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Archive for October, 2012

Seeing Red

Posted on: October 25th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Back in 1980, a group of concerned and determined parents set out to create a grassroots movement that would impress upon children at a young age the importance of staying drug-free. The group, then called the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, was committed to leading and supporting American communities and families in healthy lifestyles without drugs.

Use Red Ribbon Week as a chance to talk to your children about drug abuse.

The tradition of the Red Ribbon began in 1985 after the murder of a DEA agent named Enrique Camarena, and the organization, now called the National Family Partnership (NFP), sponsored the first Red Ribbon Celebration in 1988. The yearly Red Ribbon Celebration is a chance for teachers, police, community organizations and others in communities throughout the United States to educate children about the consequences of doing drugs and encouraging them to participate in drug prevention activities.

As parents or grandparents, you can sign the national pledge sponsored by the NFP on their website. Here is what the pledge states:

  • As parents, we will talk to our children about the dangers of drug abuse.
  • We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.
  • We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.
  • We will monitor our children’s behavior and enforce appropriate consequences so that our rules are respected.
  • We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.

Talking with your children about drugs and substance abuse may not be an easy conversation, but it is one that is necessary and one that you will be glad to have had. Join all of us here at LA Medical this week in talking with our children to help prevent drug abuse in our children.

Defeating the Slippery Slope

Posted on: October 23rd, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

While many people will never have to worry about needing an accessibility ramp, there are others that will come to depend on them to gain access to their home as they age or in the wake of an accident or medical condition that impairs their mobility. But you can’t just build or buy a ramp and use it any way that you want to. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has certain guidelines that must be met for all public ramps, but they are also great recommendations to make home access rampseasier and safer for both the disabled and their caregiver.

An access ramp for your home can make entering and exiting your home much more convenient.

The most important point of the ADA guidelines is the slope of the ramp. Slope is measured in a ratio, such as 1:16, where the first number, “1,” is the rise of the ramp, and the second number, “16,” is the run, or length of the ramp. ADA guidelines suggest a ramp with a slope between 1:16 and 1:20, as a 1:12 ramp is too steep for many people. While homeowners aren’t held to these standards when using a ramp, if you have the extra space available there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. There are other guidelines such as handrails and edge protectors that can be found here. 

While LA Medical doesn’t provide the services for building access ramps, we do offer portable ramps that can be used in a variety of situations to make access easier. Our Trifold Ramp from EZ-Access can be used to get a mobility scooter or wheelchair into the back of a van or SUV, as well as to help someone using one of those devices access a family member’s home that does not have a ramp. We also carry threshold ramps in varying heights for those smaller obstacles in getting into your home.

Contact us today or browse our online catalog for portable ramps and other accessibility options from LA Medical!

Forgiving For a Healthy Life

Posted on: October 18th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”  This quote from Mahatma Ghandi signifies the purpose and drive behind National Forgiveness Day on Oct. 27. By forgiving others we allow ourselves to let go of negative feelings that we have for others that may have committed a wrong against us, as well as to forgiven for any wrongs we have committed toward others.

Take some time to reflect on what you should forgive and who you should ask for forgiveness from.

Forgiveness is a part of a healthy lifestyle as it allows us to release negative thoughts and feelings that can hamper our happiness and affect our mood around others and our productivity at work. As we wrote in a previous post, being nice can positively influence your mood, creating less stress and anxiety and promoting better mental health.

The same is true with forgiveness. Think of all the things you can forgive people for that you are holding on to out of anger as a barbell with weights on it. Would this barbell be too heavy for you to lift if it were real? If so, unload some of the weight that is bearing down on you by forgiving. The same can be done if you have wronged someone and need forgiveness. Too much “weight” on the barbell from what you need to forgive and need to be forgiven for can wear on you and create negatives like stress and anxiety. These can impede a normally healthy life.

While any time is a great time for forgiveness, we at LA Medical think that National Forgiveness Day on Oct. 27 is as good of a time as any to start. You can start small and work your way to larger things. Doing this well help unload the negative weight in your life and help you feel better and healthier when you’re mentally free of your stressors.

Melt Away the Pain

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Most days we wake up pain free and ready to go for the day. However, for some of us there are those days where we wake up and immediately can feel that our back, neck, shoulder, leg or other body part is nagging us with pain. This can be because we slept on that area of our body wrong, or from the previous day’s activities or from a chronic pain that some days is just there. But before you take some anti-inflammatories or other pain relieving medicine, try something a little more natural for your aches and pains: heat.

Are your muscles aching, causing you to slow down or be distracted. Try heat therapy!

Heat therapy, or thermotherapy, has a variety of uses, from decreasing the pain caused by stiff muscles and arthritis to providing relief for those muscle spasms and fibromyalgia. The higher tissue temperatures generated by heat therapy create vasodilation, the widening of the blood vessels, for better blood flow. This increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the affected muscles, helping relieve pain.

Heating pads like the Therma Moist Heating Pads offered by LA Medical are both efficient and convenient. These pads, effective at reducing pain caused by arthritis, back pain, sprains, strains and sports injuries, can be used anywhere for treatment. The outer flannel of the pad draws in the humidity in the air and retains it, and this moisture is released as the pad warms resulting in more effective moist heat therapy.

The Therma Moist Heating Pad can be used to loosen up those tight muscles from the previous day’s gardening, yardwork, basketball game or muscle soreness from a tough workout. If you or your loved ones are physically active, a heating pad from LA Medical is a good investment to keep you and yours moving and living pain free!

Functional Features

Posted on: October 11th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

The word “features” is thrown around a lot these days for a wide variety of items you see in commercials or in ads on the internet. Features for most products are things that enhance the value or experience of the product, but aren’t necessary for the use of the product. The same can’t be said for power chairs, whose features are necessary and provide many different benefits for the user resulting in an easier life.

A power chair's versatility allows for great mobility indoors and out!

One of these benefits is the increased physical support from the custom options on a power chair. These include adjustable seat height for an optimal view, adjustable arm rests and leg rests for better positioning and comfort, as well as an adjustable back rest that can tilt to promote different seating positions to avoid pressure sores and ulcers.

Another benefit is increased mobility. Power chair users may have low mobility, but they may also have a physical disability or lack the upper body strength to propel themselves in a manual wheelchair. Power chairs can be moved by a control pad or joystick control. Some models are even powered by a mouthpiece, such as sip-puff controls.

Maneuverability is also a major benefit provided by power chairs. Power chairs have a smaller turning radius than a mobility scooter thanks to casters that swivel 180 degrees. This allows for accessibility in smaller spaces that is less troublesome than having to do a multiple-point turn in a manual wheelchair or scooter. Power chairs can also be driven over pretty much any terrain as most models have tires designed to stay inflated so that carpet, hardwood, grass, snow and gravel are no problem.

LA Medical offers many different models of these functional mobility aids, and can help you find the model that best fits your needs and your budget. So, check out our online catalog or give us a call today to see how he can help meet your mobility needs!

Minimal Contact

Posted on: October 9th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

For those that are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair the largest barrier they must overcome is most often their medical condition or injury that put them there in the first place. However, there is also another danger than can develop over time for those constantly in bed or in a wheelchair: pressure sores.

Skin inspection is vital to avoiding pressure ulcers.

Also called contact sores, contact ulcers or pressure ulcers, these wounds can present another set of challenges on top of those the patient is already facing with their illness or disability. Because these patients are always in contact with their bed or wheelchair, caring for these wounds once they are present is difficult. On the other hand, taking steps to prevent pressure sores from occurring are much easier and can be incorporated into any healthcare plan.

The proper skin care, such as bathing, applying talcum powder to moist areas and lotion to skin that tends to be dryer, goes a long way in helping prevent contact sores. Skin inspections should also be a daily occurrence to stay on top of skin health. Drinking plenty of water and nutrient rich liquids helps skin to maintain moisture and promotes overall health.

For those in wheelchairs, positioning and cushioning products are recommended for evenly distributed weight. Also, changing position in the wheelchair independently every 15 minutes and once every hour with assistance is necessary to keep weight off of one area.

The same can be said for those in bed, though repositioning should occur once every two hours. Likewise, special mattresses and foam or gel overlays can be used to distribute weight evenly across the surface to reduce weight bearing and friction.

LA Medical provides both positioning and cushioning solutions for wheelchairs and home hospital beds to help prevent pressure sores and keep the focus of healthcare on the more serious issues our customers face. Look through our online catalog to see how we can help!

Sticking Your Neck Out

Posted on: October 4th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

For me, seeing a neck injury in sports is one of the scariest things you can witness as a spectator and a fan. For example, just this last Sunday as I was watching a football game, a receiver went up to catch a pass and was undercut by a defender, causing him to land awkwardly on his neck. While he turned out to be okay, it was still a horrifying sight.

Neck pain from whiplash or another accident can be severely limiting and could result in further injury.

The truth is we are subject to many forces every day that can cause mild neck pain to severe injuries. Even just sleeping on our necks wrong causes us to be in pain all day. Just imagine the pain caused by whiplash or other sudden forces on our necks. For these times and injuries, cervical collars can provide stability and limited motion for recovery and protection against further injury.

Cervical collars are most often seen being used by medical personnel after a traumatic head or neck injury, like in football games or after a car crash. The risk of cervical fracture, spinal cord injury or paralysis makes stabilizing the neck a high priority. Cervical collars are also used for sprains or strains in the neck to help reduce range of motion.

Hard collars allow for no movement for rehabilitation, and are used for more severe neck injuries. Soft collars are used for more minor neck injuries such as muscle strains and neck sprains, and allow for a small amount of movement.

LA Medical offers both kinds of cervical collars to cover the wide range of neck injuries. When it comes to rehabilitating and protecting your neck and spinal cord, you cannot afford to take any chances. Browse through our catalog for our products that help protect this vital area of your body today!

Still Searching, Fighting Together

Posted on: October 3rd, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), having been started over 25 years ago as a way to promote awareness of breast cancer related issues and to find a cure for this disease that affects 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. It is a month-long collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies working to bring breast cancer issues and education to the public, as well as providing greater access to services.

How will you help this month to try and find a cure for breast cancer?

In 2011, there were around 278,000 new cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, along with 2,140 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in American men. While the death rate from breast cancer has been dropping since 1990, the NBCAM organization recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done in finding a cure and empowering women to be vigilant when it comes to their breast health.

There are many national organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, the National Medical Association and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, that participate in and support NBCAM not only in October, but throughout out the rest of the year. A complete list of these organizations can be found here. 

LA Medical recognizes the importance of this month and these truly awesome organizations that help millions of women battle through the challenges breast cancer brings. You can help them as well because chances are you know someone who has, is battling or has defeated breast cancer.

We strongly encourage you to visit the websites of the organizations on the above list to see how you can help, whether it’s donating money to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, participating in a cancer prevention study through the American Cancer society or participating in education workshops put on by CancerCare or other organizations.

Together, we can all help fight and conquer breast cancer, this month and the rest of the year.