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Archive for February, 2013

Comfort at Home: Beds Preventing Pressure Ulcers and Helping Caregivers

Posted on: February 28th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Let’s be completely honest: most of us would rather not stay in a hospital for an extended period of time. You get tired of being in the same room, eating the same hospital food and having a general longing for your own bed at home. What makes it worse is if we or a loved one have to make constant long-term visits to the hospital for treatment.

A hospital bed for the home makes home care easier for the professionals that provide it and for your loved one.

A more reasonable option would be to keep them at home and have a professional caregiver administer daily treatment there. A large part of being eligible for home care is having the right kind of bed for a bedridden loved one. Home hospital beds in combination with the right accessories allow for comfortable positioning, easier home care and pressure ulcer prevention.

The beds themselves are remarkable in that they can be raised and lowered for your loved one to have easier access if they can still get up and move around, as well as for a caregiver to position them at a good height when treating them. The head and leg sections of the bed can also be adjusted to find a position your loved one feels relaxed in.

For accessories, grab rails for the side of the bed and a trapeze bar hanging over the bed can help a caregiver provide treatment or a daily wash. Overbed tables provide an easy surface for serving meals or reading the newspaper or a book.

The right mattress and overlay can help prevent the development of pressure ulcers, sores in the skin that develop from constant pressure on certain parts of the body. A pressure-reducing mattress or overlay helps to better distribute weight and prevent these painful sores from appearing.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to avoid long hospital visits and the expenses that go with them? A home hospital bed from LA Medical can help you do just that. Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your loved one in the comfort of their own home.

Mobility Scooters: Discover L.A. Sights and Enjoy Life

Posted on: February 26th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

People with decreased mobility can often find themselves in ruts, only being able to see or do things within a certain distance of home for short periods of time. However, this is no way to go through life, which is why LA Medical Retail offers a variety of mobility scootersto help those with difficulty getting around.

A sunset at Venice Beach is just one of the may sights you could catch with a mobility scooter.

A mobility scooter can give you the power to get out and get to the nearby grocery store or pharmacy yourself, or go for a “stroll” around your neighborhood as the weather begins to warm up as spring approaches. But why settle for just your neighborhood when there are so many beautiful things to see in the Los Angeles area? With a mobility scooter, you can discover parts of the city you have never been able to access before.

If nature and gardens interest you, the Huntington Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library offer 120 acres and over 14,000 types of plants to please your eye. You can cruise through the Chinese, Desert, Australian and other gardens and see a variety of plants and native to those types of areas. For a more outdoorsy and challenging feeling, you can also ride through the hiking trails of Runyon Canyon Park. This will provide with scenic overlooks of Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

For those that want to stay around town, the Venice Beach boardwalk or Malibu beach are great places to take in a variety of experiences, from street performers to open-air food marts and more.

Using a mobility scooter will open up doors to new possibilities that you thought had been closed. So, give us at LA Medical Retail a call or go to our Online Store to see how you can get out exploring and enjoying life today!

National Snack Food Month: 5 Healthy Snack Switches to Make NOW

Posted on: February 21st, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

I can remember the days in elementary school when I would get home from school, toss my backpack in my room, then head straight for that cabinet in the kitchen that I knew contained the sugary after-school snack I had been craving all the way home. Looking back on it now, it was not exactly the best choice.

Fruits like apples and oranges provide sweetness and a variety of nutrients to make a great snack

The obesity epidemic in the United States is still at an all-time high for both adults and children, with one-third of U.S. adults and one in five U.S. children being obese. To combat this, many health movements, organizations and other events have been created to push everyone to work toward better health.

February is National Snack Food Month, and while not specifically focused on healthy eating, we have some ideas about healthy substitutes to keep your kids or grandkids off the Triple Fudge Wonder Bars.

Oranges- full of citrusy goodness that is vitamin C, oranges also will help curb your craving for something sweet.

Apples- sweet and satisfying, apples also have plenty of fiber in them to keep you feeling full, and research has shown that an apple a day really does keep the doctor away.

Almonds- a handful of these provide energy and unsaturated fats for fullness and good heart health.

Mini sweet peppers- bursting with tons of essential vitamins and minerals, the different colors of bell peppers provide a sweet and satisfying snack.

Pea Pods- another vegetable loaded with nutrients, these can be dipped in hummus or sprinkled with garlic powder for added flavor.

As we continue on our theme of living a healthier life in 2013, LA Medical Retail hopes you will search for healthier snack substitutes for yourself and your children the next time you are at the grocery store. Who knows? Maybe you will find some of the new foods appeal to everyone in your family and they will become a new favorite in your household!

Pain Management: 1 Move and 1 Product for Relief is not a Stretch

Posted on: February 19th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Chances are if you deal with chronic pain in your joints or back from any number of medical conditions or an injury, you have tried various solutions to ease the pain. Prescription painkillers, localized shots, topical creams and other medicinal solutions may temporarily dull the pain, but may not be worth the money you spend on them. There is another solution available and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

The combination of stretching/exercising and a heating pad can do wonders for chronic pain in your back or other body parts.

Simple stretching exercises can help to decrease the pain in your joints or back by increasing the blood flow to those areas. It also helps increase your range of motion, making movements of all kind easier. Speak with your physicians to make sure that you are using stretches that are effective for the location of your pain, as well as to make sure you are doing them correctly.

Yoga has also been shown to decrease chronic pain, especially in your back. A study in mid-2011, looked at the effect of yoga on back pain. Using therapeutic yoga that concentrated on the relaxation and loosening of tight muscles and joints, twice as many people in the yoga groups than the control groups of the study reported using pain medication less often.

Stretching and yoga are both great ways to naturally alleviate chronic pain from conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis. If you find that you need a little extra boost of pain management, but do not wish to resort to medication, try a Therma Moist Heating Pad from LA Medical Retail. The pad draws in humidity from the air and uses it to more effectively treat pain in your legs, back, neck or anywhere else on your body.

You do not have to live with high levels of pain in your life, so try some stretching exercises or yoga (after speaking with your physician) in combination with a Therma Moist Heating Pad from LA Medical Retail to ease your pain.

Red Wine: A Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

It is finally Valentine’s Day here in the Los Angeles area, and if you have a significant other you are most likely doing something special tonight to celebrate, such as going out to a romantic dinner or creating your own intimate candlelight dinner at home. If this is the case, do not be afraid to have a glass or two of red wine from the Napa Valley. It could be helping you avoid heart disease.

A nice red wine from California can help provide your heart with a healthy boost, as long as it's in moderation.

Yes, your favorite bottle of red wine could be making your heart healthier, and here is how. There is a process that occurs in the body called oxidation, which is what allows us to harvest energy from the food we eat. However, when this process occurs with a large number of free radicals present (from smoking, exposure to toxic substances, x-rays, etc.), it can damage the soft inner walls of our arteries.

This is where the antioxidants in red wine (vitamin A, vitamin E and beta carotene) come into play. They slow down or cease the oxidation process caused by the free radicals and keep our arteries from being damaged.

There is also an antioxidant in red wine called resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, which shows promise in preventing damage to red blood cells, reducing “bad” cholesterol and preventing blood clots. However, no research involving resveratrol has been conducted in humans yet, only in mice.

We would like to state that this is not encouragement to begin drinking excess amounts of red wine as that can have many negative effects on the body. Two to three small glasses of red wine per week is enough for your body to get the fighting power of the antioxidants it has to offer.

LA Medical encourages you to pursue a heart-healthy lifestyle, including adding small amounts of red wine to your diet. February is, after all, American Heart Month, so take steps to improve your heart health today!

Congenital Heart Defects Affecting 875,000 People: The Silent Heart Problem

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

While most of us are getting ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day this Thursday by buying heart-shaped boxes of candy or cards covered in hearts, there are thousands of people in the United States, of all ages that are dealing with other matters of the heart besides love. We are in the middle of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (Feb. 7-14), and now is as good a time as any to learn about these diseases.

Congenital heart defects don't allow for the proper blood flow through the heart because of structural deficiencies.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) affect about one percent of births every year, or about 40,000 babies. There are an estimated 875,000 people currently living with congenital heart defects, though the number is hard to pinpoint since there is no tracking data for these conditions as a whole.

What exactly is a congenital heart defect? It is any abnormality in the structure of the heart or the major arteries and veins that bring blood to and from the heart that causes an obstruction in blood flow or cause blood to flow unusually, such as:

  • Heart valve defects- any narrowing or complete closure of the valves that does not allow blood to flow through, or leaky heart valves that do not close properly, causing blood backflow.
  • Defects in the walls between the atria and ventricles of the heart- any holes or channels between the different chambers of the heart creating an irregular mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.

The scariest thing about CHD is that they can go years without being diagnosed, sometimes into adulthood. The only real outward signs of a congenital heart defect are shortness of breath and difficulty in exercising for certain periods of time. However, as detection methods and technology has improved, so has the ability to diagnose CHD before or right after birth.

LA Medical would like to encourage you to do a little of your own research into congenital heart defects this month. What you find out may be able to help a family member or close friend. We hope you have a great and healthy rest of the month!

Support Your Leap Back into Action for Spring 2013

Posted on: February 7th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

We know it is only February, but the temperature is beginning to warm up here in the Los Angeles area. As the month progresses you may be tempted to get out and go for a walk or jog by Venice Beach or through Griffith Park. Give in to temptation! Walking or jogging is great aerobic exercise that boosts your metabolism and benefits your cardiovascular health.

Be sure to take it easy when getting back into action as the weather continues to warm up.

However, start slow, especially if you have been in hibernation during the winter. Getting back into action too quickly, whether you are running, throwing a baseball around or playing tennis, can leave you feeling sore and in need of a brace or support from LA Medical

As we detailed in a previous post, your ankles are the most common sites for injuries when you are active. Rolled ankles and sprains occur as a result of all sports or activities where running and changing direction are common like basketball, soccer and tennis. An ankle brace not only helps you recuperate from ankle injuries, but also provides stability that decreases the chances of re-injury.

The knees are also a common site for injuries in those participating in very active sports or activities, making knee braces vital for rehabilitation. If you or a family member has had surgery recently on your knee, you may need a brace that prevents any flexing of the knee, while less severe injuries may only require an elastic knee support.

While you may be anxious to get out and enjoy the weather as it warms up again, you will not be able to enjoy it as much if you hurt your ankle or knee. In the event that you do, we can help you recover with an ankle or knee brace that will get you back outside and enjoying life again!

Take Heart! Health is Easy to Achieve

Posted on: February 5th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Your heart affects every other system in your body, so try making some heart-healthy changes this month.

Given that February is known for Valentine’s Day, it is only fitting that it is also American Heart Month, a time for education about how we can better the beating soul of our bodies. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, whether it is a heart attack, stroke or heart disease. This means that there is a lot that can be done to help everyone live heart-healthy lives, and a large portion of that is what we eat.

It is common knowledge at this point that a diet high in fat, sodium and carbohydrates can compromise the health of our heart. Fat clogs vital arteries in the heart, making it difficult for oxygen-rich blood to travel throughout the body, while too much sodium increases our blood pressure. High-glycemic carbs like white bread, potatoes, pretzels, popcorn and more spike insulin levels in our body which put our bodies into a fat-storing mode.

So, what should be devoured to decrease our danger of developing heart disease? Women should be digging into berries, blueberries and strawberries to be specific. These tasty morsels contain “anthocyanin,” a naturally occurring compound that may help dilate arteries and counteract the buildup of plaque, according to a study conducted by Harvard and British researchers.

Men should focus on eating less red meat and more fresh fish, spinach and almonds. Fish, such as tuna or mackerel, contain those Omega-3 fatty acids that are always in the health section of news broadcasts. These fatty acids, along with the fiber and antioxidants found in spinach help keep you free of high blood pressure heart attacks. The unsaturated fat in almonds help raise your “good cholesterol” (HDL) levels and decrease “bad cholesterol” (LDL) levels.

We encourage you to pursue a heart-healthy lifestyle for American Heart Month, and it’s as simple as replacing harmful foods in your diet with ones that will work for your heart. Live this month to your heart-healthiest!