Blood Donors Save Lives

January has been observed as National Blood Donor Month for 53 years as a time to recognize the importance of giving blood and platelets while celebrating the lifesaving impact of those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. This year’s National Blood Donor Month comes as the United States faces a major blood shortage.

Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors. With someone in the U.S. needing a blood transfusion every two seconds — 4.5 million Americans each year — much of today’s medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from donations. One pint of blood can save up to three lives; at the same time, a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood. Donor blood is often used during surgical procedures, childbirth, and to treat anemia or other blood disorders. Cancer patients can require daily transfusions for weeks while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Despite the importance of our nation’s blood supply, only

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Cervical Health Awareness Information and Resources

January has been observed as Cervical Health Awareness Month since 2010. With cervical cancer being the third most common cancer globally, it’s important to be mindful of the health risks and resources available to those in need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 12,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and roughly 4,000 die from it annually. As many as 93% of cervical cancers can be prevented by screening and vaccination.

The main cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed between people through sex or any skin-to-skin genital contact with someone who has the virus. HPV is so common that most people will have it at some point in their lives without ever developing symptoms. Up to 90% of cases are cleared naturally by the immune system within two years. There is no way of knowing who will go on to develop health problems.

Some strains of HPV can cause warts around one’s genitals or in their throat, while others can cause normal cells in the body to turn abnormal — potentially developing into cancer over time. Smoking, having HIV, using

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Thank a Pharmacist for Keeping Your Community Healthy

National Pharmacist Day, celebrated annually on January 12, honors pharmacists across different specialties and in every setting by recognizing the impact they have in healthcare. There were approximately 316,500 pharmacists in the United States as of the most recent census, many of whom have been vital to the public’s health and wellbeing — long before the ongoing pandemic.

Pharmacists are a vital part of healthcare teams and often rank among the most trusted professions, with survey respondents rating the honesty and ethical standards of pharmacists as “high” or “very high.” Pharmacists not only check and dispense medications for patients; they also offer advice on medicine dosage, side effects, and possible interactions between different prescriptions. They know about drug therapy effectiveness and can provide information about medical devices patients use at home. Through managing complex drug regimens, counseling to ensure patients remain adherent, helping navigate insurance and cost concerns, and much more, pharmacists have an irreplaceable role in everyone’s healthcare.

The

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How the Pandemic Affects Insurance Rates and Costs

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. While the economy has been a frequent topic of fallout throughout the ongoing pandemic in the United States, the reality for lives of workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic is often overlooked or erroneously blamed on an unwillingness to work

Roughly 9.6 million American workers lost their jobs in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the unemployment rate from 3.8% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020. Not only did 23% of those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic not have employer-provided health insurance prior to being laid off, as many as 56% of those who remain unemployed lost their health insurance along with their jobs. Of those still unemployed:

  • 81% remain uninsured;
  • 58% are no longer receiving routine care;
  • 56% are no longer taking prescribed medications;
  • 46% have delayed planned medical procedures;
  • 44% are not seeking treatment for chronic conditions; and 
  • 41% have stopped receiving mental health treatment.

Most Americans could be easily overwhelmed by medical expenses. Only 39% of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 bill. Nearly 84% of uninsured Americans could be financially devastated in the event of a medical emergency. More than a third of adults in the U.S. have growing medical debt — even with health insurance.

Even while COVID-19

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Get a Flu Shot for National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week in the United States. Established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005, this week highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holidays and beyond. Vaccines against the flu are the best defense against the virus and developing flu-related complications.

We have previously explored how vaccines work. The influenza vaccine contains elements of killed or inactivated viruses. The dead virus still contains the antigens they had when active, and a person’s immune response is similar to the immune response from an infection. Despite misconceptions, the flu shot can not cause the flu. Due to the quickly-evolving nature of influenza, annual flu shots are often necessary to protect against the circulating variants. No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infection but vaccines do reduce disease severity, slow transmission, and protect vulnerable people.

We’ve covered the similarities

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.