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Archive for March, 2014

Home Hospital Bed 101 with LA Medical Retail

Posted on: March 27th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

For many, hospital beds carry a reputation for being uncomfortable and sterile because of their association with an unpleasant hospital stay.  However, there are many options for comfortable in-home hospital beds that carry many benefits for the patient and the caregiver.  LA Medical Retail has the home hospital bed solutions for you!

Home-Hospitals-Bed

What kind of hospital bed should I get?

When shopping for an in-home hospital bed, you’ll see three main categories; manual, semi-electric and full-electric.  The manual bed operates through a series of cranks that are body-powered.  The semi-electric bed is controlled by a combination of body-powered cranks and electricity, and the full-electric bed operates completely on electricity.  At LA Medical Retail, we carry full-electric hospital beds and semi-electric hospital beds. Either hospital bed is a great choice for both caregivers and patients.

Where should I put my hospital bed?

There are several key factors to keep in mind when deciding where to place your in-home hospital bed.  Most importantly, if you are working with a semi-electric or full-electric hospital bed, you will need an electrical outlet nearby.  Also, think about the daily care you’ll need to provide your patient and also their interactions with you.  Caregivers won’t want to go up and down stairs to get to your patient and you also don’t want to isolate the patient from any visitors to the house as this could cause them to feel very alienated.  Consider placing the hospital bed on the main level of the house in a room that is close to the main rooms of the house such as the living room or kitchen.

What hospital bed mattress do I need?

Finally, you’ll need to decide on your hospital bed mattress.  The type of mattress you choose depends on the diagnosis of your patient.  At LA Medical Retail, we offer several options in hospital bed mattresses.  Choose from manufacturers such as Drive or Invacare for foam mattresses, pressure mattresses or gel overlays.

If you have additional questions about our home hospital beds, bed rails, mattresses or accessories, contact us at LA Medical Retail today.

How High Blood Pressure could mean Hypertension

Posted on: March 25th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Hypertension-3As LA Medical Retail has mentioned before, blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure will be. High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems.

How can you tell if you or a loved one has high blood pressure? What are the symptoms? Unfortunately, there aren’t many obvious symptoms of high blood pressure. Some people may experience dull headaches, dizziness and nosebleeds. Those common conditions are often interpreted as other things and sadly only occur when blood pressure is dangerously high and even life-threatening.

There are many risk factors that increase your threat of high blood pressure. These factors include:

  • Diet– High fat, high sugar and high sodium filled diets is a recipe for hypertension disasters.
  • Race- African Americans have higher rates of high blood pressure than Caucasians, and problems develop at an earlier age.
  • Family history– Like so many health conditions, high blood pressure runs in families. Get familiar with your family health history.
  • Age- Hypertension increases with your age and is most common with middle-aged men and post-menopausal women.
  • Being overweight– The more you weigh, the harder our heart has to work. The harder it works, the more damage done to the walls of your arteries.
  • Smoking– If you smoke, consider quitting immediately. This will improve your health in many ways besides high blood pressure.
  • Alcohol– While moderate drinking is okay and even beneficial for most people, too much alcohol increases blood pressure risks.
  • Stress– Stress is very damaging to the body and heart. Get more sleep, exercise and meditate. Causes of stress can often be limited or removed.
  • Untreated sleep apnea– Sleep Apnea has been shown to raise blood pressure. See your doctor about your sleep apnea.

See LA Medical Retail’s online catalog or visit us in person today to learn more about home medical equipment to assist you.

The Five Best Tips to Fight Hypertension

Posted on: March 20th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Hypertension-2As LA Medical Retail discussed last time, prehypertension will turn into hypertension, or high blood pressure, if left untreated. As your blood pressure increases, so does your risk of cardiovascular or heart disease that leads to a whole different and often severe set of problems. That’s why it’s so important to control your prehypertension.

What can you do to treat your prehypertension? Here are some simple tips that will help you fight prehypertension and a host of other health problems too.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Losing even 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure. Talk with your doctor or research what your healthy weight should be and then start by making small, but increasing weight loss solutions.
  • Increase physical activity. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is with regular physical activity, and it can help lower your blood pressure. If you’re not use to exercise, start slow and increase to at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Walking is one of the best, easiest and most affordable options.
  • Limit your sodium intake. You don’t have to cut salt from your diet completely, just reduce it a little at every meal and you won’t notice the loss. Check labels for sodium as pre-packaged foods like soups and frozen meals are loaded with sodium. Another high sodium food that we don’t think about is bread.
  • Stop smoking. We know that smoking causes many health issues, but did you know that it also raises blood pressure and increases the risk for heart disease? About 30 percent of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. That’s because smoking is a major cause of coronary artery disease, especially in younger people.
  • Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, one to two drinks a day is recommended.

Following these steps will help to lower your blood pressure and hopefully prevent the more damaging high blood pressure/hypertension. See the experts at LA Medical to view the latest in bathroom safety products, mobility and daily living aids from our online catalog.

What are some of the more common risk factors getting hypertension? We’ll discuss that next.

Prehypertension- Reducing Your Blood Pressure Before it’s Too Late 1

Posted on: March 18th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Hypertension, or more commonly called high blood pressure, is one of the most common health issues in the United States and worldwide. Today, LA Medical Retail would like to introduce prehypertension and how you or a loved one can reduce your blood pressure before it’s too late!

Hypertension-1

So what is hypertension and how do you get it? Is it dangerous? LA Medical Retail will give you a thumbnail sketch of this common problem and provide
some great sources to learn more about it.

Every living person has blood pressure. In simple terms, it’s determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries are result in higher blood pressure. The goal is to have a healthy flow, not too low and not too high, in the 120 systolic pressure over 80 diastolic pressure range.

Blood pressure has two stages, prehypertension and hypertension. We’ll discuss prehypertension first.

Prehypertension is slightly elevated blood pressure. It’s our warning sign for our bodies that we need to do something to lower our blood pressure. Prehypertension will most likely turn into hypertension if you don’t make lifestyle changes. Not treating it and allowing it to worsen will increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

How do you know if you have prehypertension? Unfortunately, prehypertension doesn’t cause symptoms that would indicate we have a growing problem. Blood pressure readings are the only way to detect prehypertension. See your doctor to have your blood pressure checked.

If you consistently see that your numbers are high while testing it at home, see a doctor. You should be getting a blood pressure reading at least once every two years. Most doctors will check it whenever you visit their office. If you have a personal or family history of hypertension or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, consider getting it checked more often. What happens when you go from prehypertension to hypertension? LA Medical Retail will talk about that next time.

Learning more about Concussions and Brain Injuries

Posted on: March 13th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and LA Medical Retail wants more people to be aware of this all-too-common injury and the impact it has on individuals, families and society.

Concussions

Concussions are the most common type of a brain injury. What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Concussions can and do affect people of every age, and can be very dangerous to children and older people.

A concussion is considered a “mild” brain injury, but should not be dismissed as “no big deal”. Many problems develop for people who receive multiple concussions such as professional sports athletes and military personnel. Despite what is portrayed on TV and movies, most concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.

What are the signs that a person may have received concussion?

  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Does not “feel right” or is “feeling down”

Remember, you can’t see a concussion and some people may not experience and/or report symptoms until hours or days after the injury. Most people with a concussion will recover quickly and fully. But for some people, signs and symptoms of concussion can last for days, weeks or longer.

One great way to prevent falls that cause concussions is with safety equipment in the home, especially in the bathroom and bedroom. Let LA Medical Retail help you. Visit our online catalog or stop in and see us in person so we can show you the many options available. Protect your brain; it’s the only one you get!

Things You May Not Know About Multiple Sclerosis

Posted on: March 11th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Education & Awareness Month and LA Medical Retail wants all of our customers and all Californians to be aware of this mysterious disease.

MS-Month

What is Multiple Sclerosis and how much do you know about it? It’s believed that MS is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In multiple sclerosis, this process destroys myelin, the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.

Myelin can be compared to the insulation on electrical wires. When myelin is damaged, the messages that travel along that nerve may be slowed or blocked. This damage leads to the physical symptoms of MS.

Things you may not know about MS:

  • Multiple Sclerosis can strike both men and women, but is more common in women
  • Multiple Sclerosis appears more frequently in Caucasians than in Hispanics or African Americans
  • Multiple Sclerosis is relatively rare among Asians and certain other ethnic groups
  • Multiple Sclerosis is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50
  • 350,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Two hundred people are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis every week
  • Over 2.5 million people are living with Multiple Sclerosis worldwide

There are common symptoms of MS, but not all people will share the same ones. Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, tremors and depression. Many of these symptoms are shared with other diseases and disorders as well, so it’s best to be tested.

Most people with multiple sclerosis, particularly in the beginning stages of the disease, experience relapses of symptoms, which are followed by periods of complete or partial remission of symptoms. That is why MS is considered such a mysterious disease.

LA Medical Retail carries many products that can make the lives of people with MS easier and more comfortable. We encourage you to visit our online catalog or visit in person if you are in the area and let us show you ways the right medical equipment can help.

Spring is Finally Here! Let Allergy Season Begin

Posted on: March 6th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

SpringIt’s finally spring here at LA Medical Retail! We all wait for spring to open the windows and air out the house and to get outside to breathe that sweet spring air.  What could be better? If you have certain respiratory illnesses and allergies, almost anything!

Winter provides a brief interim for many people with allergies and asthma, allowing them to breathe a little easier. Then spring arrives with its long awaited rebirth and renewal with trees budding, grasses greening and people with allergies starting to suffer.  Do you deal with the sneezing, itchy eyes, wheezing and coughing as a result of spring allergies?  What causes those allergies? What can you do about it?

What causes spring allergies?  The most common spring allergens are tree pollens. Most spring allergies begin when deciduous trees start to wake up and start their new leaf cycle producing pollen. Pollen is tiny, egg-shaped male cells found in flowering plants and trees that plants use during the fertilization process.

Some trees are worse offenders than other. Some of the biggest pollen and allergy producers are Elm, Poplar, Hickory, Maple, Oak, Ash, Birch, Sycamore, Cypress, Western Red Cedar and Walnut; which there are plenty of in Northern California! Checking your lawn and neighborhood for these trees may help explain your allergy symptoms. Avoid sleeping with the windows open especially if there are trees close to your home.

Wheezing is a common reaction to pollen-causing spring allergies, especially for people with asthma. Wheezing is best defined as a high-pitched whistle sound as you breathe through your mouth or nose, especially while exhaling. When airways of the lungs narrow as a result of inflammation (as a result of allergens), it becomes more difficult for air to flow through the lung, creating a wheezing sound.

Chronic cough is a common allergic reaction.  Coughing is one of your body’s normal defense mechanisms designed to expel infection, mucus and other foreign material from your body. Sinus issues caused by allergies and drainage often produce a tickling sensation and cough. If your coughing or wheezing started before the spring allergy season or lingers for more than three weeks, see a doctor right away.

LA Medical Retail is your home for all mobility scooters, daily living aids and personal care products.  Please look at our online catalog for more great products we offer!

Eat Right While Learning About Proper Nutrition

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Nutrition-Month“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the theme for National Nutrition Month. LA Medical Retail wants to know how informed you are about good nutrition.

What is nutrition? Nutrition is more than just eating; it’s about eating the right amount of the right foods. A heavier person may have better nutritional intake than a thin person so looks can be deceiving.

Proper nutrition focuses on the type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat and encourages making good food choices every day in ways that work for each person. The epidemic of obesity in this country over the last few years has brought much needed attention to nutrition. Health.gov offers these easy tips for eating more nutritiously:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Have fruits and vegetables on your plate.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk or consider soy milk.
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water or tea instead of sugary drinks.

Remember the food pyramid? The old fashioned food pyramid has been replaced by a colorful plate that better shows a simple way to eat more nutritious meals.  The plate shows an easy-to-follow guide for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, and a side of dairy with suggested amounts indicated by color. Log on to www.choosemyplate.gov to see the plate and use this as a guide when preparing meals.

We know that eating right can be hard to get used to, so take it slow. Take a look at your next plate, and start there. Note how much of what is on our plate compared to the suggested plate. Can you add another serving of vegetables? Can you reduce the size of the meat and grains? Start small for better success.

LA Medical Retail wants to see you healthy and happy, so when you do need any type of home medical equipment, please visit our online catalog or visit us in person.