Drs Blum & Desai, LLC
Drs Richard Blum, Sandhya Desai and Tina Mirza

HEALTH TIPS:

DTaP


There has been a recent resurgence of pertussis (whooping cough). Those of us who were vaccinated many years ago may no longer be immune. Pertussis is particularly dangerous for infants and causes a prolonged illness with severe coughing for adults. It is now recommended that parents and grandparents of infants be vaccinated.
There is NO vaccination for pertussis alone; the vaccination for adults, like for children is combined with tetanus and diphtheria in a vaccine known as DTaP. The brand name which we use in our office is ADACEL. It is likely safe for adults of all ages, but was only tested and therefore only approved for age 18-64. It is possibly therefore not covered by Medicare. Cost is about $75.
Only potential problem arises for an individual who had a bad reaction to a recent regular tetanus vaccine, perhaps given in an Emergency Room after an injury. Getting another tetanus shot for the purpose of adding the pertussis protection could cause problems. If you are about to get a tetanus shot as an adult , INSIST ON DTaP if you have not had this vaccine. When your next tetanus shot is due, get DTaP. You will not need another one for at least 10 years.

MELANOMA

Melanoma is a serious skin cancer.  It can occur anywhere on the skin, including the back and hard-to-see areas. Melanoma can spread to the internal organs of the body. It sometimes runs in families. Please consult your doctor if you have a skin lesion which is growing irregularly, or changing colors.

You can prevent melanoma by -

-avoiding sun between 10am and 4 pm

-using sunscreen often

-wearing long brim hat/ long sleeve shirt / long pants

-AVOID tanning booth

ADVANCED LIPID TESTING:  WHO NEEDS IT ?

 

For some individuals, the calculated LDL you get from the hospital lab does not correlate with the actual number of LDL particles, which is the actual culprit in the development of heart disease.  Patients with history of coronary disease, risk factors including hypertension, smoking and diabetes or metabolic syndrome (overweight, low HDL, high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar) should consider advanced lipid testing.   You must schedule an office visit with Dr Blum to discuss the results about 2 weeks later.

PREVNAR 13

Prevnar 13 is a newer vaccine to protect against various strains of Pneumococcus, the bacteria which most commonly causes pneumonia in the elderly.  The CDC recommends this vaccine for all individuals over 65 years of age and Medicare covers the full cost of the vaccine.  It is recommended that individuals who have never been vaccinated against Pneumococcus receive this vaccine first, and then receive the Pneumo 23 vaccine 6-12 months later.   If you have already received the original pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar 13 should be added 12 months later or thereafter.  The vaccine is available in our office and at many area drug stores.