Got a Cold?

29 11 2010

Dr. Mary Beth, PKIDs’ advice nurse, offers tips on relieving some of those cold symptoms!

Listen now!

Right-click here to download podcast (5.5 min/4mb)





Got a Cold? Smell a Skunk!

18 10 2010

There’s no cure for the common cold, so the best we can do is find a way to feel better until the virus is gone.

Do you have home remedies that soothe the sick and unstuff the stuffy?  Send them in and we’ll post them!

In the meantime, there are the tricks we all know, like getting lots of rest and putting an extra pillow beneath our head if we’re congested, drinking fluids, and gargling with honey and lemon or warm salt water.

And, there’s every mom’s favorite—chicken soupDr. Stephen Rennard  of the University of Nebraska Medical Center took the in-laws’ chicken soup recipe into his lab and found it actually slowed cold symptoms!

After the tried-and-true tricks, there’s the tried-and-blech, which we may not be so quick to attempt.

A couple of gems gathered by Nurse Peggy Fisher from Glasgow, West Virginia are:

  • Tie a big red onion to the bedpost and it keeps the ones in the bed from having colds.
  • A dirty sock worn around your neck when you go to bed will cure a sore throat. (Peggy says: My grandmother had a dog that had tonsillitis, and she did the above and the dog got well.)

UCLA’s Online Archive of American Folk Medicine is a repository of their years of research spent gathering and recording  folk lore and medicine, providing us with more than 1,000 recipes to ease, prevent or “cure” the common cold, such as:

  • For colds, put mutton suet or tallow on the bottom of the feet, place the feet toward the fire and bake.
  • For colds and other respiratory troubles, use spirits of turpentine; or rub tallow on chest or plaster it on chest.
  • A flannel cloth moistened or soaked in melted beeswax, a small amount of lard, and two or three drops of turpentine will relieve the soreness in a child’s throat and chest caused by coughing.
  • A favorite “bitters” of the Botanics was bruised lobelia and red pepper pods covered with good whiskey, good for cholera infantum, “yaller janders,” phthisic, croup, whooping cough, colds, coughs, and catarrh.
  • Breathing the odor of skunk is effective against colds.
  • Sip turpentine and sugar for colds.
  • In Sussex, the most petted cat is turned at once out of doors if she sneezes, for should she stay and sneeze three times in the house everybody within its walls will have colds and coughs.
  • For colds: boil and inhale vinegar, burn sulphur in the house, ginger tea, peppermint tea, mustard plasters, turpentine on a sugar lump.

So there you have it. Keep this handy in case you get sick and, need we say? Check with your provider before trying any medicine, folk or otherwise, for your cold!





Pertussis – A Family Story

8 05 2008

A mom shares the story of her family’s fight against pertussis.

Listen now!

Right-click here to download podcast (10MB,19min)





MRSA

25 02 2008

MRSA is in the news these days and it can be scary.  MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a bacterium that causes infections in and on the body.

It’s considered the super bug of staph (Staphylococcus aureus) infections because this strain is resistant to some of our antibiotics.  This resistance makes it harder to treat.

A MRSA infection on the skin may cause boils or pimples or it may cause an infection that runs so deep it has to be drained.  Treatment for such an infection may or may not include antibiotics. 

MRSA may also infect wounds or get into the lungs, the bloodstream or the urinary tract.

About 25 percent of us walk around with staph bacteria on our bodies or maybe up our noses, but we don’t become infected.  Of the 25 percent, about one percent carries MRSA. 

Should the staph get into the body through, say, a cut, we could get an infection.  Usually these infections aren’t serious, although it’s possible for them to become dangerous.  They may even cause pneumonia.

The good news is, staph is usually treated with antibiotics.  The bad news is, there are strains of staph, like MRSA, that have developed resistance to some of our antibiotics.  This super bug keeps changing and adapting, making it necessary for us to develop new antibiotics in a hurry.

To the disgrace of everyone involved, MRSA infections are exploding in healthcare settings, with MRSA now causing up to 40 to 50 percent of the staph infections in U.S. hospitals.

MRSA has also expanded from hospitals and other healthcare settings out into the community, where it is referred to as Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA).

CDC tells us that in 2003, 12 percent of MRSA infections were acquired in the community.

Prevention is key to remaining MRSA-free and CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 15 seconds. Use soap and water or an alcohol-base hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cuts and scrapes with a clean bandage to prevent bacteria from entering the wound.  If you have to touch another person’s wounds or bandages, put a barrier between your hands and the soiled materials or open skin.
  • Don’t share personal care items like nail clippers or scissors, razors, towels and so on. 
  • Wipe down shared gym equipment before and after use.
  • Using the dryer rather than line drying helps kill bacteria.

MRSA is identified with lab tests.  Should your provider determine you have a MRSA infection, there are plenty of antibiotics that do work, although you may not even need to be on antibiotics.