Welcome to my blog about health, nursing, caring, kindness and positive change. Our world is full of such negative influences and bad choices, today is the day to make a positive change both physically and mentally in your life.
ERNursesCare is a blog incorporating my nearly 30 years of experience in the healthcare field with my passion for helping others, I want it to encourage others with injury prevention, healthy living, hard hitting choices, hot topics and various ramblings from my unique sense of humor. Come along and enjoy your journey......

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Are you the distracted driver?

Credit article Distraction.gov

 Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
Texting Using a cell phone or smartphone
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading, including maps
Using a navigation system
Watching a video
Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses.
On this page, you'll find facts and statistics that are powerfully persuasive. If you don't already think distracted driving is a safety problem, please take a moment to learn more. And, as with everything on Distraction.gov, please share these facts with others. Together, we can help save lives. Got questions? Ask!

Key Facts and Statistics

  • In 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  • In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009. (CTIA)
  • 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.(Monash University)
  • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI)
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the 
  • equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)
  • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)

The best way to help fight distracted driving is to get educated, and this page is a great place to start. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that will help you better understand the safety threat posed by texting and cell phone use on America's roadways.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

#Nurses and #Bloggers we need your help on December 18th

Nurses I Ask a Favor of you too!! Join the Blog World on December 18th for a day of Silence and Support for Sandy Hook and the senseless tragedy that happened that day. How can we ever understand why? My heart absolutely hurts tonight so much thinking about those dead children and the adults that died with them.
I look at my Christmas tree and weep thinking of the parents and loved ones that have been so heartbroken here right before the holidays. Having so much medical knowledge in my head does not help me deal with this any better, as an ER nurse I can envision the trauma that those poor babies endured and how they may have passed from this earth to a heavenly plan. I pray that my daddy met them with open arms at the gates of glory and led them to the foot of Jesus and told them that they were safe now.
Please read the bloggers plee below and on Tuesday December 18th, lets show Newtown CT that we care, support them and help those families get thru this tragic time.


To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Yesterday, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services.

Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic
and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their
highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support
groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way.

Thank you in advance for participating.


The Blog World

P.S. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dearest Nurse Saldanha, a letter to you in your death

I read this on allnurses.com yesterday and just had to share it because I feel the same As a nurse the death of a fellow nurse, no matter what country she is from hurts deeply. The circumstances that led up to her suicide were so appalling to me and I can't believe that no one from the radio station where the radio hosts worked have even offered up an apology to the nurse's family. Rest in Peace sweet child and know that you are not forgotten. We mourn your death and understand how delicate life is, how it changes so fast, nurses are not immune to the pressures of daily stressors, we need to care for each other, manage our fellow coworkers up and pay closer attention to small details that might just save a life. 

STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

An undated family photograph of Jacintha Saldanha, the Indian-origin nurse who died after being hoaxed by an Australian radio show trying to reach Prince William's wife in London.
More info on news Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/12/13/inquest-british-nurse-in-suspected-suicide-left-notes-found-hanged-following-prank-call/#ixzz2F0jatdqf

Article from AllNurses.com
credit to author BostonTerrierLoverRN

Dearest British "Hoaxed" Nurse (Nurse Saldanha):

As an American Nurse I know our scope may be different, but we are both "nurses" none-the-less. There is more that is in-common, than is different. We both have strengths and weaknesses. We both aim to serve societies ills to the best of our ability, and ease pain and suffering from the lowest of the low, to the top of the elite. 

We give nonjudgmental holistic care, and even though we may fuss and whine about our job in private amongst our peers, we love our profession! And, our patients would never be able to guess our bad days because we are also professionals at masking pain, worry, anxiety, and depression as we go through our day. 

You know as well as I, there's never enough hours in that day! I'm so sorry your no longer here with us, but you will never be forgotten. Your death was not in-vain. I pledge to pay closer attention to my staff colleagues, and their issues-whether new or current, or something they've been struggling with- and still serve at the bedside, clinic, or even at the Midlevel position. 

I am so sorry such a thoughtless act of treachery took you from the world for a "laugh" at the most. I share in the millions mourning your death, and I hold no judgement for you. You, as we're programmed to do, put your self at the bottom of the issue- even as "disposable," as the problem you didn't asked for- seemed bigger than yourself. 

I'm so sorry you are gone(taken from your family and "us"), but as long as we arm ourselves with knowledge that our whole life can change in a split moment, and that there are those out there that obviously don't respect the intensity of our pressures: You did not die in vain. 

You will ever be present in our heart as a martyr for the truth of the rigors of our profession, and the Nursing Profession feels and mourns your unfair and untimely loss! 

We hear in the News you were a trustworthy, dedicated, compassionate, and knowlegable colleage to have. That's the highest praise a Nurse could hope for-You Will be Missed!

In never-ending love,
Boston, and:
Your Brothers and Sisters of the International Nursing Profession!
May You Rest in Eternal Peace!!!!!!!

Please add your Condolences or Respects if you wish in the comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flu Season :Common sense people!

It is still not to late to think about your flu shot, think about those around you!
We are seeing an increased number of patients in the ED and all over with various cold/ flu and viral type complaints. Please consider staying home if you are ill with " flu like symptoms" and are not extremely sick. The Emergency department is just that, for emergencies. The flu is not an emergency, your symptoms can be treated just fine at home unless you develop secondary infections like pneumonia or become severely dehydrated. Coming to the ED with the complaints " flu like symptoms",coughing all over other people who might be in the ED waiting room due to real emergent conditions is not cool. Please don't bring your children to the ED either just because you want them checked out to make sure they don't have the flu. If they didn't have it before you brought them, they will when you leave.
Please use some common sense people! Take care of yourself!

Treatment: what do I do?

If you have been diagnosed with the flu, you should stay home and follow your health care provider’s recommendations. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about over-the-counter and prescription medications to ease flu symptoms and help you feel better faster.

  • You can treat flu symptoms with and without medication.
  • Over-the-counter medications may relieve some flu symptoms but will not make you less contagious.
  • Your health care provider may prescribe antiviral medications to make your illness milder and prevent serious complications.
  • Your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics if your flu has progressed to a bacterial infection.
  • How can I treat congestion?

    Decongestants can ease discomfort from stuffy noses, sinuses, ears, and chests. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about which kind is right for you.

    How can I treat coughing and sore throat?

    Cough medicine, cough drops, and throat lozenges can temporarily relieve coughing and sore throat. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about which kind is right for you.

    How can I reduce fevers and discomfort?

    Fevers and aches can be treated with a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®, for example), ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) (Aleve®).If you have kidney disease or stomach problems, check with your health care provider before taking any NSAIDS.

    Is it safe to take flu medications with other over-the-counter or prescription medicines?

    Many over-the-counter medications contain the same active ingredients. If you take several medicines with the same active ingredient you might be taking more than the recommended dose. This can cause serious health problems. Read all labels carefully.

    If you are taking over-the-counter or prescription medications not related to the flu, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about which cold and flu medications are safe for you.

    When should I seek emergency medical attention?

    Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
    • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • Seizures
    • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Aggravated ED RN ;)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Put down the phone~ respect the best

I am astonished by the number of patients that I have come across in the last few weeks that simply refuse to put down their precious cell phones when a medical professional enters a room to talk to them or provide care to them.

Case in point, one of my colleagues a few weeks ago enters a ED room to medicate one of my patients prior to her discharge. This particular patient was on her cell phone checking her bank account which seemed much more important to her than care. My coworker asked her to put down her phone so he could give her medications and discharge instructions, she looked at him like he was an alien with 3 heads and proceeded to continue to talk. Now what part of that makes any sense?

If you present to any ER, doctors office or medical establishment you are expecting to be taken care of by professionals. The healthcare field is a community of people who dedicate their lives (well most of us) to making sure you live long and well lives. Doctors and nurses spend countless hours in school, training and then continue to learn as an ongoing process.

Your personal life can wait a few minutes while you are in the Emergency Department so you can give your caregiver the respect and time that they are taking with you. Put your darn phone away! We understand that life is fast, we all have kids and families too! How would you feel if I as your Er nurse entered your room chatting to my spouse via my cell phone and you were having a heart attack or other life threatening event. What if I felt like my phone call was more important than you? Not cool!

So next time take a minute to remember that your healthcare professional is taking time to devote their attention to you, give them the respect they deserve and get off your phone, texting included.


That's my soapbox for today ;) ~~~Leslie



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fighting the Nasty Bugs at Home~

Great information from Dr Oz.com and Donna Cardillo,RN MA, check out her blog for more fabulous info and ways to Avert the Flu this season!
So before you run to the ER with your cold and flu nasty's (and infect the ER nurses like me) try a few of these home remedies first, they do work.

Cold and Flu Home Remedies

Boost your immune system, stay healthy, fight the pesky flu bug (and others), and treat the symptoms if you do come down with something with these home remedies. Click here for my blog on the 11 Ways to Avert the Flu.

Green tea is known to have many properties that can help keep you in tip-top health – and therefore better prepared to ward off cold and flu bugs. The jury is out on how many cups of tea are optimal, but 2-3 per day are often recommended. If you do come down with cold or flu symptoms (or feel them coming on), consider 3-4 cups of green tea per day to expedite ridding your body of those nasty bugs and give your body’s defenses an extra jolt.

Ginger’s health benefits have long been touted. Steep several slices of fresh ginger root in hot water and sip for an extra health boost or to soothe a cough or scratchy throat. 

Honey is known to bolster the immune system. A daily dose of honey can help you to feel energetic and stay healthy. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties; if you do develop a sore or scratchy throat, honey will soothe and help heal. Use it in your tea, coffee, plain hot water or by itself. You can even gargle with honey (and lemon) in salt water when the mixture is at room temperature. (Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age.)

Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which is known to support the body’s natural defenses. Lemon (and lime) juice is reported to decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body and reduce phlegm. Add lemon juice to your tea or make hot or cold lemonade with honey to stay well, build resistance to cold and flu, and speed up healing if you do succumb.     

Garlic may be known to ward off vampires, but it can also ward off colds and flu. Garlic contains the immune-boosting compound allicin, also know to relieve cold and flu symptoms. Chop or crush 1-2 gloves of fresh garlic and “steep” them in hot water; then, drink it like a tea. This may also help others keep their distance from you (unless they’re attracted to the smell of garlic), preventing further spread of the virus (wink, wink).

Peppermint tea is laced with nutrients that help the body fight off illness. It also can act as an expectorant, helping the body to cough up mucous.

Salt water in homemade saline nasal sprays, nasal washes, and gargles has long been used effectively to soothe sore throats, and keep respiratory passages moist, decongested and free of invading pathogens. If you do get a sore throat, gargle with half a teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 cup of warm water, four times per day. For nasal washing, use a neti pot or bulb syringe with a quarter teaspoon salt in 1 cup of warm water. Tip head to one side over sink or basin and gently introduce solution to higher nostril. Allow solution to drain from the other nostril. Repeat procedure by then tipping head to opposite side.Note: Although many use warm tap water in their neti pots, distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water is recommended for purity/safety. Be sure to clean and dry the neti pot after each use to prevent the introduction of harmful bacteria into the nasal passages/sinuses.

Steam can help to relieve stuffiness and congestion. Boil a pot of water on the stove and then slowly breathe in the steam. Be careful as steam can cause burns. If the steam makes your nasal passages burn, pull your head back slightly and breathe in more slowly.
The truth is many of the old standard home remedies, when used regularly and properly, can be your body’s best – and least expensive – defense against colds and the flu, also helping to minimize their impact if they do take hold.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What do Nurses Do? and don't do!

                                                         Source: bing.com via Theresa on Pinterest
                                                                        Source: Uploaded by user via Sarah on Pinterest


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Born to Ride..............Sober

Don't you agree? Don't drive a "Donor cycle"

Emergency Numbers That You Can Really Use!

Lest we forget sometimes that the Great Physician is really in control! A bit of prayer and faith goes a long way in the recovery and healing of our souls. Remember that!

                                                                         Source: hannicraft.blogspot.com via Theresa on Pinterest

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[Disturbing] A Deadly Game played the last time

Warning: The video in this post may be very disturbing if you have ever lost a child! Especially if you have lost a child to "The Choking Game" 

Yes what you witnessed in the video was the accidental death of a boy who played "The Choking Game" for the last time, little did he know that would be his last time. He thought he would film a webcam video to prove to others how well he could do this "game" and survive it. This was not his first time, it was his last!

How can we as parents and adults continue to let this happen, the boy in the webcam  thinks that he can show just how easy it is to "choke" yourself, to get this "buzz or rush" of a feeling that these stupid kids think is ok. As you can see, this boy was alone so when he begins to pass out he can not control his body any longer and thus DIES!!! Dead right there while his own webcam records his death! How horrible!
We as parents tell our kids not to drink, do drugs or have sex, those things right now are the least of our worries! Kids as young as 9 yrs old are dying all over the world playing this stupid game.
Hundreds of videos on all the online and social media sites like Youtube show children how to do things that you won't believe.
Have you as a parent, educator, or health care worker ever been to the website Youtube  have you ever searched for topics like " how to play the choking game"? Try it, you will be shocked at what you will find!

Lets make a pledge to be better educated and save our children! Visit www.Ed4Ed4all.com and let us help

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October is National Bullying Awareness Month!

Lets make 2012 the year that we all woke up from our slumber and got on the ball about this bullying issue!
What on earth do people think they are doing, adults, teens and children are all being bullied by people who in my honest opinion (from the movie The Water Boy)  need a "can of whoop ass" opened up on them! It makes me so mad to see people treated in such a manner.
Educate yourself and know the signs, know how to respond and how to help those who are bullied. If you are the victim, know that you need help and not to suffer in silence! You are a wonderful, worthy and  a much better person than your bully! God does not make junk!

Today, 160,000 kids stayed home from school. Not because they were sick or forgot to do their homework, but because they were afraid of being harassed by a bully. One in every four kids get bullied, which adds up to 13 million kids a year.

October 1st marks the beginning of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month .  Each year millions of children and youth experience the humiliation and devastating effects of bullying.  Bullying damages the physical, social, and emotional well-being of its victims. It also hurts the children who bully, as well as those who watch it happen. In fact, bullying creates a climate of fear, callousness, and disrespect for everyone involved.  SAMHSA is committed to reducing the impact of bullying and we will take this month to share information about bullying and its impact, and how everyone can and should play a part in taking action against bullying. (Credit to the SAMSHA blog for some of the info provided here)

Bullying 101 :

Bullying begins in the preschool years, peaks in early adolescence, and continues, but with less frequency, into the high school years. But bullying does NOT have to be a part of growing up.
Bullying is a form of emotional or physical abuse that has three defining characteristics:
  1. Deliberate – the child that bullies’ intention is to hurt someone
  2. Repeated—the child that bullies often targets the same victim again and again
  3. Power Imbalanced—the child that bullies chooses victims he or she perceives as vulnerable
Bullying occurs in many different forms, with varying levels of severity. It may involve:
  • Physical Bullying—poking, pushing, hitting, kicking, beating up
  • Verbal Bullying—yelling, teasing, name-calling, insulting, threatening to harm
  • Relational Bullying—ignoring, excluding, spreading rumors, telling lies, getting others to hurt someone

Know the Warning Signs 

A culture of silence often surrounds bullying. Many children who are bullied never tell anyone. 

Most bullying is not reported because children . . .
  • Don’t recognize it as bullying
  • Are embarrassed
  • Don’t want to appear weak
  • Believe they deserve it
  • Want to belong
  • Fear retaliation
  • Don’t know how to talk about it
  • Don’t have a trusted adult to confide in
  • Think adults won’t understand
  • Think nothing can be done about it
Just because you don't see it, and children don't talk about it, doesn't mean bullying isn't happening. Even when children fail to report bullying, they often show warning signs.

What are some warning signs of bullying?

  • Unexplained damage or loss of clothing and other personal items
  • Evidence of physical abuse, such as bruises and scratches
  • Loss of friends; changes in friends
  • Reluctance to participate in activities with peers
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Unusually sad, moody, anxious, lonely, or depressed
  • Problems with eating, sleeping, bed-wetting
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or other physical complaints
  • Decline in school achievement
  • Thoughts of suicide
Some children may withdraw, while others may get angry and seek revenge. Don’t assume the problem will go away on its own: Invite children to talk about what is bothering them. If you find out a child is being bullied, show support, help develop a response strategy, and follow up to make sure the bullying does not continue.

What You Can Do 

Recommendations and Strategies for Adults

If you don't intervene, bullies, victims, and bystanders will continue to believe in the power of bullying, rather than the power of prevention. They will continue to let bullying happen. So, why don't adults intervene more often? Sometimes, it’s because we don't see it happen; we’re not sure what to look for. But often, it’s because we don't know what to do or we're afraid that our actions will somehow make matters worse
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
  • Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
  • Separate the kids involved.
  • Make sure everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
  • Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
  • Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
  • Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
  • Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
  • Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
  • Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
  • A weapon is involved.
  • There are threats of serious physical injury.
  • There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
  • There is serious bodily harm.
  • There is sexual abuse.
  • Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.

What ever you do, Do something! don't just stand by in silence!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Heard You Got a Bad Bug....

Don't put off flu shot, there's plenty for all, CDC says

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for everyone over 6 months old.

Yet relatively few get them. Last year, only 43% of Americans got a flu shot, and that was a record year. In developed countries, flu kills more people than any other vaccine-preventable disease, says pediatrician Jon Abramson of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

This year, 42% of consumers say they plan to skip the flu shot, according to a new survey of nearly 1,500 adults by CVS pharmacy, which shared survey results exclusively with USA TODAY.

In the United States, flu season runs from October to May, with most cases occurring between late December and early March.

Signs and Symptoms of the flu

The flu is often confused with the common cold, but flu symptoms usually are more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold.

Symptoms, which usually begin about 2 days after exposure to the virus, can include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • tiredness
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • weakness
  • ear pain
  • diarrhea
Infants with the flu also may seem fussy all of a sudden or just "not look right."


After 5 days, fever and other symptoms have usually disappeared, but a cough and weakness may continue.

All symptoms are usually gone within a week or two. However, it's important to treat the flu seriously because it can lead to pneumonia and other life-threatening complications, particularly in infants, senior citizens, and people with long-term health problems.

Experts talk about some of the most common myths about the flu and the flu shot

Myth 1: The flu is just a bad cold.

A cold is an annoyance. The flu kills up to 49,000 people a year and hospitalizes 200,000, the CDC says. Last year, 114 children died. Flu symptoms tend to appear suddenly, unlike a cold. People who get H1N1 (swine flu) are often laid up for a week with fever, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, headaches and a runny or congested nose, says the CDC.

Myth 2: The flu shot causes the flu.

About 35% of consumers think the flu vaccine can cause flu, CVS found. But that's impossible, CDC says, because the viruses in the flu shot are dead. Its most common side effect is a sore arm. Mist nasal spray contains weakened viruses, so they don't cause severe symptoms, either. Side effects in kids can include a runny nose, wheezing and headache.

Myth 3: New "combined" shots are riskier than older ones.

This year's shot, which protects against both H1N1 and seasonal flu, was made the same way as every other flu shot, says Randy Bergen of Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, Calif. Every year, vaccine makers include viral strains that are most likely to cause illness. Typically, these include two influenza A strains — an H1N1 and an H3N2 — and a strain of influenza B, Abramson says.

Myth 4: Only sickly people need a flu shot.

Half of consumers think flu shots are only for kids or sick people, CVS found. Actually, the most vulnerable members of society, such as newborns or those with weak immune systems, often can't get flu shots. The only way to protect them is to vaccinate everyone around them, keeping flu viruses out of circulation, Bergen says. Because babies can't be vaccinated until they're 6 months old, they depend on vaccinated friends and family members to create a "cocoon" of protection , Bergen says.

Myth 5: Flu shots contain toxic chemicals such as mercury.

About 14% of those surveyed said flu shots were dangerous. Concerns about mercury have revolved around a preservative called thimerosal, once commonly used in vaccines but mostly phased out since 2001 . Today, no thimerosal is added to FluMist nasal spray or to flu shots from single-dose containers, says Paul Offit, infectious-disease expert at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Companies add thimerosal to only flu vaccine stored in multi-dose vials, to prevent fungus or other potentially dangerous germs, Bergen says. There's no evidence that the low levels of thimerosal in shots cause any harm, says Offit. Thimerosal contains ethyl mercury, not methyl mercury, the type that can cause brain damage, he says. The low levels of ethyl mercury found in multi-dose flu shots have never been shown to cause harm, Offt says. There's also no data to prove that thimerosal causes autism, either, Offit adds. In fact, seven studies now refute that idea. Offit notes that flu shots don't use aluminum, which is used in other vaccines as an "adjuvant" to stimulate a stronger immune response.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why not get protection from the flu?

Simple protection from a potentially deadly problem, a flu shot every year is all that it takes. Yet so many people make excuses not to get one, I used to be one of those people even as a healthcare worker,and I got the vaccine for free for Pete's sake. I would make up every excuse under the sun to avoid getting a "shot" , such a baby, until I actually got the flu and was so miserably sick I could not move. I did some reading myself, educated myself about the flu types, causes, vaccines and potential effects if not vaccinated and I was quickly sold on the fact that I was being crazy not to vaccinate myself as a healthcare worker and endangering my patients also. I have never gotten the flu from a flu shot, not possible, it is not the live vaccine you are getting unless you get the nasal spray.
I read a good article today via NBCNews vital signs that talked about how the number of people in the US getting the influenza vaccine has declined, so we will no have many more very ill patients to treat this year I guess? Below is excerpts of that article.

“Influenza is five times more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than women who are not pregnant,” said Dr. Laura Riley of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

But a CDC survey released Thursday showed that just 47 percent of pregnant women had a flu vaccine last year. If their doctors both recommended and provided the vaccine, nearly 74 percent of pregnant women got the shot. Just 11 percent of women whose doctor said nothing got immunized.

Even though doctors have been stressing for years that flu vaccines cannot give people the flu, a full quarter of the pregnant women who refused the vaccine said they believed it would infect them. Another 13 percent thought their babies were at risk.

“Pregnant women worry about everything,” Riley said. “We spend a lot of time in this country talking about you can’t eat this, you can’t eat that. It takes us a little while to get the message out about how efficacious (the vaccine) is. We are preventing a very severe disease potentially and we are protecting your baby.” Vaccination does not raise the risk of miscarriages or birth defects.

Flu may be off many people’s radar because the last two years haven’t been especially bad, and because the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic didn’t turn out to be as bad an initially feared.

Yet, 1,300 children died from H1N1 that year and about 100 U.S. children die every year from flu, half of them previously perfectly healthy, CDC says. The CDC estimates that anywhere between 3,000 to 49,000 people a year die from flu in the United States. A lot depends on the strains circulating.

“Flu is unpredictable. Just because we got off easy last season does not mean we will get off easy this season,” Riley said.

The other group that should have 100 percent vaccination is health care workers. The CDC data show that more than 86 percent of physicians are vaccinated, followed by more than three-quarters of nurses. But the numbers plummet to just half of workers in long-term care facilities, where patients are especially vulnerable to flu.

“I believe that the immunization of the health care provider community is both an ethical and professional responsibility,” said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “It’s a patient safety issue so that we do not transmit our influenza infection. When an outbreak strikes, we need to be vertical, not horizontal.

As with the pregnant women, health workers were more likely to get vaccinated if it was easy for them. More than 78 percent of health care workers got immunized if free vaccine was made available for several days at work. And 21 percent of the health workers said getting flu vaccine was now a condition of employment. More employers should consider making it a requirement, said Litjen Tan of the American Medical Association.

This year, 135 million doses of flu vaccine will be available to the U.S. market. People can get vaccinated at pharmacies, at big-box stores, grocery stores, doctor’s offices and often at their places of employment. Most private insurance companies and Medicare pay for the whole cost of the vaccine.

And while the vaccines are not specifically formulated to protect against some new flu strains that a few people have caught from pigs, they may offer some help, health officials said.

So far, the three new variants identified this year -- H3n2v (the little v stands for “variant”), H1N1v and H1N2v -- don’t spread easily from person to person. Almost everyone infected has been close to pigs. One person has died from the new H3N2v virus, but everyone else has recovered. The CDC’s Dr. Daniel Jernigan says people alive in the 1990s have some immunity to the H3N2 version, and the new H1N1v is close to the strain that the current vaccine targets, although the protection is not perfect.

credit:By Maggie Fox, NBC News

Please protect yourself and your loved ones, most of all our unborn babies and get your flu vaccine this year I am!

~~Leslie RN




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