Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday Health

The holiday season is upon us and it is that time of year when many people say eat, drink and be merry. The reality is, if you have a medical condition you may want to be more aware in these three areas.

Eating is something we all do on a daily basis. Sticking to a normal diet may be a little more challenging during holiday gatherings with all the wonderful foods of the season. Parties with endless food choices and the treats given as gifts are all so tempting. One way to cut the calories is to simply re-gift all fruitcakes that are sent to you. I believe this is now an accepted tradition. Besides it is the thought that counts.

Drinking alcohol may have some medicinal advantages. On the other hand, this can be a whole other matter if you have a condition and/or take medication(s) that may react with alcohol. You should not increase your normal intake of alcohol for it may cause harm. Alcohol consumption does increase during this time of the year, so just remember if you are in good health, drink in moderation. Watch out, the eggnog might be spiked.

Being merry can at least minimize your stress. Stress can be brought on in many different ways. Stress can be manifested by oneself or it can be thrust upon them. Either way one must learn to recognize areas that increase their stress levels, so try to manage them. This can help year round, but also can be a big plus for the end of the year push and/or the holiday season. So do your best to keep it a merry one.

During the holiday season, many will travel to visit family, friends or take that needed vacation. What if one of those travelers would be your medical professional? Could you get your medical information as soon as you need it? Members of Med File Now® (MedFN) can. If you know someone who could benefit from a Med File Now® (MedFN) account, tell them to visit our website at to get them started.

From all of us at Med File Now® (MedFN) we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Patient Can’t Remember Their Medication

Could your medication kill you? If you don’t remember what it is, it could. While working in the insurance industry and in the medical field I was very concerned by the number of people that could not recall their medications. I could understand the confusion if the individual was taking a number of medications, with the different names, frequencies and dosages. What surprised me the most was the number of individuals that could not recall their medication even if it was just one. Doctors must rely on the accuracy of the patient’s memory to properly treat these patients. Plus patient’s record may not be readily available. This inaccuracy of the patient’s information and an introduction of a new medication could have adverse interactions and lead to death.

You might be asking yourself, how frequently does this happen? Recent research studies at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine delved into this issue. They found that 50% of patients taking antihypertensive drugs in three community health centers were unable to accurately name a single one of their medications listed in their medical chart. That number climbed to 65 percent for patients with lower health literacy. The results from this study indicated the problem is worse than expected. This left researchers to believe that doctors may not know the medications actually being taking by patients for their chronic conditions. This makes it truly difficult for the doctor to know what medications the patients are actually taking.

Research has identified a definite problem that may lead to deadly consequences to a patient. Some people choose to still leave it in the hands of the medical profession. On the contrary it is the responsibility of the individual to have access to this pertinent information. It is human nature to believe that this will not happen to you, but in a critical situation the simplest things can be forgotten. You need to prepare yourself and your loved ones by taking action. It can be as simple as having a Med File Now (MedFN) account online that will make this information available 24/7. You may think how would only having one medication online save your life, but that is what people thought about wearing a seatbelt.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Autistic Children Can Speak Out Now

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). First estimates were said to be 1 out every 166 children are born with autism. Recently that number has been reported to even be higher. Today the estimate stands at 1 out of 129 are autistic. Individuals who are diagnosed with autism are becoming more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It is four times more likely to strike boys than girls and it is found in all racial, ethnic, and social groups.
Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe. That is why two children with the same diagnosis may have strikingly different skill sets and act quite differently. Autism impairs a person's ability in three crucial areas of development, which are the social skills, language and behavior. In the most severe cases of autism it becomes the complete inability to communicate or interact with other people.

Social skills;
They do not respond to their name
Acquired ability for words or sentences, become lost
Have a lack of eye contact
At times it seems that they do not hear you
Unaware of others' feelings
Prefers to play alone than with others
Retreats into their own world

Late starter in talking, compared to other children
Acquired ability for words or sentences, become lost
Lack of eye contact when trying to communicate
Abnormal tone or rhythm in speech
Uses singing voice or robotic type speech
From verbatim repeat words or phrases but do not understand the uses
Will not start or keep conversation

Rocking, spinning or hand flapping repetitively
Rituals or routines and change in these rituals or routines becomes disturbing
Constantly moving
Becomes fascinated on an object
Can also have a sensitivity to sound, light and touch

As children with autism become more mature and engaged with others they may show less behavioral traits associated with autism. Usually those with the least severe impairments eventually may lead normal or near-normal lives. Children with autism can have normal to high intelligence. As a result they may learn quickly but still have trouble communicating and applying their skills to their everyday life and adjusting in social situations.There may come a time when an autistic child needs to communicate information. Who will be their voice if they are separated from the guardian? Recently parents have used the power of MedFN to safe guard their children for that reason. The MedFN program will become the voice for that child. It can provide as much information as you want to make available to secure and comfort your child until you are back together. We must all take steps to assure the safety our children. With MedFN, as their voice, autistic children can speak out now.