Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Single Lot of H1N1 Vaccine Associated with Increased Allergic Reactions

GlaxoSmithKline has recalled a batch of H1N1 vaccine that appears to be associated with a higher than normal rate of allergic reactions. Six individuals in Canada experienced allergic reactions after receiving the vaccine from this batch, but no other countries have reported similar adverse events. This batch (lot number A80CA007A) was distributed in Canada, and consists of 170,000 doses (the majority of which have already been administered). It was shipped in late October.

Important points:

• This affected batch was not distributed in the United States. The affected Canadian batch has been recalled.
• Allergic reactions to a vaccine occur within 30 minutes to an hour after vaccination, so those who received the affected vaccine do not need to worry about the potential for a lingering reaction.
• People with asthma are at high risk of serious complications from influenza infection, including H1N1. Vaccination can significantly reduce this risk.
• Most individuals with egg allergy can receive H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccinations. An allergist/immunologist is the best qualified physician to evaluate and administer the vaccine in egg allergic or suspected egg allergic people.
• For the most complete and up-to-date information on H1N1 and allergic conditions, visit www.aaaai.org

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How My 4 Year Old Shows Me He's Maturing

Son #1 has been going through a phase where he insults my parenting skills whenever I make him do something he doesn't want to. I know he doesn't mean it, but it still smarts. Here are a few examples:

me: "Put your toys away, or I'll take them away."
him: "You're a bad mommy!"

me: "TV off, kiddo. You've watched enough."
him: "I'm not going to be your son anymore!"

me: "I know you don't want to leave, but we have to go home now."
him: "I don't want to go home with you. Just send me to outer space. I'll live with the friendly aliens."

Now, I know these statements make my kid sound like a spoiled brat, but to be honest, he's actually a very well-behaved little boy. I've come to recognize this phase as proof that my child understands that threatening to withdraw affection is the worst punishment you can inflict on someone who loves you. This is an important lesson, because it will reinforce to him how important family bonds actually are.

In fact, his most recent retort proved to me how quickly he is maturing:

me: "You can't wear your pajama's all day. Please get dressed."
him: (bristling with anger) "Mommy, just because I love you doesn't mean I love you soooo much!"

Hey, as long as he gets his clothes on, that's a comeback I can live with. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Baking with Your Food-Allergic Kids- It's Possible!

There's something about cooking with your kids which makes the holidays feel more holidaylicious. And just like all kids, mine are enamoured of the kitchen (especially since Disney's "Ratatouille").

Used to be, if you wanted to bake an allergy-friendly holiday dessert, you had to pull out a cookbook, make substitutions, and hope for the best. Not my style. Although I love it when other people slave away all day in the kitchen, I'm not really a "from scratch" kind of gal.

So, you can imagine my delight when a patient's mother introduced me to Cherrybrook Kitchen (http://www.cherrybrookkitchen.com), which has created a line of dairy, egg, and peanut-free mixes for cookies, cakes, brownies, pancakes, and more. (Frostings, too!) They're now even offering wheat and gluten free items. Best of all, the result is something even someone without allergies would like to eat...

Thanks, Cherrybrook! Now I can make goodies for my son's class without any little voices piping up, "This tastes like concrete!"
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I'm Thankful For This Year (or What's Good About Healthcare in America)

As we approach Thanksgiving in the midst of a raging healthcare reform debate, I'd like to share what I think is good about healthcare in America these days...

I'm thankful that I practice medicine in a country where I have access to the most helpful and novel innovations with which to heal my patients.

I'm thankful for compassionate nurses and assistants who put the patient first.

I'm thankful for experienced and competent managers who keep small medical practices running during difficult economic times.

I'm thankful for front desk staff who are always friendly and helpful, even though they have numerous stressors.

I'm thankful for intelligent, thoughtful colleagues with whom I can discuss complex medical questions.

I'm thankful for sane, grounded colleagues with whom I can share my frustrations.

I'm thankful for the social media networks which allow physicians from all over the nation to interact as though we were neighbors.

I'm thankful for information technology which makes prescribing medications faster and safer.

I'm thankful for medication samples to share with my patients who simply cannot afford the cost of prescriptions.

I'm thankful for patients who value me as an educator rather than as a prescriber.

I'm thankful that despite all of the doctor-bashing that occurs in Washington and the media, my patients still trust me to safeguard their health and that of their children.

Yes, there's plenty wrong with healthcare... but there's also plenty right. In our rush to enact a "fix", let's not fix the parts that ain't broke.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]