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That Medicine Cabinet

Recently a reader inquired about what the average home medicine closet should contain, how to dispose of old medicines and how to keep meds from kids and teens. The average medicine closet should contain in addition to toiletries and cosmetics a basic first aid kit. Band-Aids of different sizes and types, butterfly dressings, a roll of paper dressing tape, sterile and non-sterile 4×4 gauze pads, an ace bandage or two and an arm sling for starters. You might want to add a thermometer, bottle of 325mg aspirin, alcohol pads, non-sterile gloves, a bottle of alcohol and a bottle of hydrogen...

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The Doctor – Patient Relationship

Today I would like to talk about the interactions between a patient and a doctor. Physicians, especially primary care ones, are in reality medical detectives. Like a good detective interviewing a witness or suspect, a good doctor begins the examination before the patient even says a word. Factors like the patient’s attire, mannerisms, demeanor, gait and speech patterns may reveal clues to the diagnosis. When the patient begins to tell the doctor about his/her symptoms it is important that the patient tells the doctor everything, even symptoms that may be awkward or embarrassing. The patient...

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Blood Pressure Treatments

In my last column I discussed hypertension (HTN) and its causes. Today I would like to cover the definitions and treatments of HTN. First of all, “normal” blood pressure is 120/80. But that does not mean that everyone’s pressure should be 120/80. Blood pressure standards and guidelines are recommended by the Joint National Committee, made up of experts from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Hypertension. Their recommendations often change. Currently the recommendations are as follows: healthy persons should be below 150/90 and those with...

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