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......

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Allergic Reactions What's All The Buzz About #health #allergies

Allergic reactions are sensitivities to substances called allergens that come into contact with the skin, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. They can be breathed into the lungs, swallowed, or injected( like a sting)
Allergic reactions are common. The immune response that causes an allergic reaction is similar to the response that causes hay fever. Most reactions happen soon after contact with an allergen. Severe reactions usually happen within minutes to a couple hours after the contact.
Hives on the back of an acute allergic reaction- courtesy of WikiMedia 
Many allergic reactions are mild, while others can be severe and life-threatening. They can be confined to a small area of the body, or they may affect the entire body. The most severe form is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions occur more often in people who have a family history of allergies.
Substances that don't bother most people (such as venom from bee stings and certain foods, medications, and pollens) can trigger allergic reactions in others.
Common Allergens
Although first-time exposure may only produce a mild reaction, repeated exposures may lead to more serious reactions. Once a person has had an exposure or an allergic reaction (is sensitized), even a very limited exposure to a very small amount of allergen can trigger a severe reaction. These people need to carry an Epipen at all times. Your doctor can prescribe one for you to use.
For example you develop a small red rash after taking an antibiotic, your body produces a reaction to that medication and sensitizes you. You are now much more likely to develop a severe or life threatening reaction the next time you take an antibiotic in the same drug family as the first one.
What are we allergic to?
It can be: foods, plants, latex, medications, dyes, insects,animals,bee stings, fibers, soaps,chemicals, you name it.
Cockroaches are a major source of allergen exposure in inner-city areas. Of the thousands of species, only a few are important sources of indoor allergens. The German and American cockroaches are the most commonly encountered (shown). Cockroach allergens are derived from saliva, feces, secretions, and dead bodies. The allergens are similar in size to house-dust mite allergens (roughly 10 μm), and remain airborne for short periods of time. An association between cockroach sensitization and asthma exacerbation has been described and may be a major source of morbidity for inner-city, low-socioeconomic patients. An image of an American cockroach is shown courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sometimes you can develop an allergic reaction to something and never figure out the culprit unless you have testing done.
Identifying a culprit allergen can be very difficult, given the wide variety of compounds that humans are exposed to on a daily basis. A number of grid-based skin tests are available. In prick, or scratch, testing a purified allergen is intradermally injected to evaluate for a response. This method is commonly used for pet dander, dust, pollen, foods, and house-dust mites. In patch testing, allergens are kept in contact with the skin via hypoallergenic tape for an extended period of time to assess for a subsequent allergic inflammatory response. This method is commonly used for latex, medications, preservatives, and metals. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Allergic Reaction Treatment from eMedicine.com
Self-Care at Home
Avoid triggers! If you know you have an allergic reaction to peanuts, for example, do not eat them and go out of your way to avoid foods prepared with or around peanuts (see Food Allergy).
Self-care at home is not enough in severe reactions. A severe reaction is a medical emergency.
Do not attempt to treat or "wait out" severe reactions at home. Go immediately to a hospital emergency department.
If no one is available to drive you right away, call an ambulance for emergency medical transport.
Use your epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen) if you have been prescribed one by your doctor due to previous allergic reactions.
Slight reactions with mild symptoms usually respond to nonprescription allergy medications.
Oral antihistamines
Loratadine (Claritin or Alavert), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (Allegra) are nonsedating antihistamines that can be taken over the long term.
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can also be taken but may make you too drowsy to drive or operate machinery safely. It can affect concentration and interfere with children's learning in school. These medications should be taken for only a few days.
For rashes or skin irritations, an anti-inflammatory steroid cream such as hydrocortisone can be used.
For small, localized skin reactions, use a cold, wet cloth or ice for relief. Apply a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel as an ice pack.

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cardiac Arrest Vs. Heart Attack , Do You Know The Difference #february #heartmonth #gored

Lets get smart for our hearts, this month is heart month, educate yourself on your heart, stroke awareness and what your numbers are. Heart disease is a killer of women everyday, any of us could be next. Put on those red dresses and strut your heart healthy stuff!

Winter Dragging You Down: How Can You Stay Healthy #asktheexperts #healthtips

I was delighted to be included in this article listing some great tips to stay healthy during the long winter months. Along with some long followed professionals in the medical field I feel proud to have my tips and face included. Winter this year has been tough, here in the south we have had our share of ice, snow and low temperatures. The flu has claimed many here and there are still a few more weeks of winters long arms left to pull us down to our knees. Take the tips given seriously, even though many are simple ones. Simple tips are sometimes the best for your body.
Thank you to  Terpening Insurance for putting together this great post. 

Don’t Let Winter Drag You Down: 5 Tips to Stay Healthy

The winter months inevitably arrive with coughing and sneezing. A sudden change of colder temperature means runny noses and sore throats. You may feel like there is nothing you can do to stop from catching these symptoms, but prevention is possible! Feel your best this winter with tips from some professionals on how to stay healthy during this cold season.

1) Hydrate!

Brittany WilsonIt’s easier to remember to consume H2O in the summer when you are sweating buckets and parched from thirst. The cold winter months are another story. Although you may be tempted to fill up on hot chocolate, sugar will just make your immune system weaker. RN Britney Wilson, also know as The Nerdy Nurse, passionately shares how water intake keeps you healthy.
Stay hydrated! Drink water, water, and more water. There are so many occasions where you might be tempted to drink empty calories or sugar and sodium packed beverages that may satiate a craving, but are not fulfilling your bodies desire for straight-up water.
Often, indoor heating in winter will dry you out and dehydrate you. Keep a large bottle of water with you during the day, and by your bed to make sure you continue to consume water throughout the night.

2) Sanitize, Sanitize

Kathy QuanYou may have been told the importance of washing your hands since you’ve known how to talk, but it’s easy to think it’s something we only have to do after using the restroom or before eating. In winter months, it’s especially important to keep germs from being spread. Nurse Kathy Quan, founder of The Nursing Site, tells us how to properly use hand sanitizer when washing isn’t an option.
Winter tends to be a very busy time with holidays and all as opposed to spring and summer where people tend to relax more and the mood is more laid back.  In the hurry up mode, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. That starts with good hand washing habits. If you use hand sanitizers, understand that they are designed to air dry and during this air drying process the germs are killed. Don’t try to wipe it off, let it evaporate.
It’s convenient to carry around a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or even attached to your keychain. Make it a habit to use regularly throughout the day, especially when you’re in a public place like a grocery store. You never know who had their hands on that cart before you!

3) Get Your 40 Winks

Leslie BlockWe asked Leslie Block, a nurse of twenty-five years, and the editor of ER Nurses Care how to stay healthy during winter, and she emphasized the importance of rest and adequate sleep.
We all seem to be busy and forget that nutrition and getting enough sleep are simple things you can do to stay healthy. If you get run down, your body’s immune system is more prone to picking up the first thing that comes along.
A good night’s sleep will do wonders for your immune system. Listen to your body. Often you can tell when you’re coming down with something by your sudden fatigue. Take a nap!

4) Take Your Vitamins

Keith CarlsonThere are many natural supplements you can take to help prevent catching that bug everyone you know has. RN and Nurse CoachKeith Carlson shares his favorite.
In terms of staying healthy over the winter, I recommend drinking a lot of water, washing hands very frequently (especially when in public places like stores and gas stations), and getting enough rest. Zinc is very helpful, especially when you’ are sick or just coming down with something.
Vitamin C and Echinacea are also helpful and available in many different forms over-the-counter, including fruit flavored chews.

5) Be Good to Yourself

The bottom line is this: take good care of yourself! It is easy to keep going through your daily routine and ignore your body until symptoms come up, but prevention is the best way to have a healthy and productive winter. Follow these simple tips by staying hydrated, clean, well-rested and filled with good nutrition. Eat a healthy and balanced diet and stay active. You will not only survive cold and flu season, but thrive with more energy and life!

Read more here http://www.terpeninginsurance.com/winter-health-tips and check out more information on their blog

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Smashing Your Fears: Lung Leavin Day 2014

Today is a landmark day for a fabulous lady, "Heather Von St James", a mom, a wife, a woman and a fighter!

This post has been particularly hard for me to write due to my own mothers recent diagnosis of Stage 4 Lung Cancer ( not mesothelioma ). I am typing here bedside her bed in ICU as she struggles to breath and stay alive just one more day. My mom smoked for at least 50 years and I know she must pay the ultimate price now.

Heather on the other hand is a survivor of mesothelioma, a lung cancer seen with exposure to asbestos. She is a rare jewel, here is her story and why February 2nd is so special to her each year.


My name is Heather and I am an 8-year survivor of mesothelioma – a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. When I was diagnosed, I had just given birth to my little girl and was told I had 15 months to live. After undergoing a risky surgery, which required the removal of my left lung, I beat the odds and created Lung Leavin’ Day as a way to commemorate this day that changed my life forever.

Lung Leavin’ Day is now used to encourage others to face their fears! One important thing cancer taught me is the importance of acknowledging these apprehensions that prevent us from living life to the fullest extent.

Each year on February 2, friends and family gather at my house for a bonfire where we write our fears on plates and smash them into the fire.

This year, we are asking you to face your fears and raise awareness of this event by virtually participating in Lung Leavin’ Day!

I have created an interactive page that tells the full story of this special day, which can be found here: Mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday

What are you fears? We all have them....let's smash them today and celebrate Heather's day with her in celebration! A celebration of life!



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