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Cristia Medical Supply, Inc

Cristia Medical Supply Blog

  • West Nile: Staying Safe in the Outdoors

    West Nile: Staying Safe in the Outdoors


    Spring, summer and fall are all times of year for you and your family to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Maybe your family likes to go camping. Maybe your family likes the beach. Or maybe your family just likes spending time in your own backyard.


    It doesn’t matter what type of outdoor activities you and your family enjoy, as long as you know how to protect yourself. This past winter was one of the worst winters in history, and the massive amounts of snow coupled with the many rainstorms we’ve seen have made it a breeding ground for mosquitoes.


    Mosquitoes are more than just annoying bugs that leave you with red and itchy bumps all over your skin. Because mosquitoes travel from person to person and animal to animal, they carry a variety of different diseases that can easily be spread. One of the most common viruses carried by mosquitoes is the West Nile virus.


    Although it has been around since the early 1900s, West Nile became an epidemic back in 2012, spreading from Europe to North America and taking the lives of 286 people in the United States alone. Today, the West Nile virus has been making a prevalent comeback, with cases of it being reported in Boston, Atlanta, and Dallas.


    In most instances, someone infected with the West Nile virus will be perfectly fine. In fact, 80 percent of individuals who have been exposed to the West Nile virus have never had any symptoms. Some people infected experience a high fever that goes away after a few days, and only about one percent of people infected with the disease will experience serious neurologic illness that could lead to death.


    Even though the chances of the West Nile virus turning serious or deadly to you or one of your family members, you still want to be protected when you are enjoying some time outdoors. If you will be outside, use the following tips to prevent catching the West Nile virus.


    Know the signs and symptoms of West Nile.

    The first step in prevention is knowing how to recognize and treat West Nile virus. Although there is no exact cure or vaccine against the virus, educating yourself on what to look for and what to do can be a lifesaver.


    In most cases, individuals with West Nile virus will not experience any symptoms; however, some will. About 20 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus will experience a high fever and possibly a headache, diarrhea or vomiting. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, use a cold compress on them to try and reduce the fever.  If they experience a rash, either at the site of the bite or all over their body, use a hydrocortisone cream to eliminate swelling and itchiness. Although these symptoms will typically disappear on their own and the infected individual will make a full recovery, it’s best to contact your doctor.


    Sometimes, the symptoms can be worse. Less than one percent of people infected will suffer from neurological illness, including disorientation, serious headaches, seizures, coma, and paralysis. Some people with serious West Nile infections will be able to fully recover; however, 10 percent of people with serious West Nile infection will die. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, they need to be taken to the hospital immediately.


    Use bug repellent when outdoors.

    One of the best ways to prevent West Nile virus is to use bug repellent when outdoors. Putting bug spray on your body and clothes will deter mosquitoes from biting you, and with the different varieties of bug sprays available, you can choose which one is right for your needs. You should also use citronella candles around your patio or outdoor area to keep bugs away as well as a bug lamp. You can even spray your yard down with a bug repellent that will keep mosquitoes from hatching and living in your yard.


    Wear protective clothing.

    Although warm weather may be the time for tank tops and shorts, this skin exposure is putting you at greater risk for mosquito bites. Instead, opt to wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and gym shoes when outdoors. Light fabrics will keep you cool but will also protect you by keeping the mosquitoes away. Plus, wearing protective clothing and bug spray can be a major defense mechanism.


    Steer clear of standing water.

    Mosquitoes live and thrive in wet areas, so keep them out of your yard by eliminating any standing water. Invest in a sump pump to remove built up water from your yard, or create an underground irrigation system to help water flow away from your home. If you’re camping, try to set up camp as far away from lakes or other bodies of water, as the mosquitoes will be more prevalent in these areas.


    Mosquito-proof your home.

    Even though your chances of mosquito bites are higher when outdoors, those pesky bugs can make their way into your home if you’re not careful. To eliminate this issue, make sure to mosquito-proof your home. Make sure all window screens are secure and fix any tears you may find. Don’t leave doors or windows without screens open for extended periods of time, as this will give the mosquitoes an opportunity to get inside.


    Know who is at risk.

    Mosquitoes don’t have a preference as to whom they bite and who they infect, but some people are at greater risk of having a serious reaction to the West Nile virus. Young children, elderly individuals, and those suffering from conditions such as diabetes, cancer and kidney disease are at greater risk of having the West Nile virus become serious or even fatal. Make sure these individuals are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves when outside.

  • Preparedness: Tips for Being Ready for an Emergency

    Preparedness: Tips for Being Ready for an Emergency

    We don’t live in a utopian society. In fact, with all the disappearing planes, random sinkholes, and the verge of another Cold War, starting to prepare yourself for an emergency seems more and more like a good idea. Sure, some people take preparedness to an insane level (just think of all those people who stocked up on supplies on December 31, 1999). But sometimes being prepared is actually a smart move, especially if something horrible, whether natural or man-made, were to happen. If you want to take some precautions for the varying emergencies that could occur at any time, use the following tips to help prepare yourself for the worst.

    Stock up on non-perishable food and water.

    When an emergency strikes, you will not be able to get to your local grocery store with the same convenience you’re currently used to. And even if you could, you’d be fighting off massive amounts of unruly people. Instead, do yourself a favor and stock up on non-perishable food and bottles of water. Any canned foods are a good idea, as these tend to last much longer and are typically pre-cooked, meaning although you’d like to heat them, you could just eat them directly out of the can.

    Other non-perishable items to stock up on are boxed items, such as macaroni and cheese, pasta, or instant stuffing. These items typically just require the addition of water and a source of heat. You obviously want to stay away from items like bread, which can get moldy, and fruit, which can go bad. Plus, anything that needs to remain cold is also a bad idea, especially if you were to be without power for a long period of time.

    Along with many cases of bottled water, you should also fill up any possible container with water, especially if the emergency is eminent. You never know if the emergency will knock out water supplies, so having buckets, coffee cans and empty milk containers filled with water can be a great addition to your stockpile.

    Stock up on necessary medical supplies.

    When it comes to preparedness, most people only tend to think of the food and water, but they forget about the medical supplies and necessities they will also need. Having a first aid kit is a great idea, as this will provide you with the basic necessities, including bandages, gauzes, and ointments. This way, if you or someone you love were to become injured during the emergency, you would have the supplies on hand to treat it, especially since you likely won’t be able to get to a doctor.

    If you suffer from a specific medical condition, you should also consider stocking up on the necessary equipment or medication you need. For example, if you suffer from asthma, you should stock up on inhalers or nebulizers. If you have diabetes, you should consider stocking up on insulin. When you have your necessary medical supplies on hand at all times, you’ll be able to get through the emergency without any major issues.

    Create a safe house or safe zone for your family.

    Having a safe place to go during an emergency will help keep you and your family safe. If you live in an area that is prone to tornados, you may want to consider having an underground shelter built near your home. If that’s not possible, you need to dedicate an area in your home that you and your family will go to when an emergency strikes. During tornados, you should choose the lowest and most interior room in your house, such as a basement closet. Plus, you want to be sure that everyone in your family knows where exactly to go in case of an emergency.

    No matter what you choose as a safe zone, be sure that this area is where you keep your emergency food, water, and medical supplies. This way, if/when the emergency happens, you won’t have to scramble to find everything.

    Stock up on other emergency essentials.

    Along with food, water, and medical supplies, it’s also a good idea to stock up on other emergency essentials you may need, especially since you don’t know what type of emergency may occur or how long you will need to survive off your supplies.

    For example, you will want to have a battery-powered radio as well as extra batteries on hand. This is great to have during tornados or other bad storms. You should also stock up on blankets, flashlights, paper towels, toilet paper, and lighters/matches. If you have pets, make sure you have supplies for your pets too, such as extra food and bowls to feed them. Depending on what type of emergency you want to prepare for, you may even want to add items like gas masks or even guns and ammo to your supplies.

    Pay attention to current events.

    This may seem like a strange tip, but having a general idea about what’s going on in the world can help you be better prepared. For example, knowing about a massive storm heading your way can help you and your family prepare for the possible weather conditions you may face, such as a tornado or hurricane. Knowing about current events between the US and other countries can also help you determine if a war may be brewing.

    Nobody ever wants to be in an emergency situation, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Instead of waiting to the last minute, or instead of assuming that it will never happen to you, take the time to become prepared for the possible emergencies in your area. Taking the few hours out of your day to do this will be extremely beneficial to you and your family in case an emergency situation does occur.

    , © Cristia Medical Supply, Inc.

  • 8 Tips For Reducing What You Spend On Healthcare


    8 Tips For Reducing What You Spend On Healthcare


    Save Money On Healthcare Cost

    Save Money On Healthcare Cost

    In an age where people are committed to finding ways to save money, no corner can be left unturned. So along with using coupons for groceries and removing unnecessary stations from cable bills—or eliminating cable altogether—more and more people are starting to cut back on their expenses by minimizing healthcare costs.

    Although the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was meant to streamline the cost of healthcare, many people have actually seen a rise in insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses. And unless Obamacare is going to get another makeover in the near future, it seems as if cutting down the cost of healthcare expenses is now solely up to you. Luckily, even if you are stuck with a hefty premium, there are plenty of other ways you can decrease the cost of healthcare.


    1. Opt to buy generic.

    It doesn't if you are purchasing prescription drugs or some general medical items, such as bandages, you can save a significant amount of money by buying generic instead of name brand. If you are purchasing prescriptions, be sure to talk with your doctor, the pharmacist or pharmacy tech about generic options that are more affordable. These individuals will be able to save you a significant amount of money simply by changing brands. And don’t worry, most generic medications are the same as name brand, so you won’t be forgoing quality.

    If you are in need of any medical supplies, opt for the generic brand over the name brand. If you are purchasing these items from your local pharmacy, choose the pharmacy’s brand instead of the name brand. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by doing so.


    2. Join rewards clubs.

    Joining rewards clubs can be a great way to save money on healthcare. Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens have their own rewards clubs that allow members to save money on purchases. Plus, some of these rewards clubs even provide you with perks, such as money back, after making so many purchases or filling so many prescriptions. Find out which rewards clubs are the best choice for you, and sign up as soon as possible to start saving money and reaping the rewards.


    3. Make more purchases online.

    The Internet is at your fingertips, and it can be a valuable asset to help you save money on healthcare costs. Instead of only visiting your local pharmacies, do your healthcare shopping online. You may find that an online medical supply company can save you a lot more money than any local pharmacy. Spend some time researching different companies and finding the websites that provide exactly what you need at the best price.


    4. Buy in bulk.

    Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are notorious for selling anything in bulk, and healthcare supplies are included. Sometimes buying a bulk amount of pain medication, bandages, or any other type of medical need you have can be a great way to save money. Plus, having so much on hand means that you don’t have to run out and buy it all the time, which is a great convenience as well.


    5. Talk with your doctor.

    If you have a healthcare cost budget, be sure to talk with your doctor about it. Not only will your doctor be able to prescribe you generics to help you save money, but he or she will also be able to provide you with samples of medication they have on hand, which is a great money saver. Plus, your doctor may also be able to prescribe your medication in bulk orders that you can get through the mail or online for an additional savings.


    6. Opt to use free health clinics.

    If you want to save money on doctor visits, you can always opt to go to the free health clinic for your medical needs instead of a private doctor. Although the weight times are usually long and the staff is usually overworked, free health clinics can be a great way to eliminate the high doctor bills. Look online to find the closest free clinic in your area and try it out one time for your medical needs to see if it’s a solid choice to help you save money.


    7. Use available technology.

    With all the technology available at your fingertips, you should start using it to save some money on your healthcare costs. Many pharmacies provide online coupons you can use to reduce the costs of your needs. Plus, these pharmacies also have online rewards clubs that allow you to receive alerts for member-only savings.

    You should also look into smartphone apps, such as LowestMed, that can tell you which pharmacy or store in your area has the lowest price for certain medications you have a prescription for. Knowing that a certain store will charge you $10 less for the same prescription can help keep money in your pocket.


    8. Shop around for the best price.

    When it comes to your healthcare coverage, you could save some money by shopping around. If you are paying for your own insurance, find an insurance broker to help you find the best possible coverage for the best possible price. Even saving $20 a month on your insurance premium will add up to a $240 savings every year.

    If you receive your insurance through work, ask your employers or human resources department if there are different healthcare coverage options to choose from. Most companies will provide employees the option of an HMO or a PPO, so be sure to review all of your coverage options and choose the one that has the lower premium. Keep in mind, though, that lowering your premium may typically result in less coverage, so be sure to review your options thoroughly.

    When reviewing policies, it’s also a good idea to remove any unnecessary items. For example, some insurance companies allow you to add vision insurance or long-term disability insurance, but with companies like America’s Best and Aflac, these benefits may not be worth their cost, especially if you won’t use it often enough.

    , © Cristia Medical Supply, Inc.

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