Screening for Hepatitis C
There is now a cure for hepatitis C. The cost of treatment is unbelievable but is still less than a liver transplant. It is recommended that all people born between the years of 1945 and 1965 be screened with a blood test. Anyone at increased risk should be screened as well. The most important risk factor for hepatitis C is past or current use of injection drug use. Please discuss whether you should be screened at your next visit.
Accidental Drug Overdoses
Accidental overdose of medications is now the number one killer in young adults. This is killing more people than automobile accidents. Current recommendations strongly emphasize that people on chronic pain medicine such as morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone or oxycodone should never use tranquilizers or alcohol with these medications. The result can be catastrophic. Also it is now recommended that people on higher doses of these medications have an injectable medication (naloxone, formerly known as Narcan) at their home that can be administered if they are unconscious or overly sedated from an overdose. This can be obtained without a prescription.
Use Caution with “Dr. Google”
When using the internet for health care concerns remember to visit reputable sites. Google can be very frightening and/or provide misinformation when you investigate symptoms and diagnoses. Remember to cross reference any claims for unusual products or treatments, particularly those that seem too good to be true. Scams have flourished. Never give out your personal information – only unscrupulous sites will ask for this.
To end this update on a positive note, consider the following. We all know that we are living longer than people did 100 years ago – about 30 years longer. Almost all of these extra years are quality years. As a geriatrician, I routinely see people who remain active well into their 80s and sometimes 90s. One of the commonalities is they all have remained mentally active, connected to their families and community, and have kept moving.
As always, if you have any health concerns, please contact the office at 614-933-9100.
In good health,
Dr. Milks and the Staff of Personal MD