Educational Series - JASE Medical

Is the CDC’s Low Influenza Activity Data Misleading?

Warm days, cooler nights, and the brilliant, showy colors of foliage announce the arrival of fall.

Sweaters, jackets, hats and gloves come out of their summer hibernation. Some days are warmer than others, but the crisp air reminds us that winter is just around the corner.

Children are back in school, garden harvest is well underway. Holiday celebrations are just around the corner.

This is also cold and flu season.

The CDC, which monitors flu season activity is showing a lower-than-normal flu outbreak across the states. This is good news. We shouldn’t become complacent though, because the cold and flu season has just started and will last for several more months.

Chronic or pre-existing conditions

If you or any family member have a pre-existing condition- cardiac, respiratory, or compromised immune system- have all the supplies and medications stocked to avoid an emergency room trip in the middle of a cold, dark night.

There is a lot you can do to fight the flu, and even if you do get sick, a well-stocked medicine cabinet will help you avoid a trip to the doctor’s office.


Many illnesses can be prevented with a robust immune system and lifestyle.

Maintain adequate vitamin D level

Living in the Northern hemisphere, especially 37 degrees latitude and higher can put you at risk for vitamin D deficiency. The sun’s rays are further away, leading to lower skin absorption. Vitamin D plays a valuable role in many disease processes, but especially well-documented in immune function. When taking a vitamin D supplement, be sure to take vitamin K2 to avoid calcium absorption dysregulation.

Take care of your stomach, and your stomach will take care of you

Up to 80 percent of our immune system is housed and lymphoid tissue in our gastrointestinal tract, having a healthy gut can help prevent and fight many illnesses and diseases. Eating probiotic rich foods, avoiding all forms of sugar, eating plenty of fiber rich foods feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut will help your body fight illness. Along with adequate nutrition, stay hydrated with non-caffeinated fluids. Sip on herbal teas and lemon water throughout the day to keep your immune system working at its best.

Laughter truly is the best medicine

Studies have shown that laughter, and enjoyable activities of any kind improve immune system function and decreases cortisol levels (stress hormone).

Get moving!

Exercise-whether it be a brisk walk in the park, indoor rebound jogging, or a trip to the gym will get lymphatic fluids moving. The lymphatic system is a series of vessels throughout the body where lymphatic fluid collects waste, dead cells, bacteria etc. throughout the body, where it is deposited into the bloodstream. Eventually the blood circulates and is filtered by the kidneys where the waste is expelled through urine.

Exercise can also reduce stress, improve mood, decrease cortisol levels (excess cortisol levels lowers immunity) and increase feel good hormones (endorphins).

Sleep – the great healer

Each phase of sleep contributes to cellular repair, growth, and tissue repair.

During NREM sleep, your body focuses on physical restoration. This is the stage where your body repairs and regrows tissues, including muscle and bone. REM sleep, on the other hand, is associated with cognitive and emotional processing.

Immune System Support: During sleep, the body produces and releases proteins that help regulate the immune response and promote healing.

Brain Detoxification: The glymphatic system, a waste clearance system in the brain is active during sleep and helps remove toxins and waste products.

Hormone Regulation: Sleep plays a role in regulating various hormones, including cortisol (stress hormone), insulin, and growth hormone. Sleep disruptions can negatively affect cortisol regulation, which can, in turn, impact the body’s healing and detoxification processes.

Avoid crowds or sick people

If you find yourself around crowds-out shopping, in the subway, around coworkers, or family members–even if they don’t appear sick – thoroughly wash your hands and avoid close contact. If there is an outbreak of cold, influenza, covid or other viruses you can reduce your chances of getting sick by keeping your distance.

Wash hands

Often and thoroughly. According to the CDC, hand washing alone can prevent 20 percent of respiratory infections. Use 60 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if you are out in public and not able to adequately wash your hands.

Maintain excellent oral care

Brush teeth often and keep teeth cleaning appointments. Evidence points that excellent oral hygiene- can prevent influenza infection.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Keeping you informed and safe.

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Should You Send Your Child to School When They Say They Have a Stomachache?

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This is a dilemma that plays out daily in thousands of households across America. You are getting your children ready for school, and your son or daughter says that they don’t feel good. You ask, how don’t you feel good, while feeling their forehead, which is warm but don’t seem to be sick.

Your child says that they have a stomachache, and they just don’t feel good. They don’t have diarrhea, are not vomiting, aren’t running a fever, no sinus congestion, cough, or any other signs of being ill. What should you do?

Determine the cause

Has your child been under excessive stress or prone towards test anxiety? Are they supposed to do a presentation in front of their appears? Is there anything going on with friends or school that could cause them to not want to go to school? Many times, stomach aches can be traced to something going on at school. This is especially true if there are no other symptoms.

On the other hand, if the stomach flu is going around the school or in your home, or you suspect food poisoning, you may want to keep them home.

What to do

If you suspect your child is having trouble at school-either struggling with test anxiety, feeling overwhelmed with school, trouble with peers or teachers-talk with your child and the guidance counselor at their school to get to the root cause. It may take a bit of coaxing but be persistent. Let your child know you care and want to help.

Many children are feeling the stress of what’s going on in the world, and they’re unable to communicate these feelings. They tend to not express emotions and many don’t have skills to identify and cope with life’s stressors.

We are facing a mental health crisis with our children.

The American Psychological Association, APA, has published a 2023 trends report which included an article titled “Children’s Mental Health is In Crisis”. Even before the pandemic, feelings of sadness and hopelessness, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors, had increased by 40% among young people. “We’re seeing a really high rate of suicide and depression, and this has been going on for a while,” said psychologist Kimberly Hogwood, PhD a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.” It certainly got worse during the pandemic”.

Social media, world events and readjusting to the post pandemic world has created the perfect recipe for a mental health crisis.

How to meet the needs of the children with the shortage of providers

Because of limited resources and providers, some children are on waiting for more than 6 months for mental health support.

  • Telehealth is bridging the gap between providers, families and children and is providing some relief to the strained system. Telehealth is a promising way of delivering mental health services because of the flexibility in scheduling- they can hold appointments during or after school, and in a variety of settings.
  • What Works in Schools Program, is a CDC funded program in which school districts make changes to foster school connectedness.
  • Developed by the mental health technology transfer center network and the University of Maryland National Center for school mental health, Classroom WISE is a free online course and resource library that educates on mental health, behavioral regulation, mental health literacy and trauma.

There is no quick and easy fix to this mental health crisis, but there are a few things you can do to help your child/children avoid a mental health crisis.

  • Create a safe and supportive environment. Children are very much in tune with how adults handle situations and how they view the world. Being emotionally and physically present can be a huge buffer to what is going on outside your home- either in school or the world.
  • Encourage open communication and active listening. Active listening is being fully engaged while another person is talking to you. It is listening with the intent to understand the other person fully, rather than listening to respond. It is a skill that has gone by the wayside because of our easy and quick access to multiple streams of information flooding our lives.
  • Provide structure and consistency. Both structure and consistency are the foundation in which mental health rests. Once you have established a framework of structure- what is expected and what to expect and are consistent in enforcing these expectations, children will feel more secure in opening up and expressing their feelings.
  • Encourage positive relationships with peers and adults. Know who your childrens friends are- and their parents. Invite them over, spend time with them. If you feel one of their friends is an unhealthy influence, calmly talk to your child about why you feel that way. Let them know you are looking out for their wellbeing and limit or exclude friends that are an unhealthy influence. This also goes for teachers and other adults your child knows. Listen to your child if they express any apprehension or anxiety about any adult in their life. Act accordingly.
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  • Limit screen time, and social media and encourage outdoor activities. Set a timer, add parental controls, block social media, and know what your child is doing on the computer. Be consistent. Internet predators can cause immense psychological harm to your child. Encourage outdoor activities, sports, walking the dog, anything to get your child out in the fresh air and away from screens. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 51 percent of teens (age 13-19) spend at minimum 4 hours on social media, with an average of 4.8 hours a day. (You Tube, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, and X(formerly Twitter )),
  • Model healthy stress management techniques. Children learn by example. Limiting computer time, healthy eating, exercise and healthy relationships are some examples of healthy stress management. Include your children in your activities as you are able. This will provide a solid foundation for your child to avoid a mental health crisis.

Help in time of a mental health crisis is a phone call away

9-8-8 is the national number for suicide prevention and mental health crises. This number, (like local 911 emergency), is a 24/7 national crisis response number that can put you in touch with someone that can help. 

If you, your child or someone you care for is experiencing a mental health crisis there is help. Check the National Hotline for Mental Health Crises And Suicide Prevention.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

We Aren’t On the Brink-We Are Here

The tsunami of strikes, hospitals and clinics closing departments- or shuttering their doors altogether-along with drug and medical supply shortages is the strongest indicator that our health care system is in total collapse.

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  • York (Maine) Hospital is closing its birthing center by the end of the month. Hospital officials noted that the decision to do so is the result of a decline in births and a shortage of workers.
  • West Des Moines, Iowa-based MercyOne will shutter its Albert Lea clinic on Dec. 31, eliminating its only facility in the state of Minnesota.
  • Inglewood, Calif.-based Centinela Hospital Medical Center is ending maternal child health services on Oct. 25 amid continued fallout over the death of a patient earlier this year.
  • According to Beckers Hospitals Reviews, 18 strikes by healthcare workers have taken place since September 26.
  • In addition, on October 9th a 5-day strike of 1,500 healthcare workers at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood walked off the job and picketed outside while nonunion nurses and staff were brought in to keep the hospital open, according to union organizers. This strike is following on the heels of the recent
  • Kaiser Permanente 3 days strike of over 75,000 healthcare workers- the largest healthcare worker strike in history just took place.

To not be left out, pharmacies are experiencing strikes.

  • While the Kaiser Permanente strike was taking place, Kaiser pharmacists in western Washington and Oregon were also on strike.
  • Walgreens and CVS pharmacy, two of the largest drugstore chains pharmacists walked out for 3 days (October 9-11).
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Longer response times for EMS

Do you or someone you know have a defibrillator and know how to use it? Do you and those around you know trauma first aid? Do you have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home and when traveling?

Earlier this week, I was traveling along a very rural stretch of highway and came across a car that had flipped over and landed in a ditch. The passenger, a woman, was lying on the ground next to the car. This accident had just happened. Luckily, a state trooper had arrived. There were other motorists that had stopped to help. No ambulance in sight. Since there was already help at the scene I did not stop. If I had arrived 10 minutes earlier, I would have been the first responder.

Are you ready for such an emergency?

The Emperor has no clothes

Blind conformity, vanity and pride sums up the Hans Christian Anderson story of the little boy who dared speak the truth. Speaking the truth can be scary but is also necessary in times such as this.

We are now in a new and troubling world that isn’t going back to “normal” anytime soon. It is imperative that you do not become or remain a zombie. A zombie is “a person who is or appears to be lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment.” The time is now to shed the zombie suit-the safe facade and see the world for what it really is.

Use social media wisely

I attribute the consumption of social media for a large part of producing zombies.

If you are on social media, use it to help solve problems. Use it to become aware of local news, events, and community building. Don’t let yourself become paralyzed and feed into the narrative. Become a producer, not a consumer. When you do consume, make wise decisions, don’t feed into the emotional rhetoric.

Focus on solutions, not media hype. Look ahead to the future and how you can mitigate disaster  in your home and for those in your community.

We can become overwhelmed with all that is going on in the world, let alone national and local collapses of our health care system. As this collapse intensifies and becomes more real, with people unable to access healthcare in a timely manner, as supply chains tighten their grip on availability of life saving drugs, it will be up to each individual and community to pool their resources to learn new skills, stock supplies, and teach every able-bodied individual how to manage emergencies.

In other words, be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It’s up to all of us.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Pharmacy Techs Report Massive Drug Shortages

A highly concerning survey conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, who grants a Supply Chain and Inventory Management for certification, has stated that nearly 96% of respondents report the pharmacy they work for faces drug shortages.

Established in 1995, the PTCB became the first certification organization for pharmacy technicians. PTCB is the only nonprofit pharmacy credentialing organization in the US. They have established patient safety and best practices, ensuring their certification program provides the most widely accepted credentials for pharmacy technicians across the country.

Drugs the survey respondents reported shortages on were:

  • Chemotherapy drugs (See statement below)
  • ADHD medications
  • Local anesthetics, such as lidocaine,
  • Weight loss and diabetic medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy
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No end in sight for chemotherapy drugs shortages according to the Biden-Harris administration.

According to the website, ongoing shortages of chemotherapy drugs continue to plague our nation.

The White House goes on to state that there is a shortage of 15 cancer drugs due to manufacturing and supply chain issues. Three of the most widely used generic drugs-methotrexate, carboplatin, and cisplatin- have been used for decades for cancer treatment. Because of these supply issues and delays, serious impacts on patient care have occurred.

Approximately 400,000 patients per month receive cancer treatments. Healthcare systems, the FDA, and manufacturers are working together to ensure that these patients receive their treatments. The Whitehouse also states, “The FDA continues to work with drug manufacturers and healthcare providers to restore access to these cancer treatments and other medications that are currently in short supply.”  However, no stable and solid solution is in place for these shortages- now or in the future.

As pharmacists scramble to find alternative drugs for their patients, there seems to be no end in sight.

Even our own government, cannot tackle this massive drug shortage. It’s time to take matters and responsibility into your own hands for the health of you and your family.

A brief survey over at reveals the following shortages:

  • Epinephrine 0.1mg injection- (other strengths available)
  • Doxycycline oral suspension-Lupin, the manufacturer has given no reason or estimated time frame for resupply.
  • Penicillin G Benzathine / Penicillin G Procaine- shortage due to demand
  • Nystatin Topical Powder- insufficient supply for usual ordering
  • Duloxetine Delayed Release Sprinkle Capsules-Manufacturer has no estimate when product may be available.

Drug shortages are a national security threat

Earlier this year, a Homeland Security briefing and testimony report from October 2019 brought to attention underlying factors responsible for drug shortages. Citing up to 80-90 percent of drugs manufactured overseas along with supply chain disruptions and the current geopolitical landscape,

Senator Gary Peters, a Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs states,” “Taken together, these underlying causes not only present serious concerns about providing adequate care to patients, but they also represent serious national security threats.”

As WW3 seems to be more likely each day that passes, our dependence on lifesaving drugs and medical supplies is in the crosshairs. Being prepared now is more important than ever.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Emergency Alert – Rural Hospitals Closing at an Alarming Rate

You will need to be your own first responder

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According to the Center for Healthcare Quality and Patient Reform, around 30% of all rural hospitals in the U.S. are at a risk of closure due to financial issues. It is expected that these losses will likely increase as inflation and workforce shortages continue. Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, New York, Hawaii, Vermont, and Connecticut are facing possible closures in half or more of their rural hospitals.

Our most vulnerable population at risk

A retrospective study of the availability of pediatric inpatient services from 4720 U.S. hospitals between the years 2008 – 2018 revealed some very concerning statistics. Over that time span, pediatric inpatient units decrease by 19.1%. In rural areas, the declines were higher, at 26.1%. This puts our most vulnerable population-children- at risk.

As gas prices surge to new record highs, many families will find it difficult to maintain their standard of living in rural areas. Compounding this, is a lack of health care available in these areas.

Become your own first responder

As more people move into rural areas, the ability to handle any emergency will become increasingly necessary. Most rural health care facilities provided basic primary care, stabilizing emergency services, and therapies that covered the gap between the family first aid kit and the advanced services of an urban hospital. With more rural hospitals shuttering their doors, it will become increasingly necessary for every able-bodied member of your family and group to know more than basic first aid.

Beyond the basics of first aid

If you live in a rural area, away from nearby hospitals or clinics, and you don’t have advanced medical knowledge or taken any first responder courses, now is the time to do that. Check with your local first responders, EMTs, and volunteer fire department for classes that they may offer. All able-bodied members of your family or group should attend these classes.

If you have members that are medically fragile, very young, disabled or elderly, having the knowledge, tools, and expertise to manage any situation that may arise will prove to be lifesaving.

Having the knowledge without the supplies is like a mechanic without tools

it may seem like a daunting task to have everything you need for every emergency-but building up from a basic first aid kit can be accomplished with relatively little money. The first step, if you aren’t already medically trained, is to enroll in a medical emergency course offered in your area. Be proactive, get to know and spend time with those that have more medical experience than you.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and get supplies and training in those areas.

Keep a log of all your medical supplies and replenish immediately as needed.

Get to know your neighbors, trade phone numbers, and have an emergency plan in place, both for natural disasters and medical emergencies. Run through some scenarios that are likely to happen. Have a backup plan for every plan in place.

Identify those in your group pre-existing medical conditions. This includes asthma, heart disease, disabled, hearing her side impaired, and anyone suffering from mental illness. In your logbook, keep track of all supplies and medications necessary.

Have on hand: (have training and practice using the following)

  • “The Preppers Medical Handbook” by Willim Forgey, MD. This handbook, written for the lay population is concise and well written.
  • Gloves and personal protective equipment- including mask and eye shield (usually in basic first aid kit)
  • Saline solution to clean wounds (usually in basic first aid kit)
  • Suture kit
  • SAM splint– a lightweight, flexible, inexpensive splint that can be formed and cut with scissors.
  • Manual suction masks
  • Chest seals and decompression supplies
  • Cervical stabilizer
  • Burn kit- for large and small burns
  • Otoscope and extra batteries
  • Basic trauma kit-check out My Medic for a trauma kit that would work for your family.
  • Dechoker- highly rated and easy to use during a choking episode. They carry different sizes.
  • Nebulizer with tubing and masks that can fit all sizes.
  • Jase Case with add-ons as needed and Jase Daily-a year supply of chronic prescription medications for each member of the family.

Living a rural lifestyle is a dream come true for many. This is especially true when raising children. The outdoors experiences and lifestyle away from modern conveniences and services require a level of self-sufficiency that many are not equipped to handle. Medical emergencies are an inevitable part of life. The difference between an urban and rural setting is glaringly obvious when it comes to emergency medical care. Whether it is a motor vehicle accident, a chainsaw injury, heat stroke, heart attack, or any of the number of emergencies, you must be prepared to be your own first responder.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Are You In One of the Fastest Growing Age Groups in America?

Prepare for a Medical Emergency as a Senior

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If you were born between the years 1946 and 1964, you are considered a baby boomer. This section of the population is the largest and fastest growing population in America, with one in six adults claiming this demographic.

With age comes challenges that aren’t usually part of younger populations. Slower reflexes, loss of balance, and reduced coordination are just a few challenges faced by seniors. Add to that, seniors usually take more medications and have more physical disabilities on average than the younger set.

This means being medically prepared, in the event of an emergency is of paramount importance.

A few challenges faced by seniors are:

Sight and hearing impairment

  • Both visual and hearing impairment can cause the inability to hear or see dangers within your home or even out in public. Make sure that you have regular hearing and eye checkups. Fill any prescriptions for glasses or hearing aids, and if possible, have an extra set of both for your bug- out-bag.

Physical disability

  • Seniors may encounter loss of coordination and balance as they age which can put them at a risk for falls. Survey your home and remove any throw rugs or any trip hazards in hallways in areas frequently traveled. Install Night Lights that don’t require batteries. There are several models out there that also have a motion sensor feature built in. Make sure that the path to and from the bathroom is well lit to avoid falls.
  • Properly fitted canes or walkers to navigate the home and outdoors can alleviate many falls and provide a sense of security for you.
  • If you or your loved one is bed bound, notify EMS in advance, in case you need to be rescued from the home. If anyone in your home uses oxygen, make sure that the plaque advising oxygen use is clearly displayed outside and, in the home, especially the room where it is mostly used. Oxygen is a fire hazard. Keep cigarettes and anything with the flame away from oxygen tubing or the tank itself

Be prepared, avoid catastrophe

A few proactive steps can mean the difference between a slight irritation and outright catastrophe.

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Purchase personal emergency response system. (Wearable emergency device)

  • These wearable devices should be water resistant and can work even in a power outage. To help you choose one, look at this article. These devices are especially useful if you live alone). In order for it to be useful, you must have access to it in the shower, anywhere in the home or out in your yard. A wearable device could save your life.

Identify at least 3 emergency contacts

  • Friends, relatives, or trusted neighbors are all potential emergency contacts. Provide them with access to your home- by giving them a spare key or the combination to a lockbox outside your home near the door.
  • In this lockbox, place a key containing a key located outside your home. Have a copy of your important information- a list of medications, allergies, medical diagnosis, any physical impairments, advance health directive paperwork, etc.

Provide clear access to your home

  • Use large reflective numbers on your mailbox or other structure so EMS can find your home.
  • Keep your driveway and path leading to your door clear of bushes and obstacles that could impair and delay rescue if needed. If you use a lockbox with combination, provide the combination in advance to your local EMS. Use the lockbox to store a layout of your home, along with other papers mentioned above.
  • Once inside the home, keep hallways and floors clear of clutter for stretchers if needed.

Have a well-stocked bug out bag ready to go

  • If you are required to evacuate your home, keep your bug-out-bag well stocked and ready to go at a moments notice. Fires, and extreme weather events can descend swiftly, leaving little time to pack. Just like any other bug-out-bag, have a basic first aid kit, and other supplies that you would normally find in any bug out bag. This includes a change of clothing, headlamp, extra water, and snacks.
  • Keep at least a weeks’ worth of medications in your pack. More is better. In fact, along with your Jase Case, Jase now offers the very affordable Jase Daily, a years’ worth of your chronic medications for emergencies. Keeping both the Jase Daily and Jase Case in your bug-out bag will ensure you won’t run out of your life saving medications.
  • If you wear glasses, use a hearing aid, or use a cane, pack an extra set of glasses or hearing aids. A collapsible cane could fit nicely in your bag.
  • Keep a laminated copy of your medications, diagnoses, allergies, a copy of durable power of attorney for healthcare.

Being prepared for emergencies can help you avoid a trip to the hospital.

With a little thought and preparation, you can eliminate potential problems before they happen.

Don’t procrastinate, get your supplies and preparations now, before an emergency strikes.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.