BODY WATCH : ‘Safe Return’ Registers Alzheimer’s Patients

Compiled by C.A. Wedlan from wire service reports

Families of Alzheimer’s patients worry about them becoming lost because they can’t remember who they are or where they live.

Now there’s Safe Return, a nationwide computerized registry compiled by the Alzheimer’s Assn. and funded by a grant from the Justice Department. The program works with the National Crime Information Center database to identify and return missing persons.

For a onetime $25 fee, the patient’s name is entered into a national database in Washington, and the patient is assigned an ID bracelet or necklace with a toll-free number and other identifying material.

To register, call the Alzheimer’s Assn. at (213) 938-3379 or (800) 272-3900.


Traumatic Shock Sufferers Need to Be Kept Still, Warm

Traumatic shock, brought on by a serious injury, can be life-threatening.

Shock occurs when the heart reacts to an injury by reducing the output of blood, causing insufficient oxygen supply to the tissues. Symptoms include disorientation; cold and clammy skin; a faint, rapid pulse; sweating; nausea, and vomiting.

Keep the injured person lying quietly on his or her back, and loosen tight clothing to help blood circulation.


Cover the patient with a blanket to preserve body heat. Moisten the victim’s lips, but give nothing to drink or eat. If the patient needs to vomit, roll him on his side to avoid choking.

A traumatized person may appear all right but could still be in danger of shock--medical attention is needed.

Queasy Ocean Travelers Are in Good Company

If the very thought of a cruise makes you want to throw up, it may comfort you to know that one of every 30 travelers suffers from motion sickness.


“We sense motion in a gyroscope-like part of the inner ear, in three coiled tubes partially filled with liquid,” says Dr. John Ho of Cornell Medical College. “Tiny hairs in the tubes sense when the liquid moves and inform the brain.”

If the eyes don’t see anything moving, the brain can become confused. The result can be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, headaches, exhaustion and depression.

Talk to your doctor about medication, including patches worn behind the ear. Try acupressure bands.

Start remedies before traveling so they’ll be effective by departure time. Avoid heavy meals before and during a trip.


If you’re going to sea, reserve a cabin on a lower deck near the middle of the ship.

Briefly . . .

French Foreign Legion-style headgear provides the best sun protection while traditional baseball caps offer the least . . . Veterinarians can now give your dog allergy tests by taking blood samples, sparing the pooch a shave and raw skin from the old skin-testing method . . . For a free brochure on “Taking the Risk Out of Asthma,” send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Asthma Zero Mortality Coalition, 307 W. 36th St., 8th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018.

* This health roundup appears in Life & Style on Tuesdays.