How the heat affects seniors

How the heat affects seniors | Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

As temperatures rise, so do the risks of heat-related illness among older people.

No one likes to sit and swelter in the summertime heat. But for older people, hot and humid weather can be more than just uncomfortable. It can be unhealthy—even deadly.

Most of people who die each year from heat-related problems are older than 50, according to the National Institute on Aging.

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So-called ‘stomach flu’ may actually be norovirus

So-called ‘stomach flu’ may actually be norovirus | Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

July 11, 2014—The next time you get a nasty illness that you’re tempted to call “stomach flu,” you can probably blame the norovirus: The bug is responsible for almost one-fifth of acute gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) cases, according to a new study.

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Recall Alert: Foster Farms recalls chicken products

Foster Farms recalls chicken products | Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

July 8, 2014—Do you have chicken products sitting in your freezer? If you do, take note: Foster Farms is recalling some chicken products because they might be contaminated with salmonella, a bacteria that could make you and your family sick.

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Children’s Miracle Network Golf Tournament in Yakima

Kellie Connaughton of The Memorial Foundation appeared on KIT 1280 on July 1, 2014, to tout the upcoming Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals golf tournament. Connaughton and representatives of Solarity Credit Union, one of the tournament sponsors, discuss the importance of the tournament in supporting Children’s Miracle Network efforts in Central Washington.

Register today >>

As the Children’s Miracle Network hospital for Central Washington, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the region, as well as a Pediatric Unit. Memorial also partners with other community organizations to serve children with special health care needs at Children’s Village, which offers medical clinics, developmental evaluations, dental services, occupational and speech therapy, mental health counseling, educational services, care resource coordinators and physical therapy.  Visit Memorial online at yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh).

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The dangers of drug interactions

When people take more than one medication, or if they take other dietary or nutritional supplements in addition to their prescription or over-the-counter medication, drug interactions can occur. The risks are different for different people, based on age, any underlying diseases or conditions and lifestyle, but some drug interactions can be deadly.

Christopher Cook of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s Pharmacy Department talked about the dangers of drug interactions July 8, 2014, during a live interview on KIT 1280.

How big a concern are drug interactions?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly half of all Americans have taken a prescription drug in the past month. It is critical for anyone taking a drug to consider the potential for interaction with other substances in the body. Drugs can react to other medications, supplements and food or alcohol. These interactions can reduce or increase the effectiveness of drugs or lead to dangerous side effects.

What factors affect drug interactions?

There are some common factors – genetics, age, diet, exercise, current medications, any underlying diseases or conditions and the amount of time between the drugs being taken. However, some results can take weeks to develop.

What kinds of interactions are most common?

Drugs can interact with any other substances in the body.

  • Drug interactions with other drugs – Prescription drugs can interact not just with other prescription drugs, but also over-the-counter medications. Many over-the-counter medications are not as benign as some might believe.
  • Nutritional and herbal supplements – The FDA estimates that half of Americans regularly use dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs or botanicals. Combining these supplements with drugs can cause serious adverse reactions.
  • Food and alcohol – Some medications are intended to be taken with food to prevent stomach interaction; other times, food can slow the body’s absorption of a medication. Some drugs can affect a person’s appetite and can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.

How do I prevent these drug interactions?

People taking a prescription or over the counter medication should check with their physician or pharmacist to determine if there is a risk for adverse reactions. Three of the most commonly used prescription drug classes can result in a variety of drug interactions if patients are not aware of the risk and misuse them:

  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Cholesterol drugs

What are some common interactions with those drugs?

  • Antidepressants are known to interact with some antihistamines, causing extreme drowsiness, and with St. John’s wort, a dietary supplement used to treat depression.
  • Over-the-counter decongestants can decrease the effectiveness of blood-pressure medication.
  • Mixing cholesterol drugs with certain dietary supplements or foods can damage muscles.

To be safe, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication or supplement.

 

Source: Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health

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7th Annual Fiesta de Salud

fiesta 7th Annual Fiesta de Salud

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Safe Sitter Class August 11

safe sitter Safe Sitter Class August 11

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Healthy Smoothie in a Jar

smoothie Healthy Smoothie in a Jar

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Community Resources for those with advanced illness…

can we talk Community Resources for those with advanced illness...

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Where there’s wildfire, there’s health risk

Where there’s wildfire, there’s health risk | Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Hot, dry weather increases the risk of wildfires. And smoke from wildfires can cause health problems—even if you’re not directly in the line of the fire. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report urging residents in areas affected by wildfire to stay alert and follow some simple precautions to decrease the risk of smoke-related illnesses.

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