Check out Martha Bebinger’s piece today on a critically important idea slowly taking hold in health care called “total health” — an intuitive concept which basically means that health care should take into account a person’s whole life situation, not just their medical status — as a determinant of true health.
That means making sure families have food in the fridge and a safe place to live, and, as Martha notes, the right type of cleaning supplies if the household includes an asthmatic child:
Angila Griffin made this discovery a few months ago when a community health worker stopped by to check on her kids, who have asthma. Jean Figaro came armed with vinegar and baking soda. They’re cleaning products, he explained.
“Who would think to use vinegar to clean a household?” laughed Griffin as she told the story.
Griffin loves scented disinfectants and perfumed air fresheners. But she tossed them to help her son and daughter avoid asthma attacks.
“If I’m using the perfume and stuff, their asthma is acting up, their eyes are bloating up,” Griffin said.
Figaro, who works out of an asthma clinic at Boston Medical Center (BMC), said “we complete the work the doctor starts at the hospital.” Continue reading