Don't wait for a TIA
Prevent a stroke with medication, healthier lifestyle.
A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is an episode of
stroke-like symptoms that disappear without noticeable injury. People
often think that if they have not had a TIA, they won't have a real
Not true. A TIA precedes only one in eight strokes,
according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario.
Dr, Daniel Hackman, who led the study, says
individuals should asses their risk for a future stroke by having their
risk factors checked, including smoking, diabetes, cholesterol and blood
pressure levels, and weight management, which is done with a primary
A TIA is a warning sign that a major stroke may
occur. About 11 percent of those experiencing one have a stroke over the
next three months, about 20 percent of these strokes are fatal and
two-thirds are disabling.
Symptoms of a TIA are the same as those for a major
stroke: poor balance, slurred speech or a droopy face, one side of the
body is weak or numb, vision is all or partially lost, and there may be
a severe headache. Anyone with any of these symptoms should go to the
emergency room immediately.
The risk of a disabling stroke after a TIA can be
reduced when risk factors are managed with medications to thin blood,
drugs that lower cholesterol and blood pressure, exercise, and a diet
high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but low in salt and
saturated fat. These steps are advisable for everyone.
People who never had a warning sign were more likely
to have a major stroke than those who did. They were more likely to die
at the hospital, more likely to have a heart attack while in the
hospital, and less likely to be able to go home instead of to a nursing
Stay sharp with stronger muscles
Here's a surprise, there's a link between muscle
strength and brain health. One study published in the Archives of
Neurology, shows that muscle strength is actually linked with a lower
risk of cognitive impairment. In older people, lack of strength is an
early indicator of Alzheimer's disease.
That doesn't prove that weak muscles cause
Alzheimer's, but it does support the idea that there is a real link
between physical health and brain health. It also suggests that keeping
strong is important at all ages.
Laparoscopic surgery for rectal tumors
For faster healing and less pain, laparoscopic
surgery has been chosen for many types of operations during the last two
More recently, the minimally invasive procedure has
been successfully used for treating rectal tumors and rectal cancer.
Laparoscopic is done through small incisions and guided by a viewing
tube, the laparoscope. It results in less post-operative pain, faster
healing and less scarring, say researchers at Duke University.
Because there isn't much space in the pelvis, the
best outcomes are closely related to the surgeon's experience.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say the best way to
prevent liver disease is to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B. A
combination vaccine for both strains is available for people age 18 and
You have increased risk of hepatitis if you are in
close contact with someone who has it.
Your risk is increased if you have contact with
people who have HIV infections, those who have multiple sex partners, or
people who share needles or syringes, including glucose-monitoring
If you have been exposed within the last two weeks, a
doctor can help with a shot of immune globulin.
May 5-12, National Nurses Week
Thank a nurse
During National Nurses Week, we are reminded that
nurses are a pivotal component of medical care for people of all ages.
In 2005, Margo McCarthy, wrote Thank You, Nurse, to
describe the feelings of her elderly patient. It says, in part:
I was like you, so young and healthy,
I laughed; I played; I once was wealthy!
And I remember ... it went so fast!
My Dad, my home, my son, all passed.
But as I doze here in my chair,
I'm there again, so young and fair.
So talk to me when you are near;
I'll hear your voice and know less fear.
Come! See the true me and behold.
Not a just a patient, sick and old.
But a real person who had a life,
A house, a job, a child, a wife.
Thank you, nurse, you did your part.
You said my name; you touched my heart.
More than ever, as years go by, patient outcomes are known to be more
positive when skilled and sensitive nursing is involved.
Because a "patient" may be an individual, a family, or a community,
patient outcome is a broad term that is amenable to change. Nurses are a
positive influence in these outcomes.
In addition to May 12, International Nurses Day,
National Nurses Week includes May 8, National Student Nurses Day and
Wednesday of Nurses Week, National School Nurses Day.