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Chris O'Donnell Get Vaccinated Protect Your Family From Flu Exercise Goals And Techniques
Heart Failure Implantable Device Treating
Eye Allergies
Medical Imaging Daily Deals
For LASIK

Prostrate Cancer Robotic Treatment

Actor Chris O'Donnell Educates Adults On The Seriousness Of The Flu, Annual Vaccination Options

pic(NAPSI)—Actor Chris O’Donnell, star of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” knows the single most important thing adults can do to help prevent getting or spreading the flu is to receive their annual flu vaccination. However, Chris admits getting a flu shot can sometimes make him a little anxious. He may not be the only one. On average, only a third of adults 18 through 64 years of age get a flu shot, despite the fact that each year in the U.S., one in five people, or up to 20 percent of the population gets the flu. On average, influenza and its related complications result in approximately 226,000 hospitalizations.

“Living in a household with five kids, I understand the importance of getting my flu shot,” said O’Donnell. “Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing adults can do to help prevent getting or spreading the flu. However, many adults remain unprotected from this serious disease. My hope is that through increased awareness and education, more adults will take steps to help protect themselves and their loved ones by getting their flu shot.”

Chris joined Sanofi Pasteur to help raise awareness about vaccine options available for adults to address the historically low immunization rates among this population.

Results from a recent telephone survey of 663 adults revealed that 53 percent of adults 18 through 64 years of age who were vaccinated annually reported that their vaccination experience would be better if the needle was much smaller, and 65 percent said their experience would be better if access to the flu shot was more convenient.

“When my doctor and I talked this year about what may make my experience a good one, we determined Fluzone® Intradermal vaccine was the best option for me. The device has a needle smaller than a grain of rice, which for me, made a big difference,” said O’Donnell.

Fluzone Intradermal vaccine is the only FDA-approved intradermal flu vaccine for adults 18 through 64 years of age in the United States. The microneedle has an ultrathin tip only 1.5mm long—the same as the thickness of a U.S. penny.

To find out where Fluzone Intradermal vaccine is available in your area, visit www.Fluzone.com or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.

About Fluzone Intradermal Vaccine

Indication

Fluzone Intradermal vaccine is an inactivated influenza virus vaccine given to people 18 through 64 years of age for active immunization against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.

Safety Information

Redness, firmness, swelling and itching at the injection site occur more frequently with Fluzone Intradermal vaccine than with Fluzone vaccine. Other common side effects to Fluzone Intradermal vaccine include pain, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Side effects other than those listed above may occur. Fluzone Intradermal vaccine should not be administered to anyone with a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine component, including eggs, egg products, or to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine. Tell the doctor if you have ever experienced Guillain-Barré syndrome (severe muscle weakness) after a previous dose of influenza vaccine. If you notice any other problems or symptoms following vaccination, please contact your health care professional immediately. Vaccination with Fluzone Intradermal vaccine may not protect all individuals.

For more information about Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, talk to your health care professional and see complete Patient Information.

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Don’t Let Flu Sideline You: This Season, “Stay In The Game”

pic(NAPSI)—“It’s just a lightning bolt.” “It’s just a busy intersection.” These aren’t phrases you would hear from parents. But what about “It’s just the flu”?

Every parent wants to protect his or her child from dangers like lightning or busy intersections, but other misunderstood risks, like the flu, can be just as serious and just as preventable.

Between 2008 and 2010, for example, less than 20 children in the U.S. were killed by lightning. While these deaths are tragic, in that same time frame, flu claimed the lives of more than 500 U.S. children.

Facts on Flu

Although the flu is often confused with the common cold, flu symptoms tend to develop quickly (usually one to four days after a person is exposed to the virus) and can be more severe than the normal cough and congestion of a cold. In fact, the flu can lead to serious and even fatal complications, particularly in children. Additionally, the types of viruses that cause the flu typically change from one season to the next and immunity from vaccination declines over time.

That’s why a yearly flu vaccine is so important for everyone 6 months of age and older, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the single best way to help prevent getting the flu.

“After a mild flu season last year, families may have a false sense of security that the flu isn’t so serious,” explains Laura Scott, executive director of the national nonprofit Families Fighting Flu. “But for the more than 30 families in the U.S. who lost a child to the flu this past flu season, it was devastating. One death is one too many when there is a vaccine to prevent the disease.”

Members of Families Fighting Flu understand this reality all too well. Each has had a child suffer serious medical complications or die due to the flu. Some were high school athletes, hospitalized for weeks battling what started out as “just the flu.” Others were active school-age kids who died unexpectedly from the flu. Since 2004, the group has been working to educate others about the seriousness of the flu and the importance of annual vaccination.

Doctor’s Advice

According to Flor M. Munoz, M.D., M.S., medical adviser to Families Fighting Flu and assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, the flu is a leading cause of hospitalizations for children in the U.S. “Getting vaccinated protects you and your child from the flu and from passing it on, but it may also have added benefits. In pregnant women, for example, recent studies suggest that flu protection may be passed from the mom to the unborn child when the mother is vaccinated during pregnancy.”

Where to Get Help

Flu vaccines are available in many locations, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, schools and workplaces. The website www.FamiliesFightingFlu.org provides resources about disease prevention, including a flu clinic locator to find the nearest place to get the vaccine and a toolkit to educate people about the importance of flu prevention. As Scott reflects, “It breaks my heart every year to see news headlines about the loss of a child due to flu. These deaths can be prevented, and that’s why we’re working to raise awareness-an annual flu vaccination is the best defense against a disease that’s not ‘just the flu’ when it happens to you or to someone you love.”

Protect Your Family—Stay in the Game!

Here are simple steps to help your family stay healthy this flu season:

• Get vaccinated. According to the CDC, annual vaccination is safe and effective and is the single best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

• Wash your hands. Frequent hand washing keeps germs out of our bodies.

• Stay home if you don’t feel well. Don’t let germs spread.

• Do the elbow cough. Cough into elbows, not hands, where it’s more likely to spread germs.

• Visit FamiliesFightingFlu.org. The website provides many useful resources, including a flu clinic locator.

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Take The 26/81 Challenge
Advice on Exercise Goals & Techniques

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(NAPSI)—If you have a daily exercise regimen in place, you’re already off to a great start. If not, consider taking the 26/81 Challenge. Get active for 26 minutes a day for 81 days.

That’s what Mike Ehredt is encouraging us all to do. The 26/81 Challenge had small beginnings-the concept started at Mike’s local fitness club in Hope, Idaho. But the buzz is catching on. Whether it’s walking your dog around the neighborhood, taking a class at the gym or hiking the trails, take the challenge and start living an active life.

An Inspiring Example

Mike Ehredt, age 51, is taking the 26/81 Challenge to the extreme by continuing his journey of running more than a marathon a day-around 26 miles each day-for 81 days. He runs to honor fallen U.S. Military service members of the Afghanistan War for his Project America Run II.

Ehredt’s running odyssey began at the Canadian border just north of International Falls, Minnesota on August 23rd, and continues all the way to Texas, at the Gulf of Mexico. He will plant a flag bearing the name, age, rank and hometown of each fallen U.S. Military member at every mile of his journey.

“There is no statement to be made,” says Ehredt. “No political message, just a personal tribute and a gift of thanks to those who have served our country.”

How He Does It

From his long athletic career to his work as a personal trainer, this Army veteran and retired postal employee has learned that big dreams are achievable by setting goals, training, and taking care of your body.

In addition to practicing good hydration, proper nutrition and getting plenty of sleep, Ehredt will use a number of Hyland’s products—Including Arnica 30x and Bioplasma Sport for replenishment and recovery and Leg Cramps to ease symptoms—during his long journey across the states.

These all-natural homeopathic products can be useful remedies as you train and set goals to boost physical stamina. They are effective solutions for aches and pains without the side effects that can come with stronger medicines. These statements are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Learn More

For more information on these products, visit www.hylands.com. To learn more about Ehredt and Project America Run II, visit betheredothat.hylands.com.

 

 

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Older Americans With Advanced Heart Failure Get New Lease On Life

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(NAPSI)—Adrienne Blankenship has known her husband Carter since she was 3 years old. “We were destined to be together,” she said. “It was always love.”

Carter’s metaphorical heart was set on forever with Adrienne, but his physical heart wasn’t going to make it easy. Little did he know, Carter was waging a longtime battle against heart failure.

It started small: some fluid buildup, a bit of swelling, difficulty breathing and then, when Carter was 70, he had a minor heart attack and his heart started to fail.

At age 71, Carter was not an ideal candidate for heart transplantation, which he desperately needed. Instead, his doctor told him about a revolutionary device called the HeartMate II, a left ventricular assist device, also known as an LVAD.

“The medications weren’t cutting it, being in and out of the hospital wasn’t the way to go and I just felt terrible,” said Carter. “When my doctor told me about the HeartMate II, and that it would offer me my life back, I didn’t have to think twice.”

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the HeartMate II for Destination Therapy or long-term support. For Carter, this meant he could have the heart pump for the rest of his life. In fact, Carter was the first person in the country to receive the device after the FDA approved it, and today, he is not just alive-he is thriving.

What Is the HeartMate II?

The HeartMate II is a small implantable LVAD that helps circulate blood throughout the body when the heart is too weak to pump blood adequately on its own. Available at more than 300 medical centers, the HeartMate II has rapidly become the most widely used and clinically studied LVAD in the world. More than 10,000 patients have received the device.

According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the LVAD provides an “attractive option” for older patients with advanced heart failure.

“One important positive factor in the use of LVAD therapy for older patients is that they are very appreciative of the improved quality of life afforded by the LVAD. Whereas younger patients want to live longer, older patients want to live better,” the researchers noted.

Adrienne echoes that sentiment every opportunity she gets. “The HeartMate II gave us a second shot at forever. This year, we’ll be together 41 years. And counting. We have a beautiful granddaughter and darling grandson who have the opportunity to know their grandpa, and that’s time we’d never have had with them otherwise.”

Learn More

For more information about heart failure or the HeartMate II, visit www.hearthope.com, and to see patients’ stories, visit www.thoratec.com/shareyourstory.

 


 

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Treating Eye Allergies In Three Easy Steps

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(NAPSI)—When it comes to eye allergies, the most effective way to minimize and relieve symptoms may be a three-step approach. Those steps include:

• removing allergens from your eyelids,

• lubricating your eyes, and

• relieving the symptoms.

Itchy, irritated eyes are one of the most annoying symptoms of allergies to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair and dander. While the main symptom is itching, others may include tearing, burning, mucus discharge and swollen eyelids.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce exposure to eye allergens, including wearing sunglasses or hats and making sure to shower and wash your hair before sleeping to remove allergens from the body and eye area.

Now there is a way to take a systematic approach to relieving allergy symptoms. The TheraTears® Allergy Eye Itch Relief System™ includes three products (SteriLid® Eyelid Cleanser, TheraTears® Allergy Eye Itch Relief, and TheraTears® Lubricant Eye Drops) that can be used together to maximize symptom relief.

Washing your eyelids and the area around your eye with a quality cleanser, such as SteriLid® Eyelid Cleanser, during allergy season helps remove any additional allergens that may have accumulated around your eye during the course of the day. This is particularly important for contact lens wearers, who should remember to use the cleanser prior to inserting their contact lenses.

TheraTears® Allergy Eye Itch Relief with ketotifen is an antihistamine drop designed to provide relief from itchy allergy eyes in minutes.

Just like your own natural tears, lubricant eye drops can help flush out any allergens from your eyes and also provide relief from dry eye symptoms. TheraTears® balanced formula matches the human tear film, which may improve eye comfort.

You can use any of the products alone or together in a treatment system. Symptoms vary, and if they persist, check with your optometrist or ophthalmologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

For more information, visit www.theratears.com/eyeitch or call (800) 579-8327.

 

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Medical Imaging: For The Picture Of Health

pic(NAPSI)—Advances in medical imaging science and technology help people in two ways: One, doctors can now diagnose and treat many more conditions. Two, they make the process easier—and less expensive—for patients because they’re noninvasive.

“Medical imaging saves lives,” says George S. Bisset III, M.D., a pediatric radiologist and president of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), “as well as resources and time. Imaging exams generally cost less than the invasive surgeries that they replace and can be used to diagnose illnesses early, when they can be treated most effectively and inexpensively.”

For example, the breast cancer death rate has dropped more than 30 percent since mammography use became widespread. Ongoing radiologic research is working toward similar successes and technological advances in other conditions.

“Millions of people worldwide are alive and many more are enjoying a greater quality of life today because of advances in radiation therapy to treat many of the world’s deadliest cancers,” says Paul H. Ellenbogen, M.D., FACR, a radiologist and chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors. Dr. Ellenbogen calls radiology “one of the most successful technological and professional advancements in the history of modern health care.”

He’s not alone in this opinion. The New England Journal of Medicine named imaging among the top 10 medical advances of the past 1,000 years, while the National Bureau of Economic Research directly linked access to medical imaging to greater life expectancy.

To help more people realize the benefits of radiology, the first International Day of Radiology, November 8, 2012, is sponsored by the RSNA, the ACR and the European Society of Radiology.

The RSNA and ACR also co-sponsor www.RadiologyInfo.org, a website where you can learn about radiology procedures, treatments, patient safety, benefits, risks and more. Patients can find out about imaging exams, how to prepare for a scan, relative dose levels used in various types of radiology procedures and other helpful information.

The site can help answer such questions as: Is it safe for my child to have X-rays? What are contrast materials and how do they work? Which imaging studies use anesthesia? How will the scan improve care? At the website, you can type in a condition or symptom, get a brief, simple description and read how imaging is used. To ensure accuracy, the site is reviewed by radiology professionals every year.

A glossary of medical terms explained in easy-to-understand language, a Patient Safety section with information and videos on radiation, pediatric-specific content indicated with teddy bear icons, videos and much more can also be found there.

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How To Value Daily Deals For LASIK

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(NAPSI)—Increasingly, daily deal sites are used to promote goods and services, including special offers on LASIK surgery. LASIK is a very safe, effective and popular option for vision correction for most people, and if a daily deal, such as one from Groupon, has you considering it, here are some factors to think about:

1. Start by making sure you are a good candidate for the procedure by having a thorough evaluation of your vision and eye health. This process can take two to three hours at a reputable LASIK practice. Approximately 15−20 percent of people wanting LASIK are ineligible for clinical reasons.

2. Research the background of your surgeon. Board certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology is a minimum and highly qualified surgeons have more credentials, complete advanced training and participate in clinical research. Make sure your surgeon has a lot of experience, at least 1,000 LASIK procedures, and is careful about screening out people who aren’t good candidates.

3. Learn what type of technology the surgeon or practice offers. While the procedure has been available for more than a decade, significant advances in LASIK technology and techniques are available today that may or may not be covered in a daily deal offer. Recent advances include next-generation excimer lasers, extremely precise femtosecond laser technology, wavefront technology and advanced diagnostic equipment.

These innovations are responsible for making the vision correction benefits of LASIK available to more people, including those with thin corneas, dry eyes and prescriptions in the higher ranges.

“While it is natural to want to get in on a deal, when it comes to your vision, price shouldn’t be your first consideration,” says Dr. Eric Donnenfeld, M.D., F.A.C.S. and member of the American Refractive Surgery Council (ARCS). “To make a smart investment in your vision, you need to look beyond the great price to the technologies being offered and the qualifications of the surgeon offering them.”

Donnenfeld added that the best way to evaluate if LASIK is right for you is to consult with a qualified surgeon to help you weigh the risks and benefits and make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure.

For more information and to download a guide to becoming an informed LASIK patient, visit www.americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org.

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Robotic Prostate Cancer Treatment:
A Growing Choice For Men

pic(NAPSI)—It’s one of the most common cancers facing men over 50 today—prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, with nearly two-thirds receiving a diagnosis at age 65 or older. For the hundreds of thousands of men battling this cancer annually, deciding how to treat the disease is often difficult as there is no shortage of treatment options. Among the options, robotic treatments are becoming increasingly popular, tripling their use in the treatment of prostate cancer over the last five years. Two robotic treatments are fast becoming the most talked about and widely used treatments for prostate cancer: the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System and the da Vinci® Surgical System. In fact, more than 112,000 robotic prostate procedures were performed last year alone using the CyberKnife or da Vinci System.

At first look, the two treatments look and sound pretty similar. Both options use robots and boast quick recovery times and minimal side effects—Including erectile function preservation-but the similarities end there. While the name “CyberKnife” conjures up visions of a space-age scalpel, the treatment is actually noninvasive and doesn’t require surgery. During a CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robot delivers high doses of targeted radiation directly to the tumor site, minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. This is possible due to a built-in mechanism of the CyberKnife robot that tracks every motion of the tumor and/or prostate in real time and throughout treatment. CyberKnife treatments are typically delivered in five outpatient sessions and last about an hour each. The patient doesn’t need anesthesia and is never hospitalized. Many men continue with their daily routines during treatment, including working and low-impact activities like golfing, and report few side effects after treatment. In fact, clinical studies have found that CyberKnife patients return to normal activities faster compared to any form of surgery including robotic surgery.

Warren, a 69-year-old attorney from Long Beach, N.Y., is one such patient. With an active lifestyle and as the owner of a law practice, Warren sought a treatment for his prostate cancer that would allow him to return to his normal activities and the demands of his busy life as soon as possible. When he learned about the unique benefits that the CyberKnife treatment offered, in addition to being a treatment supported by strong long-term data, he knew it was the right treatment for him. Immediately after receiving his first CyberKnife treatment, Warren put in a full day’s work. “After the first procedure with CyberKnife, I felt fine. I felt really nothing. I didn’t feel tired. I didn’t feel fatigued.” Warren is thankful that the CyberKnife was offered as a treatment option to him and hopes more men like him will learn about it so they too will have a seamless treatment experience.

Meanwhile, the da Vinci surgical procedure is referred to as robotic surgery, but that’s not entirely true, as it is unable to perform surgery independently. Rather, it is powered by the hands of a surgeon. Because a surgeon must drive the da Vinci machine, it takes hundreds of procedures to perfect one’s technique, in order to increase the rate of optimal patient outcomes. Several studies have documented this steep learning curve; therefore, patients are encouraged to seek an experienced surgeon who has performed hundreds of da Vinci procedures. Patients undergoing treatment with the da Vinci undergo general anesthesia for the procedure and are hospitalized for a short time post-procedure. During treatment, the surgeon manipulates the daw Vinci machine and extracts the patient’s prostate. Because this is surgery and an incision is made, there is an anticipated recovery time of four to six weeks.

While both treatments take a very different approach to treating prostate cancer, both boast similar effectiveness in terms of treating the cancer and preventing a recurrence. The natural confusion that may exist for men learning about these two robotic treatment options underscores the importance of fully understanding the pros and cons of existing treatment options and asking doctors enough questions before making treatment decisions. Patients should perform their own research and seek a second opinion if they feel uneasy about the recommended treatment path they are offered.

The good news is that most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2.5 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. Regardless of a patient’s location, there are experienced medical professionals throughout the country who can guide them through a prostate cancer diagnosis and the latest cutting-edge treatment options, providing them and their loved ones the information needed in the battle against prostate cancer.

For more information on the CyberKnife System and to see more of Warren’s CyberKnife treatment experience, please visit www.cyberknifeforprostate.com.

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