Month: April 2016

First Aid Kit for Outdoor Use: Guidelines You Should Follow

Of course a first aid kit is a must have for every home; but you should also have an additional one ready for outdoor explorations. This is because disaster can hit you both in and outside your home and as the name implies, you may find yourself the first on the scene with a medical emergency.

Information on Pre-assembled Kits

The majority of the outdoor enthusiasts prefer pre-assembled kits. This is primarily because getting them ready doesn’t require any additional effort. In addition, having one of these ready-to-use first aid kits also means that your kit will at least have all the basics. That’s not all; according to a survey conducted recently, the pre-assembled first aid kits are actually slightly economical compared to the home-made ones. Usually, these kits remain packed in water-resistant, compact pouches, which you will be able to refill when required.

The pre-assembled units are available in different sizes. Read on to know the factors that should be considered when deciding on the size of these kits.

Size of the group: This means a small kit would be fine for a small group but the kit size must increase as the size of the group increases. We would advise you to purchase a medium sized kit that would match the needs of both small groups and moderately big groups. If the group becomes bigger, you will always have the option of adding a few things to the kit.

Trip length: It’s obvious that when deciding on the first-aid kit’s size, you must always keep in mind the number of days you will be traveling for. The longer the trip, the bigger should be your first-aid kit. The same rule also applies for distance.

Special needs: A group consisted of people with specific medical issues will need to carry a bigger kit as the kit must include medicines and medical supplies required for managing each of those specific health problems.

Risks: If you have plans of taking part in potentially dangerous activities such as bushwalking during the trip, your kit must have additional space for accommodating extra ointments and bandages.

Information on DIY Kits

The home-assembled or do-it-yourself (DIY) first aid kits should contain at least the following items:

• Athletic tapes, blister treatments like moleskin, and adhesive bandages

• Prescription medications of people in the group, antibiotic ointments, ibuprofen, antacid tablets and sunscreen

• A petite mirror, knife, razor blade and tweezers

• Tick remover, bum dressing, antiseptic towels, and bee-sting kit

If the trip is challenging and filled with different adventurous activities, we would advise you to carry a few additional items. Some of the items you might want to include are forceps, thermometer, instant ice-pack, basic splint, and sling, ointments that offer relief from skin irritation, butterfly bandages, and gauze pads. You can also consult your doctor about the items you must keep with you during an adventure trip.

The Risks Of Taking OTC For Pain Management Are High

download (28)It can be an overwhelming to think about going to a pain management doctor. So most people will use medications the can get over-the-counter when trying to ease their chronic pain. And while this can work, the instructions have to be followed.

However, studies have found that the majority of those using OTC pain medications don’t and thus, put themselves at risk for other problems. One of the biggest concerns is an overdose, but there are risks of other side effects which can be serious as well. Some of those side effects include liver damage, stomach bleeding, ulcers or death.

A poll taken of 1,000 American adults with chronic pain, 30 years of age and older, that just under 45% admit they have taken more the OTC instructions recommend. Those OTC medications include acetaminophen and NSAIDs. This was without the guidance of a pain management doctor, choosing self-medicating instead.

Tolerable pain levels are different for everyone, but taking in excess of the recommended dosage of any OTC pain medication can cause significant complications and damage. Just as dangerous is combining NSAID pain relievers, which almost 40% of those polled, admitted to doing.

Any pain management doctor will tell you that patients with chronic use a higher dose of OTC pain relievers than is recommended by them or the manufacturer. The correlation between pain medication and overdosing isn’t something most patients make a connection until it is too late.

The same poll also found that just over 10 percent of the 66 percent with chronic pain had actually been diagnosed. That would me that many people trying to self-medicate their chronic pain with OTC medications instead of under the supervision of a pain management doctor.

Always Contact Your Doctor

The first thing you must realize when you are experiencing chronic pain, your symptoms won’t be like anyone else and nor will the cure be the same either. Each person is different in what their tolerance level is and there are other factors to consider as well.

So for anyone that is experiencing chronic pain, you should never hesitate to call your primary doctor. A short time of trying to self-medicate is understandable, but when it goes beyond 12 weeks, scheduling an appointment as soon as possible is a must. Depending on the circumstances, your primary doctor may feel that it is best to have you seen by a specialist in the area of the type of pain you’re having.

As a Freelance Writer the past 8 years, Audrey has written on several different topics in a variety of industries. Her 30+ years in Customer Service and Sales has given her an insight into many areas, which has been helpful in her writing.

Medication Disposal

download (27)Overdose deaths from the misuse of prescription drugs has reached epidemic proportions in our country. The diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances is the root of this epidemic and we can take steps to prevent it. Statistics reveal the majority of all people who use pharmaceutical controlled substances for non-medical reasons get the drugs from friends or family for free. Sometimes the abuse is an unknown condition and prescriptions are willingly shared to address claims of pain or the prescriptions are acquired as the result of theft. One critical step in preventing this diversion is for consumers and legitimate end users to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted or expired pharmaceutical controlled substances. Consumers are urged to do their part and properly dispose of unused medications to prevent theft or other diversion of their prescriptions into the hands of addicts.

Programs have been implemented to encourage Americans to properly dispose of medications that pose a serious safety hazard if left in their residential medicine cabinet. The best and safest method of disposing of pharmaceuticals is for consumers to deliver their unwanted medications to an authorized collection site. This can be done at a sponsored scheduled prescription “Take-Back” event or any time at a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authorized collection site. The number of available drop off locations increased after DEA amended the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 and expanded the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for the purpose of disposal. The public may find authorized collectors in their communities by calling the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539.

Two of the largest pharmacy chains in our country, CVS and Walgreens, have recently launched programs to allow consumers to return their unwanted medications for safe disposal. In 2013, CVS launched its CVS/Pharmacy Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, a Federal grant initiative. As part of this program, the company distributes drug collection bins to police departments and municipalities so they can set up environmentally responsible local drug disposal programs.(1) Walgreens plans to install safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C., primarily at locations open 24 hours.(2)

Healthcare providers and other DEA Registrants can learn how to properly dispose of unused controlled substances by viewing DEA’s disposal regulations at the DEA Diversion website or at the Federal Governments Regulations website. The Final Rule of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 authorizes certain DEA registrants (manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, narcotic treatment programs, retail pharmacies, and hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy) to modify their registration with the DEA to become authorized collectors. All collectors may operate a collection receptacle at their registered location, and collectors without an on-site means of destruction may operate a mail-back program. Retail pharmacies and hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy may also operate collection receptacles at long-term care facilities.(3)

DEA will conduct its 11th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative (NTBI) on April 30th, 2016 from 10am to 2pm. Collection sites will not accept any dangerous, hazardous, or non-compliant items such as medical sharps and needles (e.g., insulin syringes), or compressed cylinders or aerosols (e.g., asthma inhalers). To find the collection site nearest you, visit the DEA website, click on the “Got Drugs” icon and enter your zip code. During DEA’s last NTBI held on September 26, 2015, DEA and 3,800 other participating law enforcement agencies collected over 350 tons of unwanted prescriptions that could have otherwise been diverted into the hands of addicts.

The Possible Risks When Your Pain Doctor Prescribes Medication

download (26)There are many people who never experience a headache or muscle ache at some point. And for those, we often turn to an over-the-counter medication for relief. However, when the pain is chronic and severe, such as that experienced from arthritis, cancer, an injury or another issue, we seek help from a pain doctor.

The doctor will often prescribe a stronger medication such as a prescription opioid, which is a form of narcotics. Opioids are known to have side effects, some more serious than others. And if you are on other prescription medications, it can pose even more possible issues.

Your pain doctor may prescribe opioids to be taken around-the-clock to manage your chronic pain. In some cases, depending on the patient, their pain and other medications they may be taking, opioids may prescribe to take “as needed” for times when the pain “breaks through” the other pain medication. Breakthrough pain is when pain flares up, disregard of the round-the-clock pain medication.

What You Need To Tell Your Doctor

When your pain doctor prescribes opioid pain medications, you should advise them the following:

· How your pain responds to the medication

· If you are experiencing any side effects

· If you have other medical conditions that may increase any side effect risk

How Opioid Drugs Work

These drugs work using your brain, spinal cord and other parts of your body. They will bind the opioid receptors in your brain, spinal cord, etc. to reduce the number of pain messages that you brain receives. This, in turn, reduces the feelings of pain you experience.

Opioids Aren’t Friendly

While moderate to severe pain can be treated by opioids, they are not friends with many all medications, especially pain medications. Some opioid drugs are:

· codeine

· fentanyl

· hydrocodone

· hydrocodone/acetaminophen

· hydromorphone

· meperidine

· methadone

· morphine

· oxycodone

· oxycodone and acetaminophen

· oxycodone and naloxone

Most of the opioid medications that a pain doctor prescribes can be taken orally. Some of these must be taken by injection and there are some that are available in a patch now.

Should you feels as if the medications that you’re taking are having adverse reactions, never change how you take them or quit taking them before consulting with your doctor. You can always expect some type of reaction, but when they are causing you more problems than they are helping, your doctor will need to make some changes.

To just quit a medication totally on your own is dangerous and could cause a severe problem. If it is time for you to quit taking opioids, the doctor will have a process of weaning you slowly.

Side Effects To Expect

As we’ve stated earlier, you can expect to have some kind of side effect when taking opioids. This is why you need to have open communication with your pain doctor so that they can monitor and adjust as needed. Some of the side effects are:

· constipation

· drowsiness

· nausea

Always keep in mind that you should never consume alcohol while taking opioids. The combination can be dangerous and even deadly. Before you start taking any herbal or OTC medication in addition to what you’re already taking, consult with your pain doctor.

Audrey has been a Freelance Writer for 8 years. She lives with her husband of 38 years in a small North Texas town. They have 3 grown children, 5 grandchildren. They find antique stores, flea markets, garage sales, and resale shops to be a necessity as they restore their 100-year-old house they live in.