Sandra is the Founder, Lead Legal Nurse Consultant, and Coordinator of Krug Consulting, a Legal Nurse Consulting firm. She is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). She has over 12 years of college ...
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Sleep Is Important to Help Your Body Fight Colds and Flu This Season
Sleep, can you recall a time in your life when you did not get enough?
For many of us, this happens from time to time. We are staying up late to study for finals in school. Or how about those many sleepless nights after welcoming a newborn. Or maybe you suffer from the occasional bout of insomnia. Think back on one of those times. Chances are that those were also times when you were more likely to catch a cold or come down with the flu or a stomach bug.
On the flip side, making sure you get plenty of quality sleep can serve as a sort of insurance policy.
It strengthens your immune system and helps your body fight off any type of infection or treat that comes it’s way. In addition, your body will be able to heal itself faster should you come down with something if you get plenty of rest. That is why your doctor often orders plenty of rest and fluids when you have a cold.
But why exactly is sleep so important both to boost the immune system to avoid getting sick in the first place – and during the recovery period, should you come down with something?
Your immune system uses antibodies to fight an infection. At the end of the day, it works the same whether you are preventing an infection from taking hold or fighting one off that has taken enough of a hold to make you feel sick. These antibodies stick to the virus and affect cells, rendering them ineffective. The virus-antibody combo can then be eliminated, which is why it is important that you drink plenty of fluids. It makes it easier for your body to flush them out.
This still does not explain the role of sleep, does it?
I am getting there. Your body produces antibodies more effectively while you sleep. I am no scientist, but I am sure it has something to do with the fact that your body is not busy doing everything else it has to do as you move about your day, running around, eating, getting that papercut that requires additional resources… you get the idea. While you are asleep, your immune system can work more efficiently at producing antibodies and deploying them throughout the body to fight the infection.
Keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to burn the candles from both ends and use it as motivation to stay home and take a nap instead of heading into work when you are coming down with something.
CRNAs deliver safe and effective anesthesia—on the battlefield, in the delivery room, in dental and GI practices—everywhere!
With a history spanning more than 150 years, CRNAs stay with their patients throughout their procedure, administering their anesthetics and monitoring their vital signs. Each year CRNAs ensure that millions of patients receive the safest anesthesia care possible.
It is an honor and a privilege to take our patients through anesthesia and safe surgical experiences. Surgery and anesthesia can be intimidating, but we stay with our patients, administering their anesthetics, and watching over their vital signs – advocating for them throughout the surgery. We take great pride in being there for every heartbeat.
CRNAs will be educating the public about the role we take in providing safe and effective anesthesia care for every patient during the 21st annual National CRNA Week celebration taking place January 19-25, 2020.
The public education theme, “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today,” reflects the fact that nearly 54,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists provide more than 49 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year, delivering the same safe, high-quality anesthesia care as other anesthesia professionals but at a lower cost, helping to control the nation’s rising healthcare costs.
About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the professional organization for the nation’s nearly 54,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and student registered nurse anesthetists. The AANA advances patient safety and the CRNA profession through excellence in practice and service to members. As anesthesia professionals, CRNAs safely administer more than 49 million anesthetics to patients each year.
For more information about the role and value of a CRNA, visit the AANA’s website at www.aana.com/ and the “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today” campaign website at www.future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com.
If you find this information useful, please share with colleagues and send them to our website: www.LNCKRUG.com.
Good Hand Hygiene is Your Best Line of Defense Against Cold and Flu
With cold and flu season underway and the pandemic scares of recent years, we all want to do what we can to avoid getting sick.
Unlike bacterial infections that can quickly be cleared up with a round of antibiotics, with sicknesses caused by viruses like the flu or the common cold, you often have to ride it out. While there are medications that can help ease your symptoms, your immune system must fight the viral infection off.
Why not take it easy on your body and do what you can to avoid catching it in the first place?
Your first line of defense to avoid getting sick this year is simple – Wash Your Hands.
The simple act of washing your hands frequently with soap and hot water limits the spread of cold and flu viruses and your chance of coming down with them.
Get in the habit of washing your hands whenever you have been out in public, and whenever you can throughout the workday.
Wash them before you eat or drink food and when hot water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Why is hand hygiene so important?
Because you are more likely to pick those viruses up with your hands than any other way. Sure, having someone cough in your face does not help, but your chances of getting the flu or coming down with the common cold thanks to contact with a handrail or doorknob are much higher.
You pick the virus up by moving about your day. It could be touching the handle of a shopping cart or closing a door behind you. It is now on your hands, which is not a big problem by itself. It can not enter through the skin there.
The problem arises when you touch your face. It happens a lot more than most of us are aware of.
We touch our nose, rub our eyes, or get our fingers too close to our mouth when we eat or cough. The virus makes it to a mucous membrane in any of those areas and it is right where it wants to be.
That is why it is important to wash your hands. It is not some busywork that healthcare professionals give you to make you feel like there is something you can do.
It is your best line of defense.
So, what are you waiting for? Go wash your hands.
Tiffany Marie Olson was a beautiful young lady from Manatee County. She enjoyed the ocean. And, like all of us at Farmhouse Animal and Nature Sanctuary, Tiffany also loved all animals. She cherished her dog Simba. Simba had been found injured on the side of the road as a puppy and had surgery to mend injuries to her hindquarters. Tiffany adopted and rehabilitated her. Tiffany was also very close to her mother Christine. They enjoyed taking day trips together.
This year Tiffany would have been 36 years old. But in December 2005, she and her boyfriend Dustin were killed by a drunk driver. They were both on a motorcycle, wearing helmets when the drunk driver pulled out in front of them. Tiffany was thrown from the back of the motorcycle and died instantly. Dustin died as well. They were 15 minutes from our home. This fatal accident occurred at 7:01 PM. At 11:15 PM, Christine received a call from her son Darek. He had received word that his sister had been in an accident. There were no details about the severity of Tiffany’s injuries.
Christine hurried to the emergency department, still in her pajamas. She met her son there. She spoke to the receptionist, saying that her daughter had been in an accident. The receptionist told her that Tiffany was not there. Christine asked the receptionist to call other hospitals to look for Tiffany.
But because of HIPAA regulations, the receptionist explained that she could not do that. Christine asked the receptionist to call the police, but the receptionist could not do that either. Christine and Derek were taken into a small room with a telephone. Christine remembers sinking to the floor in tears. She did not even know who to call.
At 1:30 AM, law enforcement officials told Christine and Derek that Tiffany was gone. Christine asked, “Where did she go? Did she go to a hospital in Tampa?” They said Tiffany was probably at the Medical Examiner’s Office, and they should call there the next morning. When the police asked Christine to sign for Tiffany’s belongings, she realized that Tiffany had lost her life. Derek fell to the floor in tears. Christine was in shock.
When Christine returned home, she began to wonder about all the events that happened that night. Why had it taken so long to be notified about Tiffany’s death? “I was painfully aware that something had to be seriously wrong with the system if I wasn’t notified for 6 ½ hours after the accident that took my daughter’s life,” says Christine tearfully. She realized that the system of informing families needs to be improved. She has made it her mission to become the facilitator for improvement in Florida and hopefully worldwide.
Christine came up with an idea to include emergency contact information on driver’s licenses. Her idea would allow immediate first responder access to names and phone numbers of family members and friends to be contacted during emergencies.
Christine developed the TIFF initiative, named in honor of Tiffany, and acting as an acronym for ‘To Inform Families First’. Christine hopes to prevent other people from experiencing the English of hours passing before receiving notification of loved one’s injury or death. One of Christine’s friends wrote a petition and went door-to-door in Manatee County, getting signatures in support of the TIFF initiative.
Christine went to Bill Galvano state representative in Manatee County at the time and Senator in Florida since 2012. He said she should bring her idea to the Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety (DMVHS) in Tallahassee. During her first meeting with the DMVHS representatives, the consensus was that the TIFF initiative should start immediately. On October 2, 2006, Christine became the first person to register emergency contact information online through the DMVHS website.
Emergency contact information can be submitted online with no fee for anyone with a valid Florida driver’s license or ID card. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the registration. Licenses are scannable, like a credit card. Anyone who has registered online will have their emergency contact information immediately available so families or friends can receive a notification. This is useful for motor vehicle accidents, stroke, heart attack, falls, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and special needs.
In Florida, 16 million people registered their emergency contact information at the TIFF initiative website, https://www.toinformfamiliesfirst.org/register
Florida is a prototype model for other states. Representatives from Florida are more than willing to answer any technical questions from representatives in other parts of the country interested in bringing the TIFF initiative to their states. Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells is also willing to talk to anyone in the world about the TIFF initiative.
Sheriff Wells puts in plain words, “Before TIFF initiative, law enforcement officers would spend hours and sometimes days trying to locate family members of a victim who had been seriously injured or killed. The Emergency Contact information database that law enforcement officers now have access to has turned those hours or days into minutes.”
Unfortunately, in June 2018, Christine once experienced the grief of not being notified during an emergency when her sister, Barbara, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, fell. Barbara and her friend were walking along the waterfront in Milwaukee after having dinner. Barbara became lightheaded and fell hitting her head. She stood up, feeling embarrassed, but planned to return home. Fortunately, a police officer witnessed her fall. He went to Barbara after the fall to see if she was okay. Barbara said she was fine.
But the policeman called an ambulance because as he was walking to Barbara, her head began to swell. According to the police officer Barbara collapse by the time she reached the hospital. She had a critical brain bleed requiring emergency surgery and life support.
Wisconsin has not instituted the TIFF initiative.
Neither Christine nor Barbara’s daughter, who lives one hour away from her mother, was notified that Barbara was on life support for three days. Fortunately, Barbara survived.
States currently participating in the TIFF initiative:
• New Jersey
Christine is starting a partnership with Animal Network, Inc., a Bradenton based nonprofit organization dedicated to “helping people help animals.”
She plans to extend the TIFF initiative by including a second database of emergency contact information for pet owners.
Animal caregivers also can be notified when emergencies occur. Christine happened to meet Pam Freni, president of Animal Network, Inc., at a rummage sale fundraiser. They had a conversation about the need for readily available emergency contact information for pet owners. Christine and Pam will approach state officials with a proposal for a new pet initiative. As part of TIFF, contact information for families and animal caregivers will also immediately be available to law enforcement officials.
For more information on starting emergency contact information initiative in your state, visit www.toinformfamiliesfirst.org/register
3 Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System This Winter
We all have times when we could use a little extra boost to our immune system. Cold and flu season is certainly part of that time. Or, the long winter weeks when we are stuck inside and more likely to catch something. It is also important anytime you board a plane or when your kids start school.
Check out the CDC’s info on the flu season.
Here are simple things you can do daily:
This brings up a good point: For best results, implement daily.
Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
All systems of your body work best when they are properly fed. This includes your immune system. Stick to a mainly whole-foods based diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you feel like you might be a little under the weather or suspect that you may have come into contact with someone sick, increasing your intake of Vitamin C may help as well. Eat a few citrus fruits. Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are other great options.
Avoid eating processed foods. It takes a lot of time and effort to digest them and you do not want to weigh your body down with extra work when that energy could be used to boost your immune system, keep you from getting sick, or help you get well sooner.
Get Some Exercise
In addition to eating well, get out there and get regular exercise. For best results, work out in the fresh air. Something as simple as a daily quick walk can help you stay well and strengthen your body. It has the added benefit of helping you to de-stress. I do not have to tell you that you are more likely to get sick when you are stressed out. Use daily exercise to destress and stay well. It will also help you with the last way to boost your immune system.
Make Time for Sleep
This last tip is easy to skip over, yet it is the most important one for most of us and the one that can give your immune system a great boost. It is getting enough sleep. Make the time to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Practice good sleep hygiene.
Do not let the word scare you.
It means turning off your phone and other screens a few hours before bed. Keep your bedroom calm, quiet, and at a temperature that encourages sleep. It also includes establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine. As an added bonus, you will feel more energized for everything else you have to do all day.