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UV Safety Awareness Month

It’s Summer, it’s HOT (100 degrees all week), and UV Rays Cause SERIOUS Damage!

Be Safe In the Sun

What is UV Radiation?

  • Radiation = the emission (sending out) of energy from any source
  • UV radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation (sounds scary, right?), with the main source being the sun – however comes from man-made tanning beds & welding torches, as well
  • UVB rays can damage the DNA in skin cells directly, and are the MAIN rays to cause sunburn.  They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.

How are People Exposed to UV Radiation?

  • Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation – 95% UVA rays & 5% UVB rays
  • Strength of the rays that reach the ground depend on –
    • Time of Day – strongest between 10 am – 4 pm.
    • Season – stronger during Spring/Summer.
    • Distance from the Equator – exposure decreases as you get farther from the equator.
    • Altitude – more UV rays reach the ground at higher elevations.
    • Clouds – some cloud cover blocks some UV from the sun & lowers UV exposure.  Some cloud cover, however, can reflect UV and increase exposure.  Important – UV rays can get through…EVEN on a CLOUDY day!
    • Reflection – UV rays can bounce off  water, sand, snow, pavement, or grass – leading to an increase in UV exposure.
    • Air Contents – ozone in the upper atmosphere filters out SOME UV radiation (one of the worries of ozone depletion = less filtering of UV rays).
  • Man-made exposure sources
    • Sun Lamps & Tanning Beds/Booths
    • UV (Photo) Therapy – for treating skin problems such as psoriasis
    • Black Light Lamps – mostly UVA rays
    • Mercury-Vapor Lamps – light large public areas…should be NO UV exposure from these IF they are working CORRECTLY
    • Xenon/Xenon Mercury Arc Lamps & Plasma/Welding Torches – mainly a concern in workplace UV exposure

Does UV Radiation Cause Cancer?

Sun Exposure Vs. Cancer:

Basal & Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Studies show a link in these cancers to certain behaviors that put people in the sun as well as a number of markers of sun exposure –

  • Time in the sun for recreation
  • A lot of time in the sun in a swimsuit
  • Living in an area with a high amount of sun
  • Having had serious past sunburns
  • Having visible signs of sun damage to the skin

Melanoma

Studies have also found links between certain behaviors and markers of sun exposure & melanoma of the skin –

  • Activities leading to “intermittent sun exposure” (sun bathing, water sports, vacations to sunny areas)
  • Previous sunburns
  • Signs of sun damage to the skin

Other Cancers

No studies show UV exposure to cause cancer in internal organs – due to UV radiation not penetrating deeply into the body.  There are some possible links to –

  • Merkel cell carcinoma (less common skin cancer)
  • Cancer of the lip
  • Some types of eye cancer (melanoma of the eye & squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva)

Artificial UV Sources Vs. Cancer:

Indoor Tanning

  • People who use tanning beds/booths have a higher skin cancer risk
  • Risk of melanoma higher if person started indoor tanning prior to age 30 or 35
  • Risk of basal & squamous cell higher if indoor tanning began before age 20 or 25

Welding & Metal Work

Welders and sheet metal workers may have a higher risk of melanoma of the eye

Phototherapy

  • People exposed to UVA as a treatment for skin conditions (as a part of PUVA therapy) have an increased risk for squamous cell skin cancers
  • Treatment of skin conditions with UVB rays alone (not combined with PUVA) have not been linked to increased cancer risk

Other Health Issues Related to UV Radiation

  • Sunburn
  • Rash/allergic reaction
  • Premature aging of skin
  • Signs of sun damage
  • Eye problems
    • inflammation/burn of cornea
    • lead to formation of cataracts
    • formation of pterygium (tissue growth one eye surface)
  • Can weaken the immune system
    • harder time fending off infection
    • reactivation of herpes due to sun/UV exposure
  • Can cause vaccines to be less effective
  • Some medications can make you more sensitive to UV radiation – more likely to sunburn
  • Certain medical conditions made worse by UV radiation

Open Positions at LMC!

The following positions are open to applicants:

Dietary ~ Cook ~ Full Time

Emergency Room ~ RN ~ PRN Night Shift

Emergency Room ~ LVN ~ Full Time Day Shift

Med/Surg Floor ~ RN or LVN ~ Full Time Day Shift

Med/Surg Floor ~ CNA ~ Full Time Night Shift

If interested, applications can be found by clicking the “Contact” tab at the top right of the menu bar on the home page.

Learn More: National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Month

How common do you think cleft lip and palate are in the United States?

  • The CDC estimates that about 7,000 babies will be born with a cleft in the U.S this year
  • As a show of comparison, about 6,000 will be born with Down Syndrome

Are you aware of what a cleft lip and/or palate is?

  • A cleft is a gap in the lip and/or palate (roof of the mouth).
  • It may include the alveolus (bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum).
  • Clefts occur when the 2 sides of the lip or palate do not grow together ruing baby’s development (very early in pregnancy).
  • Babies may be born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or both.

Timeframe/Occurrence:

  • Cleft lip usually occurs around the 5th week of pregnancy – before many women even know they’re pregnant.
  • Cleft palate usually develops around the 9th week of pregnancy.

Outcome:

  • Once the cleft develops, it will remain throughout pregnancy and baby’s first smiles.
  • A cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, will change the appearance of the baby’s face.
  • Most clefts can be repaired so the baby may eat and speak without major difficulties.
  • Many clefts can be repaired with little scarring.

What Causes A Cleft:

  • Clefts occur because something in the environment and/or genetics (a family trait) has affected facial development.
  • It is often difficult to determine the exact cause of a cleft.
  • Clefts occur in all racial & ethnic groups
    • Slightly more often in those of Asian descent than among Caucasian
    • Least often in those of African descent

How Common Are Clefts:

  • Facial clefts occur in about 1 of every 600 births in the U.S. – and is one of the most common birth differences.
  • Left-sided clefts are more common than right-sided – and some are bilateral, affecting both sides of the mouth.
  • About 1/3 of clefts involve lip and alveolar ridge (the upper gum).
  • 2/3 of clefts extend through the entire palate.
  • Some clefts may involve the lip and soft palate, but not the hard palate.

Can Clefts Be Diagnosed Prenatally?

  • In the best conditions, ultrasound can return pictures of cleft lip as early as the 20th week of pregnancy.
  • Sometimes ultrasound can also help identify clefts or the alveolar ridge.
  • It is called isolated, or non-syndromic cleft, if the cleft is the baby’s only expected birth difference.
  • It is labeled syndromic cleft if additional areas of development may be affected; meaning it is part of a syndrome.

*Most clefts of the lip and palate are isolated (only expected birth difference).

Determination of Syndromic or Non-Syndromic:

  • Family history of clefts
  • Maternal health issues – clefts are more likely to occur when mothers:
    • use alcohol & tobacco during 1st 10 weeks of pregnancy
    • take certain medications during the 1st 10 weeks of pregnancy
    • have diabetes
    • have a folic acid deficiency
  • Associated abnormalities – additional birth differences along with cleft – diagnosis of a syndrome
  • Chromosomal abnormalities – duplication of, deletion of, or rearrangement of chromosomes
    • Isolated Clefts are not associated with chromosomal abnormalities

Factors That Increase Risk for Chromosomal Abnormality:

  • Advanced age of mother
  • Abnormal 1st or 2nd trimester screening results
  • The presence of ultrasound soft markers – small differences a doctor may see during an ultrasound exam that suggest an increased risk for problems such as chromosomal abonormalities.

For More Information:

The Cleft Palate Foundation

1-800-242-5338

http://www.cleftline.org/

 

Kids Get Arthritis Too – #2

In follow-up from yesterday’s article regarding Juvenile Arthritis, please see below for more in depth information, including:  causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and comorbidities.

Causes of Juvenile Arthritis (JA):

  • No known cause pinpointed for most JA forms.
  • No evidence to suggest that toxins, foods, or allergies cause JA to develop.
  • Some research points toward a genetic predisposition to JA – a combination of genes a child receives from their parents may cause JA onset when triggered by other factors.

Symptoms of JA:

Each of the different types of JA have their own set of signs and symptoms.

JA Diagnosis:

  • The most important step to properly treating JA is getting an accurate diagnosis.
  • The diagnostic process can be long and detailed.
  • In children, the key to diagnosis is a care physical exam and a thorough medical history.
  • Any specific tests will depend upon the type of JA suspected.

JA Treatment & Self-Care:

  • There is no cure for JA
  • With early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, remission is possible
  • Goal of treatment – relieve inflammation, control pain, and improve the child’s quality of life
  • Most treatment plans involve a combination of medications, physical activity, eye care, and healthy eating
  • Teaching the child to know the importance of following the treatment prescribed by their healthcare team
  • Self-care also involves helping the child address the emotional and social effects of the disease
  • Self-care encompasses the choices made each day to live well and stay happy and healthy

Arthritis Comorbidities:  Arthritis And…

Depression

High rates of depression & anxiety – many go un-diagnosed.

Diabetes

People diagnosed with diabetes are nearly 2x as likely to have arthritis.

Heart Disease

Having arthritis puts you at increased risk for developing heart disease – including heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation (AFib), high blood pressure, heart failure, and atherosclerosis (plaque in arteries).

Obesity

In some cases, obesity raises the risk of getting a certain type of arthritis.  In ALL cases, obesity makes arthritis WORSE.  20% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with arthritis.  The number jumps to over 33% among obese people.

Sleep Problems

Many with arthritis have trouble falling or staying asleep throughout the night.

Eye Conditions

The inflammation that damages your joints can also affect the eyes.

Hearing Loss

Gum Disease

Taking care of gums and teeth is a good way to take care of your joints!

Kidney Disease

Arthritis can impact your kidneys and even increase your risk for kidney disease.

Skin

Some conditions that accompany different arthritis forms can affect the largest, most visible organ – your skin!

Kids Get Arthritis Too

* The Month of July Is Also Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Awareness Month *

  • Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is not a disease in itself.
  • Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, JA is an umbrella term used to describe many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, or pediatric rheumatic diseases.
  • Develops in children under age 16.
  • JA affects nearly 300,000 children in the U.S.
  • The various types of JA share many common symptoms – pain, joint swelling, redness/warmth, however, each JA type is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms also.
  • Some types of Juvenile Arthritis (JA) affect the musculoskeletal system, but joint symptoms may be minor or non-existent.
  • JA can also involve the eyes, skin, muscles, and gastrointestinal tract.

Types of Juvenile Arthritis (JA):

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA):

  • Considered the most common form of arthritis
  • JIA includes 6 Sub-types
    • Oligoarthritis
    • Polyarthritis
    • Systemic
    • Enthesitis-related
    • Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis
    • Undifferentiated

Juvenile dermatomyositis:

  • An inflammatory disease
  • Causes muscle weakness and skin rash on eyelids and knuckles

Juvenile lupus:

  • An auto-immune disease
  • Most common form – systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Lupus can affect joints, skin, kidneys, blood, and other body areas

Juvenile scleroderma:

  • Scleroderma literally means “hard skin”
  • Group of conditions that causes the skin to tighten and harden

Kawasaki disease:

  • Causes blood-vessel inflammation
  • Can lead to heart complications

Mixed Connective Tissue Disease:

  • May include symptoms of arthritis, dermatomyositis, lupus, and scleroderma
  • Associated with very high levels of a particular antinuclear antibody called anti-RNP

Fibromyalgia:

  • A chronic pain syndrome
  • Arthritis related condition
  • Can cause stiffness and aching with fatigue, disrupted sleep, and other symptoms
  • More common in girls – seldom diagnosed before puberty

 

Group B Strep Is A BIG DEAL!

*July is International Group B Strep (GBS) Awareness Month*

  • Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carry “GBS”, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns according to the CDC.
  • GBS can infect babies during pregnancy and during the first few months of life.
  • Not all babies exposed to GBS become infected, but those that are can face devastating results.

Group B Strep (GBS) Can Cause Babies To:

  • Miscarried
  • Stillborn
  • Born prematurely
  • Become very sick
  • Have lifelong handicaps
  • Die
  • Even babies born to moms who test negative can become infected by Group Strep B.

Recognize the Symptoms:

What GBS Symptoms Do Babies Show?

During Pregnancy – contact your care provider immediately if you experience –

  • Decreased or no fetal movement after your 20th week (while the type of movements may change in the 3rd trimester, there is no evidence to support that the number of fetal movements then decrease due to “less room for your baby to move”)
  • If you have any unexplained fever

After Baby’s Birth – call your baby’s care provider immediately, or take your baby to the emergency room, if you noticed any of these signs –

Sounds:

  • High-pitched cry, shrill moaning, whimpering
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Constant grunting, as if constipated

Breathing:

Fast, slow, or difficult breathing

Appearance of Skin:

  • Blue, gray, or pale skin due to lack of oxygen
  • Blotchy or red skin
  • Tense or bulgy spot on top of head (fontanel)
  • Infection (pus and/or red skin) at the base of umbilical cord or at the puncture on head from an internal fetal monitor

Eating and Sleeping Habits:

  • Feeds poorly or refuses to eat/not waking for feedings
  • Sleeping too much/difficulty being aroused

Behavior:

  • Marked irritability
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Redacting as if skin is tender when touched
  • Listless/floppy/not moving an arm or leg
  • Blank stare
  • Body stiffening/uncontrollable jerking

Body Temperature:

Fever or low unstable temperature; hands & feet may sill feel cold even with the fever

Disease Prevention:

Prenatal-Onset GBS knowledge-based strategies to help prevent babies from becoming infected by Group B Strep before birth…

  • Urine culturing for GBS and other bacteria-
    • If you have a significant level of GBS in your urine, your provider should prescribe oral antibiotics at diagnosis – a “test of cure” or recheck is advocated one month post-treatment.
    • If you have any reportable amount of GBS in your urine, you should received IV antibiotics during labor and delivery regardless of any future GBS test results for this pregnancy.
  • See your provider promptly for any “vaginitis” symptoms – GBS can cause vaginitis symptoms, such as:
    • external vaginal burning
    • external vaginal irritation
    • unusual discharge
    • these could be mistaken for a yeast infection and treated incorrectly if not addressed
  • Avoid unnecessary invasive procedures as these procedures may push GBS closer to your baby where it can then cross intact membranes

Late-Onset GBS disease

  • Late-onset GBS occurs in babies over 1 week of age, up to several months old.
  • There are currently no prevention protocols in place to help prevent late-onset GBS disease.
  • Being able to recognize symptoms of the GBS infection in babies is imperative for prompt medical treatment for better outcomes.
  • Be able to recognize these symptoms EVEN IF YOU HAVE TESTED NEGATIVE FOR GBS – once born babies can become infected by sources other than the mother.
  • GBS is a very fast-acting type of bacteria, and an otherwise healthy-appearing baby can become critically ill within a matter of hours.