Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MedlinePlus: Online Health Information

MedlinePlus is a free, easy-to-use health information service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Resources and tools include:
  • Health Topics: Over 800 topics on conditions, diseases and wellness
  • Drugs & Supplements: About your prescription and over-the-counter medicines, herbs and supplements
  • Videos, Tutorials and Cool Tools
  • Medical Encyclopedia and Dictionary
  • News: Current health news and press announcements
  • Directories: Find doctors, dentists and hospitals
You can find the MedlinePlus website on the UCSF Patient Health Library's Health Information Websites page along with many other health information resources.

Need more help? Contact the Patient Health Librarian by email, telephone, or in person.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The University of California San Francisco Emergency Management provides this health advisory based on current information with concurrence of the UCSF Chief Medical Officer. (March 17, 2011, 5pm)


Currently there is no danger to San Francisco residents from Japan's nuclear emergency. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has stated that “given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the US territories and the US West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity”. Radiation surveillance systems are in place at the state and federal level. Current levels are normal.

UCSF Medical Center and Police continue to monitor San Francisco Department of Public Health, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) bulletins and advisories.


UCSF and the San Francisco Department of Public Health do not recommend taking potassium iodide. Potassium iodide (also called KI) can protect the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine. However, potassium iodide can have serious side effects including allergic reactions in people who have sensitivity to iodine or shellfish and adverse reactions in people who have thyroid problems.


California Emergency Management Agency
Get updated on the latest information about possible radiation exposure here.

California Department of Public Health hotline: 916-341-3947

Radiation Frequently Asked Questions
[From the California Department of Public Health]

Radiation Emergency Information
[From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is "to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats."

Resources and tools the CDC offer include:

Diseases & Conditions
Including ADHD, Birth Defects, Cancer, Diabetes, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Flu, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, STDs

Emergency Preparedness & Response
Including Bioterrorism, Chemical & Radiation Emergencies, Severe Weather

Environmental Health
Including Air Pollution, Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Mold, Water Quality, Climate Change

Life Stages & Populations
Including Infant & Child, Men, Minorities, Pregnancy, Seniors, Women

Healthy Living
Including Food Safety, Bone Health, Physical Activity, Immunizations, Genetics, Smoking Prevention

Injury, Violence & Safety
Including Brain Injury, Child Abuse, Falls, Fires, Poisoning, Suicide, Youth Violence

Travelers' Health
Including Destinations, Outbreaks, Travel Vaccinations, Yellow Book

Workplace Safety & Health
Including Asbestos, Chemical Safety, Construction, Mining, Office Environments, Respirators

Multimedia Information and Tools

Data and Statistics

Information in Multiple Languages

You can find a link to the CDC's website on the UCSF Patient Health Library's Health Information Websites page along with many other health information resources.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Patient Safety

The following resources supply information that you can use at home, at the doctor's office, in the hospital, in the pharmacy, in the grocery store, even shopping on the Internet!

[From the National Patient Safety Foundation]
Including specific steps you can take in the following areas:
  • Becoming a more informed health care consumer
  • Keeping track of your history
  • Working with your doctor and other health care professionals as a team
  • Involving a family member or friend in your care
  • Following the treatment plan agreed upon by you and your doctor

[From the UCSF Medical Center]
Recommendations include:
  • When your doctor writes you a prescription, make sure you can read it.
  • Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand — both when your medicines are prescribed and when you receive them.
  • When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain the treatment plan you will use at home.

[From the National Patient Safety Foundation]
Recommendations include:
  • Wash your hands carefully after handling any type of soiled material.
  • Since you are part of your healthcare team, do not be afraid to remind doctors and nurses about washing their hands before working with you.
  • Let your nurse know if your dressings become loose or wet.

[From the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)]
  • Tips for buying medicines, medical devices, and radiation-emitting products
  • Summaries of recent safety alerts, prompted by reports received by FDA from health care professionals and their patients
  • Advice on how to report fraudulent or dangerous products

[From the UCSF Medical Center, Department of Radiology]

You can find more patient safety resources on the UCSF Patient Health Library's Health Information Websites page.