Thursday, April 26, 2018
Health

Rush to get flu shots strains Pasco supplies

This year's brutal flu season has spurred many people to get their annual vaccination, including Pasco's needy population.

The mobile medical van that serves the homeless and uninsured has given 800 flu shots since September, including 78 one day this week when the van was parked at the West Pasco courthouse.

"We were running out," said Pasco-Pinellas Public Defender Bob Dillinger, whose office oversees the medical van. "That's become a very popular thing since people are hearing about the flu issues."

Dillinger emailed state Rep. Mike Fasano for help Thursday afternoon. By Friday morning, Fasano replied that Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel would donate 250 doses of vaccine.

"When it comes to individuals that are served by the county service, those tend to be individuals who are more at risk," said Brian Adams, CEO of the hospital that opened in October. "That's why we wanted to help keep them safe."

Adams said the vaccines would be available Monday at the hospital's urgent care location in Wesley Chapel. Fasano, R-New Port Richey, works for Florida Hospital as a public affairs director.

Dillinger said the medical van received the initial donations of shots from the Medical Center of Trinity and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. He said the hospitals are "very generous" to donate the vaccines.

"It also hopefully keeps indigent people out of their emergency rooms," he said. "It's kind of a win-win."

The medical van makes regular rotations three times a week to more than a dozen locations across the county. Stops include shelters, soup kitchens, schools and churches.

The van provides basic medical care free of charge to the homeless and needy. Common ailments are minor wounds, blood pressure problems or infections.

Deanna Krautner, a spokeswoman for the Pasco County Health Department, said individual pharmacies "may be out of vaccines, but there is vaccine available."

She said some providers simply didn't order enough supply for this year's busy flu season.

For information on where to find a flu shot, people can visit flushot.healthmap.org. That website allows people to search for stores that sell flu shots. People should call ahead to confirm the vaccine is available.

Lee Logan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

Comments
Four new ways you can avoid fines for not having health insurance

Four new ways you can avoid fines for not having health insurance

There are already more than a dozen reasons people can use to avoid paying the penalty for not having health insurance. Now the federal government has added four more "hardship exemptions" that let people off the hook if they can’t find a marketplac...
Published: 04/26/18
‘Pretty scary’: Study found 71 percent of commonly used medical scopes tainted by bacteria

‘Pretty scary’: Study found 71 percent of commonly used medical scopes tainted by bacteria

In an ominous sign for patient safety, 71 percent of reusable medical scopes deemed ready for use on patients tested positive for bacteria at three major U.S. hospitals, according to a new study.The paper, published last month in the American Journal...
Published: 04/25/18
Exercise myths persist, so let’s fight them

Exercise myths persist, so let’s fight them

When it comes to fitness, can you tell the difference between fact and fiction? Misinformation abounds, and research is continually disproving it. Some myths, like "no pain, no gain," are fading away, but there are plenty more that persist. It’s impo...
Published: 04/24/18

Veteran who survived blast receives unusual penis transplant

WASHINGTON — A veteran who lost his genitals from a blast in Afghanistan has received the world’s most extensive penis transplant, and doctors said Monday he’s recovering well and expected to leave the hospital this week. Saying they wanted to addres...
Published: 04/23/18
Do not eat any romaine lettuce, the CDC warns

Do not eat any romaine lettuce, the CDC warns

Public health officials are now telling consumers to avoid all types of romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak linked to the vegetable that has spread to at least 16 states and sickened at least 60 people, including eight inmates at an Alask...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida Hospital Carrollwood spending $17.5 million to expand emergency department

Florida Hospital Carrollwood spending $17.5 million to expand emergency department

Florida Hospital Carrollwood is expanding its emergency department. The hospital, 7171 North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, is spending $17.5 million to add 15 new private treatment rooms, new pediatric rooms and waiting areas, and new technology, acco...
Published: 04/18/18
Barbara Bush’s end-of-life decision stirs debate over ‘comfort care’

Barbara Bush’s end-of-life decision stirs debate over ‘comfort care’

As she nears death at age 92, former first lady Barbara Bush’s announcement that she is seeking "comfort care" is shining a light — and stirring debate — on what it means to stop trying to fight terminal illness.Bush, the wife of former President Geo...
Published: 04/17/18
Preparing for the worst, staffers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s learn through simulation

Preparing for the worst, staffers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s learn through simulation

When the patient got violent, Dr. Michelle Hidalgo didn’t have time to think. She had to react. The woman was moving strangely and seemed erratic. Hidalgo had to make a tough call — it was time to physically restrain her for everyone’s safety.Then th...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Lung cancer patients live longer with immune therapy

The odds of survival can greatly improve for people with the most common type of lung cancer if, along with the usual chemotherapy, they are also given a drug that activates the immune system, a major new study has shown.The findings should change me...
Published: 04/16/18