Letter From the Editor: Dr. Cindy Haines - April Edition
TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spring officially arrived March 20 -- here's hoping the weather catches up soon! It has been a long, hard winter for many of us. A focus on the weather can provide an opportunity to remember that such variables can impact physical as well as emotional health:
ASA: Lower Annual Temp Tied to More Stroke Hospitalizations
Hospitalizations for stroke and associated death rates may increase with changes in environmental temperature and dew point, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 12 to 14 in San Diego.
And while warm (dare we even say hot?) days may still be fodder for fantasy, other headlines remind us that a hard winter may mean a hard summer, which can potentially impact mortality:
Hot Weather-Related Deaths Expected to Climb
A considerable increase in heat-related mortality is anticipated in the coming years, partly driven by projected population growth and aging, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
I believe mindfulness around such "everyday" variables could make global differences in how we approach health and healing. Mindfulness around another everyday issue for health care providers was highlighted in a recent health headline proclaiming stethoscopes may be more contaminated than most parts of a physician's examining hand. Bad news, yes. Or maybe it's not news at all? I say there is news here (and good news, too): Once we are aware, reminded, and mindful of this potential issue, there are simple steps we can take to help better protect our patients.
Stethoscopes Contaminated After Single Physical Exam
Stethoscopes get contaminated after a single physical exam, with the contamination greater than that seen on most of the physician's dominant hand, barring the fingertips, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
What could be better than staying abreast of (and being reminded of) best practices for better medicine? Getting your CME credits for doing it! We began offering the opportunity to earn free AMA PRA Category 1 credits on select Physician's Briefing articles in the fall of 2013. Adding free CME credits to Physician's Briefing articles is a result of the joint sponsorship of Paradigm Medical Communications LLC and HealthDay. Paradigm Medical Communications LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education credit to physicians. After reading articles that are accredited for CME, physicians can create their own online accounts, track their learning activity, and easily print certificates.
Physician's Briefing articles with AMA PRA Category 1 credit are available via five daily articles in the five featured specialties of: Cardiology, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Family Medicine, Hematology & Oncology, and OBGYN & Women's Health.
But let's get back to the weather as springtime approaches (slowly but surely!), allergies will once again rise to the surface in our minds as we see more and more sniffling and coughing patients in our offices. Let's discuss! Please join us for our next Twitter Chat scheduled for Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET. We are partnering with Mayo Clinic to chat with a variety of allergy experts from UCLA Health, the Cleveland Clinic, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, National Jewish Health, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Hashtag: #AllergyChat.
In the meantime and as always, please let me know how we are doing and how we can improve in making your professional life easier and more efficient. You can reach me at PBeditors@healthday.com. Keep fighting the good fight -- let us know how we can help!