Zika Virus –– What Do You Really Need to Know?

July 8th, 2016

By Daniel Hardison and Katie Skaggs, Pharmacy Residents, BHMC-North Little Rock

This is another in a series of columns for employees from Baptist Health’s pharmacy residents.

There is currently an epidemic of Zika virus in the Americas, Caribbean, and Pacific, which the World Health Organization has described as “spreading explosively.”

Although it may be news to us, Zika outbreaks have happened before. The earliest cases were detected in Africa, and the first documented outbreak was in Micronesia almost 10 years ago.

The first documented case of Zika in the United States occurred this past winter. To date, there have been more than 500 confirmed cases in the United States with two of those in Arkansas. The good news is that all of those cases resulted from traveling to affected areas outside of the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has heightened its efforts against Zika to “Level 1.” This is the agency’s highest response level, and it expects to see cases of local transmission as the summer continues. Read the rest of this story »

Staying Safe in the Great Outdoors

June 8th, 2016

First Aid Kit on Hike

By Katie Skaggs, Pharmacy Resident, Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock

It’s here! It’s finally here! The temperatures are up, the sun is out, the kids are out of school – it’s SUMMERTIME!

Summertime holds so many opportunities for fun, exercise, and fresh air, but with all those activities comes the opportunity for injury. This doesn’t mean we should avoid the fun, but we should plan ahead and be prepared in case something does go awry.

As part of that preparation, a first-aid travel kit is a good idea. Depending on your lifestyle, it might be a good idea to have multiple kits. For example, I have one larger kit that stays in my horse trailer at all times and another one in a smaller bag that I can take with me wherever I go.

There are some basic essentials that the American Red Cross recommends be in every first-aid kit. Gauze, tape, bandages, latex gloves, and triple antibiotic ointment are potential necessities for all activities. Some medications to keep on hand are aspirin, diphenhydramine (antihistamine), and your choice of ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen for pain. Read the rest of this story »

How Much Sleep You Get Can Affect Your Weight!

May 26th, 2016
woman sleeping
You may know that your genetic makeup, what you eat, how often you exercise — and even stress — affect your weight and health. But, did you know that how much sleep you get — too much or too little — also can affect body weight and health? If you’re trying to slim down or even maintain your weight, getting your zzzz’s is just as important as hitting the gym.
Most Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. On average, adults report sleeping about seven and a half hours on weekdays. A Gallup Poll concurred revealing that 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep each night.

Read the rest of this story »