from sirI, MSN, APRN, NP in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    For individuals diagnosed with AFib, the risk of stroke is very real.  In fact, a person with Afib is 5x more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heart rhythm.  In order to order to understand how the implant works, you must first be familiar with the basics of Afib.  In Afib, the heart’s atria flutter and send erradic electrical signal to the ventricles.  As a result, blood pools and clots in the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA).  In non-valvular Afib, more than 90% of blood clots resulting in a stroke are formed in the LAA.  A stroke occurs when these clots travel to the brain and prevent adequate blood flow.  Afib is more common after age 50 and often occurs without symptoms.
    Watch an animation of Afib from the American Heart Association

    The goal of Afib treatment is to prevent clots from forming, control pulse rate and restore normal heart rhythm.  Anticoagulants (warfarin, others) are given to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.  There are individuals that require blood thinners long-term.  The risk of bleeding is higher when taking blood thinners.  The Watchman implant is an alternative to long-term anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention when the risk of bleeding outweighs the medication’s benefit.
    The WATCHMAN device is for people meeting the following criteria:
    Diagnosed with Afib not caused by a heart valve problem Diagnosed with Afib and physician is recommending blood thinners Are able to take warfarin but need an alternative ***Individuals may need an alternative to warfarin for the following:
    History of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners Are at risk for major bleeding to due lifestyle, occupation or physical condition Take warfarin but have difficulty maintaining therapeutic PT/INR, have difficulty getting regular blood tests or cannot take a different type of anticoagulant The WATCHMAN device is not for patients:
    Who are unable to take warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel Who should not or cannot have a heart catheterization Allergic to the device materials With a LAA that is too large or small for the device to fit appropriately Doing well and expect to continue doing well on anticoagulants. "Ed is a 74-year-old patient with a long history of Afib.  Over the years, Ed has undergone multiple cardioversions and cardiac ablations.  Due to Ed’s high stroke risk, he was placed on warfarin and has been taking for several years.   Ed has had multiple falls and remains a high fall risk secondary to vertigo.  When Ed visits his cardiologist, he expresses fear of causing a major bleed because of his falls.  However, he wants to continue to be active with his grandchildren and occasionally golf.  The cardiologist explains the WATCHMAN procedure to Ed as an alternative to warfarin."
    How It Works
    The actual Watchman implant is about the size of a quarter and fits directly into the LAA. The implant permanently closes the LAA- preventing clots from leaving the heart and entering into the bloodstream.  Since the implant is permanent, placed once and does not have to be replaced. 
    The Watchman procedure is minimally invasive and typically performed in a heart catheterization lab.  The procedure is monitored by the medical team and utilizes imaging to visually guide the device in place.  A thin catheter is inserted through a vein in the groin and guided into the heart’s right atrium. A second puncture is made in the muscle wall between the right and left atrium.  The catheter is then advanced into the left atrium.  The physician uses imaging to advance a smaller inner catheter, with the compressed device enclosed, into the LAA.  Once the implant is in the right place, the implant will open- much like an umbrella.  Within 45 days, a thin layer of tissue will grow over the implant. 
     
     
    Always a Risk
    Any medical procedure carries risks and the Watchman is no exception.  Review common risks here.
    Clinical Studies and Evidence
    The Food and Drug Administration approved the Watchman implant in 2016 based on long-term data from clinical trials.  The trials ( PREVAIL study, PROTECT AF study and CAP Registry) included over 2400 patients and >8000 patient-years of follow-up.  Data from the trials supporting FDA approval include:
    Device successfully implanted in 95% of patients 45 days after implantation, 92% of patients were no longer taking blood thinners >99% were no longer taking blood thinners by 1 year Significant decrease in disabling and fatal strokes (largely due to the reduction in hemorrhagic stroke) Demonstrated similar ischemic stroke reduction when compared to warfarin Reduced major bleeding events vs warfarin by 72% at 6 months In addition to clinical trials, the Watchman procedure has been performed over 20,000 times worldwide.  It is the only device of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
    What new and emerging advances in stroke prevention have you seen in your area of practice?
    For additional information, visit www.watchman.com
  6. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from sirI, MSN, APRN, NP in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    For individuals diagnosed with AFib, the risk of stroke is very real.  In fact, a person with Afib is 5x more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heart rhythm.  In order to order to understand how the implant works, you must first be familiar with the basics of Afib.  In Afib, the heart’s atria flutter and send erradic electrical signal to the ventricles.  As a result, blood pools and clots in the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA).  In non-valvular Afib, more than 90% of blood clots resulting in a stroke are formed in the LAA.  A stroke occurs when these clots travel to the brain and prevent adequate blood flow.  Afib is more common after age 50 and often occurs without symptoms.
    Watch an animation of Afib from the American Heart Association

    The goal of Afib treatment is to prevent clots from forming, control pulse rate and restore normal heart rhythm.  Anticoagulants (warfarin, others) are given to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.  There are individuals that require blood thinners long-term.  The risk of bleeding is higher when taking blood thinners.  The Watchman implant is an alternative to long-term anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention when the risk of bleeding outweighs the medication’s benefit.
    The WATCHMAN device is for people meeting the following criteria:
    Diagnosed with Afib not caused by a heart valve problem Diagnosed with Afib and physician is recommending blood thinners Are able to take warfarin but need an alternative ***Individuals may need an alternative to warfarin for the following:
    History of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners Are at risk for major bleeding to due lifestyle, occupation or physical condition Take warfarin but have difficulty maintaining therapeutic PT/INR, have difficulty getting regular blood tests or cannot take a different type of anticoagulant The WATCHMAN device is not for patients:
    Who are unable to take warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel Who should not or cannot have a heart catheterization Allergic to the device materials With a LAA that is too large or small for the device to fit appropriately Doing well and expect to continue doing well on anticoagulants. "Ed is a 74-year-old patient with a long history of Afib.  Over the years, Ed has undergone multiple cardioversions and cardiac ablations.  Due to Ed’s high stroke risk, he was placed on warfarin and has been taking for several years.   Ed has had multiple falls and remains a high fall risk secondary to vertigo.  When Ed visits his cardiologist, he expresses fear of causing a major bleed because of his falls.  However, he wants to continue to be active with his grandchildren and occasionally golf.  The cardiologist explains the WATCHMAN procedure to Ed as an alternative to warfarin."
    How It Works
    The actual Watchman implant is about the size of a quarter and fits directly into the LAA. The implant permanently closes the LAA- preventing clots from leaving the heart and entering into the bloodstream.  Since the implant is permanent, placed once and does not have to be replaced. 
    The Watchman procedure is minimally invasive and typically performed in a heart catheterization lab.  The procedure is monitored by the medical team and utilizes imaging to visually guide the device in place.  A thin catheter is inserted through a vein in the groin and guided into the heart’s right atrium. A second puncture is made in the muscle wall between the right and left atrium.  The catheter is then advanced into the left atrium.  The physician uses imaging to advance a smaller inner catheter, with the compressed device enclosed, into the LAA.  Once the implant is in the right place, the implant will open- much like an umbrella.  Within 45 days, a thin layer of tissue will grow over the implant. 
     
     
    Always a Risk
    Any medical procedure carries risks and the Watchman is no exception.  Review common risks here.
    Clinical Studies and Evidence
    The Food and Drug Administration approved the Watchman implant in 2016 based on long-term data from clinical trials.  The trials ( PREVAIL study, PROTECT AF study and CAP Registry) included over 2400 patients and >8000 patient-years of follow-up.  Data from the trials supporting FDA approval include:
    Device successfully implanted in 95% of patients 45 days after implantation, 92% of patients were no longer taking blood thinners >99% were no longer taking blood thinners by 1 year Significant decrease in disabling and fatal strokes (largely due to the reduction in hemorrhagic stroke) Demonstrated similar ischemic stroke reduction when compared to warfarin Reduced major bleeding events vs warfarin by 72% at 6 months In addition to clinical trials, the Watchman procedure has been performed over 20,000 times worldwide.  It is the only device of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
    What new and emerging advances in stroke prevention have you seen in your area of practice?
    For additional information, visit www.watchman.com
  7. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from sirI, MSN, APRN, NP in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    For individuals diagnosed with AFib, the risk of stroke is very real.  In fact, a person with Afib is 5x more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heart rhythm.  In order to order to understand how the implant works, you must first be familiar with the basics of Afib.  In Afib, the heart’s atria flutter and send erradic electrical signal to the ventricles.  As a result, blood pools and clots in the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA).  In non-valvular Afib, more than 90% of blood clots resulting in a stroke are formed in the LAA.  A stroke occurs when these clots travel to the brain and prevent adequate blood flow.  Afib is more common after age 50 and often occurs without symptoms.
    Watch an animation of Afib from the American Heart Association

    The goal of Afib treatment is to prevent clots from forming, control pulse rate and restore normal heart rhythm.  Anticoagulants (warfarin, others) are given to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.  There are individuals that require blood thinners long-term.  The risk of bleeding is higher when taking blood thinners.  The Watchman implant is an alternative to long-term anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention when the risk of bleeding outweighs the medication’s benefit.
    The WATCHMAN device is for people meeting the following criteria:
    Diagnosed with Afib not caused by a heart valve problem Diagnosed with Afib and physician is recommending blood thinners Are able to take warfarin but need an alternative ***Individuals may need an alternative to warfarin for the following:
    History of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners Are at risk for major bleeding to due lifestyle, occupation or physical condition Take warfarin but have difficulty maintaining therapeutic PT/INR, have difficulty getting regular blood tests or cannot take a different type of anticoagulant The WATCHMAN device is not for patients:
    Who are unable to take warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel Who should not or cannot have a heart catheterization Allergic to the device materials With a LAA that is too large or small for the device to fit appropriately Doing well and expect to continue doing well on anticoagulants. "Ed is a 74-year-old patient with a long history of Afib.  Over the years, Ed has undergone multiple cardioversions and cardiac ablations.  Due to Ed’s high stroke risk, he was placed on warfarin and has been taking for several years.   Ed has had multiple falls and remains a high fall risk secondary to vertigo.  When Ed visits his cardiologist, he expresses fear of causing a major bleed because of his falls.  However, he wants to continue to be active with his grandchildren and occasionally golf.  The cardiologist explains the WATCHMAN procedure to Ed as an alternative to warfarin."
    How It Works
    The actual Watchman implant is about the size of a quarter and fits directly into the LAA. The implant permanently closes the LAA- preventing clots from leaving the heart and entering into the bloodstream.  Since the implant is permanent, placed once and does not have to be replaced. 
    The Watchman procedure is minimally invasive and typically performed in a heart catheterization lab.  The procedure is monitored by the medical team and utilizes imaging to visually guide the device in place.  A thin catheter is inserted through a vein in the groin and guided into the heart’s right atrium. A second puncture is made in the muscle wall between the right and left atrium.  The catheter is then advanced into the left atrium.  The physician uses imaging to advance a smaller inner catheter, with the compressed device enclosed, into the LAA.  Once the implant is in the right place, the implant will open- much like an umbrella.  Within 45 days, a thin layer of tissue will grow over the implant. 
     
     
    Always a Risk
    Any medical procedure carries risks and the Watchman is no exception.  Review common risks here.
    Clinical Studies and Evidence
    The Food and Drug Administration approved the Watchman implant in 2016 based on long-term data from clinical trials.  The trials ( PREVAIL study, PROTECT AF study and CAP Registry) included over 2400 patients and >8000 patient-years of follow-up.  Data from the trials supporting FDA approval include:
    Device successfully implanted in 95% of patients 45 days after implantation, 92% of patients were no longer taking blood thinners >99% were no longer taking blood thinners by 1 year Significant decrease in disabling and fatal strokes (largely due to the reduction in hemorrhagic stroke) Demonstrated similar ischemic stroke reduction when compared to warfarin Reduced major bleeding events vs warfarin by 72% at 6 months In addition to clinical trials, the Watchman procedure has been performed over 20,000 times worldwide.  It is the only device of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
    What new and emerging advances in stroke prevention have you seen in your area of practice?
    For additional information, visit www.watchman.com
  8. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from sirI, MSN, APRN, NP in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    For individuals diagnosed with AFib, the risk of stroke is very real.  In fact, a person with Afib is 5x more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heart rhythm.  In order to order to understand how the implant works, you must first be familiar with the basics of Afib.  In Afib, the heart’s atria flutter and send erradic electrical signal to the ventricles.  As a result, blood pools and clots in the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA).  In non-valvular Afib, more than 90% of blood clots resulting in a stroke are formed in the LAA.  A stroke occurs when these clots travel to the brain and prevent adequate blood flow.  Afib is more common after age 50 and often occurs without symptoms.
    Watch an animation of Afib from the American Heart Association

    The goal of Afib treatment is to prevent clots from forming, control pulse rate and restore normal heart rhythm.  Anticoagulants (warfarin, others) are given to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.  There are individuals that require blood thinners long-term.  The risk of bleeding is higher when taking blood thinners.  The Watchman implant is an alternative to long-term anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention when the risk of bleeding outweighs the medication’s benefit.
    The WATCHMAN device is for people meeting the following criteria:
    Diagnosed with Afib not caused by a heart valve problem Diagnosed with Afib and physician is recommending blood thinners Are able to take warfarin but need an alternative ***Individuals may need an alternative to warfarin for the following:
    History of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners Are at risk for major bleeding to due lifestyle, occupation or physical condition Take warfarin but have difficulty maintaining therapeutic PT/INR, have difficulty getting regular blood tests or cannot take a different type of anticoagulant The WATCHMAN device is not for patients:
    Who are unable to take warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel Who should not or cannot have a heart catheterization Allergic to the device materials With a LAA that is too large or small for the device to fit appropriately Doing well and expect to continue doing well on anticoagulants. "Ed is a 74-year-old patient with a long history of Afib.  Over the years, Ed has undergone multiple cardioversions and cardiac ablations.  Due to Ed’s high stroke risk, he was placed on warfarin and has been taking for several years.   Ed has had multiple falls and remains a high fall risk secondary to vertigo.  When Ed visits his cardiologist, he expresses fear of causing a major bleed because of his falls.  However, he wants to continue to be active with his grandchildren and occasionally golf.  The cardiologist explains the WATCHMAN procedure to Ed as an alternative to warfarin."
    How It Works
    The actual Watchman implant is about the size of a quarter and fits directly into the LAA. The implant permanently closes the LAA- preventing clots from leaving the heart and entering into the bloodstream.  Since the implant is permanent, placed once and does not have to be replaced. 
    The Watchman procedure is minimally invasive and typically performed in a heart catheterization lab.  The procedure is monitored by the medical team and utilizes imaging to visually guide the device in place.  A thin catheter is inserted through a vein in the groin and guided into the heart’s right atrium. A second puncture is made in the muscle wall between the right and left atrium.  The catheter is then advanced into the left atrium.  The physician uses imaging to advance a smaller inner catheter, with the compressed device enclosed, into the LAA.  Once the implant is in the right place, the implant will open- much like an umbrella.  Within 45 days, a thin layer of tissue will grow over the implant. 
     
     
    Always a Risk
    Any medical procedure carries risks and the Watchman is no exception.  Review common risks here.
    Clinical Studies and Evidence
    The Food and Drug Administration approved the Watchman implant in 2016 based on long-term data from clinical trials.  The trials ( PREVAIL study, PROTECT AF study and CAP Registry) included over 2400 patients and >8000 patient-years of follow-up.  Data from the trials supporting FDA approval include:
    Device successfully implanted in 95% of patients 45 days after implantation, 92% of patients were no longer taking blood thinners >99% were no longer taking blood thinners by 1 year Significant decrease in disabling and fatal strokes (largely due to the reduction in hemorrhagic stroke) Demonstrated similar ischemic stroke reduction when compared to warfarin Reduced major bleeding events vs warfarin by 72% at 6 months In addition to clinical trials, the Watchman procedure has been performed over 20,000 times worldwide.  It is the only device of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
    What new and emerging advances in stroke prevention have you seen in your area of practice?
    For additional information, visit www.watchman.com
  9. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from sirI, MSN, APRN, NP in Atrial Fibrillation, Strokes and the WATCHMAN Implant   
    For individuals diagnosed with AFib, the risk of stroke is very real.  In fact, a person with Afib is 5x more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heart rhythm.  In order to order to understand how the implant works, you must first be familiar with the basics of Afib.  In Afib, the heart’s atria flutter and send erradic electrical signal to the ventricles.  As a result, blood pools and clots in the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA).  In non-valvular Afib, more than 90% of blood clots resulting in a stroke are formed in the LAA.  A stroke occurs when these clots travel to the brain and prevent adequate blood flow.  Afib is more common after age 50 and often occurs without symptoms.
    Watch an animation of Afib from the American Heart Association

    The goal of Afib treatment is to prevent clots from forming, control pulse rate and restore normal heart rhythm.  Anticoagulants (warfarin, others) are given to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.  There are individuals that require blood thinners long-term.  The risk of bleeding is higher when taking blood thinners.  The Watchman implant is an alternative to long-term anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention when the risk of bleeding outweighs the medication’s benefit.
    The WATCHMAN device is for people meeting the following criteria:
    Diagnosed with Afib not caused by a heart valve problem Diagnosed with Afib and physician is recommending blood thinners Are able to take warfarin but need an alternative ***Individuals may need an alternative to warfarin for the following:
    History of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners Are at risk for major bleeding to due lifestyle, occupation or physical condition Take warfarin but have difficulty maintaining therapeutic PT/INR, have difficulty getting regular blood tests or cannot take a different type of anticoagulant The WATCHMAN device is not for patients:
    Who are unable to take warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel Who should not or cannot have a heart catheterization Allergic to the device materials With a LAA that is too large or small for the device to fit appropriately Doing well and expect to continue doing well on anticoagulants. "Ed is a 74-year-old patient with a long history of Afib.  Over the years, Ed has undergone multiple cardioversions and cardiac ablations.  Due to Ed’s high stroke risk, he was placed on warfarin and has been taking for several years.   Ed has had multiple falls and remains a high fall risk secondary to vertigo.  When Ed visits his cardiologist, he expresses fear of causing a major bleed because of his falls.  However, he wants to continue to be active with his grandchildren and occasionally golf.  The cardiologist explains the WATCHMAN procedure to Ed as an alternative to warfarin."
    How It Works
    The actual Watchman implant is about the size of a quarter and fits directly into the LAA. The implant permanently closes the LAA- preventing clots from leaving the heart and entering into the bloodstream.  Since the implant is permanent, placed once and does not have to be replaced. 
    The Watchman procedure is minimally invasive and typically performed in a heart catheterization lab.  The procedure is monitored by the medical team and utilizes imaging to visually guide the device in place.  A thin catheter is inserted through a vein in the groin and guided into the heart’s right atrium. A second puncture is made in the muscle wall between the right and left atrium.  The catheter is then advanced into the left atrium.  The physician uses imaging to advance a smaller inner catheter, with the compressed device enclosed, into the LAA.  Once the implant is in the right place, the implant will open- much like an umbrella.  Within 45 days, a thin layer of tissue will grow over the implant. 
     
     
    Always a Risk
    Any medical procedure carries risks and the Watchman is no exception.  Review common risks here.
    Clinical Studies and Evidence
    The Food and Drug Administration approved the Watchman implant in 2016 based on long-term data from clinical trials.  The trials ( PREVAIL study, PROTECT AF study and CAP Registry) included over 2400 patients and >8000 patient-years of follow-up.  Data from the trials supporting FDA approval include:
    Device successfully implanted in 95% of patients 45 days after implantation, 92% of patients were no longer taking blood thinners >99% were no longer taking blood thinners by 1 year Significant decrease in disabling and fatal strokes (largely due to the reduction in hemorrhagic stroke) Demonstrated similar ischemic stroke reduction when compared to warfarin Reduced major bleeding events vs warfarin by 72% at 6 months In addition to clinical trials, the Watchman procedure has been performed over 20,000 times worldwide.  It is the only device of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
    What new and emerging advances in stroke prevention have you seen in your area of practice?
    For additional information, visit www.watchman.com
  10. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from catsmeow1972, BSN in Consent Agreement Error   
    I think the reaction is tied to your short monitoring period. 
  11. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from rn1965 in Light at the end of the tunnel?   
    Wow- you have a great story and will be inspiring to others.  I admire your willingness and determination.  Hope to hear from you again.
     
  12. Like
    J.Adderton reacted to Jory, MSN, APRN, CNM in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    I have actually never heard any of these myths.  
  13. Like
    J.Adderton reacted to umbdude, BSN, RN in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    Actually last year I learned that you can have shingles without rash. My SO was diagnosed with it and then put on valacyclovir.
     
  14. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  15. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  16. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  17. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  18. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  19. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from abcdenrse in Progress, Challenges and Shortages: Top Medical News of 2018   
    As a nurse, it is likely you have found (or will find) a niche or specialty and keep up with pertinent news in your area of practice.  I enjoy stepping outside of my “box” to catch up on medical news outside of my specialty.  The world of healthcare changes everyday and it is impossible to touch on all that has occurred during the year  However, let’s look at a few updates and raise awareness about what is happening in our communities.
    The Opioid Crisis: Progress, Kratom and Dsuvia
    The opioid crisis continues to evolve daily, but 2018 did show signs of progress. The Health and Human Services Secretary announced that deaths related to opioid misuse plateaued during 2018.  Youth opioid misuse had declined over the past decade.  Other significant news:
    - In October, the Senate passed a bipartisan opioid package aimed at combating the opioid crisis.  The package will give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to require specific product packaging for opioids.  The legislation will also promote research to identify non-addictive medication alternatives for treating pain.  The legislation will help stop the flow of illegal drugs coming into the U.S. through the “STOP ACT”.
    - The FDA identified kratom, a popular over the counter herbal supplement, as an opioid and warned of risk associated with kratom ingredients.
    - The FDA approved the powerful opioid Dsuvia, made by AcelRX Pharmaceuticals.  Dsuvia has an opioid potency 5-10% higher than fentanyl.  Because of abuse and addiction risks, the drug is recommended for individuals who have not benefit and/or tolerated other pain management options. Read the FDA statement on the approval of Dsuvia
    Steep Increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
    STDs have reached an all-time high with 200,000 more reportables than occurred in 2016.  The increased occurrence of gonorrhea and syphilis stand out:
    Gonorrhea rates increased by 67% Syphilis rates doubled Young individuals are the most vulnerable Review the CDC's 2017 STD Surveillance Data here The cause behind the increased incident in STDs is multifactorial.  Local, state and federal funds have been cut, reducing the budget for STD prevention.  Sexual behaviors of gay men have changed over the past decade and correlates with an increase in syphilis rates.  This increase correlates with improved HIV treatments and the perceiption of less risk.
    A Severe and Deadly Flu Season: 
    According to the CDC’s Summary of the 2017-2018 Influenza Season, 2017-2018 flu season recorded influenza like illnesses (ILI) occurring at the highest percentage since 2009.  For 19 consecutive weeks, the rate of ILI was as high as the peak of 2009’s H1N1 pandemic.  As of October, 2018, 185 children died during the 2017-2018 season.  This is the highest number of flu related child deaths in any other regular flu season.  In 80% ofchild deaths, a flu vaccination was not received.  Read the full CDC Summary here.
    Hurricane Maria and Drug Shortages
    On September 20, 2017, hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, causing devastating damages to homes and infrastructures.  Puerto Rico manufactures approximately 40 drugs (approximately 10% of U.S. supply) for shipment to the U.S.  In 2018, the medical community continued dealing with the effects of Hurricane Maria.  The most significant shortages are linked to IV saline, levothyroxine and amino acids.  Consumers experienced an increase in price for levothyroxine post Hurricane Maria.
    Virtual Check-Ins a Medicare Reality
    Beginning January 1, 2019, Medicare will cover virtual care services.  In 2018, the Center for Medicare Services published the final rule for the physician fee schedule.  Providers will be able to use real time telephone interactions, as well as, audio with video.  Virtual check-ins will allow physicians to provide management and evaluation services to an established patient. Read 10 FAQs on This New Service
    2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes To….
    James P. Allison from the U.S. and Tasuku Honjo from Japan are the recipients of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine for advances in discovering how the immune system can be used to fight cancer.  Their work includes work to understand how proteins can act as a brake system on the body’s immune system. Read Press Release Here
    It is impossible to touch on all the news worthy medical advances in 2018 in this article.  However, I would enjoy reading the advancements, changes or challenges that stand out to you.  Take a minute to add your reflection in the comment section.
  20. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  21. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  22. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  23. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  24. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from brownbook in Do You Still Believe These 6 Shingle Virus Myths?   
    If you have ever cared for a patient with shingles, you probably hope you never have the shingles experience- intense itching and pain. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States will be diagnosed with shingles.  This is a surprising 1 million cases diagnosed each year. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Those at greater risk for shingles include the following individuals:
    With medical conditions that weaken the immune system Receiving immunosuppressive medications Over the age of 50 Recent illness or trauma Under stress Despite the high rate of occurrence, there are still common myths and misconceptions associated with shingles.  Do you still believe any of these myths?
    Myth #1: 
    It is all about the rash.
    Fact:  The shingles rash is usually a group of small blisters that eventually dry and scab over in about a month. This itchy rash is one of the tell-tale characteristics of shingles but pain often causes the most discomfort.  The pain can be severe and may occur as early as 2 to 4 days before the rash. Unfortunately, the nerve pain caused by shingles can also continue long after the rash disappears.
    Myth #2:  
    Shingles only occur on one side of the back.
    Fact:  It is true shingles often occur on one side of the body, is linear and follows a nerve pathway (dermatome).  However, shingles can occur anywhere on the body, including eyes and ears. Approximately 2% of cases are disseminated (shingles on both sides of the body) and occur along multiple dermatomes.
    Myth #3:  
    Only older adults get shingles.
    Fact:  It is true that as you age, your risk of shingles increases and about 50% of shingle cases are in the over 60 age group.  However, shingles can occur in anyone at any age. Individuals with compromised immune systems, due to illness, medications, trauma or stress, are at greater risk.
    MYTH #4:  
    Shingles and Chickenpox are the same disease.
    Fact:  Shingles is caused by varicella zoster- the same virus that causes chickenpox.  However, shingles and chickenpox are not the same illness.  Here are key differences:
    Chickenpox is milder and usually affects children under 10 years of age Once you have chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in the body.  People get shingles when varicella zoster is reactivated in the body. Shingles is not spread from person to person. However, if someone has not had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) they can contract chickenpox from direct contact with fluid from shingle blisters.  
    Myth #5:  
    There is no treatment for shingles, you just have to suffer through it.
    Fact:  It is possible to reduce the severity of shingles by starting antivirals (acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir) within the first three days of an outbreak. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be treated at early onset and with persistent nerve pain after the outbreak has resolved.  Treatment to treat pain may include:
    Topical capsaicin and numbing agents  (i.e. lidocaine) Corticoid steroids Oral analgesic and narcotics Anticonvulsants Tricyclic antidepressants Myth #6:
    There is nothing you can do to avoid the shingles.  
    Fact:  Two vaccinations against shingles are currently available- Shingrix and Zostavax.  Zostavax has been used since 2006 and is a live vaccine. The newer Shingrix (a recombinant zoster vaccine) is recommended over Zostavax by the Center for Disease Control.  The CDC recommends healthy adults, 50 years or older, receive Shingrix in two doses, separated by 2 to 6 months. Shingrix has proven to be up to 90% effective in preventing shingles compared to Zostavax 65% effectiveness rate. Shingrix is available to individuals who have had shingles or have received Zostavax in the past.  Studies have shown 99% of individuals over the age of 50 have had chickenpox and Shingrix is recommended even if you don’t remember having chickenpox.
    **Note:  Zostavax may still be given to individuals that prefer Zostavax, are allergic to Shingrix or prefer vaccination with only one injection.  
    Prevention of Complications
    The shingles vaccine is the only way to prevent shingles and the complications of shingles. The most common complication is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up. The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months. Some people can have pain from PHN for years and it can interfere with daily life. About 10 to 13% of people who get shingles will experience PHN, although it is rare among people under 40 years of age. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye such as vision loss. Although rare, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
    What are your thoughts on the shingles vaccine?  Has your geographical area experienced shortages of the vaccination?
    For additional Information:
    Center for Disease Control, Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know
  25. Like
    J.Adderton got a reaction from abcdenrse in Progress, Challenges and Shortages: Top Medical News of 2018   
    As a nurse, it is likely you have found (or will find) a niche or specialty and keep up with pertinent news in your area of practice.  I enjoy stepping outside of my “box” to catch up on medical news outside of my specialty.  The world of healthcare changes everyday and it is impossible to touch on all that has occurred during the year  However, let’s look at a few updates and raise awareness about what is happening in our communities.
    The Opioid Crisis: Progress, Kratom and Dsuvia
    The opioid crisis continues to evolve daily, but 2018 did show signs of progress. The Health and Human Services Secretary announced that deaths related to opioid misuse plateaued during 2018.  Youth opioid misuse had declined over the past decade.  Other significant news:
    - In October, the Senate passed a bipartisan opioid package aimed at combating the opioid crisis.  The package will give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to require specific product packaging for opioids.  The legislation will also promote research to identify non-addictive medication alternatives for treating pain.  The legislation will help stop the flow of illegal drugs coming into the U.S. through the “STOP ACT”.
    - The FDA identified kratom, a popular over the counter herbal supplement, as an opioid and warned of risk associated with kratom ingredients.
    - The FDA approved the powerful opioid Dsuvia, made by AcelRX Pharmaceuticals.  Dsuvia has an opioid potency 5-10% higher than fentanyl.  Because of abuse and addiction risks, the drug is recommended for individuals who have not benefit and/or tolerated other pain management options. Read the FDA statement on the approval of Dsuvia
    Steep Increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
    STDs have reached an all-time high with 200,000 more reportables than occurred in 2016.  The increased occurrence of gonorrhea and syphilis stand out:
    Gonorrhea rates increased by 67% Syphilis rates doubled Young individuals are the most vulnerable Review the CDC's 2017 STD Surveillance Data here The cause behind the increased incident in STDs is multifactorial.  Local, state and federal funds have been cut, reducing the budget for STD prevention.  Sexual behaviors of gay men have changed over the past decade and correlates with an increase in syphilis rates.  This increase correlates with improved HIV treatments and the perceiption of less risk.
    A Severe and Deadly Flu Season: 
    According to the CDC’s Summary of the 2017-2018 Influenza Season, 2017-2018 flu season recorded influenza like illnesses (ILI) occurring at the highest percentage since 2009.  For 19 consecutive weeks, the rate of ILI was as high as the peak of 2009’s H1N1 pandemic.  As of October, 2018, 185 children died during the 2017-2018 season.  This is the highest number of flu related child deaths in any other regular flu season.  In 80% ofchild deaths, a flu vaccination was not received.  Read the full CDC Summary here.
    Hurricane Maria and Drug Shortages
    On September 20, 2017, hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, causing devastating damages to homes and infrastructures.  Puerto Rico manufactures approximately 40 drugs (approximately 10% of U.S. supply) for shipment to the U.S.  In 2018, the medical community continued dealing with the effects of Hurricane Maria.  The most significant shortages are linked to IV saline, levothyroxine and amino acids.  Consumers experienced an increase in price for levothyroxine post Hurricane Maria.
    Virtual Check-Ins a Medicare Reality
    Beginning January 1, 2019, Medicare will cover virtual care services.  In 2018, the Center for Medicare Services published the final rule for the physician fee schedule.  Providers will be able to use real time telephone interactions, as well as, audio with video.  Virtual check-ins will allow physicians to provide management and evaluation services to an established patient. Read 10 FAQs on This New Service
    2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes To….
    James P. Allison from the U.S. and Tasuku Honjo from Japan are the recipients of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine for advances in discovering how the immune system can be used to fight cancer.  Their work includes work to understand how proteins can act as a brake system on the body’s immune system. Read Press Release Here
    It is impossible to touch on all the news worthy medical advances in 2018 in this article.  However, I would enjoy reading the advancements, changes or challenges that stand out to you.  Take a minute to add your reflection in the comment section.
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