Posted in Education, Health, news

As Back To School Approaches, Teachers Need Help Preparing Too

The new school year is approaching quickly.  And as parents start to prep their kids with new clothes, shoes, backpacks and supplies, teachers are feeling the pressure of preparing too.  Not just for one child but for ALL their students. So what do teachers need?

Whether its school supplies, health advice, or just outright community support teachers need our assistance on multiple levels.  Let’s break it down.

Many teachers need to purchase their own supplies

In 2016 the Education Market Association reported nearly all teachers come out of pocket at minimum $500 for school supplies for their classrooms.  School district budgets allow for supplies but not enough for many classroom’s needs.  And low income districts see families who can’t afford school supplies, hence the teachers supply the students with as much as they can, again from their own pockets.

Bonnie Palbaum, a second grade teacher at Hinman Elementary, states she needs to purchase multiple school supplies for her students including pencils, pencil boxes, desk bins and more.

Jolette May, a high school teacher at Del Sol Academy for the Performing Arts, states she spends approximately $2000 each year on her classroom, providing her students not only with supplemental school supplies such as pencils, paper, lead refills, notebooks (to name a few) but water bottles, tissue, hand sanitizer, and snacks on a monthly basis.

She states, “Every year, before school starts, I usually buy a case of paper, pens and pencils for student use, both a desk and dry-erase giant calendar, folders for organizing my class periods, about 30 composition notebooks, manila folders for kids who can’t seem to stay organized, novels for kids to read, a giant bottle of hand sanitizer, dry erase markers of multiple colors, Sharpies, skinny dry erase markers for the wall calendar, and giant class charts for keeping data on tests, grades, etc.”  May continues, “We have to have data walls for all to see, colored paper, colored pencils, lined paper for kids to use, giant packages of Post-It notes, academic, and non-academic posters for my walls, colored pens for my own use (I color-code my classes for organization), medium, and giant, Post-It notes, M-cups for coffee, throat coat, snacks for kids who are starving, cases of water for students, Tylenol and Excedrine, Pepto, staples, paper clips, binder clips, rubber bands, lead refills, and Kleenex.”

Teachers say “no” more often than they wish to when it comes to behavior issues that when a student needs something to help him/her learn demonstrating positive behavior, no educator wants to deny them, nor should.  This leads teachers to go into their own pocket to supply their class.

Teachers face health risks

In 2006, a study published in BMC Public Health, found teachers to suffer more from ENT (ear, nose and throat) ailments, dermatitis, bladder infections, bronchitis, conjunctivitis and varicose veins than those who work in other professions.  Teachers are on the front lines when it comes to cough and cold season as they come into contact with hundreds of children a day, many of whom are contagious prior to knowing they are symptomatic. Once the fever shows itself, parents may keep the child home but the student already exposed others earlier in the day.

Standing on one’s feet for extended hours does a number on the peripheral vascular system, manifesting in leg swelling and at times, varicose veins.  And when breaks are infrequent, bladder infections brew since one can’t visit the bathroom when they need.

Long work hours during the week prevent many educators from seeing a health care provider and many health plans don’t have providers who work on the weekends.  Teachers can very easily put their own health care needs on the back burner during a long school year.

Violence in increasing in schools

Many teachers are victims of threats and violence in the school setting.  According to the US Department of Education and the American Psychological Association:

  • 20% of public school teachers reported being verbally abused.
  • 10% reported being physically threatened.
  • 5% reported being physically attacked in schools.

This is unacceptable.  Its only a matter of time when those who have entered the noblest of professions will need to find a healthier, less costly and safer alternative.




In Las Vegas, we created Tools4Teachers, joining forces with Albertson’s and Vons Supermarkets, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging, and Storage One Self Storage to collect school supplies and provide help for local teachers.  Its the tip of a much needed iceberg but something so many cities can participate in to help those who dedicate so much of themselves to our children.

To help your local teachers please visit here.


                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Breast Implants Could be Life Saving

Breast implants aren’t bullet-proof but it’s been reported that a women’s fake breasts saved her life.

In 2012, a Canadian woman, Eileen Likness, testified at her ex-boyfriend’s trial, that when he shot her, she survived the gunshot wound when it pierced her nipple and exited her armpit. This suggested the breast implant protected her vital organs by changing the bullet’s trajectory.

Researcher and plastic surgeon from the University of Utah, Christopher Pannucci,  decided to test this theory with his colleagues.

They used blocks of ballistics gel to mimic human tissue and shot bullets at the gel and then with 750 cubic centimeter breast implants as cover.  They found the bullet to travel slower since the implant changed its shape, causing it drag.  Additionally the bullet’s distance shortened by 8 cm, or 20%, when the implant protected the ballistics gel. The shots were fired at 300 m/sec.

This implies, according to Dr. Pannucci, that the decelerating effect of the implant could be life-saving as they act as “tiny airbags” also protecting one from stab wounds and other types of piercing trauma.

Of course breast implants are far from being”bullet-proof vests” but this study puts some positive light on the prostheses as for years they’ve been criticized for their health risks, including the recent study suggesting a higher risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma discussed here.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, Politics

The Presidents and Their Medical Issues

 It’s been long postulated that JFK could have survived if he wasn’t wearing his back brace the day he was shot.  President Kennedy suffered from many issues including Addison’s disease and multiple back surgeries.  His brace possibly kept him upright when the first shot hit, whereas he could have slumped over and been out of the line of fire during the second shot.

The medical issues plaguing our Presidents used to be kept secret, a luxury current politicians can’t fathom in today’s media world.  Each President faced insurmountable tasks on national and global levels.  Let’s now take a look at what our leaders battled personally.

Updated 7/11/17

George Washington – I cannot tell a lie….

It is believed that George Washington suffered from diphtheria, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, dysentery, possible sterility, tonsillitis, and epiglottitis.  He appeared to have  many issues with the back of his throat.  Syphilis has been debated but then again many people at the time had syphilis (Abraham Lincoln supposedly had syphilis when he was younger).

George Washington had one original tooth left by the time he became president.

His teeth were not made of wood…..instead made of hippopotamus/walrus/elephant ivory or transplanted teeth.

The tooth loss could have been from the mercury oxide that was used to treat his smallpox and malaria.

During one of his battles its been said he had to ride with a pillow on his saddle while being ill with fever.  It is believed that the dysentery left his bottom in so much pain that he required a pillow on which to sit.

In 1799, George Washington died of presumed epiglottitis, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.  His end was a painful one as doctors burned and blistered him to draw out the humors.

James Garfield – “Did the doctors kill this President”

James Garfield was shot twice (once in the arm and once in the back) on July 2, 1881.  The bullets and wounds supposedly were not lethal but the un-sterile technique used (the practitioners used their fingers to find the bullets while he lay at the train station) caused him to have an infection and his doctors supposedly restricted his eating since they thought the bullet pierced the bowel.

They fed James Garfield by rectal enema.   He was fed beef bouillon, egg yolks, milk, whisky and opium through his rectum.  It was considered a “nutritional enema”.

Interestingly, Alexander Graham Bell devised a metal detector made of a battery and several metal coils positioned on a wooden platform, connected to an ear piece to help find the bullet.  Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful. James Garfield died 80 days later.

Thomas Jefferson – ahead of his time…….

Thomas Jefferson lived until he was 83.  He was not a vegetarian but ate less meat than others and increased his vegetable intake.

His sleep habits were also good – 5-8 hours of sleep in a “reclined” position.   “Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun.”

He was against tobacco, and moderately used alcohol. “…you are not to conclude I am a drinker. My measure is a perfectly sober 3 or 4 glasses at dinner, and not a drop at any other time. But as to those 3 or 4 glasses I am very fond.”

Its been postulated he also had Aspergers…….


William Taft –  Poster child for sleep apnea and the “Atkins diet”.

 President Taft weighed over 300 lbs and supposedly would nod off during the day and during meetings with world leaders.  It was therefore presumed he had narcolepsy, most likely a result of his sleep apnea.

His doctor put him on a low carb diet and he lost 60 lbs.


Franklin D. Roosevelt –  as if polio wasn’t enough…..

In addition to being a victim to polio, cerebral hemorrhage and very high blood pressure, its been postulated that FDR had malignant melanoma above his left eyebrow….possibly the cause of his hemorrhage when it spread to the brain.


Abraham Lincoln – was he suicidal?

Firstly, lets discuss the myth that Abraham Lincoln had Marfan’s Syndrome.  We now understand he didn’t but actually had a genetic disorder, MEN2B  which gave him a Marfanoid appearance (tall, lanky, long limbs), large lower lip, history of constipation, bumpy lips, “pseudodepression”, and his mother possibly suffered the same disorder.

Was Lincoln suicidal?  The poem, Suicide’s Soliloquy was believed to be authored by Abraham Lincoln.

Why did it take Abraham Lincoln 11 hours to die from his fatal wound? ……Doctors actually relieved the intracranial pressure, and appeared to do an amazing job considering the time.  Unfortunately he fell unconscious immediately, and they never were able to revive him.

Woodrow Wilson – Was he always in charge?

In October of 1919, Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke.  After his medical incident its believed his wife Edith ran the country while he was bedridden.  He died in 1924, three years after leaving office at the age of 67.


Dwight D. Eisenhower – if your heart’s not in it…..


In 1955 he suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack). He originally thought he suffered from indigestion.  Recovery time was much slower than modern day and he was kept on bed rest for months.  He was considering resigning.  Months later he regained his strength and successfully ran for a second term.


John F. Kennedy – did his back brace kill him?

Why was JFK so “tan”? He suffered from Addison’s disease and along with this suffered from chronic back problems.  He required  multiple injections and medicines on a routine basis after a series of failed back surgeries.

His back brace may have cost him his life……Historians believe he didn’t slump over after the first shot (prevented by the brace) and was therefore sitting upright when the second shot hit his head.


JFK appears to be in his back brace that day.  If the first shot caused him to fall over, historians believe he could still be alive today, avoiding the second fatal shot to his head.


Other reported maladies affecting some U.S. Presidents include:

Ulysses S. Grant – throat cancer

Chester Arthur – Bright’s disease

Teddy Roosevelt – detached retina

Herbert Hoover – GI Cancer and GI bleed

Richard Nixon – phlebitis, blood clots

George HW Bush – hyperthyroidism/Graves disease

In short, Presidents are not always in the finest of health and may suffer the same maladies their constituents do.  Washington has always found a way to keep this from the public and may continue to despite today’s technology.





                                                             Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Nelsan Ellis, True Blood’s Lafayette, dies at age 39

True Blood’s, Nelsan Ellis, has died from complications of heart failure.  The 39 year old actor had played Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO hit series and was a favorite since the show debuted in 2008.

His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, stated “Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure.”

On Monday the family released a statement through Saines, citing “alcohol withdrawal” as the inciting event that led to sepsis (blood infection) and ultimately kidney and heart failure.

Alcohol abuse has been linked to an increase risk of sepsis which can manifest in severe drops in blood pressure, lack of perfusion to vital organs, organ failure, and ultimately death.

As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, the statement from Saines reads:

Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.

On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul. He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.

Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1978 and had also starred in the Soloist, The Help and a recently completed work, True to the Game.

He won multiple awards including Satellite Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Television Ensemble.

Heart failure can be caused by a multitude of factors.  For more information on heart failure, read here: Heart Failure

This is a developing story.

Posted in Health, news

Oral Sex Blamed for Spike in “Super-Gonorrhea” Cases

Antibiotic resistant strains of the sexually transmitted illness, Neisseria gonorrhea, have been on the rise, and the World Health Organization cites oral sex as a culprit.

“Super-Gonorrhea” is a term used for a gonorrhea infection that cannot be treated by conventional antibiotic therapy.  Drug resistant strains cause infections that cannot be cured, hence increasing its risk of morbidity and spread to other individuals who think their partner is “cured”.

Gonorrhea infection may present with green/yellow discharge emanating from the penial urethra or female vagina or it may be asymptomatic.  Additionally the bacteria could colonize or infect the rectum, mouth, or disseminate throughout the body, causing arthritis, rash and multiple other maladies. Untreated gonorrhea can also lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and increase one’s risk of acquiring HIV.

Oral sex allows an easy route of transmission if condoms aren’t used.  According to Dr. Teodora Wi, WHO Medical Officer, “When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance.”

Let me explain. Superbugs develop when a bacteria survives an antibiotic treatment that should have killed it.  The surviving bacteria, with its “super genes”, makes offspring that has the same “super genes” capable of withstanding the same antibiotic that didn’t kill its parent.  The more exposure a bacteria has to antibiotics that it can withstand, the greater the possibility of it developing antibiotic resistance.  Antibiotics used to kill throat infections are not always designed to kill off gonorrhea, hence any gonorrhea sitting in the throat after oral sex can produce resistant progeny.

Until recently, gonorrhea would be treated with a single dose of ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, or azithromycin.  Due to a rise in resistance to these individual medications, the current treatment for gonorrhea infection recommended by the CDC is a single dose of 250mg of intramuscular ceftriaxone AND 1g of oral azithromycin.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Tips to Prevent Childhood Drowning

The leading cause of death in children are “unintentional injuries” including drownings.  According to the CDC, 20% of drowning victims are under the age of 14.  And non-fatal drowning victims could sustain brain damage and long term disability.

Pools, bathtubs and any body of water pose risks, however this time of year is especially dangerous, because activities surrounding pools, such as BBQs and alcohol use, become distractors to the adults supervising.

When it comes to drowning prevention, the following is necessary:

All pools should be enclosed

Fence height should be at least 4-5 feet high and the entry gate should self-close and self-latch.

Even if your pool has a fence, be aware that the house who’s hosting the BBQ, play date, or sleep-over may not.

And any kiddy pools or ice buckets used for drinks should be dumped out after use and flipped over so they do not become a future threat.

All young children should be within arm’s reach of an adult when swimming

The farther you are away from the child you’re supervising, the longer it takes to rescue. With distance between you and the victim, other children may swim in your path and you may lose sight of where the victim submerged.  And seconds count.  A panicked child under water may also aspirate water into the lungs becoming hypoxic quicker.  Moreover they could be at risk of “secondary drowning” in which water in the larynx triggers a spasm closing up the airway, or water falling into the lungs causes pulmonary edema and respiratory failure days after the water incident.

Do not get distracted

Put the phones away.  Adults supervising kids in a pool should not be answering a phone call or on social media.  Moreover, adults should not be drinking alcohol while supervising a child. Reaction time is key, and a drunk adult could become a drowning victim as well.

Remember that drowning is silent

Many drownings occur while others are feet away from the victim. Why? Because a submerged victim makes little sound and nearby splashing visually and auditorily obscures the victim’s splashes.

Parents have long learned that when children get quiet during playtime, something could be going wrong.  Use that same Spidey-sense when they are in the pool.


Learn CPR and water rescue skills

Most CPR classes teach adult, child, and infant CPR.  Having this knowledge and becoming certified could save a life one day.

If swimming in open waters, know the weather and sea conditions prior to jumping in.  Life jackets/vests, appropriate for the child’s size, should be worn, even if the child is out of the water, such as in a boat.

Have a safe and healthy summer!



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician


Posted in Health, news

Medical Office Violence – Many Cases Pain Related

Image above from Fox News

Healthcare workers frighteningly face assault all too often, including verbal, sexual and physical, with some of these instances including gun violence.   This may rise as we attempt to combat the opioid addiction epidemic.

Las Vegas tragically has seen multiple cases, especially when it comes to shootings that involve medical offices.  This week four people were injured when a patient walked in asking for a walk-in appointment at the Center for Wellness & Pain Care. When he was denied, he shot at employees before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.  All the victims of the shooting are expected to recover.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time gun violence has involved medical personnel for suspected pain related issues.

In 2003, David Freeman kidnapped his physician, Dr. Sheldon Mike after he refused to call in a pain medication prescription to the pharmacy.  The Freeman took Dr. Mike by car at gunpoint to a drive-through Walgreens. He was stopped by police and Dr. Mike was shot in the shoulder and sustained a neck wound during the incident, but fortunately survived his injuries.

In 2006. Dr. Avi Ostrowsky survived a shooting from a long time patient who had “chronic back pain”.

In 2009, Dr. Edna Makabenta was shot and killed by her patient, Eliseo Santos, when she entered his exam room.  It was reported that Santos was suffering pain from prostate cancer although the exact motive was unknown.

Industries involving customer service expose staff to hundreds of clients a day putting them at risk for altercations. However, medical staff are even more vulnerable to violence in the work place for many reasons. Firstly, health care personnel deal with people who aren’t well, whether its physical, emotional or mental illness.  When one is in pain, or possibly suffering an addiction to narcotics, he/she may not be able to control their anger or emotional outbursts.


Secondly, clients of the healthcare industry are more often disgruntled and frustrated with the medical system, whether it be wait times, cost, or lack of getting their desired services.

Thirdly, medical staff frequently have to say “no”, or deny services to their clients whether its a medical insurance issue or an “unsubstantiated request” for pain prescriptions.  With the ongoing opioid epidemic, medical offices feel pressured to deny prescription requests, therefore angering more patients.

Medical facilities strive to ensure the safety of all their patients.  Many are not equipped, however, to protect those in the waiting or exam rooms from gunfire.

As we gear up to battle the opioid crisis we need to avoiding thrusting millions of people into narcotic withdrawal.  We should prepare for more disgruntled patients becoming violent when their medication requests are turned down.  Narcotic withdrawal is painful and scary and more needs to be done to help those addicted to narcotics to transition and detox easier.  Moreover, the need for increased security at medical offices is paramount.


                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician