The History of the Jack-o’-Lantern – Why we Carve Pumpkins for Halloween

Photo Courtesy of William Warby

Photo Courtesy of William Warby

 

Scottsdale, AZ – October 28, 2014

Every October we see them on the front porches of houses all across the country; some are funny, some are scary and some are very creative, detailed designs. They flicker and glow bright orange on Halloween night, welcoming trick-or-treaters to our homes. They’re Jack-o’-Lanterns; pumpkins or gourds that we carved faces into. But did you ever wonder how this fun tradition ever began?

 

The carving of vegetables, such as turnips and using them as lanterns to light caves can be traced back as far as 700 years ago. Some believe that the tradition of carving Jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween can be traced back to Ireland and early Irish folklore. The Irish carved Jack-o’-Lanterns out of turnips, beets and potatoes.

 

The Stinging Jack Legend

There’s an old Irish legend that the Irish tell of an blacksmith named Stinging Jack. Jack asked the devil to have a drink with him at a pub. He told the devil to turn himself into a coin so Jack could pay for their drinks. When the devil turned himself into a coin, instead of Jack paying for the drinks, he put the coin in his pocket next to a cross. The devil was now powerless to change into any other form. A year later Jack again tricked the devil into climbing a tree to get Jack a piece of fruit, before the devil could climb down, Jack carved a cross in the tree, trapping the devil in the tree. Jack made the devil promise to leave him alone for 10 more years. Sometime later Jack died and God would not allow him into Heaven and the devil would not allow him in hell, because of all the tricks he had played on him. Instead the devil forced Jack to roam the nights with a single burning coal that would never go out. Jack placed the coal in a carved-out turnip and roams the earth eternally.

 

The Irish refer to Jack as “Jack of the Lantern.” The Irish began carving their own scary lanterns to scare away Stinging Jack. When Irish immigrants came to the U.S. they brought this tradition with them. They soon realized that a fruit, native to the U.S., called pumpkin made a better “Jack of the Lantern”

or Jack-o’-lantern, as they now refer to it.

 

So when you carve your Jack-o’-lanterns this Halloween, make sure they’re scary enough to ward off the ghost of Stinging Jack. Have a safe, fun Halloween from Angel MedFLight.

 

 

 

 

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack-o’-lantern

Published in: on October 28, 2014 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Photo Courtesy of Shardayyy

Photo Courtesy of Shardayyy

 

Scottsdale, AZ – October 23, 2014

 

Millions across America are wearing pink, posting pink ribbons and displaying pink in other creative ways throughout the month of October, in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and the second most common cancer overall. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is more than just wearing ribbons; it’s a time to generate awareness about breast cancer, encouraging women to get breast cancer screenings and getting involved in your local area to help support the cause.

 

Both women and men can get breast cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most current data (2011) shows that 220,097 women and 2,078 were diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. (1).

 

According to Komen.org (http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FactsandStatistics.html) 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and in 2012, 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed.

 

Some factors that increase your risk for breast cancer:

 

  • Family history of breast cancer.
  • Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).
  • Night shift work.

 

It is recommended that women get a mammogram every year starting at age 40.,  If you have any of the risk factors, you should consult your doctor to see if you need to start mammography screenings earlier than age 40.

 

How You Can Get Involved

You can stay informed by visiting http://ww5.komen.org/ and learning more about breast cancer and getting support, if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer. You can also participate in local breast cancer awareness events in your area. Komen Race For The Cure® events are held in almost all major cities. There are fund raising events, opportunities to volunteer your time and become an advocate. Take time this month to get your mammogram screening, and remind friends and family to get their screenings, and help spread awareness about breast cancer.

 

 

 

Resources:

(1) http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/index.htm

http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2007/pr180.html

http://ww5.komen.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 23, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Celebrate Those Who Advocate For Patients

 

October 17, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Case Managers are healthcare professionals who advocate, coordinate and dedicate their lives to helping patients understand their health issues, treatments and care. Each year during a week in October people celebrate their hard work and the good that they do as patient advocates. October 12th – 18th is National Case Management Week; a weeklong celebration that was first introduced in 1999. The purpose is to recognize the important contributions Case Managers make to improving the lives of patients and to the healthcare industry in general.

 

Angel MedFlight works closely with Case Managers on a daily basis to arrange air medical transportation for their patients.  We also support and are involved in the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and American Case Management Association (ACMA) that help educate, train and inform Case Managers and other healthcare professionals on the importance of Case Management. Angel MedFlight also has a dedicated team of Case Mangers in our Flight Coordination department. They work with the patient’s insurance company, coordinate the air and ground transportation for medical transports and collaborate with healthcare professionals and Case Managers at the sending and receiving facilities.

 

Case Managers collaborate with other healthcare professionals, like doctors, nurses, and caregivers all for the benefit of their patient. They facilitate and coordinate the patient’s comprehensive healthcare needs, with a goal of helping patients to become healthier faster. They use their vast resources and tools to advocate for the patient’s rights and needs, educate their patients about their treatments and medications, and help find them more affordable solutions that provide them with the best overall outcome.

 

Angel MedFlight appreciates and celebrates all Case Managers every day and encourages those who have been helped by Case Manager to reach out this week and thank them for their service.  Happy National Case Management Week!

 

Published in: on October 17, 2014 at 11:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Understanding the Ebola Virus

Workers help Ebola patients in West Africa -

Workers prepare to help Ebola patients in West Africa – Photo Courtesy of European Commision DG ECHO

October 7, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Almost every day, the Ebola virus is discussed on the radio, TV, internet and in publications.  What is Ebola exactly? With the first confirmed travelling Ebola case being reported in the U.S., what is really known about how this disease is contracted, spread, the symptoms and treatments? Listening to and reading all the news can cause people to panic, so the following is information to try to dispel the myths, and give good basic facts about Ebola.

2014 West Africa Ebola Epidemic

The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history. However, it has only affected cities in countries in West Africa, including: Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The first case of travelling Ebola was reported in the U.S., in Dallas, Texas. It was reported on September 30, 2014, but it is a travel related case. The person had traveled to Dallas, TX, from West Africa. The person did not display symptoms when he flew from West Africa to the U.S. This is a very important point, because Ebola cannot be spread unless the ill person is experiencing symptoms. The exposed individual only displayed symptoms several days after arriving in Dallas, so those who traveled with him on the flight to Dallas were not exposed. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance in Dallas, and is being treated while in isolation.

 

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a rare, deadly disease caused by an infection from one of the Ebola virus-strains. There are 5 known Ebola virus strains, four of which can cause the disease in humans. Ebola was first discovered in Africa in 1976 near the Ebola River. The reservoir-host of Ebola is unknown, but is believed to be animal-borne, most likely in bats.

 

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever (greater than 38.6 C or 101.5 F)
  • Severe Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Unexplained Hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

 

Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-21 days after exposure. However the average is 8-10 days.

 

How is Ebola Transmitted?

Ebola is spread through direct contact with a person sick with Ebola.  Blood or bodily fluids, such as urine, feces, vomit, or semen, of the sick person must make direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes in order to contract Ebola.  Other ways include:

 

  • Objects contaminated with the virus (needles, for example)
  • Infected animals

 

Ebola is NOT spread through the air, water or by food (except perhaps through “bushmeat” – hunted, contaminated wild animals killed for food in Africa)

 

Risk of Exposure

All cases of human illness and death from Ebola have only occurred in West Africa. The ill person that flew to the U.S. contracted Ebola in West Africa. There has never been a case of Ebola originating in the U.S.

 

Prevention

If you are planning to travel to West Africa, take the following precautions:

  • Avoid contact with blood or bodily fluids.
  • Practice careful hygiene.
  • Avoid touching a person that has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid going to hospitals that are treating patients with Ebola.
  • When you return home, monitor yourself for symptoms of Ebola for 21 days and if you experience symptoms seek medical help immediately.

 

There is no vaccine for Ebola. Recovery depends mostly upon the immune system of the infected person. Once a person survives from Ebola, they build up antibodies against the virus that can last for 10 years or longer.

 

It’s important to have an accurate understanding of Ebola in order to best defend yourself and your loved ones against the virus. The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a tragedy.   Angel MedFlight continues to keep individuals who are ill with Ebola, families who have been affected and the medical professionals who work selflessly to provide care, in our thoughts.

 

For additional information on the Ebola outbreak, please visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html

 

 

 

Published in: on October 7, 2014 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Angel MedFlight Came To Their Rescue Three Years Ago Today

September 30, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Three years ago today (September 30, 2011), Angel MedFlight came to the rescue of Monica and Marvin Lucas. Marvin recounted his positive experience with Angel MedFlight on an otherwise stressful day three years ago, in a heartfelt thank you letter he sent us today; on the third anniversary of the day his wife Monica fell ill and needed our help.

 

On Sept 30, 2011 you provided the first step to a long journey.

Your team carried my wife Monica from Indiana to El Paso, TX.  That you were able to arrive on the 30th was a gift from God.

We had struggled all day to find a facility that would accept Monica and that her ICU doctor approved.  It was late afternoon when we finally had a bed.  My case manager let me know it would be like 2 to 3 days to get the flight scheduled.  I told her to call now – there is a crew available.  She called – there was a crew just coming off rest and they would arrive at the hospital in 3 hours.  The shocked look on her face was priceless.

The rest is history.  Despite what the doctors told me, Monica is doing fine and getting better every day,

If all of you had not been there to create the miracle of 3631-AMF, I know Monica would no longer be of this earth.  Everyone but Monica and I had thrown in the towel.

May God help you to continue to make MIRACLES happen.

Marvin A. Lucas

 

This example is precisely why we do what we do at Angel MedFlight. We’re dedicated to being here to help patients in their time of need.

 

 

 

Published in: on September 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

September 29th is World Heart Day – Are You Heart Healthy?

Photo Courtesy  Of Ashton

Photo Courtesy Of Ashton

September 29, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

With September 29th being World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation encourages everyone to learn more about fighting cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the world’s number one killer, causing 17.3 million deaths every year. Furthermore, studies show that 80% of these CVD related deaths may have been avoided by controlling the four main risk factors:

 

  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Harmful use of alcohol

 

The World Heart Federation has some tips to help you avoid the risk factors where you live, work and play:

 

Changes at home -

Small changes can go a long way. According to the World Heart Federation, food companies are adding excessive sugar, salt and saturated fat to food that are causing strokes and heart attacks.  When shopping for groceries, look at labels.  Instead of buying pre-packaged foods, stock your home with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Making lunches for work and school at home, instead of going to a restaurant or buying fast food can be a much healthier option.

 

Quitting smoking, especially around others, is a great benefit to the heart.  Smoking affects blood flow and circulation, heart rate, and many other heart related conditions.  Not only is the smoker affected, but so are those around the smoke.

Exercising is another way to help strengthen the heart.  Working the heart muscle and keeping it active are keys to living a long and healthy life.

 

It’s important to take the time every year to visit the doctor for a checkup.  Get a baseline reading for cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels, weight and body mass index. Knowing this information can help the doctor determine what needs to be done to keep patients CVD free or treat any preexisting conditions.

 

Changes in your community -

Everyone can help to create changes in the community. Get involved by reporting smoking areas that are too close to schools or business entrances. Help make sure schools are serving healthy lunches to the students and that play-grounds and parks are being maintained, so that people have a safe place to play and exercise. Encourage co-workers to exercise, walk or bike to work. Tell friends and loved ones of the harmful effects of smoking on the heart.

Take this day to spread the word and make some small changes to avoid cardiovascular disease.

 

Source:

http://www.world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/awareness/world-heart-day-2014-home/

http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/quit-smoking-heart

 

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  

National Rehabilitation Awareness Week

NationalRehabWeek

September 24, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

“The focus [rehabilitation] is not on one part of the body, but instead on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person’s life back together – medically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally – after injury or disease.”

http://www.aapmr.org/patients/aboutpmr/Pages/default.aspx

National Rehabilitation Awareness Week is September 21-27 this year.  Created in 1996, the mission of the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation is “to educate people about the benefits and impact of rehabilitation; develop programs which aim to increase opportunities for the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities, and help those who are disabled live up to their fullest potential”.  Angel MedFlight transports many patients in need of rehabilitation due to disease, injury, and other ailments.  Many patients are being transported to a facility where they can receive the specialized care they need to live their life to the fullest.  Rehabilitation is not just about helping someone be the best that they can be physically, but about the life as a whole.

Rehabilitation patients go through much more than just physical therapy.  For many, they go to a counselor or a nutritionist as part of their program.  Getting better physically is just one part of rehabilitation.  Whether a person is suffering from a crippling disease, a horrific accident, or any sort of organ problems, the rehabilitation process cannot be completed to its fullest if the person is not mentally prepared to live with the obstacles that lie ahead of them.  Visiting a counselor gives the patient an opportunity to express any feelings they have about what they are going through, and receive any guidance they may need on how to see all the good that is present in life.  Going through physical rehabilitation can be frustrating or depressing; a counselor allows for patients to receive help when experiencing those feelings, and to not give up.  Seeing a nutritionist helps to ensure that the body is ready to take on the physical challenges that lie ahead during rehabilitation.

Angel MedFlight’s own graphic designer, Cooper Bolton, is currently going through a rehabilitation program for his heart.  Bolton has to go to physical therapy classes almost every day.  The goal of these physical exercises is to strengthen the heart over time without increasing heart rate to a dangerous level.  A 30 minutes class is held before each workout session on heart-healthy recovery.  This includes such things as blood pressure, what a healthy heart should function like, and many other topics.  The counselor and nutritionist are included in his rehabilitation to help him make better choices, and to ensure that he is having the best attitude during and towards his rehabilitation. After the rehabilitation process is through, it is up to Bolton to continue all the valuable tools that he has been taught.

Angel MedFlight fully supports patients having to go through any sort of rehabilitation processes.  It is with great honor and pride and that Angel MedFlight transports patients who have to travel in order to receive the best care possible.  The rehabilitation process promotes both physical and mental health to ensure the best possible results from all the time, energy, and hard work patients pour into their recovery.

For more information on National Rehabilitation Awareness Week and what can be done to help, check out their website at: http://rehabweek.com/rehab/

 

 

 

 

Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Angel MedFlight’s Innovative Website Wins Silver – Best Overall Web Design

Angel MedFlight Stevies Award

September 19, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Angel MedFlight is proud to announce that we were the recent winner of the  Silver Stevie® Award for “Best Overall Web Design” at the 2014 American Business Awards™. Since 2002, the Stevie® Awards have been recognized as one of the most prestigious  achievements a business can be awarded. Businesses compete in several different categories for a Gold, Silver or Bronze statue. Stevie®, the name of the award, is derived from the Greek word for “crowned.” The crystal pyramid atop the award represents the hierarchy of human needs.

Angel MedFlight’s Marketing Department collaborates to create and maintain the creative and innovative corporate website. “Angel MedFlight was competing against much larger companies in this category, many of which are large, specialized agencies, so this is impressive.” said Chief Creative Officer/Senior Vice President Barry S. Keyles. Angel MedFlight is proud that we do all of our marketing in-house, including web design, copywriting, graphic design, photography/videography and business development.

Angel MedFlight’s website (www.angelmedflight.com) has beautiful photographs, award winning videos and a nice color scheme of warm, dark red and gray. The content is laid out easily for the visitor to find, with a lot of great information. There also is a blog section, photo gallery, video section, rotating and sliding photo features and easy to navigate icons. Angel MedFlight is quite proud of the website and equally pleased to have received recognition for the hard work that goes into making it possible.

In June, Angel MedFlight was also awarded two Gold Stevie® Awards in the “Excellence in Videography” category for two videos in its Emmy® Award winning series “My Real Life Moment™.” The series features the air medical transport process through the eyes of patients.

Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 9:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate Those Who Care For Premature Babies

NationaNeonatalNurseDay

September 15, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

September 15th is National Neonatal Nurses Day, a special day for the nurses that care for premature babies. These nurses are known as neonatal nurses.   It is National Neonatal Nurses Day, and members of the neonatal community and others are taking the time to recognize the good that these healthcare professionals do for the world’s smallest patients. Premature birth is designated as a birth at least three weeks before a baby’s normal due date (40 weeks). The earlier a baby is born, the more risk it has for healthcare problems. These premature infants often need to be cared for in a neonatal intensive-care unit, also known as a NICU. The babies are cared for in a neonatal incubator. The first neonatal incubator was invented in the nineteenth century by Dr. Stephane Tarnier.

Dr. Tarnier’s design was based on incubators that kept chicken eggs warm. Today’s neonatal incubators (Isolettes) are modern marvels that control temperature and humidity, keeping the baby in a perfect, comfortable and controlled environment.

There are four levels of care that neonatal nurses may work in:

Level I – Neonatal nurses care for healthy newborns

Level II – Neonatal nurses provide intermediate care for special-care premature babies. They provide special therapies for babies that may require a longer stay in the hospital.

Level III – NICU: Neonatal nurses provide breathing and feeding tubes in order for babies to survive.

Level IV – NICU: Neonatal nurses provide care for the most critical newborns.

The job of the neonatal nurse is to provide complete care for newborn babies. They are involved with the delivery, weighing and measuring of the newborn. Neonatal nurses that work in the NICU may be responsible for starting IVs, using ventilators, drawing blood and using incubators. They also use equipment such as baby warmers, cardiac monitors, stethoscopes and more. Besides caring for the babies, neonatal nurses often provide comfort for the parents. Often parents are scared and confused about what is happening with their newborn. The neonatal nurse answers their questions, and teaches new parents about newborn care and breastfeeding. It takes a special kind of nurse to care for these special babies.  Angel MedFlight would like to take the time to draw attention to and thank all of the neonatal nurses that are helping to save new lives.

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  

September: Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 11, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.”

- First Lady Michelle Obama at the Let’s Move! launch on February 9, 2010

Childhood obesity in the United States has reached the point of epidemic proportions.  The CDC says that “Approximately 17% of US children are obese, and certain groups of children are more greatly affected”.  September was declared National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month back in 2010.  Since then, there have been many steps taken to help the fight against childhood obesity.  The government has teamed up with schools to provide healthier options to the children, and programs to get them exercising every day.  The only way these changes can stick, however, is with the support of the community and the parents.  The healthy habits being promoted at school have to continue to be emphasized at the home.  Keeping more fruits and vegetables instead of salty, fatty foods in the house will help to get children used to eating healthy.  Children today are used to having such sugary, processed foods that they do not know how to enjoy the healthy, natural options.

The number of obese children in the United States has reached an amount that is unimaginable.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that number is up to one in three children being obese.  Over the years, the lifestyle of Americans has changed drastically.  Instead of playing outside, children are cooped up inside playing video games, on the internet, or lying around in front of the TV.  The number of calories, sugars, fats, and oils in foods has increased at an alarming rate.  The American lifestyle needs to change, or else future generations will continue to suffer.  Exercising and healthy eating habits must be promoted from a young age to ensure the healthiness of children throughout their life: “Childhood obesity puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with “adulthood” (http://www.healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org/about/).  It is scary to think that children are in danger of disease and physical issues at such a young age.  All of these things can be prevented if everyone joins together, and changes the social view of what the American lifestyle should be.

First Lady Michelle Obama has taken a stand against childhood obesity, establishing the Let’s Move! Foundation: “Since February 2010, Let’s Move!’s mission has been to help kids and families lead healthier lives by making nutritious food more available and affordable, increasing opportunities for physical activity, and fostering environments that support healthy choices”.  Through this foundation, First Lady Obama is working hard to make sure that the future of Americans is happy and healthy.  The foundation provides tips, skills, and ways to create a healthy lifestyle.  Throughout the country, different groups are set up through the foundation.  People meet up to share tips, exercises, and anything related to getting future generations healthy.

For more information on Let’s Move!, check out their website at http://www.letsmove.gov/.  A healthy America, children, and lifestyle begins at the home.  Start there, and it will grow to everyone around, ensuring a bright future for generations to come.

 

Related Sources:

http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit.aspx

http://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

 

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 3:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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