Serving the Community Since 1956

Serving the Community Since 1956

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Run...not an actual four-letter word, but it seems like it to many. "I don't run", is something heard often when talking about exercise. You may want to reconsider after reading this. Running can give you a healthier body, a refreshed outlook and a chance to make big improvements physically with less activity. Running is a calorie blasting workout and often shows results faster than other workouts. Of course, check with your physician first to see if it is right for you, but here are several reasons you may want to reconsider taking a run.

  • You can run anywhere, treadmills, outside...there are very few limitations.
  • Save money - no fancy workout equipment or memberships required.
  • Improve health - active people are less likely to visit the doctor.
  • Carbs can help - are you a carb lover? Here's a reason to consume some carbs. (In moderation)
  • Burn more calories - A 160 person can burn 850 calories per hour.
  • Reduce Blood Pressure - running is a natural way to reduce blood pressure.
  • Build strong bones - running helps build muscle, keeping bones healthier as they age.
  • Boost energy - a morning run will increase energy all day long.
  • Make the dog happy - Dogs are great running partners; a great time for quality time with Fido.
  • Heart Health - Running just an hour per week can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners.
  • Alleviate stress - boost serotonin levels in the brain.
  • Enjoy some tunes - what better time to listen to your favorite playlist.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Need Inspiration?

Do you have trouble getting motivated to exercise? Maybe these will help! Pick your favorite, print it out, post it on the mirror or fridge and get to work! 


Set your goals and measure your own success based on what you want to achieve.

Why not do everything you can to promote good health!

Can't is a four-letter word!

If you are trying...that's what matters!

What will it take to get you started? There's no time like the present!

You CAN do it!


Think positive! Believe in yourself!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Challenge You!


What:  Biz Johnson Express Half Marathon    When: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Where: Lassen National Forest (Susanville-Westwood area)

Cost: Registration is $45 – plus $15 shuttle fee. The run is “one-way” – flat and downhill.  A shuttle takes runners to starting point and you end at another location. If you have a ride to the starting point – the $15 is not payable.  DUE August 1st – or price increases.

Why: This is a run that one of our employees, Julie McCullough loved. We are putting together a MMHD Team and running in honor of her.


BEFORE YOU SAY NO “I Don’t Run…” Think about this…

This is a large challenge – something hard to endure and probably not something most of us want to do. It won’t be easy. For these reasons it will be a meaningful tribute to a person who loved to run. 

If you don’t run at all – that doesn’t matter. You have a LONG time to train and we have a training program for every level – the non-runner, the walker, the one who hasn’t exercised at all, the one who wants to do a walk/jog race….we have training plans.

It is our goal to get as many people as we can to commit to this cause. We will also be setting up a pledge plan for participants to get pledges to establish a scholarship fund.


“What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination.” – Zig Ziglar

Monday, July 28, 2014

Healthy Snacks

Busy schedule?  Look no further than fruits and vegetables for quick healthy snacks! Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of energy and provide nutrients to keep you going with a busy schedule.

Think Color!

For a great source of vitamins and minerals try eating fruits and vegetables of different colors. This will provide a wide range of valuable nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, and white onions.

Children and families tend to consume more of the foods that they have easy access to. Keep fruits and vegetables within reach and you’re more likely to make healthy choices.
Tip: Replace a candy dish with a fruit bowl.
Tip: Store especially tempting foods, like cookies, chips, or ice cream, out of immediate eyesight, like on a high shelf or at the back of the freezer. Move the healthy food to the front at eye level.
Eat fruit raw to enjoy its natural sweetness.
Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are good options when fresh produce is not available. Be careful to choose those without added sugar, syrup and cream sauces.
Choose whole fruit over fruit drinks and juices. Fruit juices have lost fiber from the fruit. It’s better to eat the whole fruit because it contains the added fiber that helps you feel full.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR. Cardio means "of the heart" and pulmonary means "of the lungs". Resuscitation is to revive. CPR is used to help a person who has stopped breathing and whose heart may have stopped beating.

Emergency personnel as well as coaches, teaches and many others are trained in CPR.

There are 3 main steps to CPR:
  • Chest compressions (C)
  • Check the airway (A)
  • Do rescue breathing (B)
The steps in CPR should be used whenever someone is not breathing and when the heart is not beating.
A person can stop breathing and/or have cardiac arrest from:
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • choking or airway blockage
  • near drowning
  • severe neck or back injury
  • severe electrical shock
  • too much bleeding
  • severe allergic reaction
  • swallowing a drug or chemical
If an emergency happens or someone becomes very sick around you, stay calm, call for help and if you are certified, you should begin performing CPR.
MMHD offers CPR classes throughout the year. Classes are offered to the community for $45. If you are interested in having a class set up at your business or for your employees, contact:
Jeanette Rodriguez
(530)336-5511 Ext. 1128



Thursday, July 24, 2014

What is HPV?

If you are a parent of pre-teens, you have no doubt been informed of the HPV Vaccine. So what is HPV and why should you have your children vaccinated?

Following is information provided by the CDC:

Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people who become infected with HPV do not know they have it. HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). These are all viruses that can be passed on during sex, but they cause different symptoms and health problems.

HPV vaccines are given as a series of three shots over 6 months to protect against HPV infection and the health problems that HPV infection can cause. There are two different vaccines, Cervarix and Gardasil.  Only Gardasil is available for males.

HPV vaccines offer the best protection to girls and boys who receive all three vaccine doses and have time to develop an immune response before being sexually active with another person. That's why HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years.

What are the signs, symptoms and potential health consequences of HPV?

Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV within two years. But there is no way to know which people who get HPV will go on to develop health problems.
  • Sometimes, certain types of HPV can cause genital warts in males and females. Rarely, these types can also cause warts in the throat -- a condition called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis or RRP.
  • Other HPV types can cause normal cells in the body to turn abnormal, and might lead to cancer over time. These HPV types can cause Cervical cancer and other, less common cancers, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).
All vaccines used in the United States are required to go through years of extensive safety testing before they are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once in use, they are continually monitored for their safety and effectiveness.

The safety of Gardasil was studied in clinical trials with 29,000 females and males before it was licensed. The safety of Cervarix was studied in clinical trials with more than 30,000 females before it was licensed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Burn Calories Doing Everyday Activities

A long day at work, too much on the to-do list and not enough time to go to the gym? Here are some everyday activities with some great calorie burn.

Stay Active Outside

  • Heavy Yard Work - 400-600 calories per hour
  • Raking and bagging leaves - 350-450 calories per hour
  • Pulling weeds, planting flowers - 200-400 calories per hour
  • Mowing - 250-350 per hour
  • Shoveling Snow - 400-600 per hour

Household Chores

  • Major cleaning(window washing, turning mattresses) - 175-250 calories per hour
  • Mopping, sweeping, vacuuming - 150-200 calories per hour
  • Dusting, taking out garbage - 120-170 calories per hour
  • Child care - 300-600 calories per hour

Stay Active at Work

  • Get up and walk
  • Try using a stability ball for a chair
  • Anytime you can stand - do it!
For more health and fitness information visit

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oh My Aching Back!

It happens to everyone...that aching back. It could be from lifting too much, poor posture, overuse or a specific trauma...but it is not fun.

There are different kinds of back pain.

Back pain can feel like a dull, constant ache or a sudden, sharp pain. Back pain often gets better on its own.

What is the difference between acute and chronic back pain?
Acute back pain is pain that lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It’s often caused by an accident, a fall, or lifting something too heavy. Acute back pain usually gets better without any treatment.

Back pain that lasts for more than 3 months is called chronic back pain. It is much less common than acute back pain. Most chronic back pain can be treated without surgery.

Many people hurt their backs at work when they lift, push, or pull something that's too heavy. People may also be at risk for back pain if they:
  • Have poor posture (don’t stand and sit up straight)
  • Aren’t physically active
  • Are overweight
  • Fall or have an accident
  • Have a health problem that causes back pain (like arthritis or cancer)
  • Smoke

Take care of your back to avoid back pain. Preventing back pain is easier than treating it. Keeping the muscles strong is the best form of prevention.

There are things you can do to make your back stronger and lower your risk of back pain.
  • Do strengthening exercises at least 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Try yoga - It can help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve your posture.
  •  Regular physical activity can help keep your back muscles strong. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity a week.
If you have a health condition, your doctor can help you choose the best activities for you.

Good posture can help prevent back pain.
  • Try not to slouch when standing and sitting.
  • Sit up straight with your back against the back of your chair and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips.
  • Stand tall with your head up and shoulders back.
Lift things with your legs, not your back. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees or at the hips. Get help if the load is too heavy for you to lift alone.

If you are overweight, try to lose a few pounds - this can help reduce the strain on your back.

Calcium and Vitamin D can help keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis, your bones are weak and more likely to fracture. Spine fractures from osteoporosis are a leading cause of back pain.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Encouraging Weight Loss

Talking to a family member or friend about weight loss is not an easy thing to do. What do you do when you genuinely care and feel it is important to bring up the conversation. Aside from trying to be a good example, there are a few ideas to try.

Begin by saying, “I care about you.”

Let your loved ones know they are important to you  and you want them around for along time. Talk about the new things you can do together with more energy and better health.

Share ideas and offer encouragement

If you know friends, family members, or co-workers who have lost weight by eating healthy and getting active, share some of their tips.
  • Try losing weight slowly, about 1 to 2 pounds each week.
  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Keep a food diary. Every day, write down what and how much you eat.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda or juice.
  • Be active your way. Find activities you like and do them often.
  • Do something active every day – take the stairs, go for a walk at lunch, or enjoy a family bike ride.
  • Join a walking club or support group to keep you motivated.

Offer to be a part of the journey

  • Go food shopping together. Compare food labels to make healthy choices.
  • If you go out to eat, split a meal or save half to take home.
  • Go for a walk every evening or take an exercise class together.
  • Celebrate your loved one’s weight loss, but don’t use food as a reward.
  • Friday, July 18, 2014

    Honey for Allergies

    You may have heard the idea that "local" honey is good for your seasonal allergies. How much truth is there to that notion?

    According to Dr. Steven Rubinstein of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, there are no conclusive "good" studies to prove that idea.

    Some argue that local honey is an alternative intervention for allergies. The reasoning being that honey traps pollens from flowers harvested by the bees. These particular pollens are "sticky" and not a problem like the pollens found floating in the air - true pollen allergens like grass, tree and weed pollens.

    Rubinstein therefore concludes there is really no relevant pollen in the honey for allergic patients to get relief.

    He does agree that the relief from the honey could be from a medicinal effect, although it would vary from person to person.

    Weigh in on this topic...have you tried honey for your allergies? Has it been helpful?

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Hot Flashes....Is it????

    What Is a Hot Flash?

    A hot flash, sometimes called a hot flush, is a quick feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. The exact cause of hot flashes is not known, but may be related to changes in circulation.
    Hot flashes happen when the blood vessels near the skin's surface dilate to cool. A woman may also sweat to cool down her body. And some women have a rapid heart rate or chills.
    Hot flashes with sweating can also happen at night. These are called night sweats and may make it harder to sleep.
    A hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in the face and neck.
    Hot flashes are one of the things women hear the most about when it comes to perimenopause and menopause - being a significant symptom of both.

    How Long Will I Have Hot Flashes?

    Hot flashes vary among women going through menopause. Some women have hot flashes for a very short time during menopause. Other women may have hot flashes for life. Generally, hot flashes are less severe as time passes.

    Can I Prevent Hot Flashes?

    You probably can't avoid hot flashes during menopause, but there are things that may bring them on more often or cause them to be more severe. To prevent hot flashes, avoid these triggers:
  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Tight clothing
  • Heat
  • Cigarette smoke

    Other things you can do to keep hot flashes at bay include:

    • Stay cool. Keep your bedroom cool at night. Use fans during the day. Wear light layers of clothes with natural fibers such as cotton.
    • Try deep, slow abdominal breathing (six to eight breaths per minute). Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and at the onset of hot flashes.
    • Exercise daily. Walking, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all good choices.
    • Try chill pillows. Cooler pillows to lay your head on at night might be helpful.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Healthy Substitutions

    How do we make our favorite foods healthier without giving up all of the flavor? There are many healthy food substitutions worth a try. Here are a few:

    Unsweetened Applesauce for oil or butter - first try swapping half of the amount, if you like it, substitute the whole amount. Works great in sweet breads, muffins and pre-boxed mixes.

    Avocado Puree for butter - they are both fats and nearly the same consistency. Try swapping cup for cup for a healthier fat.

    Mashed Banana for fats - One cup mashed banana works great for replacing one cup of butter or oil.

    Evaporated Skim Milk for cream - around the same consistency and a lot less fat! Swap cup for cup.

    Flax Meal for eggs - Mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (flax meal) with 3 tablespoons warm water and whisk briskly. Let it sit in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes before substituting for 1 egg in any baked recipe.

    Cauliflower for rice - grate, steam and season.

    Black Beans for flour - one can drained and rinsed. When baking, swap out 1 cup black bean puree for 1 cup of flour.

    Here's to healthy cooking and baking!

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    A Little Fruity

    We all know drinking water is good for us, especially when it is so warm outside.
    We need to drink lots of water every day to replace the water we lose by sweating, breathing, and natural elimination. Staying hydrated helps your skin to be healthy, keeps you from getting headaches and stomach aches, helps digestion and prevents constipation, and controls your hunger. In fact, many people mistaken thirst for hunger and end up eating instead of drinking.

    When you get bored of plain water, there are some great varieties of fruit infused water.

    Health Benefits of Infusing Water:

    1. Hydration. Drinking plain water is pretty boring for some. Infusing fruits into your water can make drinking water a little more fun! The more you drink, the better hydrated your body will be.

    2. Detoxification. The water and the fruit in infused water work together to cleanse your body of toxic buildup. This will also give your immune system a little boost from any toxins that were working against it.

    3. Less Sugar. Infused water has no additive sugars like sodas, and juices. The sugar in the water comes naturally from the fruit or herbs you put inside. Perfect for those who are watching their sugar intake!

    4. More Nutrition. Infused Water has many more nutrients inside that regular water! Because you include the rinds and peels of fruits in the water, you reap the benefits of the high levels of antioxidants and nutrients in the peels.

    Fruit Infused Water Recipes:

    Citrus Cucumber Water
    • 1 large lemon, sliced
    • 1 large lime, sliced
    • 1 large orange, sliced
    • 1 large cucumber, sliced
    • 1/2 gallon of water
    1. Place all fruits and vegetables in a glass pitcher.
    2. Add water.
    3. Allow to infuse for two hours before serving over ice.

    Orange Mint Water
    • 3 large oranges, sliced
    • 10 mint leaves
    • 1/2 gallon of water
    1. Place mint and orange slices in a pitcher.
    2. Add water.
    3. Infuse for two hours in the refrigerator.
    4. Pour over ice.
    5. Serve garnished with an orange slice and a sprig of mint

    Minty Pineapple Water
    • 8-10 mint leaves, whole
    • 1/4 portion of a pineapple, peeled and cut into small triangles
    • 8 cups water
    1. Fill a pitcher with 8 cups of water.
    2. Add pineapple chunks, then sprinkle the mint leaves.
    3. Refrigerate pitcher for 3 hours.
    4. Serve chilled, removing the pineapple chunks and mint leaves by straining.


    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Tips on Beating the Heat

    The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

    • Photo of athlete drinking water.Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
    • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
    • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
    • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
    • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
    • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
    • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
      • Infants and young children
      • People aged 65 or older
      • People who have a mental illness
      • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
    • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

    If you must be out in the heat:

    • Photo of woman relaxing in the shade.Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
    • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
    • Try to rest often in shady areas.
    • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).
    This information provided by NCEH's Health Studies Branch.

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    New Website!

    Mayers Memorial Hospital District is excited to invite you to view our new website!

    After months and months of design and programming – it is complete!

    This is a very interactive website and we hope that you will find it useful. Here are a few highlights:


    ·        Automatic Bill Pay

    ·        Patient Pre-Registration

    ·        Patient Portal Access

    ·        HR Resources

    ·        Community Information

    ·        Downloadable PDF Brochures on department pages

    ·        Blog Access, Social Media Access

    ·        FastHealth Medical Information access with unlimited medical information

    ·        Patient information

    ·        Community Calendar (Under “About Us”)

    ·        Send and E-Card (Under “About Us”)


    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Kick The Habit

    Quitting is Hard

    Many ex–smokers say quitting was the hardest thing they ever did. However, millions of people have been able to do it and you can too. An important first step of the quit process is learning why you feel like you need to smoke. When you understand why you smoke, you can prepare yourself to find the best ways to quit.


    One of the main reasons smokers keep smoking is nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to smoking. Over time your body gets used to having nicotine. However, the more you smoke‚ the more nicotine you need to feel normal. When your body doesn't get nicotine, you may feel uncomfortable and crave cigarettes. This is called withdrawal.
    It takes time to get over withdrawal. Most physical symptoms go away after a few days to a week, but cigarette cravings may stick around longer. So don't give up. You can do this. Visit our withdrawal page to get tips on handling symptoms of withdrawal.


    When you smoke, it becomes an important part of your life. Certain activities, feelings, and people are linked to your smoking. When you come across these things, they may "trigger" or turn on your urge to smoke. Try to anticipate these smoking triggers and develop ways to deal with them. Here are a few tips:
    • Go to places that don't allow smoking. Shops, movie theatres, and many restaurants are now smokefree.
    • Spend more time with non-smokers. You won't want to smoke as badly if you are around people who don't smoke.
    • Keep your hands busy. Play a game on your phone, eat a healthy snack, or squeeze a stress ball.
    • Take a deep breath. Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to stop smoking. Think of people in your life who will be happier and healthier because you decided to quit.

    Consider Using a Quit Smoking Program

    Quit smoking programs help smokers spot and cope with problems they have when trying to quit. The programs teach problem-solving and other coping skills. A quit smoking program can help you quit for good by:
    • Helping you understand why you smoke
    • Teaching you how to handle withdrawal and stress
    • Teaching you tips to help resist the urge to smoke
    Visit for valuable resources.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014


    Can you go a day without your smartphone, tablet or other electronic device? It's a tough question, but one experts say we should all consider. "Unplugging" can have many benefits. Aside from re-establishing a social and personal connection with family and friends, there are several other reasons you might want to turn the phone off.

    One suggestion is to turn off our gadgets in the evenings after work. When the workday is over - forget about work.

    Benefits of turning it off...

    • Stress Recovery - you really do need down time to recover and prepare for the next day. It is important to draw a line between work and home.

    • Multi-tasking doesn't always work - don't try to respond to texts, emails and social media while making dinner, eating dinner of watching television with your family. Designate family time - it will reap benefits.

    • Internet Addiction??? There is nothing more to say, if you cannot give it up for the evening, there may be an issue.

    • Sleep Issues - regularly using or technological devices at night has been link to sleep disorders, depression and stress. Research has shown that the light alone that is put off by tablets may be linked to reduced serotonin (sleep hormone) after 2 hours of use.

    • Un-plugging will make you nicer - a study last year showed that when people are using their smartphones excessively, they are less likely to be good to others.  
    Challenge: Try Un-plugging a night or tow this week and see how it goes.

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Know the Signs

    The temperature is rising. It is hot. It is very important to be aware of the heat and how your body can react to it. Getting too hot can make you sick. Your body needs to be able to cool itself.

    There is a difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat Exhaustion:

    • heavy sweating
    • weakness
    • cold, pale, clammy skin
    • fast or weak pulse
    • nausea or vomiting
    • fainting

    What to do:
    • get to a cooler location
    • loosen or remove clothing
    • lie down
    • apply cool, wet cloths
    • sip water
    • if you vomit and it continues seek medical attention immediately
    Heat Stroke:
    • high Body Temp (above 103)
    • hot, red, dry or moist skin
    • rapid and strong pulse
    • possible unconsciousness
    What to do:
    • this is a medical emergency, CALL 911
    • move the person to a cooler place
    • reduce temperature with cool cloths or a bath
    • do NOT give fluids
    There are some things you can do to avoid heat-related illness.
    • stay indoors in air-conditioned location if possible
    • drink plenty of fluids
    • wear loose, lightweight clothing
    • pace yourself with outdoor activities
    • cool showers and baths
    • do not leave children of pets in the car
    • check on neighbors, especially elderly


    Friday, July 4, 2014

    Give Blood

    There are many reasons to mark your calendar for a life saving appointment on July 15, 2014. If you are eligible, it is a great time to contribute to life. The Mayers Memorial Hospital Blood Drive is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15 from 1:30 – 5:30 pm at the Fall River Seventh Day Adventist Church.

    You can pre-schedule your appointment by calling (530)221-0600 or visiting (click “donate blood” and enter sponsor code FRM). 

    Here are a few facts about blood and blood donation:

    1.     More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada.

    2.     43,000 pints: amount of donated blood used each day in the U.S. and Canada.

    3.     Someone needs blood every two seconds.

    4.     Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood – less than 10 percent do annually.

    5.     About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.

    6.     One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

    7.     Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood—the most common form of donation—every 56 days, or every two months. Females receive 53 percent of blood transfusions; males receive 47 percent.

    8.     94 percent of blood donors are registered voters.

    9.     Four main red blood cell types: A, B, AB and O. Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor. AB is the universal recipient; O negative is the universal donor of red blood cells.

    10.  Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups – A, B, AB and O – in 1901.


    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    It's Your Skin

    Your skin changes with age. It becomes thinner, loses fat, and no longer looks as plump and smooth as it once did. Your veins and bones can be seen more easily. Scratches, cuts, or bumps can take longer to heal. Years of sun tanning or being out in the sunlight for a long time may lead to wrinkles, dryness, age spots, and even cancer. But there are things you can do to protect your skin and to make it feel and look better.

    Dry Skin and Itching can be caused by several factors:

    • Staying out in the sun
    • Being in very dry air
    • Smoking
    • Feeling stress
    Moisturizers like lotions, creams, or ointments can soothe dry, itchy skin. They should be used every day. Try taking fewer baths and using milder soap to help your dry skin. Warm water is less drying than hot water. Don't add bath oil to your water -- it will make the tub too slippery. Some people find that a humidifier (an appliance that adds moisture to a room) helps.Losing sweat and oil glands (common with age)

    Age Spots and Skin Tags

    Age spots, once called "liver spots," are flat, brown spots often caused by years in the sun. They are bigger than freckles, and many times show up on areas like the face, hands, arms, back, and feet. Age spots are harmless, but if they bother you, talk to a dermatologist about removing them. Also, a sunscreen or sunblock may prevent more sun damage.

    Skin tags are small, usually flesh-colored growths of skin that have a raised surface. They are a common occurrence as people age, especially for women. They are most often found on the eyelids, neck, and body folds such as the arm pit, chest, and groin. Skin tags are harmless, but they can become irritated. A doctor can remove them if they bother you.

    Skin Cancer

    Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The main cause of skin cancer is the sun. Sunlamps and tanning booths can also cause skin cancer. Anyone can get cancer, but people with fair skin that freckles easily are at greatest risk. Skin cancer may be cured if it is found before it spreads to other parts of the body.

    There are three types of skin cancers. Two types, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. These types of cancer are found mostly on parts of the skin exposed to the sun, like the head, face, neck, hands, and arms, but can happen anywhere on your body. The third and most dangerous type of skin cancer is melanoma. It is rarer than the other types, but can spread to other organs and be deadly.

    Check your skin once a month for things that may be cancer. Skin cancer is rarely painful. Look for changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, or a bleeding mole. Also, check moles, birthmarks, or other parts of the skin for the "ABCDE's." ABCDE stands for:

    A = Asymmetry (one half of the growth looks different from the other half)
    B = Borders that are irregular
    C = Color changes or more than one color
    D = Diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser
    E = Evolving; this means the growth changes in size, shape, symptoms (itching, tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or shades of color

    See your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.

    Keep your skin healthy:

    Some sun can be good for you, but to keep your skin healthy, be careful.
    • Limit time in the sun. Try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun's rays are strongest. Don't be fooled by cloudy skies. The sun's rays can go through clouds. You can also get sunburned if you are in water, so be careful when you are in a pool, lake, or the ocean.
    • Use sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) number of 15 or higher. It's best to choose sunscreens with "broad spectrum" on the label. Put the sunscreen on 15-30 minutes before you go outside. Sunscreen should be reapplied about every 2 hours. You need to put sunscreen on more often if you are swimming, sweating, or rubbing your skin with a towel.
    • Wear protective clothing. A hat with a wide brim can shade your neck, ears, eyes, and head. Look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of the sun's rays. If you have to be in the sun, wear loose, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or long skirts.
    • Avoid tanning. Don't use sunlamps or tanning beds. Tanning pills are not approved by the FDA and might not be safe.
    Your skin may change with age. But remember, there are things you can do to help. Check your skin often. If you find any changes that worry you, see your doctor.

    Source: USDA, National Institute on Aging