Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Heart screenings for young people offered in Grand Prairie

The Grand Prairie YMCA hosted a heart screening event for Living For Zachary, which is a charity dedicated to screening young people ages 12-22 for heart abnormalities that could lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). All COVID precautions were in effect, as staff, volunteers, kids and parent had to keep masks on and follow the six-foot rule.

This special screening method was developed by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital in Plano and the event is generally held in Plano and Denton. This year, they branched out to Grand Prairie to reach more kids. The YMCA offered a room with volunteers to watch younger children while participants were being screened and their parents were with them.

Living for Zachary is named for Zachary (Zac) Troy Schrah, who tragically collapsed and died at the age of 16 from SCA on April 2, 2009 while at football practice at Plano East High School.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest typically strikes suddenly, with no warning or physical symptoms. Zac’s family learned later that he had an undiagnosed condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a congenital heart disease. HCM is a common cause of SCA in young people, especially athletes.

HCM is an ailment where the heart muscle thickens, and as a result, blood has trouble making it out of the heart, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood. HCM also makes it tougher for the heart muscle to relax, which would allow it to be filled with blood.

Living for Zachary is part of Zac’s legacy. His career goal had been to become a doctor, and while that didn’t happen, many lives will be saved though the organization’s screening efforts.

One of Living for Zachary’s goals came from a quote taken from an essay that Zac wrote: “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

The screening that was offered was not a typical heart screening. Baylor Scott & White expanded the traditional screening to include: A blood pressure screening, an electrocardiogram, an SCA risk health questionnaire (AHA recommended) and offered limited 2-D echocardiograms. The results of these tests will be looked at and interpreted by a board-certified cardiologist.

The screening process is described by a young man whose life was saved by Living for Zachary. To view it, visit https://youtu.be/rTDk9Sm7aGE.

This was a preliminary screening, as anyone that was determined to be “at-risk” for SCA were referred for further testing and examinations with one of the Baylor Scott & White’s cardiologists. They made sure that participants were aware of the fact that the screening was not to take the place of a doctor’s exam.

The Living for Zachary program also offers CPR training, education about SCA and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) placement. Many businesses have AEDs in their lobby or hallways, so it is important to understand how they work. AEDs function as a defibrillator and will send electric shocks to help a hindered heart.

While SCA sometimes offers no warnings, here are some things to look for. If you or your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, get them to a doctor or cardiologist immediately:

  • Fainting or seizure during or after physical activity
  • Fainting or seizure resulting from excitement, distress or being startled
  • Chest pain or discomfort or a racing heartbeat
  • Unexplained fainting or seizures
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Unusual fatigue/tiredness
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness during or after physical activity

Stay safe and healthy! If you’d like to learn more about any of the Living for Zachary services, visit their website at LivingForZachary.org.

Q&A: St. Luke’s physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Dr. Sam Rolon, a physician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands, about this year’s upcoming flu season, who should receive influenza vaccinations and how to address possible flu cases amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What is typically defined as flu season? We actually see flu all year long nowadays. We used to not really see it for whatever reason, but nowadays, we see the peak from October through March. But still, last year, I saw it all the way through May [and] June. So, it still lingers a little bit with people traveling and just getting exposed to a minor pocket somewhere.

When would you advise people to get their flu shots this year? For the general population, get it between mid- to late September through late October. … Anytime that you can get it, the sooner, the better, just to make sure you’re vaccinated. … Prevention is key this year for the same reason [as] when COVID[-19] started: … ‘[getting] the surge down’ so that we don’t overburden the hospitals. … We need to have hospital beds available, and we’re just trying to manage public health and make sure that we keep as many people healthy as possible so that we don’t have bad outcomes—so we don’t lose unnecessary, preventable lives from flu, from COVID[-19], from pneumonia, from whatever.

Read more from Community Impact…

Report: Blue Angels to fly over San Antonio to honor healthcare workers


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(Photo: U.S. Navy via MGN Online)

Read more from News4SA…

DFW International Airport surprisingly empty after COVID-19 developments

If you’ve been to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), you are probably used to long security lines and crowded terminals.

I visited terminals A and C, which are supposed to be the busiest during this time, mainly due to Spring Break. Imagine my surprise when barely a traveler was there to be seen.

I was able to speak to a few passengers, both coming home to DFW and those leaving to visit other cities. As you can imagine, these were the folks who dared to travel during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Traveler

Traveler Tony Manning, from Detroit, Michigan

Tony Manning, from Detroit, MI, said:

I own a public relations/marketing business for a legal consulting firm, so I am here to do some consulting for a couple of clients. I have not had any problems due to Coronavirus. I flew from Detroit on American, and the flight attendants were so awesome. They tried to go out of their way to make sure we were all comfortable. The planes were pretty empty. My flight from Detroit had maybe 20 people on board [a 737 jet]. I literally had the whole row to myself to stretch out. It was peaceful. It was quiet, and we got here safe. Everybody was wiping down the seats and stuff. No one was coughing. I had been worried about that, so I brought my mask, but I felt like this is probably the cleanest flight I’ve ever been on.

So, instead of hysteria and panic, it seems that people are just staying home, making air travel more pleasant for those that utilize it.

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Three travelers taking precautions on their flight home

Police department asks public not to call 911 when they run out of toilet paper

BY  

Screen-Shot-2020-03-16-at-9.33.50-AM-1The COVID-19 panic has caused a lot of people to stock up on items like toilet paper. In fact, some stores are limiting toilet paper purchases to four or fewer packs per person and have hired security guards to watch over the toilet paper aisle.

While there are some gastrointestinal symptoms due to the coronavirus, the bulk-buying of toilet paper is unnecessary, and is no reason to panic, according to the Oregon Police Department.

On Saturday, The Newport Oregon Police Department took to Facebook to remind people not to panic, not to call 911 if they run out of toilet paper, and offered a few tried-and-true toilet paper alternatives.

Read more from MyPearlandNews…

Gov. Abbott warns against hoarding toiletries, food amid coronavirus fears

By Blake Hanson

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Photo: FOX4

While it might be a concerning sight, there is no evidence of any long-term supply shortages.

Not a single North Texas store is running out of food. The only reason some shelves are empty is people taking more than they need.

No matter the grocery store you pick, it seems each one is full of shoppers and short on what you need.

“We found some paper towels,” said shopper Sherman Harris. “We haven’t found any toilet paper yet.”

Some shelves were cleared, despite stores setting limits on what each customer can buy.

Read more from FOX26…

Here’s why people are panic buying and stockpiling toilet paper to cope with coronavirus fears

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Photo: CNBC

Panic buying has been rife amid the global spread of the new coronavirus, with consumers around the world stockpiling goods like hand sanitizer, canned foods and toilet paper.

Psychologists spoke to CNBC to weigh in on why our brains push us to panic buy — even when authorities are assuring the public there’s no need to.

According to Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist at the University of the Arts London, the short answer can be found in the psychology of “retail therapy” — where we buy to manage our emotional state.

Read more from CNBC…

Grapevine Water Report

Our Drinking Water Meets or Exceeds All Federal (EPA) Drinking Water Requirements

Goal_3Providing safe and reliable drinking water is our highest priority. We are proud to produce and deliver water that meets or exceeds state and federal standards. This report is a summary of the quality of the water we provide our customers. The analysis was made by using data from the most recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required tests and is presented in the following pages. We hope this information helps you become more knowledgeable about what is in your drinking water.

Special Notice for the Elderly, Infants, Cancer Patients, People with HIV/AIDS or Other Immune Problems:

You may be more vulnerable than the general population to certain microbial contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, in drinking water. Infants, some elderly, or immunocompromised persons such as those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer; those who have undergone organ transplants; those who are undergoing treatment with steroids; and people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders can be particularly at risk from infections. You should seek advice about drinking water from your physician or health care provider. Additional guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/

All Drinking Water May Contain Contaminants

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. When drinking water meets federal standards, there may not be any health based benefits to purchasing bottled water or point of use devices. More information about contaminants and potential health effects may be obtained by calling EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/

Awards

The City of Grapevine received the EPA Award for Excellence in 1992, 1995, and 1998 for the best maintained and operated water system for Region VI for water systems of similar size. Region VI consists of Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. In 1991, 1998, 2001 and 2004, the City of Grapevine’s water was awarded the best tasting water award in North Central Texas, by the North Texas Laboratory Association. The City of Grapevine was awarded the best tasting water in Texas in March 2002. In 1994 and 2013, the Trinity River Authority water was awarded the best tasting water in North Central Texas by the North Texas Laboratory Association. The Trinity River Authority was awarded the best tasting water in Texas in March 2014.

Where do we get our drinking water?

Sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material. It can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial contaminants – such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.
  • Inorganic contaminants – such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff.
  • Industrial or domestic wastewater discharges- oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides – which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic chemical contaminants – including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from stations, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Radioactive contaminants – which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

Grapevine uses surface water from Lake Grapevine and purchased water from the Trinity River Authority (TRA). TRA raw water is pumped from Cedar Creek Reservoir and Richland-Chambers Reservoir into Lake Arlington.

A Source Water Susceptibility Assessment for your drinking water source(s) is currently being updated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This information describes the susceptibility and types of constituents that may come into contact with your drinking water source based on human activities and natural conditions. The information contained in the assessment allows us to focus source water protection strategies.

TCEQ classified the risks to our source water as “High” for most contaminants. “High” susceptibility means events or activities near sources of the City of Grapevine drinking water make it very likely that chemical constituents may come into contact with our source water. It does not mean there are any health risks present.

For more information on source water assessments and protection efforts of our system, call 817.410.3330.

For more information about your sources of water, please refer to the Source Water Assessment Viewer available at the following URL: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/gis/swaview

Further details about sources and source-water assessments are available in Drinking Water Watch at the following URL: http://dww2.tceq.texas.gov/DWW/

Lake Water Treatment

At the Grapevine and TRA water treatment plants, the lake water goes through several treatment processes where chemicals such as chlorine, ozone, alum, fluoride, caustic soda, ammonia, potassium permanganate and polymer are added to purify the water. After the water is purified, it is pumped into your homes through more than 299 miles of distribution pipelines.

Editor’s Corner: It may not be dementia

By Stacey Doud

dementia-6signsabuse690x400We haven’t posted a whole lot on The Grapevine Source lately because we were dealing with a family health issue…and I have to say I learned a LOT.

My mother is a total morning person. When I couldn’t get her on the phone by 9am last Saturday, I drove to her apartment, which is about seven minutes away.

I got there and she was indeed in bed, which at 9am is unheard of for her. Everything was dark. I was able to wake her but she was disoriented and basically couldn’t even sit up in bed. She was trying to speak, but it came out in a whisper and made no sense.

So I called 9-1-1. Fortunately, a fire station is right down the road and the EMS/Fire guys were there within minutes. They assessed her, and her vital signs were perfect. But it was obvious that she was not herself, so they took her to Baylor Scott and White Hospital.

To make a long story short, it turned out that my mom had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). I learned that infections like UTIs can mimic the symptoms of dementia in the elderly. WHO KNEW? The Occupational Therapist explained that the process looks like this: the person slowly stops hydrating as much as he/she should, as well as stops eating right (skipping meals altogether at times); he/she starts to feel yucky generally; then the mental symptoms can start. In my mom’s case, her psychiatric symptoms started sometime late Friday night/early Saturday morning because she was totally lucid and fine when I spoke to her Friday around 5pm.

The infection causes blood to flow to that area so that white blood cells can try to fight it, and some of that blood comes from the brain. When there’s not enough blood to the brain, the person gets confused and dementia-like. I found a pretty good article on this issue at SeniorLiving.org:

“One of the many unseen, hard-to-detect dangers that senior citizens face today is urinary tract infections, more often known as UTIs.  Though easily treatable, the symptoms of UTIs in the elderly can often mimic those of other more serious conditions, like dementia. Given that UTIs are one of the most frequent, hidden infections seniors suffer from, it is important to be able to differentiate them from other illnesses, then isolate and eliminate them.

“Older individuals are vulnerable to UTIs for several reasons. The biggest culprit is an immune system weakened by time that increases susceptibility to any infection…Seniors are also more prone to UTIs because they get an assortment of ailments that cause urinary retention.  There are certain health conditions they face that make it harder to pass urine, such as diabetes, kidney infections, and kidney stones.  In addition to slowing the process of urinating, diabetes raises glucose in the urine, which also increases the likelihood of a UTI. An older person’s inability to urinate properly can then necessitate a catheter, which is difficult to keep sanitary, making them even more vulnerable to the same infection.”

My mom is now back home and doing well. She uses a shower chair now to prevent falls, as her physical body is still a bit unstable. Home health comes by three times a week, and I check on her every day. She wants to maintain her independence, but she’s 73 years old. Fortunately, she is understanding of her limits. She makes a point to drink plenty of water (dehydration/electrolyte imbalances can add to the cognitive symptoms), and eats three meals a day, even if one meal is a nutrition drink.

We learned a lot, and want to prevent this from happening again. I like to think I am a biology nerd and know more than the average bear about how the body works, but I did not know this. It flabbergasted me.

I wanted to share it here so that our readers will know, and hopefully this knowledge can prevent or quickly treat this medical issue in at least one other person…hopefully more.

Have a blessed day and feel free to email questions to me if you have any. I will do my best to answer them (based on my experience) or ask our home health nurse if I do not know the answer.

Indiana school district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for kids

By ED ERNSTES, WSBT 22 Reporter

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Elkhart schools are teaming up with a South Bend-based food rescue for a pilot program. (WSBT 22 photo)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WSBT) – An Indiana school district is taking steps to make sure kids have enough to eat.

Elkhart Community Schools students usually get breakfast and lunch at school, but on the weekends at home, they may be without food.

That’s where the South Bend-based non-profit Cultivate comes in: it provides weekend meals to a small group of students in the elementary school pilot program.

Read more from ABC 3340…