2014 Flu Season Tips

by Your ER Doc on January 1, 2014

Flu season is here, so hopefully you got the vaccination.  Even if you didn’t, everyone should make a habit of washing hands with soap and warm water, and avoiding unnecessary contact with anyone who has a cold.  As millions of Americans crisscross the country to see their relatives, germs are traveling right along with them.

So the basic tips to help you through this year’s flu season:

- Get vaccinated – it’s still not too late

- Wash your hands.

- Wash them again.
Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!

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Medications Can Hurt The Environment!

by Your ER Doc on April 8, 2012


Remember when we used to flush old medications down the toilet to get rid of them? Please don’t do that anymore. Even as long as a decade ago, studies found that chemicals from discarded meds were found in eighty percent of America’s streams.

In most communities we can now find pharmacies that take and dispose out-of-date medications. Residents can take prescriptions and other chemicals to a Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

I point this out because as Spring nears, it’s a good time to do a sweep of your medicine cabinet, and check discard dates. If you’re like most of us, you’ve forgotten what those pills were for anyway.

If you’re disposing of prescriptions, be sure to mark out your name and other personal information on the label.

Don’t just check prescriptions. Over the counter items also have expiration dates. Get rid of everything that’s not current.

But don’t flush.

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Take Care of Your Feet!

by Your ER Doc on March 1, 2012

I haven’t personally counted, but the average person will walk about 115,000 miles in a lifetime.

Unfortunately, about seventy-five percent of us will develop foot problems as we go, and most of these are in women.

We take our feet for granted, and we need them to work well to stay active. But in truth, they are complex mechanisms, and foot trouble can reflect serious issues in the body – like diabetes, arthritis, and circulatory or nerve problems.

So we must stay in tune with our tootsies. This means daily washing in lukewarm water, with soap, and drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Trim your nails straight across. Use a lotion to fight dry skin. Wear clean socks, and shoes that fit.

Don’t forget to inspect your feet and toes regularly. Take a look; use a mirror if needed. Watch for anything unusual, and be alert to injuries that aren’t healing. When in doubt, go see one of the excellent podiatrists in our area. Can’t get to their office? Just call the toe truck!

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Got to Know Your Meds – Make a List

by Your ER Doc on February 20, 2012

Here’s the scene. You’re at the doctor’s office or the ER and the nurse asks what medications you’re taking.

You can say, umm, well, a yellow pill, a brown pill, a purple capsule, and there’s something I squirt into my nose.

Maybe it’s time for a list!

It may sound obsessive, but it really does help. And it’s not so hard. A list can be just a three-by-five index card, or a sheet detailing the medication, what it’s for, when you take it, the dosage and who prescribed it.

Either way, your nurse will love you! And so will the doctor who might have to take care of you if you’re temporarily out of commission.

Do a list for anybody who needs more than one or two prescriptions. It’s so easy to get confused. Then a new generic comes along and you’re even more lost.

Tell you what, if you make a list, you don’t have to get me a gift this year.

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Prevent Falls

by Your ER Doc on February 1, 2012

What is this plague that causes numerous visits to the emergency department for young and old alike? One word: falls. And three-quarters of them happen at home. And unless your home is built out of bubble wrap, that could cause an injury–sometimes a devastating one.

The best way to reduce the risk of falls is to keep our bodies in shape and our minds alert. But there are many practical things we can do to help prevent them around the house as well.

For the younger set, here are some simple rules:

Don’t leave babies unattended on beds, tables, or couches. Get rid of sharp corners. Block stairs. Secure area rugs, or get rid of them.

For older folks:

Remove area rugs. Eliminate electric wires and other trip hazards. Get rid of step stools and ladders so we are not tempted to get on them and fall. Use non-slip mats in bathrooms. Make sure the home is well lit. Install handrails. No loose-fitting slippers. And know whether medication can cause dizziness.

Watch your step out there!

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