Head Trauma in Children – A Podcast

DocHandal latest podcast lets you in on the important considerations in children of mild head trauma, concussion, and what parents need to know. Warning signs, when to go to the ER, terminology and much more as only Doc can tell you.

Some warning signs of mild versus severe types of brain injury are hard to ID. That’s why check out by a physician early is important. Signs include: when a child is not acting as usual, complaints are getting worse especially a. headache, not walking well or unbalanced walking, a speech change, dizziness, excess sleepiness, blacking out or a seizure.

Whenever a head injury results from a forceful event – ex.  car accident or fall from a height, an immediate medical exam may be warranted be warranted.


Vampire Facial Dangers

Beauty has been on such a pedestal in our country that procedures to achieve this have been created that are extreme and contentious.

The ‘vampire facial’ – made popular by Kim Kardashian and others. Starting with taking blood from you the facial procedure uses micro needles to re-inject all the blood all over your face.

The New Mexico Department of Health says practice at ‘VIP Spa’ in Albuquerque might spread HIV or hepatitis B and C, CBS News reported.

“Vampire facial” clients are being cautioned that they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C through human blood. This controversial procedure and others are not regulated.

As a consumer do not presume since something is offered – it is safe and worthwhile.

Teen Behavior is Dependent on Sleep

Research has shown that adolescents should sleep 8-10 hours for optimal judgment, learning, and development.

Reality is 70%of high school students average less than 8 hours per night. Is this important?

JAMA Pediatrics published the results of a study (over 8 years) evaluating high school students sleep duration and behavior. It was a self-reported data gathering study.

Findings noted dramatic difference among those who slept 8 or more hours versus those who slept fewer 6 hours.

Those who slept fewer 6 hours exhibited unsafe behavior included drinking, drug use, aggressive and self-harm behavior. They also were 3 x more likely to consider suicide, attempt suicide, drive aggressively,

smoke, engage in the risky sexual activity. Furthermore, they were more likely to carry a weapon.

Now that you are informed help a teen gets sufficient sleep.


Medical Selfie

Ever wonder if you have a urinary tract infection? Mystery a photo away! FDA just approved a Class II (on its way to market but not there yet) a Smartphone app ‘dip.io for urine testing. Not in App store yet.

Urine sample test strip

This app works with a dedicated app, a dipstick, and your Smartphone camera. Between AI & image recognition transmission to your doc gets you a reading!

So dip, take a photo in front of a color board send to a physician immediately -all in the app. Yes, the same ten parameters are interpreted. They are:
Protein pH
Specific Gravity

Watch out for more self-diagnostic Apps.

Unused Prescriptions

Once you decide to toss them, what is environmentally and socially responsible?

There may be times when you find yourself with some prescribed pills you want to get rid of, so what should you do?

Although you are told to finish all medications when you pick up a prescription thing happen!  At times expiration occurs, allergic reactions or the medication is ineffective or you ‘play’ doctor and feel better so you stop the medication – no comment!

My adice is drop it off at the pharmacy but first check which ones in your area have a ‘take back program’ but first go to  disposemymeds.org  . Check at fire stations, this may be the place to unload them.

Afraid wrong hands will get them and time is of the essence, check at fda.gov to find out which you can flush.

Remember to always remove personal data, by peeling your identifying information to avoid identity theft, if unable scratch out before recycling!

Check if you can donate to church or missions in your area.

Longevity Odds

Conventional wisdom says ‘if your parents live long you will’.  Subscribing to believe ‘it is in your genes’ is common, we have been lulled into that security or insecurity.
Parental lifespan predicts daughters living to 90 without chronic disease or disability says researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. They found that if your mother lived to more than 90 you likely were (by 25%) and to be relatively free of serious disease and disability

Naturally, it follows moms who lived to over 90 were in good health missing the ‘bad biggies’ including cancer diabetes stroke and
frequent broken bones.

No surprise that moms who were independent did own grooming including bathing, had hobbies they enjoyed ended living over 90 without serious confines.
Sadly if only your dad lived to over 90 a daughter did not benefit!
But don’t write his contribution to your health off just yet, researchers noted that if both parents lived to over 90, your longevity went to 38%
A limitation of this study is the lack of information regarding parents cause of death.
Yes in the genes but lifestyle choices passed on contribute.

‘By the Way…’ – Incidental Medical Findings

I need to let you know, to prepare yourself should it occur – when your doctor starts with that phrase ‘By the Way..’ or ‘And also..’

You may have had or know someone who had a medical test for looking for one thing but found ‘an incidental finding’. Doctors relay the information in many ways but bottom line ‘we were looking for such and such but also found …..’

The term we affectionately use (pretty sad) is ‘incidentalomas’.

In an analysis of previous studies (BMJ, online June 18), showed unexpected findings including the number of ‘incidentals’ dependent of which parts of the body were scanned.

For example, incidentalomas happened:

just 2% of the time with certain whole-body PET scans and with chest computed tomography (CT)
45% of the time in the throat, abdomen, spine, or heart. CT colonoscopy
22% of the time a brain MRIs may find incidentalomas in the brain

Today’s imaging devices are revealing smaller and smaller structures then even last year. Most incidentals are harmless but earlier recognition of cancers was noted especially imaging of the brain and chest done in the emergency room (ER).

Child Obesity

Obesity now affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A clear and direct relationship exists, the more sedentary time, the greater the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. A 2015 study by nonprofit organization Common Sense Media found that US teens spend 6 hours 40 minutes per day on screens, including about two hours of TV, and younger kids spend just over 4.5 hours per day on screens. Even addiction occurs with video gaming, now a recognized disease, see DocHandal’s previous blog worth a read if you missed it.

Seems straightforward enough – more sitting (sedentary) a child the more likely obesity will set in. Sedentary behavior is not just screen time it encompasses is sitting in a car, reading a book, and sitting around ‘shooting the breeze’. Remember there are lots of sitting at school and that is unlikely to change.

Seems easy for parents to have an impact on.

No surprise the American Heart Association (AHA) has an Obesity Committee and they have published a recommendation.  AHA Guidelines recommend screen time of fewer than 2 hours per day, no TVs or screens of any kind in the bedroom and during meals.  Researchers are looking at sedentary behavior when variable physical activity is present. Stay tuned.

Device-free time’ is new mantra while pushing children outdoors.  Also, parents need to do it!

Get out with your kids!

Must Ask Your Doctor

Lately the label ‘healthcare provider’ has replaced medical doctor and physician.  At present physician assistants and nurse practitioners have been recognized as ‘equivalent’ guardians of your health, whichever professional you go to please as applies to you, have them answer some or all the questions below.  Be sure you get an understandable answer. If at first, you do not, demand one!

It is not a one-sided conversation when you seek medical care questions.

Demand a satisfactory answer from Your Healthcare Provider for these :

  • What website(s) do you like as a resource for my condition?
  • What website(s) do you like as a resource for medications?
  • How many calories a day should I have?
  • What is an abnormal blood pressure for me?
  • What are the side effects of this new prescription? When is it best to take – morning night, with or w/o food
  • How much alcohol can I drink to have beneficial effects?
  • How much cholesterol a day should I have since on cholesterol-lowering medicine?
  • Travel restrictions -there is a minimal realization of the changes that occur to every ‘body’ at flying altitude. Dependent on your health issues flying can be disastrous.

Just a bit of background info for you to go in with:

  • How much coffee can I drink a day? FYI- that drinking coffee greater than 3 cups/day ( study found ) decreased in pancreatitis DM and obesity, but more importantly prolonged life.


  • Should I take aspirin prophylactic and how much?  FYI – low dose has been recommended in many for prevention of stroke and other cardiovascular conditions. New research show it is not one size fits all. The dosage needs to be weight dependent after finding if you weigh more than 70kg & on low dose more likely to die if have a cardiovascular event. Bottom line: low dose is okay for those less than 154.3 (70)kg).


  • What is the worst thing I should watch for with this new prescription medication (esp. antibiotic)?FYI – fluoroquinolones ( used in humans and animals as Avelox, Cipro,  Floxin, Levaquin, Noroxin, Tequin, Maxaquin) can effect mental health and decrease your sugar level. If he/she mentions frightful side effects feel free to ask ‘Is it really necessary’? Then always read information that accompanies your prescription. One better if you have concern go to drugs.com and read up on the medication.