HEALTH

Help Remedies combines adhesive bandages with bone marrow donor registry kit

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Help Remedies on Monday announced the launch of "Help I’ve cut myself & I want to save a life," which supplements Help’s standard adhesive bandages with a bone marrow donor registry kit. By linking registry to a simple action, Help hopes to reduce barriers to donation and find matches for some of the 10,000 people in the United States who need bone marrow transplants each year.

“Each year thousands of people with leukemia and other blood cancers need a bone marrow transplant to live, yet fewer than half receive one," Help CEO Richard Fine said. "This is a simple and smart idea: By making registration a part of what people are already doing, we think we can get more people to register, and in doing so, help save lives.”

Help has partnered with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, to process help I want to save a life kits, which contain sterile swabs and a postage-paid envelope. Using the kit is simple: The potential donor swabs the blood from their cut, and then mails the swabs in the envelope to DKMS to begin the donor registration process.

The concept for "Help I’ve cut myself & I want to save a life" was generated in a class led by advertising creative Graham Douglas, whose brother received a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Douglas challenged his students to inspire more people to register as donors. Together they arrived at the idea of including blood swab registry kits inside packets of adhesive bandages. Douglas contacted Help, who saw the idea’s potential, developed the kit, and worked with DKMS to establish the program.

"Help I’ve cut myself & I want to save a life" will be distributed to attendees of the TED 2012: Full Spectrum conference, and will be available for purchase on Fab.com and Help’s site, Helpineedhelp.com, with other retailers to follow.


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ACAAI: Five factors that can help delay allergy relief this spring

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — In preparation for spring, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology on Friday noted that avoiding certain fruits and vegetables, installing the proper air filters, closing the windows, filling any allergy prescriptions and consulting with an allergist can all prevent the delay of allergy symptom relief for more than 35 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.

“People with spring allergies often don’t realize how many things can aggravate their allergy symptoms so they just muddle along and hope for an early end to the season,” stated Myron Zitt, past president of the ACAAI. “But there’s no reason to suffer. A few simple adjustments in habits and treatment can make springtime much more enjoyable.”

Following are the five factors ACAAI identified that can aggravate suffering:

  1. Fruits and vegetables — Many people with seasonal allergies also suffer from pollen food allergy syndrome (also called oral allergy syndrome), a cross-reaction between the similar proteins in certain types of fruits, vegetables (and some nuts) and the allergy-causing pollen. One-in-5 people with grass allergies and as many as 70% of people with birch tree allergies suffer from the condition, which can make the lips tingle and swell and the mouth itch. The trick is to determine which problematic produce is causing the symptoms and then avoid eating it, although that fruit or vegetable might be able to be eaten if it’s peeled, cooked or canned. If the allergen is either a birch or alder tree, the reaction might come out of consuming celery, cherries or apples. If it’s grass allergies, then tomatoes, potatoes or peaches may be the trigger. Up to 9% of people have reactions that affect a part of their body beyond their mouth, and 1.7% can suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock;

  2. Using the wrong air filter — Using an air filter to keep the home pollen-free is a good idea, but be sure it’s the right kind. Studies show inexpensive central furnace/air conditioning filters and ionic electrostatic room cleaners aren’t helpful — and in fact, the latter releases ions, which can be an irritant. Whole-house filtration systems do work, but only if the filters are changed regularly;

  3. Opening windows — When windows are open, the pollen can drift inside, settle into the carpet, furniture and car upholstery, and continue to torture the allergy sufferer. So keep the house and car windows shut during allergy season;

  4. Procrastinating — Don’t put off or do without medication this spring. Instead, get the jump on allergies by taking any allergy medication before the season gets under way; and

  5. Avoiding the allergist — Seeing an allergist can help determine just what’s triggering symptoms, and that can lead to a more effective treatment protocol.

 


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Church & Dwight releases pair of videos as part of National Condom Month

BY Michael Johnsen

PRINCETON, N.J. — Church & Dwight on Thursday launched content aimed at giving Americans the facts about condoms as part of the National Condom Month designation for February.

Featuring Trojan condoms, C&D has partnered with sexual health experts and organizations, including the American Social Health Association, to develop a pair of videos that provide consumers with the accurate information they need to make responsible decisions.

In "Unrolled: ‘How Trojan Brand Condoms Are Made,’" the video provides an inside look at what goes into the creation and testing of condoms in the manufacturing process. The other video features a tutorial on how to best use a condom.


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