How To Avoid Being A Target For HealthCare Scams

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act comes a rising number of consumer complaints of scams.  Sadly, a particular target is the elderly.  That being said, anyone can get scammed.  With all of the problems with the healthcare.gov website, the confusing regulations and the sense of urgency that the government is trying to create  – it is a perfect storm for scammers to be out on the prowl ready to entice you to depart with your hard earned dollars.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  in its guide “Suspect a Health Care Scam” Here’s What To Do” they list the following scams:

Charging you for help getting new insurance -Someone contacts you, offering to help you navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace for a fee – or saying that you need a new insurance card now or you’ll have to pay a penalty. Regardless of the set-up, their goal is to get your bank account or credit card number.

  • The FTC suggests never giving information OR money to anyone contacting you saying that they will help you.  The     government has hired “Navigators” to help – but they will never charge you for their service.

Medicare Cards or  “Obamacare Cards” – If someone calls and says you need a new Medicare Card or an “Obamacare” card – it is a scam.  Everyone keeps their Medicare card – nothing changes and there is no “Obamacare Card.

  • The FTC suggests to not give any personal information, no financial information or your social security number.  When in doubt, call 1-800-MEDICARE before giving any information at all.

Medical Discount Plans – There are such things as Medical Discount Plans but they are NOT health insurance.  These plans may have a network of healthcare providers and services,  are legit and may meet a certain need. Some others do not deliver on what they promise. The scam artist may try to tell you that a plan will save you money while trying to obtain your personal and financial information.

  • Be sure you understand and fully check this out – as some want to use your information for the purposes of identity theft.

Some contacts you and says “I’m From The Government” – No one connected with the government will contact you about your health insurance.  No one should get in touch with you in any fashion saying they can help you obtain health insurance.  You may receive a letter, but no one will ask for your personal information, financial information, social security number or bank account information.  Some may ask for a wire transfer of money.   If someone does any of this, it is a scam.

What should you do if contacted like this?  Report it!

How to report a scam?  Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or go to ftc.gov/complaint. If you report – it will help give the FTC the information it needs to launch investigations, and put scam artists out of business.

Source:  http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0394-suspect-health-care-scam

Another helpful source on healthcare reform scams and what to do can be found at

http://www.naic.org/documents/consumer_alert_health_reform_scams.htm

Benetrends Blog – The Senior Franchise Boom

Benetrends Blog discussing a CNBC article about Older Americans Purchasing Franchises

Written by Nicole Russo

Click Here For the Article

In a recent article by Julie Halpert, Special to CNBC.com, she highlights the boom in senior franchise owners.

Older Americans are becoming a fast-growing segment of those buying franchises. The percentage of people 55 and over who are franchise owners has risen from 20 percent in 2007 to 28 percent—a 40 percent increase, according to Franchise Business Review.

Older Americans want to “control their own destiny and go into business for themselves but not by themselves,” said Matt Haller, a spokeman for the International Franchise Association. “They see franchising as a great way to do that.” At the International Franchise Expo in New York in June, an event that attracts 18,000 prospective franchisees, 28 percent of attendees were 51 and older.

Jania Bailey, president and chief operating officer of FranNet, said 70 percent to 80 percent of her clients are over 50. They are typically outplaced or soon-to-be outplaced executives with significant savings looking to replace a six-figure income.

Franchises are considered a safer bet, and there’s some data to back that up. A 2012 study by her group found that after five years, 85 percent of her franchisee clients remained in business, compared with 50 percent who started their own thing.

  • Denny Jensen, 70, retired from his job as a senior vice president of Visa International in 2004 and spent the next several years playing golf.  In January, he combined retirement savings with a personal loan and invested $220,000 for a Molly Maid franchise in the Reno, Nev., area.
  • Les Clark, 72, owns two Papa John’s in The Villages, a Florida retirement community. His biggest concern was whether the area would support a pizza place, more often associated with teenagers and young families
  • Tom Roskosz, 64, who spent $150,000 on a Fish Window Cleaning franchise in Savannah, Ga. “I would never have dreamed of window cleaning,” he said, but he liked not having to work nights, weekends or holidays. Roskosz now has 700 regular customers and projected revenues in the $250,000 range this year.
  • Ellen Sullivan, 55, leveraged her background as a nurse to Doctors Express, a franchise that provides urgent care services.   She and her partner, a friend who is a doctor, paid $750,000 in start-up costs and opened in October 2010.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101040521

More Seniors Buying Franchises – CNBC Article

Here is an article written by Julie Halpert for CNBC discussing the increasing trend for older Americans purchasing franchises. She provides excellent examples of retirees and others deciding that entrepreneurship through franchising was for them.   I was interviewed by Julie for this article thanks to Marshall Reddy, President of NE Florida FranNet.  By the way, he asked for forgiveness for the reference to “senior”!

Grandpapa John’s pizza: The senior franchise boom

Published: Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 2:13 PM ET
By: Julie Halpert, Special to CNBC.com

Denny Jensen, 70, retired from his job as a senior vice president of Visa International in 2004 and spent the next several years playing golf. He eventually got bored and decided to buy a franchise, because the idea of a proven company that provided plenty of support appealed to him.

In January, he combined retirement savings with a personal loan and invested $220,000 for a Molly Maid franchise in the Reno, Nev., area.

“I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work,” Jensen said. “Your mind is working all the time, whether dealing with a customer complaint” or brainstorming about marketing. He expects to turn a $100,000 profit this year.

Jensen represents a growing trend among older Americans. Instead of a fresh-faced teenager or middle-aged manager, a retiree might greet you behind the counter when you request a cleaning service or place your order for a Papa John’s Pizza.

Older Americans are becoming a fast-growing segment of those buying franchises. The percentage of people 55 and over who are franchise owners has risen from 20 percent in 2007 to 28 percent—a 40 percent increase, according to Franchise Business Review. Such operations satisfy the desire to run a business but provide an established community, making it easier than starting from scratch.

“It’s almost like buying a business in a box,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president for thought leadership at AARP. “You’re jumping into something new,” but it has an established brand, and marketing, distribution and supply chain.

Older Americans want to “control their own destiny and go into business for themselves but not by themselves,” said Matt Haller, a spokeman for the International Franchise Association. “They see franchising as a great way to do that.” At the International Franchise Expo in New York in June, an event that attracts 18,000 prospective franchisees, 28 percent of attendees were 51 and older.

Older people also have a key advantage that makes ownership easier to achieve than it is for many younger people: access to capital, either in cash savings or a 401(k).

The senior franchise story isn’t just about affluence and an overly easy retirement, though.

Adam Sohn, vice president of brand alliances and partnerships for AARP, said a big driver of the boom is what he called the “working worried”: older people who fear being pushed out of their jobs, as many who are unemployed and finding it difficult to get back into the job market.

The franchise model makes sense for seniors with entrepreneurial flair but no grounding in today’s app economy—people who aren’t interested in “coming up with the next Facebook,” Sohn said.

Franchisors with older customers are particularly welcoming of senior buyers.

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Joe Smith, vice president of franchise development for Papa John’s International, said his company is attracting young retirees with business experience and said older owners are comfortable investing more in ensuring that the store well launched.

Les Clark, 72, owns two Papa John’s in The Villages, a Florida retirement community. His biggest concern was whether the area would support a pizza place, more often associated with teenagers and young families. The answer was yes.

“So many people thanked us for bringing Papa John’s to The Villages,” he said.

Jania Bailey, president and chief operating officer of FranNet, which matches potential franchisees with franchisors, said 70 percent to 80 percent of her clients are over 50. They are typically outplaced or soon-to-be outplaced executives with significant savings looking to replace a six-figure income.

Franchises are considered a safer bet, and there’s some data to back that up. A 2012 study by her group found that after five years, 85 percent of her franchisee clients remained in business, compared with 50 percent who started their own thing.

Seniors are also moving beyond traditional fast-food franchises to service-based businesses that require less up-front investment but are profitable longer term.

Take Tom Roskosz, 64, who spent $150,000 on a Fish Window Cleaning franchise in Savannah, Ga.

“I would never have dreamed of window cleaning,” he said, but he liked not having to work nights, weekends or holidays.

Roskosz now has 700 regular customers and projected revenues in the $250,000 range this year. “I love meeting the people and the business owners,” he said. “I enjoy the challenge that comes with building up your revenue and relationships.”

Ellen Sullivan, 55, leveraged her background as a nurse to Doctors Express, a franchise that provides urgent care services.

She and her partner, a friend who is a doctor, paid $750,000 in start-up costs and opened in October 2010. It was a great choice for this stage of her life and helped fuel her passion for providing affordable health care, she said.

“Every day we’re making a difference in people’s lives,” said Sullivan, who lives in Jacksonville, Ga. “It’s very rewarding to hear they’re very satisfied with the services they receive.”

Jensen recently received approval from Molly Maid to expand his territory into Carson City, Nev. Though he may eventually hire a full-time manager, he said, “I don’t have a vision of selling it.”

Thinking About Buying a Franchise? Do the Right Amount of Due Diligence

By Ellen Sullivan

Published in Advantage Business Magazine   –   August 15, 2013

Click here to go to article

What exactly is due diligence? How much is too little or too much? Due diligence, by definition, is the research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction. Much of the information needed to do due diligence on a potential franchise purchase is available. You need to know where to get it.  Obtaining the right information at the right time, and engaging the right team of experts is the core of an effective and efficient due diligence process.

Businesses that succeed and demonstrate sustainability are based upon a solid business plan and profitability model. The majority of franchises that are operating today have this, or they would not be in business. That said, a key step in the decision about whether or not to purchase a franchise involves due diligence. Before you fall in love with a concept, or rely on what a salesperson told you, or assume a business will be successful, or sign any documents, or pay any money, it’s imperative to take the time to do your homework.

Before You Dive In – Create an Advisory Board

Assemble a team of key professionals. Engaging these experts can guide you in due diligence and through the ups and downs of the lifecycle of your business.  They can save you time, money, and potentially from making a poor decision.

  • An accountant to provide financial advice, document review, financial modeling, and financial management oversight.
  • A franchise or business attorney to review documents and the corporate structure. For some specialties, such as healthcare, a specialized attorney should be consulted. These legal professionals will guide you through the legal landscape of the franchise and business law, regulatory requirements, and the franchise documents. Regulations vary from state to state. Understanding the legal picture is important when addressing compliance requirements, managing risk, and to avert future litigation.
  • Depending upon your background, other professionals to consider may be a business or a marketing consultant. Meanwhile, check out the local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) for staff and tools available to help with financial and business planning and go-to market strategies.
  • A reputable franchise broker can suggest specific franchises that fit best with your goals, skill sets, and interests (personally and professionally).  A reputable broker will be candid with you as you progress through the due diligence process.

 Where to Start – The Federal Disclosure Document

The Franchisor will provide you with a Federal Disclosure Document or FDD. This is a legal document required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that must be presented to prospective buyers of franchises in the pre-sale disclosure process.   This document discloses extensive information about the franchisor and the franchise organization, intended to give the potential franchisee enough information to make educated decisions about the investment. A copy of the franchise agreement should be included. There is a 14-day wait period required by the FTC between the receipt of the FDD and the signing of an agreement.

The FDD package provides a wealth of knowledge, with details about how the franchise system is working. It can be several hundreds of pages in length and it contains important data, financial information, and legal requirements. Examples of the information disclosed include:

  • Franchisor ownership and changes in ownership
  • Bios of principals and key personnel
  • Number of units that have sold, resold, or closed over time
  • List of franchisee owners by location
  • Significant lawsuits filed by franchisees
  • Financial performance
  • Fees, estimated investment costs, royalties, marketing funds requirements, and other costs
  • Franchise Agreement
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Term of Agreement, options to renew and on what terms
  • Territory included in agreement and exclusivity rights

Provide a copy of the disclosure documents to your accountant and attorney(s).  Plan to have a review session with each expert to understand the documents in depth and know the facts. You will be piecing together important details that disclose the strengths and weaknesses of the franchise system. Know what legal and financial obligations are required. Decipher the rules. Understand other details such as restrictive covenants and rules around trade secrets.

Talk To Those Who Know – The Franchisees

While much of the information you need is found in the FDD, there is still more work to do. Obtain names and contact information for franchisees. Most franchisors will provide an introduction for you to the franchisees. Talk with as many as you can. Be prepared ahead of time with a list of questions. Most are willing to answer a few questions. Be respectful of their time.

Some sample questions include:

What kind of support is available for franchisees?

Were you satisfied with the training?

What was your experience to breakeven?

Do you have input into the vendors?

What do you get for your royalty payments?

What were your hurdles?

How close was your experience to the FDD?

How on point was the project plan provided by the franchisor?

How is the marketing fund used?

What worked?  What didn’t?

Would you do it again?

Kathee Murphee, President and CEO of Jacksonville Comfort Keepers franchise, recommends talking with franchise owners. “Talking and listening to other franchise owners is an important step in due diligence. You can learn information from others’ experiences that can help you be successful in your own decision making.”

What Else Should You Know?

Additional research on your part will help to answer questions such as:

  • What is the sales proposition of the product?
  • Is the product sustainable? Where is it in its lifecycle?
  • Who is the competition in your market? Are they successful and why?
  • What is the market saturation level?
  • Is the franchise credible in the public and press? Does it enjoy a good reputation?
  • Are the cash requirements reasonable?  What will you do if you need additional working capital?
  • Is lending available? And if so, who is lending and to whom?
  • What kind of staff is needed? What is the degree of difficulty in finding and hiring the right staff?

Meet the Franchisor

Many franchise systems hold Discovery Days. These typically involve a visit to the corporate office where you’ll meet the principals and key staff, hear presentations, observe an operating unit, and get a sense of what the franchise is all about. This is the time to ask any lingering questions. It’s your chance to size up the franchisor. In turn, the franchisor will be doing the same, deciding if you would make a good addition to their system.

One Last Question

How receptive is the franchisor to the franchisees’ input? A franchisor committed to its franchisees will have a method for franchisees to voice new ideas, help solve problems, and maintain a balance in decision-making. One way to offer input is through a Franchise Advisory Council, where the franchisor and franchisees come together to better the overall system. A group such as this can be key to the success of the franchise.

Balance the Pros/Cons and Move Forward

Now it’s time to put it all together. Take all that you have learned about the product and the franchisor, all the advice from your advisory group, along with your financial plan, and personal goals, and decide if this particular franchise is right for you. Are you passionate about the possibility? Marshall Reddy, President of FranNet of North Florida sums it up best: “Matching your talents with the right franchise is a recipe for success.”

Avoiding Heat Related Illnesses

The hot summer temperatures across the country are causing heat related illnesses.  Patients are visiting their doctors, urgent care centers and emergency rooms with symptoms related to the heat.   Here is information  shared on WJXX/WTLV-TV First Coast Action News during the evening news segment  8/9/2013 for the story “Avoiding Heat Related Illnesses”.

Question: “What are the main things people need to know about heat safety?”

Under normal conditions, the body adjusts to the heat.  Sometimes not so well if exposed to high temperatures, heavy sweating or not drinking enough fluid.  There are 3 levels of heat illnesses  people should know about.

  • Heat cramps –  Painful cramps usually in the calves, thighs or abdominal areas.
  • Heat exhaustion – May experience headache, weakness, cold, nausea, vomiting, feeling faint and temperature may go up to 104 degrees.
  • Heat stroke – May experience confusion, stop sweating and temperature over 104 degrees.  This is life threatening and the person needs medical attention immediately.

One of the keys to preventing heat illness is to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of  fluids.  On a normal day, for most people it is recommended to drink 8 glasses of fluid such as water, fruit or vegetable juice.  There are about 2 glasses work in a typical 16.9 ounce water bottle so that would be about 4 bottles a day.  On a day with higher temperatures, when exercising or working outdoors in the heat, experts recommend drinking 24 ounces – about 1 1/2 water bottle equivalent- two hours before exercise, another 8 ounces (1/2 bottle) before and then 8 ounces every 20 minutes during exercise – regardless if feeling thirsty.

Question: ” Soon kids will be back playing after school sports… what do parents need to know?”

Parents can help their kids by educating them on how to avoid dehydration.  It may take some time for the child to acclimate to the heat.  It  is  important to encourage plenty of  fluids before, during and after practice.  Teach how to hydrate properly and what the signs and symptoms are of dehydration.  The symptoms can include thirst, dry mouth, feeling tired, headache, cramps and dizziness.  Parents should also encourage children not to be embarrassed to let their coach or other  adult know that they need to get something to drink or are not feeling well.

Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dehydration/SM00037  http://firstaid.webmd.com/understanding-heat-related-illness-basics

When To Go To The Emergency Room or Urgent Care

When to go to the emergency room or the urgent care can save precious time and money.  Emergency rooms have access to the equipment and are staffed for life threatening emergencies such as chest pain, severe trauma, shock and head injuries.  Urgent care centers are an excellent option for conditions such as minor injuries, fractures, mile asthma or rashes.  If an urgent care is unable to handle the acuity of a condition, they will direct to the nearest emergency facility.

Having a plan ahead of time can help.  Know where the nearest emergency facility is and how to get there.  Doing some research on an urgent care ahead of time can help before illness or injury strikes.  Become familiar with the services that are offered, if it is staffed with physicians or mid-level providers, what are the hours of operation and what type of equipment is available.  Bookmark the website, keep the phone number handy and know where it is located.  Maybe a visit ahead of time to meet the staff and see how it operates can help in feeling comfortable in what to do in certain situations.

The National Association for Ambulatory Care provides the following information about emergency rooms and urgent care centers in their article, “Where do I go? The Emergency Room? Or an Urgent Care Center?”

When you have a life-threatening situation, such as chest pain, or a sudden and severe pain, the emergency department of the nearest hospital is the only option.  If you went to an urgent care clinic, they’d just send you on to the ER in an ambulance.  But if your condition is less serious, but still requires immediate attention, choosing an urgent care facility can save you loads of time and money, as well as keeping the emergency room free to handle more serious situations.

If you have a sprained ankle, or an ear infection, you may end up waiting for many hours in the emergency room and paying hundreds of dollars.  Most urgent care centers are open for extended hours, and will be able to accomodate you more quickly.

When you need to go to the Emergency Room:
If you have a serious condition – stroke, heart attack, severe bleeding, head injury or other major trauma – go straight to the nearest ER. Don’t take a chance with anything life-threatening. The ER is the best place for these and other critical conditions, including:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe bleeding or head trauma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision

When an Urgent Care Center can better meet your needs:

  • Minor burns or injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Coughs, colds, and sore throats
  • Ear infections
  • Allergic reactions (non life-threatening)
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Rash or other skin irritations
  • Mild asthma
  • Animal bites
  • Broken Bones

And when in doubt, call ahead.  If the urgent care clinic in question can’t accomodate your condition, they will advise you to go the nearest emergency facility.

Remember, urgent care clinics are also a resource for flu shots,  and physicals for sports or school.

Source: http://www.urgentcare.org/UrgentCareDefined/ERvsUrgentCare/tabid/253/Default.aspx

HSC Study Shows Urgent Care as More Convenient and Less Expensive Than Emergency Rooms

Study Shows Urgent Care as More Convenient and Less Expensive Than Emergency Rooms

A study recently completed by the Center For Studying Health System Change (HSC) discusses the potential impact of the growth of urgent care to improve access to care and reduce costly emergency room visits.   The study concentrates on six market areas that tend to have a high number of urgent cares with varying affiliations with hospital systems.

HSC Research Brief  – July 2013
Tracy Yee, Amanda E. Lechner, Ellyn R. Boukus

As the U.S. health care system grapples with strained hospital emergency department (ED) capacity in some areas, primary care clinician shortages and rising health care costs, urgent care centers have emerged as an alternative care setting that may help improve access and contain costs. Growing to 9,000 locations in recent years, urgent care centers provide walk-in care for illnesses and injuries that need immediate attention but don’t rise to the level of an emergency. Though their impact on overall health care access and costs remains unclear, hospitals and health plans are optimistic about the potential of urgent care centers to improve access and reduce ED visits, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the National Institute for Health Care Reform.

Across the six communities studied—Detroit; Jacksonville, Fla.; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and San Francisco—respondents indicated that growth of urgent care centers is driven heavily by consumer demand for convenient access to care. At the same time, hospitals view urgent care centers as a way to gain patients, while health plans see opportunities to contain costs by steering patients away from costly emergency department visits. Although some providers believe urgent care centers disrupt coordination and continuity of care, others believe these concerns may be overstated, given urgent care’s focus on episodic and simple conditions rather than chronic and complex cases. Looking ahead, health coverage expansions under national health reform may lead to greater capacity strains on both primary and emergency care, spurring even more growth of urgent care centers.

Click here to read the full story – http://www.hschange.org/CONTENT/1366/

How To Treat Bee and Wasp Stings

 By: Ellen Sullivan
                                                                                                                   Image
A fun summertime day or plans to get that yard work done can quickly fade away when a bee or wasp shows up on the scene and someone gets stung!Most stings from bees or wasps typically don’t require medical attention although may cause discomfort. However, there are times when a person who has been stung does need medical attention and sometimes immediate action to help prevent shock or in some cases death. When in doubt call a healthcare provider, visit an urgent care center, or go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

Here is what medical experts such as WebMD suggest to do following a sting:

Remove the Stinger  – Scrape the area with a fingernail or use tweezers to remove it. Don’t pinch the stinger — that can inject more venom.

 Control Swelling. -Ice the area. If you were stung on your arm or leg, elevate it. Remove any tight-fitting jewelry from the area of the sting. As it swells, rings or bracelets might become hard to get off.

Treat Symptoms– For pain, take an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Do not give aspirin to anyone under age 18.

For itchiness, take an antihistamine. You can also apply a mixture of baking soda and water or calamine lotion.

Follow-Up – It might take 2-5 days for the area to heal. Keep it clean to prevent infection

Experts at eMedicineHealth.com indicate that medical problems from bee and wasp stings are broadly broken down into two categories:

Local reactions (only the part of the body near the sting is affected)

  • Immediate pain, redness, swelling, and itching at the sting site may occur.
  •  A large (greater than four inches across) local reaction may develop over the next 12-36 hours.
  •  A bacterial skin infection, although uncommon, may also begin during the first 12-36 hours (or even after the first few days).
  •  These may cause an enlarging area of redness at the sting site. It may be difficult to tell a local skin reaction and a local bacterial skin infection apart.

Systemic or allergic reactions (parts of the body away from the sting are affected)

  • Hives (raised itchy bumps on the skin) and itching all over the body
  •  Swelling of the mouth or throat or both
  • Wheezing
  •  Shortness of breath or other difficulty breathing
  •  Nausea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Anxiety
  •  Chest pain
  •  In severe cases, marked difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, and even death may occur.

Call 911 immediately if the person has:

  •  Trouble breathing
  •  Feelings of faintness or dizziness
  •  Hives
  •  A swollen tongue
  •  A history of severe allergy reaction to insect stings

WebMD outlines these steps if the person has if the person does have severe allergy symptoms (anaphylaxis):

 Call 911

  •  Seek emergency care if the person has these symptoms or a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), even if there are no symptoms:
  •  Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  •  Tightness in the throat or a feeling that the airways are closing
  •  Hoarseness or trouble speaking
  •  Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  •  Fast heartbeat or pulse
  •  Skin that itches, tingles, swells, or turns red
  •  Anxiety or dizziness
  •  Loss of consciousness

 Inject Epinephrine Immediately – If the person has an anaphylaxis action plan from a doctor for injecting epinephrine and other emergency measures, follow it. Otherwise, if the person carries an epinephrine shot or one is available:

  •  Inject epinephrine if the person is unable to.
  •  If the person has a history of anaphylaxis, don’t wait for signs of a severe reaction to inject epinephrine.
  •  Read and follow patient instructions carefully.
  •  Inject epinephrine into outer muscle of the thigh. Avoid injecting into a vein or buttock muscles.
  •  Do not inject medicine into hands or feet, which can cause tissue damage. If this happens, notify emergency room staff.
  •  The person may need more than one injection if there’s no improvement after the first. For an adult, inject again after 10 to 20 minutes. For a child, inject again after 5 to 30 minutes.

 Do CPR if the Person Stops Breathing

  •  For a child, start CPR for children
  •  For an adult, start adult CPR.

 Follow Up

  •  Make sure that someone stays with the person for 24 hours after anaphylaxis in case of another attack.
  •  Report the reaction to the person’s doctor.

Sources:

http://firstaid.webmd.com/allergy-insect-sting-treatment

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bee_and_wasp_stings/article_em.htm#bee_and_wasp_stings_overview

Photo: Credited to: http://www.public-domain-image.com

http://www.doctorsexpressjacksonville.com/urgentcare-jacksonville/blogdetailspage/How-to-treat-bee-and-wasp-stings

When Was Your Last Tetanus Booster?

by: Ellen Sullivan
Do you know when you had your last tetanus booster? Has it been 10 years since your last one? Many of us don’t think about it until we get a cut or a wound and then we wonder if we need one. If you did write it down, now may be a good time to go back and see when you are due for another. By the way, men under age 59 are three times more likely than women to get tetanus because they have not had booster shots.

 What is tetanus and how do you get it? Well, it is a potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria found in dirt, dust and soil. The bacterial live all over the world and the disease can occur in both humans and animals. Tetanus is the only vaccine-preventable disease that is not contagious. You can’t catch Tetanus from someone else. It happens when dust or dirt comes in contact with an open wound  that can be from a from a pinprick to a deep wound. Some of the typical wounds that lead to Tetanus infections are cuts, scrapes, lacerations, animal bites, tattoos, postsurgical wounds, body piercings – even splinters! An infection can set in as little as two days or as long as a couple of months. Once Tetanus is inside the bloodstream, the bacteria grow, produce a deadly toxin that can cause spasm and paralysis of muscles.

Symptoms of Tetanus include headache, sweating, fever, difficulty swallowing and stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw) and abdominal muscles. Lockjaw is the most dangerous symptom because it can lead to death by suffocation.

What can you do to prevent tetanus? That is something that you can do by getting a regular tetanus vaccine booster shot. You probably received several tetanus shots when you were a child. Even though you may have, tetanus immunity does not last forever. The Center for Disease Control recommends that you get a tetanus booster every ten years. If you do get injured during that time, your doctor may request that you have another booster if it has been longer than five years since your last one. If you are traveling internationally , you’ll want to be up to date with your immunity because tetanus may be more common where you’re visiting, especially if you are visiting a developing country.

Tetanus boosters shots are easy to get. You can call your family doctor. We keep them on hand here at Doctors Express. You can walk in without an appointment any day of the week  even on the weekend – and receive your booster shot.

Be sure to write down the date you receive your booster so you won’t wonder next time!

http://www.doctorsexpressjacksonville.com/urgentcare-jacksonville/blogdetailspage/Tetanus-Booster?limitstart=15