Category Archives: Medical Blog

Medical Alert USB Bracelets or QR Codes

I think of myself as fairly tech-savvy but somehow I have missed out on a pretty basic tech health item.  I saw a patient yesterday with Acute Intermittent Porphyria, who was kind enough to let me photograph her USB Medical Alert Bracelet.

These make lots of sense for persons with conditions who might benefit from having detailed or complex health information easily available to ER or other health care personnel when they seek care.  Not surprisingly these are inexpensive and no more noticeable than the ubiquitous rubber/vinyl bracelets many wear to support a cause.  I found a variety of colors and styles on a quick google search, with prices under $20.  This sounded pretty cool to me until I looked into how useful ER or other personnel find these,  The consensus is that most ER or other personnel are not going to be willing to plug an unknown USB device into their computer for risk of introducing a virus.  In addition this requires a device with a USB port.

Another high tech alternative is to carry a QR sticker that when scanned leads to a website where health care providers can read whatever information you want them to see.  This can be done with a smart phone or computer and avoids the risk of accessing a virus, and

It takes more than Ankylosing Spondylitis to Keep Guti Down

One of the very few good things about my beloved Seattle Mariners this year, besides Nelson Cruz crushing the ball, has been the call up of Franklin Gutierrez. Guti has been one of my favorite M’s over the years, and to see him struggle with his health concerns since 2011 has been really sad and… Continue Reading

USPSTF “Strong” Recommendations for Preventative Services.

This article is the second in a series on the USPSTF recommendations to health care providers and U.S. residents on recommendations for preventative care services.  The previous article listed 16 “D” recommendations, i.e. things you should not do in an attempt to prevent health problems.  In that article I selected the most relevant “D”: recommendations,… Continue Reading

Why Wait Until 60 for your Shingles Vaccine?

In 2011 Merck received FDA approval to administer Zostavax (Herpes Zoster/ shingles vaccine) in patients age 50-59.  Since 2006 Zostavax has been approved for patients age 60 and older.  So why should you wait until 60 to get shingles vaccine? I wondered this and on reading the ACIP update on Zoster Immunization released this August… Continue Reading

Chikungunya Virus: The Latest Exotic Illness in the U.S.

Another disease previously not documented to have been acquired in the  continental US surfaced this month. A case of Chikungunya virus infection was diagnosed in a man in Florida on about July 15th, and in a Florida woman shortly thereafter.. I have to admit that this caught my eye primarily because of the unusual name… Continue Reading

This Month in the Medical News

Followers may have noted that I’ve not very much  posted in a while.  This is primarily due to spring migration.  As an avid birder, I have been spending nearly every free daylight hour, and some non-daylignt hours afield enjoying this miracle of nature.  The neotropic songbirds and Arcitc breeding shorebirds have been racing past to… Continue Reading

DIY Hay Fever Therapy- The Time is Now

Do-it-yourself (DIY) management is now something many if not most hay fever sufferers can effectively accomplish. The approval of an over-the-counter nasal corticosteroid, Nasacort OTC in October 2013 makes this the first spring where the drug most of us prescribe as the mainstay of hay feverpre therapy is available without a prescription. This is an… Continue Reading