2019-01-17 / Health

TOTAL well-being

January is... National Blood Donor Month

Learn the basics of donating blood

The flow of healthy, oxygenated blood through the body is essential for life. It is also required in large supply when people undergo surgeries and other therapies. With the demand for blood so high, reserves are in short supply. Adding to the shortage is lower turnout among donors, and the public has been urged to donate blood to increase units available. BLOOD SHORTAGES ABOUND

The Red Cross and America's Blood Centers, which collectively represent all of the blood banks in the United States, continued to report shortages throughout 2012. According to Red Cross President Dr. Bernadine Healy, there is a critical shortage of blood, and the shortage in 2012 was one of the worst her organization had seen. As such, the shortage has forced the cancellation of many elective surgeries across the United States. ABC notes there also are severe shortages throughout the Northeast.

Increased demand, meaning chemotherapy treatments, organ transplants, heart surgeries and elective options, have left blood banks depleted. Plus, the demand for blood exceeds the rate of blood donations. The Red Cross has stated it typically needs 80,000 units of blood available daily, but now has roughly 35,000 units. HOW DO I DONATE BLOOD?

Many people want to donate blood but are either off-put by the idea of needles and drawing of blood or are unaware of the process. Becoming informed can shed light on what is done and make the entire process much less intimidating.

Blood drives occur at various locations. You also may be able to donate blood directly at a Red Cross center or hospital. Simply log on to www.redcrossblood.org and enter your zip code or address to find out where and when a blood drive will be held.

Just about anyone age 17 to 75 can donate blood. Provided they are at least 110 pounds and do not have any acute symptoms of the flu, colds or infections or have had close contact with someone with hepatitis in the last year. Those who have hepatitis, a heart condition that is more serious than a murmur or HIV/AIDS or have engaged in any activities that may have put them at risk for HIV/AIDS, will not be able to donate.

At the donation you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and be given a screening interview to qualify as a donor. You also will need to provide documentation that proves your age, so bring along identification. If you pass the screening, your vital signs will be checked and you will be prepared for the blood draw.

As with a routine blood test, the injection site will be sterilized and then a needle will be inserted to draw the blood. The volume of blood collected for a donation will be larger than for a blood test. One pint, or 450 milliliters of blood, will be taken. This is only between 8 to 10 percent of all the blood in your body. HOW WILL I FEEL?

Most people come through a blood donation unscathed. There may be a minor pinch when the needle is inserted. After blood has been drawn, many people feel fine and are encouraged to drink extra liquids for the next two days to help the body with the regeneration of blood. Your body will replace the fluid portion of your blood within 24 hours. It will take a few weeks to replace the red blood cells. Individuals who feel a little woozy can sit after the blood donation until they feel rested enough to move on. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

It takes around 10 minutes for a traditional blood donation. If you are donating something specific, such as red cells, plasma or platelets, the process can take up to 2 hours. Many blood drives provide refreshments after donating and ask that you remain 10 to 15 minutes to ensure you are fine to exit. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER THE DONATION?

Afterward you should be able to go on with your regular daily activities. It is adviseable to take it easy for the rest of the day and not engage in any heavy lifting or exercise. Also, avoid flying in airplanes or going scuba diving for a couple of days afterward. Moderate daily activities should be fine. Continue to stay hydrated. WHAT ARE OTHER THINGS I SHOULD KNOW?

You can prepare for donating blood by adhering to a healthy, low-fat diet and getting a good night’s sleep the day before. Avoid alcoholic beverages and tobacco prior to the donation. Make sure you do not skip any meals.

Bring along a list of the medications you take to share with the volunteers at the blood drive. Certain medications will exclude you from donating.

It is possible for a healthy person to give whole blood every 56 days. Donations of platelets or other components of blood may be able to occur more frequently. Individuals who have the universal blood type (Type O-) may want to sign up as frequent donors because their blood can be used for anyone.

Donating a pint of blood can help several different people. With extreme shortages in the blood supply in effect, now could be the ideal time to make a blood donation. SIDEBAR: WHAT DETERMINES BLOOD TYPE?

Blood type is broken down into four main types: A, B, AB and O. Genetics are the primary determining factor in a person’s blood type. A child receives genetic code from both parents at conception, and this information will help determine blood type. Just like eye color, height and hair color, dominant genes will be the deciding factor in blood type. A and B are both dominant over O. A and B are considered to be codominant, which explains the AB blood type. If a child receives two recessive genes from both parents, then he or she will have O blood.

Another thing that plays into blood type is the Rhesus factor, commonly shortened to the Rh factor. This refers to an antigen that exists on the surface of red blood cells. If this antigen is present, it means the person has a Rh positive (+) factor. If there is an absence of this antigen, then the blood is classified as Rh negative (-). Therefore, people can have an A, B, AB, or O blood type that is either (+) or (-). These antigens are proteins that, when introduced into a body that does not have the same type, can cause the person’s immune system to respond by producing antibodies that attack the proteins. Should a person who is Rh- blood receive Rh+ blood during a transfusion, an allergic reaction could occur. Another time when Rh factor comes into play is when an Rhwoman becomes pregnant. Should her blood and the blood of the fetus mix -- and if the fetus has an Rh+ factor -- the mother’s blood may fight off the antigens and naturally produce antibodies. While this won’t hurt the woman, it can affect the fetus and cause potential health problems. Women with an Rh- factor are generally given an Rh immunoglobulin about seven months into the pregnancy that should desensitize her immune system from triggering if the fetus has Rh+ blood. After the baby is born, his or her blood will be tested. Should the Rh factor match the mother, all is well. If not, the mother will receive another injection to further desensitize her immune system to prevent a reaction with any subsequent pregnancies. A person with O- blood is considered a “universal donor.” He or she can transfuse to anyone, and there will be no instances of allergic reaction. However, one with O- blood can only receive O- blood.

Portland Direct Primary Care

A New Approach to Primary Care Why is primary care important?

A good primary care doctor is a knowledge source, fixer, and advocate. I do everything from skin biopsies to cholesterol management. If I can’t manage it in the office, I know the right specialist who can. Having a doctor you know and trust is essential to getting the right care. Why choose direct care?

The key word here is value. In a direct care practice a patient pays a monthly fee for a primary care membership. It is in the doctor’s interest to add value to the membership - timely appointment scheduling, deals on labs and medications, home visits, personalized care. It’s hard to find that kind of value in insurance based medicine. How do I sign up?

Visit the website or call Dr. Gersten to set up a free informational meeting to ask questions and check out the office.

Southern Maine Integrative Health Center

Gloria Oppen, MS, BSN, RN, FNP-C, PhD Candidate, is a graduate of Rivier College, Nashua New Hampshire, where she received her BSN, and Regis College’s (Weston, MA) family nurse practitioner program. Mrs. Oppen recently relocated to Maine from Massachusetts where she was employed in the occupational health department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Prior to that, she had worked in a college health clinic, and in the first New England Holistic Health Center (in the 1980s). She has been involved in public health initiatives and has an interest in Lyme disease, Functional Medicine, preventive health, weight management, and tobacco cessation.

Now Accepting new patients. Please call (207) 985-3079 to schedule an appointment. Most health insurances accepted.

SouthernMSouthern Maine Integrative Health Center,

69 York Street, Suite 4, Kennebunk

Peck’s Family Acupuncture

Peck’s Family Acupuncture is nestled in the cozy village of historic Waterboro, Maine. Clients often remark on the peacefulness of the building, the ease of on site parking and the friendliness of the staff.

If you’re looking for a wellness class, but not sure where to go, consider a hassle-free drive out to the country and try Peck’s. We have classes for nearly every fitness type from Tai Chi for Arthritis with Dennis Fallo to Yoga for Embodiment with Kelcy McNamara. Looking for something a little more strenuous and fun? Try Sweat and Sculpt with Lea Lehman. Or to satisfy your hunger for learning without lifting your body off a mat, enjoy one of Ginny Fries many hands on herbal classes like make your own elderberry syrup.

Give us a call or check out our website.

See our ad below.

We are closer than you think!

Providing home care for you & your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best in-home services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

Sweetfern Center for Wellbeing, LLC

Sweetfern Center for Wellbeing LLC opens January 26, 2019 for appointments; Open House on February 9, 2019 from 1-4 pm. Located at Kennebunk Professional Center, 58 Portland Road (Route One), Suite #4, Kennebunk, Maine. A space to relax and restore!

Sweetfern’s mission is to support people in healing, in personal growth and during life changes, easing physical and emotional pain, using energy healing, AromaTouch, therapeutic art and wellness classes.

A beautiful, relaxing Himalayan salt room is open to clients receiving treatment and for private bookings. Studies prove salt therapy results in fewer symptoms for people with respiratory, skin, and other health issues.

Specialty, local, hand-crafted, gift items will be available for purchase.

Owner Tammy Miller Traniello, certified practitioner of Reiki, Melchizedek method, AromaTouch Technique; trained in energy healing, meditation, restorative yoga, usage of essential oil and medicinal herbs.

Book your healing session online www.SweetfernHealing.com or call 207-805-3885

Are you Perplexed, Bewildered, Dazed or Confused about your health insurance?

Karen Vachon, License Insurance agent helps senior citizens, individuals, families, and small businesses, navigate their health insurance options. From Medicare to Obamacare, she tackles the individual needs of her clients and their situations – from rising health insurance premiums, prescription costs, doctor networks and closed enrollment periods, Karen taps into available resources and options to meet the life style needs for life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

Whether you are a senior planning for retirement and transitioning from individual or employer coverage or an under 65 individual, family, or selfemployed concerned about rising premiums, Karen not only helps people weigh their carrier options, she educates people on how to optimize the value of their plan from preventive care to Medicare 101. “Knowing how your coverage works is more important than simply having it!”

While the annual and open enrollment period is closed until fall, there may be qualifying events for a Special Enrollment – for example: Aging into Medicare, loss of employer coverage, MaineCare, or Medicaid; change in family status (marriage, divorce, birth); change in residence – to name just a few. If you a perplexed, bewildered, dazed and confused, call Karen 730-2664!

Individual Care of Maine

Q. What makes Individual Care of Maine different from other In Home Care companies.

A. A few things separate us from other in home care companies.

First; We prioritize getting outside daily as it pertains to each client. depending on the physical abilities of each client we try to walk an move each day.

Second; We believe in cooking exceptional meals. There is just something about a home cooked meal that is good for the soul. When we train we also incorporate some cooking lessons to get our caregivers thinking about exceptional nutrition.

Third; We pay our caregivers way above the industry norm. We work as a team and help one another. When the caregivers are happy everybody is happy. In most situations the saying “the client comes first” is the norm. We believe this but we also feel that the caregiver also comes first. If the caregiver is well compensated and well supported by their employer, inevitibly ensures that the caregiver takes pride in the job that he or she is doing. When you take good care of your employees they, in turn take good care of the client.

Q. What was the inspiration for Individual Care of Maine

A. A dear friend was having a terrible time finding quality help with her mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She was going through many caregivers and was continuously stressed about what was going on at home while she was at work. Caregivers were calling in sick, not showing up, and sometimes just not a good fit for the family. Having been in a role as a caregiver as early as age 22 when my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then with a son needing ongoing surgeries from a bone disorder, and then being a cancer survivor myself I understood both sides of caregiving. I understood the stress and worry of caring for a family member and also recognized the difference my caregivers made in my and my familys life while I was undergoing my own treatment for cancer. I was inspired and I knew how I wanted our company to look. More human and less corporate.

NXGen Fitness Center

Indoor cycling is not only dynamic and fun, but it’s incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons. It offers huge cardiovascular benefits, has minimal impact to joints, and is considered very safe for most people. You can expect to build muscular endurance and lean muscle by adding indoor cycling to your fitness regimen. It’s also a great cross training activity for other sports, and can actually help runners and other endurance athletes build cardiovascular endurance. A good instructor will motivate and push you to work at your maximum potential. For anyone from beginner to advanced, NXGen Fitness Center in Scarborough offers classes for everyone. They offer classes 7 days a week in a brand new, state of the art studio with Bose sound system, staged bikes, climate control, and lighting effects. At NXGen, your ride is nothing short of an amazing experience and your first class is on the house!

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