Thursday, January 19, 2017

Avoid Medication Mishaps

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 700,000 adverse drug events — injuries resulting from the use of medication — that result in hospital emergency room visits each year. Many of these events could have been prevented if information about adverse drug reactions and general medication safety had been more well known.

If you're using multiple medications, including powders, ointments, supplements, capsules/tablets, drops, implants, and injectables, it's time to get organized. Making a list is a great way to start. That way, when you visit any health care provider, you won't have to rack your brain about the exact names of your medications and their dosages. Create a table that will help you remember every medication's name, strength, the time(s) of day you take it, and its purpose for you. Share this list with all of your doctors, even if you don't think all of the information is necessarily relevant to them.

It's also a good idea to gather all of your medications, including anything over-the-counter you may be taking, in a Ziploc bag and bring them to your appointments. Even if an item seems benign, such as a vitamin, herb, or supplement, you never know what kind of medical interaction could occur without consulting your physician. It's also wise to try to use the same pharmacy to fill your prescriptions, so that they can help you keep track of everything you're taking. You may form a relationship with the pharmacist, who can alert you of any potential issues to raise with your doctor.

Sometimes, the medications you are taking together may not necessarily be dangerous, but can cancel each other out. For example, if you are taking an iron supplement, the calcium in your daily multivitamin may inhibit your body from fully absorbing the iron supplement. If your doctor knew you were taking both of these, he or she would likely recommend taking them at different times of the day. This way, you know you aren't wasting your money and effort and are getting the full benefit of both medications.

If you think it may be time to update your doctor about your medications and learn about any possible adverse reactions, talk to your primary care provider. If you don’t have a primary care physician, visit to find one who is right for you.

Legacy Chase Ribbon Serves a New Purpose

As you may remember, last year's Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs was record-breaking! With help from survivors and their families and friends, GBMC broke the Guinness World Record for the longest awareness ribbon, as a demonstration of our commitment to the fight against all cancers. It was a momentous occasion that touched the community, as so many of us have known someone who has battled cancer, or even been personally diagnosed. The lavender ribbon stretched a mile and a half long – that's quite a lot of fabric, and of course, we wouldn't let it go to waste.

Short Pajamas
The ribbon, which is actually satin fabric, is 30 inches wide, in addition to being extremely long. GBMC donated it to Care Wear Volunteers, Inc., a nationwide nonprofit that provides handmade items to hospitals. Care Wear has participants in all 50 states and Canada who knit, crochet, and/or sew items to be donated. At their headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, a group of volunteers has been busy turning our lavender satin into lace-trimmed burial gowns for infants. Another group is sewing the fabric, which has a luxurious feel, into nightgowns, sleep sets, and robes for women at Heartly House, a Frederick shelter for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Some volunteers are also experimenting with using the purple fabric as a quilt backing.

Night Gown
Burial Gown

Although it's too soon to know just how many burial gowns, sets of sleepwear, and quilts our record-breaking fabric will make, we're pleased it will live on in a way that is so in tune with GBMC's mission.

Cocoa-Spiced Beef Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa


½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 beef tenderloin roast (16 oz)

For salsa:
½ cup canned diced pineapple, in fruit juice, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup red onion, minced
2 tsp fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried and chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice

For seasoning:
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 375°F.

For the salsa, combine all ingredients and toss well. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to marinate while preparing the seasoning and cooking the meat.

For the beef tenderloin seasoning, combine all ingredients. Lightly oil the tenderloin and spread an even layer of the dry seasoning over the entire roast.

Place the seasoned roast on a roasting or broiling pan and roast for 10-15 minutes (to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F). Let cool for 5 minutes before carving into 16 slices.

Serve four slices of the tenderloin with ¼ cup salsa on the side.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 4 oz tenderloin roast, ¼ cup salsa
Calories: 215
Total fat: 9 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 67 mg
Sodium: 226 mg
Protein: 25 g

Recipe retrieved from NHLBI and NIH Keep the beatTM recipes: deliciously health dinners