Dr. Patricia Schechter DO, MS
Naomi Waak PA
News and Updates
Learn more about the advancements in the field through the blog of Dr. Patricia Schechter Family Practice in Atascadero, California. We regularly post articles discussing various health-related topics. You can read the information below to keep yourself up to date with the latest news in the industry:
An ongoing series of informational entries
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 1:09 PM
Antibiotics: Misuse puts you and others at risk
Antibiotics can be lifesavers, but misuse has increased the number of drug-resistant germs. See how this affects you and what you can do to help prevent antibiotic resistance.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Antibiotics are important drugs. It would be difficult to overstate the benefit penicillin and other antibiotics have played in treating bacterial infections, preventing the spread of disease and minimizing serious complications of disease.
But there is also a problem with antibiotic medications. Drugs that used to be standard treatments for bacterial infections are now less effective or don't work at all. When an antibiotic drug no longer has an effect on a certain strain of bacteria, those bacteria are said to be antibiotic resistant.
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics are key factors contributing to antibiotic resistance. The general public, doctors and hospitals all play a role in ensuring proper use of the drugs and minimizing the development of antibiotic resistance.
What causes antibiotic resistance?
A bacterium is resistant to a drug when it has changed in some way that either protects it from the action of the drug or neutralizes the drug. Any bacterium that survives an antibiotic treatment can then multiply and pass on its resistant properties. Also, some bacteria can transfer their drug-resistant properties to other bacteria — as if passing along a cheat sheet to help each other survive.
The fact that bacteria develop resistance to a drug is normal and expected. However, the way that drugs are used affects how quickly and to what extent drug resistance occurs.
Overuse of antibiotics
The overuse of antibiotics — especially taking antibiotics even when they're not the appropriate treatment — promotes antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections but not viral infections. For example, an antibiotic is an appropriate treatment for strep throat, which is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. It's not, however, the right treatment for most sore throats, which are caused by viruses.
If you take an antibiotic when you actually have a viral infection, the antibiotic is still attacking bacteria in your body — bacteria that are either beneficial or at least not causing disease. This misdirected treatment can then promote antibiotic-resistant properties in harmless bacteria that can be shared with other bacteria.
What Is an Advanced Directive?
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2017 4:19 PM
Advance care planning will never be a hot topic, especially when the thought of our own mortality is so far from our young minds. But it’s time we made some grown-up decisions about our future health care - before it’s too late.
Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.
A living will tells which treatments you want if you are dying or permanently unconscious. You can accept or refuse medical care. You might want to include instructions on:
A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names your health care proxy. Your proxy is someone you trust to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
Advanced directives are oral and written instructions about future medical care should your parent become unable to make decisions (for example, unconscious or too ill to communicate). Each State regulates the use of advance directives differently. A living will is one type of advance directive. It takes effect when the patient is terminally ill.
Find a blank advanced directive at this site. http://www.caringinfo.org/files/public/ad/California.pdf
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