Why You Need a Medical Specialist

First-Aid Kits


The American Red Cross recommends that all first-aid kits for a family of four include the following:

• 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (space blanket)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pairs of non-latex gloves (size: large)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets    (approximately 1 gram each)
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
2 triangular bandages
First-aid instruction booklet

Think Before You Blow
A new study finds that blowing your nose when you have a cold can cause more harm than good. Blowing creates pressure in the nasal cavity and pushes infected mucous into the sinuses, so if you have to blow, blow gently, and blow one nostril at a time.

Or … try a Neti pot, like Dr. Jim!

Anatomy of a First-Aid Kit

A well-stocked first-aid kit is a household necessity. Be prepared for emergencies: whether the kit is in your car, cubicle, or kitchen, make sure it’s easily accessible and adequately stocked. 

Some kits are designed for specific activities such as hiking, camping or boating. A variety of first-aid kits -- from individual to family size -- are available for sale at the American Red Cross store. Whether you buy a kit or assemble one yourself, make sure it has all the items you may need.

• Include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest.
• Check the kit regularly.
• Make sure any flashlight batteries work.
• Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.

Three’s Company

Dr. John Jain from Santa Monica Fertility Specialists gives identical triplets Erica, Jaclyn and Nicole fertility advice as they prepare to start their families.

Fertilizing the Egg

A woman’s egg is only viable for 24 hours, whereas sperm can live up to three days. To maximize your chances of fertilization, engage in intercourse every day, starting three days before ovulation. A woman’s orgasm causes the uterus to contract and draw the sperm upward, so guys: get to work!


Identical twins develop from a single fertilized egg, or ovum. The egg splits into two genetically identical embryos that have identical genomes, are the same gender, and are called monozygotic*. Identical twins occur randomly but are more likely when the mother is older.

Non-identical, or fraternal, twins develop from two ova, or eggs, that are fertilized at the same time by two sperm. They have different genomes, can be male, female, or one of each, and are called di-zygotic*. Fraternal twins tend to run in families, as opposed to occurring randomly, and are as genetically similar to one another as they would be to any other sibling.

*Zygote: Once an egg is fertilized, it becomes a zygote. After two weeks of rapid cell division, the zygote becomes an embryo. 

Repeated twinning produces triplets, quadruplets, and so forth; these multiples may be identical, fraternal, or a combination. Identical triplets occur when a single fertilized egg splits in two and then one of the resulting two eggs splits again. Non-identical triplets occur when the mother produces, or ovulates, three separate eggs that are each fertilized.

Odds of Multiples

Most twins and triplets are non-identical, or fraternal, and come about because the mother ovulates more than one egg in a cycle. For this reason, multiples are usually determined by the mother’s side of the family. A father who is a twin or triplet probably passes down the gene for multiple ovulations to his female offspring.

The odds of conceiving twins without the use of fertility drugs: 1 in 100

The odds of conceiving identical triplets without the use of fertility drugs: 1 in 1,500

If a couple has a history of twins or triplets in their biological families, the odds of them conceiving twins or triplets are increased two to five times.

Fertility Options

After age 35, a woman’s eggs change and the risk of genetic problems and miscarriage increases. Dr. Jain performs cryopreservation, or egg freezing, using a technique that preserves a woman’s eggs for future pregnancies. MORE...

How to Improve Your Fertility
Dr. Jain says that women who stop taking their birth control pills and have sex when they’re ovulating can expect to be pregnant within three to six months.
He recommends women get pregnant before age 35, which is when their eggs start to change and the risk of genetic problems increases.

Two factors contribute greatly to fertility: stress and health.

Stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine will counter sex hormones, so it’s important to take care of yourself and minimize your daily stress as much as possible. This advice is not just for women! The same stressors, poor habits, and lifestyle choices contribute to the health and motility of sperm as well.


Regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential for reproductive health. “Reproduction is such a basic function,” Dr. Jain explains, “it’s best to just be healthy and natural in mind and body. Optimize your diets with good healthy foods and fluids.”

Tips for Staying Healthy

We’ve all pledged, promised and bullied ourselves to eat better and exercise more, but so many times even the best intentions fall short. Family physician Dr. Mike Moreno incorporates healthy habits into his work and home life:

• I try walking for 30 minutes every day at lunch with co-workers.
• I have a yoga mat in my office and stretch at lunch.
• I don’t use a desk chair but sit at my desk on a Swiss ball. This helps build core muscles, balance and posture.
• Instead of going to the gym, I prefer to use TheraBands at home. They are great for isometric exercises, and this saves me all the time it would take driving to and from the gym.
• I drink at least one 8 oz. glass of water every one to two hours. I think water is water, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy brand or from the tap.
• In between patients, I will do push-ups in my office. This is like hitting the release button whenever I am feeling stressed, and I do as many as I can. One time I did 65 push-ups in one sitting. Sometimes I’ll have done 300 push-ups in one day!


Pam has been seeing specks and spots in her line of vision and asks The Doctors for help. Ophthalmologist Dr. Rex Hamilton at the UCLA Laser Refractive Center explains that Pam most likely has floaters, which are small clumps of cells inside the vitreous fluid of the eye.

Although they look like they’re on the outside of the eye, floaters are actually on the inside. The specs and spots cast shadows on the retina, and the shadows float through a person’s line of vision. See what the world looks like if you have floaters.

CVS Pharmacist
Ryan, a young man whose mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago, has moved in with his mother to be her primary caretaker. CVS Pharmacist Jeff McClusky advises Ryan to buy and fill all of his mother’s prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications from the same pharmacy.

Jeff explains that having one pharmacist will ensure that the patient is not at risk for harmful drug interactions and duplicate therapies. “They can review the entire gamut and come up with what the right decisions are for managing those meds,” the pharmacist says.

Are you the caregiver of a family member or loved one? Are you managing their prescription and over-the-counter drugs properly? Do you wonder about side effects or any special precautions you should be taking? Ask the CVS Pharmcist.

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OAD 3/12/09