Posted in Blood, Health, news

Free Tickets to Penn And Teller if You Donate Blood This Year

Penn and Teller are joining forces with Vitalant to help stock our blood banks and local hospitals.

The entertainers have one of the most popular shows in Las Vegas are giving away two tickets from now until January 1st to anyone who donates blood at one of Vitalant’s blood centers.

Blood supplies are critically low, and this time of year is challenging for blood banks to attract donors since many leave town for the holidays. Hence the “13 Blood Days of Christmas” helps raise awareness and much needed blood for the Las Vegas community.

To find a local blood drive click here.

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

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Posted in Health, news, travel

Bed Bugs: Your Questions Answered

Every night our parents would tell us, “Good night, sleep tight…. and don’t let the bed bugs bite.”  As a young child I wasn’t too sure how to combat a bed bug assault, and as an adult, I don’t feel we’re any more equipped.  Home, hotels and even places of work get infested.  So let’s break down this little critter.

What is a bed bug?

Bed bugs, most commonly Cimex lectularius, are insects that grow no larger than an apple seed.

 

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Their life span on average is 4-6 months, although some can be dormant over a year.

Females may lay anywhere from 250-500 eggs in her lifetime, sometimes as often as 1-5 a day.  The eggs hatch between 6-10 days and the baby nymphs are hungry and ready to feed when born.  They will become adult bed bugs in approximately 7 weeks.

Bed bugs prefer warm blood meals and take 5-10 minutes to feed.

As they feed they may change shape and turn from a brownish color to red.

 

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Image from Do My Own Pest Control

Do bed bug bites hurt?

Usually you do not feel a bed bug bite as it’s feeding.  The bed bug injects a local anesthetic and anticoagulant so you don’t itch and bleed as it feeds.  Once it leaves your skin, your immune system starts to wall off the germs that were introduced and tries to heal the bite damage.  This may result in inflammation and itching.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs can be found in virtually any setting where humans hang out. These include hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, apartments, homes, etc.  They specifically like to hide in any of the following:

  • mattresses
  • box springs
  • bed frames
  • torn wallpaper
  • carpet
  • furniture
  • rugs
  • flooring
  • corners
  • cracks
  • crevices
  • picture frames

 

How can I tell if there is a bed bug infestation?

Bed bugs will leave their exoskeletons when they molt and many times excrement.

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Where do bed bugs most commonly infest?

Each January, Orkin releases their “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities” list.  In 2018, the top cities were:

1. Baltimore
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Chicago
4. Los Angeles (+2)
5. Columbus, Ohio
6. Cincinnati (+2)
7. Detroit
8. New York (-4)
9. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
10. Dallas-Fort Worth (+5)
11. Indianapolis
12. Philadelphia
13. Atlanta (+3)
14. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-1)
15. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (-3)
16. Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (-5)
17. Houston
18. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va. (+2)
19. Charlotte, N.C. (-3)
20. Buffalo, N.Y. (-2)
21. Knoxville, Tenn.
22. Nashville, Tenn. (+1)
23. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (+4)
24. Pittsburgh
25. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C.
26. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (+4)
27. Phoenix (-1)
28. Denver (-6)
29. Milwaukee
30. Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (+1)
31. Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. (+5)
32. Boston (-4)
33. Syracuse, N.Y. (+7)
34. Dayton, Ohio (-2)
35. St. Louis (+2)
36. Seattle (-2)
37. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (+9)
38. Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, M.I. (new to list)
39. Omaha, N.E. (-6)
40. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa (-2)
41. San Diego (new to list)
42. Lexington, Ky. (+1)
43. Honolulu, Hawaii (+5)
44. Louisville, Ky. (-3)
45. Las Vegas (+4)
46. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C. (-4)
47. New Orleans (new to list)
48. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C. (-9)
49. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (-14)
50. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (new to list)

 

Are bed bug bites dangerous?

Usually the bites are benign. One may, however, have an allergic reaction or get a secondary bacterial infection so bites should be managed as below.

How do you treat a bed bug bite?

Firstly, make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date.

Secondly, when you notice the bites, wash them with soap and water as bed bugs carry dirt and other disease.

 

bed bugs bite.jpg

Thirdly, consult your medical provider if you have multiple bites, severe itching, pain, or feel sick.

Your medical provider may recommend hydrocortisone creams, anti-histamines and antinflammatories.

How do you avoid getting bed bugs?

  • Inspect your home or hotel room for bedbugs by looking under mattresses, pillows, the sheets, behind the headboard and around where you will be sitting and sleeping.
  • Keep all clothes off the floor.  Suitcases should be placed on counter tops.
  • Avoid clutter and tuck sheets tightly under the mattress.  Yep that’s why hotels make the beds that way.
  • Vacuum thoroughly around beds, mattresses, legs of furniture, corners, crevices, rugs and upholstered furniture.
  • Wash bedding and clothes you think might be exposed in hot water.
  • Consider having a pest control professional come out and take care of business.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blood, Health, news, Politics

Governors Unite During National Blood Donation Week

Governors across the United States have declared State Blood Donation Days to help combat our nation’s blood shortage as part of National Blood Donation Week (NBDW).

Blood supplies have been critical in many parts of the country and natural disasters, such as fires and hurricanes, tax blood banks even more.

What makes NBDW so unique is that both Republican and Democratic governors are uniting and coming together for a common cause.

Last year National Blood Donation Week was September 3-10th with September 5th being National Blood Donation Day.

This year NBDW will be September 2nd – 9th with September 5th being National Blood Donation Day!

Last year, governors in the following states proclaimed September 5th to be their state Blood Donation Day for 2018:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • more to come

Arizona  proclaimed September 3-10th Arizona Blood Donation Week with more to come.

Oklahoma proclaimed the month of September Oklahoma Blood Donation Month.

Alaska proclaimed the month of July Alaska Blood Donation Month.

“Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, and more donations are needed, especially type O, to replenish the blood supply,” said Laurie Nehring, communications director for the American Red Cross. “We appreciate Dr. Daliah’s efforts to educate the public about the importance of regular blood donations.”

Emergency rooms treating trauma victims, hospitals treating anemic patients, and medical clinics replenishing low blood levels in cancer patients require a steady supply of blood products.

38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% actually do.

“The unified effort across America to proclaim state blood donation days around the Labor Day holiday comes at an important time for patients,” said Mitzy Edgecomb, Blood Systems Vice President, Donor Marketing & Communication. “Blood donations often drop dramatically during the summer months and over holiday weeks when regular donors take time away to enjoy family vacations.  We appreciate and applaud the governors from the multiple states who have called attention to the ongoing need for blood donations and thank those who step forward to make a life-transforming impact on others by giving blood.”

Donating blood is easy and takes less than one hour.  Many places of work can hold blood drives so employees don’t have to take off work (plus you get yummy cookies).

 

blood-drive

 

Inconsistent donation patterns during the year result in unpredictable and reliable blood supply numbers, hence donation is requested year round.

United Blood Services suggests donating three times a year.

The summer and holiday season appear to be the “driest” in terms of donations.  States and regions frequently need to ship blood to areas who are in need.

One pint of blood has the potential to save three lives.  Imagine what the whole country can do!

blood bags

For a list of Governor Proclamations visit here.

 

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Health, news, Politics

2/3 of US Governors Proclaim State Blood Donation Days to Fight Blood Shortage

Multiple governors are proclaiming state blood donation days in response to blood bank shortages throughout the country.

Moreover blood donations are desperately needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  Not only do natural disasters require ample blood supply on hand, but the storm and flooding have interrupted the blood donations previously done routinely by thousands of people, thereby drastically cutting supply.

Last year 33 Governors declared state blood donation days to unite during National Blood Donation Week.

This year more are uniting to help bring in more blood supply.

According to the American Red Cross, 36,000 units of blood are needed in the U.S. every day.

Emergency rooms treating trauma victims, hospitals treating anemic patients, and medical clinics replenishing low blood levels in cancer patients require a steady supply of blood products.

38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% actually do.

Inconsistent donation patterns during the year result in unpredictable and reliable blood supply numbers, hence donation is requested year round.

United Blood Services suggests donating three times a year.

The summer and holiday season appear to be the “dryest” in terms of donations.  States and regions frequently need to ship blood to areas who are in need.

National Blood Donation Week is September 4-10th and this year National Blood Donation Day falls on September 8th, with many states declaring September 8th their State Blood Donation Day.

States who have already proclaimed September 8th their Blood Donation Day this year include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Arizona proclaimed September 4-10th Arizona Blood Donation Week.

More will follow in the coming days.

 

To donate blood or host a blood drive, please visit here.

 

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