Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How unsanitary is your toothbrush?

Most dentists recommend that toothbrushes be changed out at least every three months, but if you travel, get sick, or have a toilet close to your brush - you probably want to change it out more often. In this busy life it can be easy to forget about the simplest things, like getting a new toothbrush on time. 13 Clean is providing consumers an easier way to remember to change out toothbrushes.

A new toothbrush, called 13 Clean, comes with 13 detachable heads - one starter head and 12 other heads for each month. Each head has its month printed clearly on the back, so when October fades into November users know it's time to change the brush head if they're still brushing with the one that says October.

Visit to see the product.

Surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Save a Newborn's Life with the Support of 3-D Printing

NEW YORK (October 15, 2014) —A team of surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital saved the life of a one-week-old baby with the aid of a 3-D printed model of the child's heart. The 3-D model was used as a guide for surgery on the child, who was born with a complex and deadly form of congenital heart disease (CHD).

Photo credit: NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital 

Dr. Emile Bacha, director of congenital and pediatric cardiac surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, and his team performed surgery when the baby was just one week old and weighed only 7 lbs. With the aid of the 3-D model, the team was able to repair all of the heart's defects in a single procedure. Typically, babies born with this complex form of CHD require a series of three or four life-threatening surgeries.

 "The baby's heart had holes, which are not uncommon with CHD, but the heart chambers were also in an unusual formation, rather like a maze," said Dr. Bacha, who is also chief of the division of cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Calvin F. Barber Professor of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S).

"In the past, we had to stop the heart and look inside to decide what to do. With 3-D printing technology, we are able to look at the inside of the heart in advance, giving us a road map for the surgery," he added.
Prior to the surgery, a team of doctors led by Dr. Anjali Chelliah, a pediatric cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and assistant professor at P&S, diagnosed the baby with CHD while he was still in the womb, allowing time to develop the optimal treatment plan. After the baby was born, Dr. Chelliah worked closely with Materialise, a company that specializes in 3-D printing for healthcare, to create a model of the child's heart with data taken from a low-dose CT scan performed just one day after the baby.

Only two days after receiving the data, the printer was able to produce an exact replica of the heart, allowing the doctors to understand every detail of the congenital defects.
Dr. Bacha and Dr. Chelliah are optimistic that 3-D printing technology will continue to improve outcomes for patients.

"After the success of this surgery, it's clear that 3-D models can be successfully used to help surgeons in complex procedures," said Dr. Bacha. "This technology is the future, and we are proud that NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is leading the way."
The 3-D printed model of the baby's heart was paid for by Matthew's Hearts of Hope, a non-profit organization that supports CHD patients and their families.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, located in New York City, offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and one of the largest providers of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. 

It is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. The hospital is also closely affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area, according to U.S. News & World Report, and consistently named to the magazine's Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

10 Natural Ways to Keep Healthy While Traveling this Holiday Season

Jayne McAllister

Eat healthy foods and keep hydrated

During the six day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips increases by 54% and during the Christmas/New Year holiday, travel increases by 23%. While thousands of Americans travel across the country to visit family and friends, no one wants to get bogged down with sickness. Jayne McAllister, of Jayne McAllister Travel Wellness, recommends ten tips to stay healthy while traveling this holiday season.

“Traveling is hard on the body, causing an increase in stress and an exposure to a variety of germs. It’s vital to stay healthy and take care of yourself or your trip can be ruined,” says Jayne McAllister, of Jayne McAllister Travel Wellness. “There are natural ways to stay healthy that require little extra effort, especially when you are bouncing from plane to plane.”

Jayne McAllister recommends 10 tips to stay healthy while traveling this holiday season:
  1. Eat Healthy on the Road. Research airport eateries before you fly to find healthiest options. Request a fridge in your hotel room so you can shop for healthy meals and keep fresh fruit and salads to hand for when you don’t have to dine out. For long haul flights, order a vegetarian meal.  The extra vegetables are much easier on your body inflight than eating lots of sugar, saturated fats and animal proteins. Plan to eat a salad before you fly to offset the effects of inflight bloating.
  2. Breathe. Breathing exercises calm the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system. It’s the simplest tactic to reduce stress, it’s easy to do and it’s free. Inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts.  Work up to inhaling for two counts and exhaling for eight.
  3. Jet Lag. Forget the drugs, forget the gimmicks, jet lag can be handled completely holistically. Here’s how: grounding (standing barefoot on grass or sand for 10 minutes at a time); electrolyte balance, antioxidants, exercise, and alkalizing foods.
  4. Keep Your Usual Sleep Pattern. Red eye flights can seem like a good idea but at the end of the day, you’re depriving yourself of a decent night’s sleep, which will throw off your performance for days. Lack of sleep doesn’t just lead to lack of energy, it leads to bad decisions around food, such as reaching for caffeine and sugar for pick-me-ups, or being too tired to think about making the right choices at breakfast time. Take a soak in a tub before you turn in. Apply a little soothing lavender balm. This is very good for people who are anxious naturally, especially when flying. Use natural sources of melatonin, like pineapple, bananas, oranges, oats, sweet corn, rice, tomatoes, and barley.
  5. Wash Frequently. The basics would be washing your hands as frequently as possible, carrying wipes to clean your tray table and ends of the arm rests, keeping the air vent above your seat open (even though it’s “recycled” air, it’s better than totally stale air.)
  6. Keep Exercising. People love to use the fact that they’re traveling as an excuse to not exercise. Obvious remedies: Find a hotel that has a workout room or a pool. Use the stairwell. If you have a gym membership, see if they have a location where you’re traveling to. Get outside and walk as much as you can.
  7. Hydrate. Ideally, consume at least one 8-ounce glass for every hour in flight. Caffeine, whether it is in coffee or soft drinks, will dehydrate you. Avoid the inflight salty nuts and snacks, which mess with cellular water content.  Similarly, watch out for salt in drinks like tomato juice and V8.
  8. Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol and flying do not mix well because of alcohol’s dehydrating effects. It’s better to have a drink with your pre-flight meal while you’re able to drink lots of water with your meal. This will lessen the effects of dehydration, help you digest your food and relax you before your flight if you’re a nervous flyer. Just don’t overdo it.
  9. Commit before you travel. Book a personal trainer, or exercise class before you get to your destination.  Personal trainers and Pilates studios usually have a 24-hour cancellation policy so it’s a real incentive to keep your appointment.
  10. No Excuses. Some people will use the excuse of not having space in their luggage for their sneakers.  While some might wear them for the trip, others wouldn’t be seen dead in sneakers while traveling, plus they’re a pain to have to take off at security.  Light, foldable sneakers are now available that squeeze into any size bag. If the hotel doesn’t have a work-out facility or you don’t feel safe walking or running in the neighborhood, there are plenty of downloadable workouts to do in-room.
“It’s important to be educated about what to avoid while traveling to stay healthy, especially during the holiday season when there are more people traveling and more ill people,” says McAllister. “Staying healthy while traveling is essential to enjoy your holiday season with your friends and family.”

McAllister provides corporate wellness assistance to those companies with business travelers who spend 30 percent of their time, or more, on the road. She specializes in such training issues as weight loss for travelers, healthy eating while traveling, ergonomics for the traveler, functional exercise, jet lag recovery and avoidance, sleep quality, and nutritional cleanses. She has also created Dine Out Lose Weight, a 21-day guide for dropping weight without setting foot in the kitchen. For more information on her services, visit the site at:

About Jayne McAllister Travel Wellness

Based in Vero Beach, Fla., Jayne McAllister Travel Wellness is a company that provides corporate wellness training to business who have employees that spend a lot of their time on the road. Jayne is a certified coach, who has a degree from the University of Cambridge, is a Pilates instructor, and is a certified holistic health practitioner. For more information visit the site

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloween Safety Alert: Costume Contact Lenses Can Damage Eyes

Zombie eyes
Miami, FL – Wearing decorative contact lenses to enhance your Halloween costume may seem fun, but it can permanently damage vision. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine warns consumers that using decorative lenses without a prescription or a proper fitting by an eye-care professional carries serious risks to vision, potentially leading to blindness. Often painted in vivid patterns, these lenses are used to change the eye’s appearance – not to improve vision. They are typically sold online and through flea markets, convenience stores, and shops.

Dr. Lana Srur, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, advises, “Contact lenses purchased and worn without an eye exam or a doctor’s prescription greatly increase the possibility of serious complications. One size does not fit all — especially non-prescription costume contacts, which often fit improperly. These lenses may cause injuries such as cuts and open sores in the cornea, as well as bacterial infections, which could lead to corneal scarring and vision loss,” she added. Dr. Srur said additional risks include conjunctivitis (pink eye), swelling of the eye (corneal edema), sensitivity to light, allergic reactions to lens coatings and interference with normal activities including driving.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology emphasized that a federal law passed in 2005 classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties and fees. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also advised that consumers should only buy decorative contact lenses from an eye care professional or seller who requires a prescription.

Dr. Lana Srur
About Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of UHealth - the University of Miami Health System, is ranked the #1 eye hospital in the nation, as noted in U.S. News & World Report.   As the largest ophthalmic care, vision research and educational facility in the southeastern United States, each year Bascom Palmer treats more than 250,000 patients with nearly every ophthalmic condition and performs more than 12,000 surgeries. Founded in 1962, Bascom Palmer has patient care facilities in Miami, Palm Beach Gardens, Naples, and Plantation, Florida.  For additional information, contact Natali Latorre at (305) 326-6190 or  Visit our website at