It’s a killer many of us know little about. It affects more than 1 million people each year, and half don’t survive. It could begin with something as small as a cut in gym class, and warning signs and red flags can be easily missed or misread. If not treated within a couple of hours, consequences are almost always deadly.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is your body’s toxic or severe response to an infection. Symptoms include high or low body temperature, fast heart rate and extreme discomfort. The death rate from sepsis is higher than breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer combined. And somehow, fewer than half of Americans have even heard the word “sepsis,” according to the Sepsis Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »
Many families have been schooled on the “big” summer safety issues that threaten the well-being of children including water safety around the pool, fireworks precautions and the importance of using sunscreen and sunglasses on your little ones.
But what about the lesser-known dangers that range from annoying to downright dangerous, not just for children but for all of us? Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services—Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System, during a recent interview on WTAX’s Ask the Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show, shares her expertise. Read the rest of this entry »
Your spouse just had surgery and no longer needs their pain meds. You don’t want extra pills in the cabinet, so you toss them in the trash. Later, your curious three-year-old spots them as he goes to throw away his squeezable applesauce. And because many pills are bright and look just like a sweet tart, he swallows one whole. As simple as the oversight may seem, it could carry deadly consequences.
Wrongly-ingested medications are the leading cause of accidental poisoning in children and adolescents. According to Safe Kids World Wide, two age groups are most at risk: one- and two-year-old toddlers as well as teens ages 15 to 19. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the time of year when we all want to kick on the furnace and cozy up on the sofa. But, before you do, keep yourself and your loved ones safe by checking your furnace and testing the carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
“In the fall, we tend to see an increase of people with carbon monoxide exposures because faulty furnaces and heaters are being used for the first time since the spring,” said Matthew Johnston, MD, a physician with the Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department and Midwest Emergency Department Specialists.
It’s estimated that about 170 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. However, for each person who dies, several more are treated in emergency rooms. According to Timothy Harvey, MD, a physician with the Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department and Midwest Emergency Department Specialists, anyone can experience carbon monoxide poisoning. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you’re preparing a holiday dish or a holiday feast, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to practice safe food handling and keep in mind the needs of those who may be vulnerable to food poisoning.
“While you should always practice safe food handling, some guests might be particularly vulnerable to food poisoning, such as older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems,” said Christina Rollins, clinical dietitian with Memorial Medical Center. “This may also mean taking special precautions and keeping certain high-risk foods off the menu.” Read the rest of this entry »
Oooh. Aaaah. Ow.
One of those sounds should not belong.
As the Fourth of July approaches, so do barbecues, pool parties and, sadly, amateur firework artists. And so, as always, Memorial Medical Center is preparing for the annual visits from those who’ve declared their independence from firework safety.
“In the Burn Center, we typically see between one and five firework-related injuries around this time of year, varying in severity,” says Doug Gregory, RN, nurse manager of Memorial’s Regional Burn Center. “But, every year, ten thousand people are injured nationally.” Read the rest of this entry »
Inflatable bounce houses are becoming a staple at backyard birthday parties and other outdoor gatherings. But with children’s more frequent exposure to these popular party attractions comes a higher likelihood of injury, experts are finding.
A new study, which looked at numbers from 1990 to 2010, found that more than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, twice the number from 2008. The study found that most injuries occurred from falls and collisions with other jumpers; more than half of the injuries included fractures, sprains and strains.
While the study couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increased number of bounce house-related injuries, the authors suggest their growing popularity, which Paul Kircher, ATC/L, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare, said he agrees with. Read the rest of this entry »
Glowing sparklers, massive booms from afar, and collective “oohs” and “ahhs” are familiar sights and sounds to most Americans. Yes, the Fourth of July will soon be upon us. And once again, Memorial Medical Center is preparing for an influx of firework-induced, avoidable injuries and burns.
“We typically see a spike in burns and firework-related injuries during this time of year,” says Doug Gregory, RN, nurse manager of Memorial’s Regional Burn Center.
Sara Plunk, RN, nurse manager, MMC Emergency Department, says, “Our goal this year is to keep everyone harm-free and inform the public of safe ways to enjoy fireworks this season.”
Fireworks should be handled delicately and cautiously. They have the potential to cause serious harm, even death, if not handled properly. Read the rest of this entry »
Before you hit the road or fly the friendly skies this summer, remember that packing for a trip involves more than the right clothing and shoes. A comprehensive medical kit will help ensure your vacation doesn’t include a sight-seeing excursion to the nearest drugstore.
Dennis Danner, a registered nurse for 35 years who works at Memorial’s ExpressCare at North Dirksen, is a frequent traveler, including at least two overseas trips a year as part of his role as president and co-founded of ER Abroad, a locally based charity that helps needy orphanages and medical clinics in Guatemala and Kenya. He suggests the following supplies when assembling a traveling medical kit.
- Travel Medical Kit Supplies:
- Baby aspirin — If you are flying or taking a long car trip during which you’ll be seated for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to take a baby aspirin before each trip. This natural blood thinner could help prevent a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs and typically forms in the lower extremities). Before taking an aspirin, however, check with your physician to make sure there are no contraindications based on your personal medical history.
- First Aid creams and bandages — This should include Band-Aids, 4×4-inch gauze pads, nonstick Telfa pads, a couple rolls of two- and four-inch gauze bandage, an Ace bandage, Neosporin and Bacitracin (triple-antibiotic cream).
- Ice packs
- A small jar or container of baking soda or meat tenderizer to mix with water to neutralize bee stings
- Hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to disinfect scrapes or cuts
- Soap towelettes
- Pepto Bismal tablets
- Non-latex unsterile gloves
- Over-the-counter pain killers (for sunburns, use aspirin or Motrin to help reduce inflammation)
- A small bottle of vinegar if you are traveling to a coastal area, to help reduce jellyfish stings
Danner also recommends vacationers check their health insurance policy to see what is covered where they are traveling. If coverage is poor, considering purchasing trip nsurance to cover unanticipated medical expenses, he said.
As a fair-skinned mom to three fair-skinned children, all of whom love to be outdoors, pediatrician and internal medicine physician Cara Vasconcelles, MD, is particularly attuned to proper sun protection.
“I usually start applying sunscreen whenever the kids can be outside – without a coat on – for longer than 10 to 15 minutes,” said Vasconcelles, who practices with Koke Mill Medical Associates, part of Memorial Physician Services. “If you can be outside for that long without a coat and are comfortable, that means it’s warm enough to get a sunburn.”
Research shows that with each significant sunburn a child experiences while younger than 18, their cancer risk increases greatly in adulthood.
“It’s important not to be afraid of the sun, but to use common sense and practical measures to keep kids and adults from getting a sunburn,” Vasconcelles said. She offers these tips for ensuring you and your children are protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Read the rest of this entry »