Raskin - Take Part / Dr. Damon Raskin No Money for Meds? You’re in Good Company April 16, 2013

No Money for Meds? You’re in Good Company

If you’re cutting back on a prescription drug (or going without your meds altogether) beware: You’re setting yourself up for bigger health problems later.

Rachel Orr, head of services for disabled students at a college in the northeastern U.S., recently had a weekend from hell: She saw four upper-class students in a community hospital psychiatric ward for extreme agitation. It was exam time, so it was no surprise to Orr that the students felt overwhelming anxiety.

But then she found out that two of them hadn’t filled recent prescriptions for antidepressant drugs that campus doctors had prescribed. The students’ parents didn’t have insurance, and the students had neither dependent coverage nor their own policies to help cover the cost of drugs. The physicians hadn’t thought to ask the students if cost was an issue. And when the students found out what the drugs would cost, they told the pharmacy not to bother filling their order.

Orr was so shocked by that experience that she’s asked campus doctors and nurses to ask students whether they can afford their medication or pharmacy co-pay when a prescription is issued.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that not having enough money to pay for prescriptions is nothing new for many U.S. adults, especially those under 65, who are not covered by Medicare. The CDC’s new data show that younger adults are trying all sorts of things to keep the cost of prescription drugs down: 12.6 percent didn’t take the medication as their doctor prescribed it; almost 20 percent asked their doctor for a less expensive drug; 6 percent tried alternative therapies; and 2 percent bought prescription drugs from another country.

 

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Fox News / Dr. Damon Raskin Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre April 10, 2013

Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre

Things are not looking that great for Amanda Bynes.

The actress was recently escorted from a gymnastics class in New York City because staffers were afraid she may harm herself or others, The Post reports.

Bynes apparently broke down crying after she did a cartwheel and her wig fell off. This after wandering around the mats, mumbling to herself. All while wearing fishnets and what The Post described as some kind of lingerie leotard.

During the past month, the “Hairspray” star has posted multiple pictures of herself in everything from blonde wigs to blue lipstick, and made a barrage of perplexing comments via Twitter such as “I want Drake to murder my vagina” and “it doesn’t matter what you think about yourself. All that matters is what your lover thinks of you.”

Last year, Bynes was booted from a spinning class at swanky West Hollywood gym Equinox for her questionable behavior, which involved wandering around the room taking off her top and applying makeup in the middle of the class.

She denied being plagued by personal problems and later insisted that she was “doing amazing.”

Others are not so sure.

“We see a cascade of distressing behaviors. I doubt she feels in control of all this. The question then is what’s happening below the surface,” said mental illness specialist Dr. John Sharp, who does not treat Bynes.

 

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Monsters & Critics / Dr. Akash Biaja, Jill Miller High Heel Hell: Experts talk prevention and cure for the deformed foot April 3, 2013

High Heel Hell: Experts talk prevention and cure for the deformed foot

For centuries, the Stiletto was the favored weapon of assassins wanting to dispatch enemies quickly with a mere thrust to the heart.

Today, women are inflicting almost equally painful damage to their feet, calves and back with “mile-high” stiletto heels.

Just ask actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who became the poster girl for Manolo Blahniks during her successful 6-year run on “Sex and the City.”

It was previously reported that after years of wearing very high heels every day, her feet are permanently damaged. She regrets the harm done to her feet, but admits she saw it coming.

Pain management physician Akash Bajaj, M.D., knows a thing or two about the damage done by stilettos. He treats women every day who struggle with the pain caused by Christian Louboutins and similar weapons of fashion. And over the last few years, he’s seen the problem grow worse in proportion to the ever elevating heels of women’s fashionable shoes.

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Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Not your mama’s MRSA: Why the new ‘superbug’ should freak you out a little March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013

Not your mama’s MRSA: Why the new ‘superbug’ should freak you out a little

Just like in those 1950′s horror classics, The superbug has returned with a vengeance!

But in the real world, the superbug is a real bacteria called C.R.E. (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) and is among the world-wide “superbugs” that are resistant to almost all antibiotics, have high mortality rates, and can spread their resistance to other bacteria.

This threat is not limited to the USA. The UK is on high alert as well. Two months ago Dame Davies warned British legislators that antibiotic resistance should be added to the UK’s national risk register. The register was set up in 2008 to advise the public and businesses on national emergencies that the UK could face in the next five years.

As bacterial infections evolve into ‘superbugs’ like MRSA, which are resistant to existing drugs, more must be done discover new antibiotics. Only a few antibiotics have been discovered in the last few decades.

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics, And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection,” Davies told UK reporters as she published her report on infectious disease.

These superbugs cause infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract, and bowel. Particularly vulnerable are those who are already hospitalized, as well as the elderly. No surprisingly, the superbugs are the biggest threat to patient safety in the hospital and nothing seems to be slowing their spread.

Pacific Palisades internist, Dr. Damon Raskin, a specialist in geriatric medicine speaks to the ways we contract these hard-to-kill bugs, along with causes and preparedness we need to take.

In treating his older patients, Dr. Raskin, thinks about this danger daily.  “I see many elderly patients succumb to infections, and we need to do more to protect the frail and elderly, especially in light of these newer resistant bugs. One thing we can all do is wash our hands more frequently. Although an easy measure, it is often forgotten and can make a big difference in whether an infection is passed on or not. Also, if you have a family member in a nursing home or assisted living, check to see that they are highly rated by Medicare. Facilities receive regular inspections on items such as cleanliness and hygiene and these can be important markers for the quality of the facility. If at all possible, try to get a private room for your loved one to reduce chances of sharing germs.”

Dr. Raskin adds, “Also patients need to be proactive about not always requesting antibiotics from doctors for their minor colds and sore throats. Fewer antibiotics around will help resistance trends. Finally, if you are going to have an elective procedure in the hospital, try to schedule it for the summer after flu season. This might help reduce hospital infections.”

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Dr. Damon Raskin

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