The changing of the seasons brings chilly air and falling of leaves- welcome November!
My name is Megan Raber BSN, RN and I am the new Diabetic Education Coordinator at Pomerene Hospital and what better
time for me to introduce myself as November is also National Diabetes month. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of kidney failure, lower- limb amputations and adult onset blindness. These statistics are scary alone, but what it does not show is the magnitude of the loss of quality of life and hardships those living with these special challenges face every day. Odds are, you are reading this and thinking of someone you know who has diabetes or perhaps you are personally challenged by it yourself.
With the changing of seasons in mind, I know many people have felt the effects of change this year. Maybe it has been a change in daily routine, a change in seeing family and friends, a change in your work life. Or perhaps it has been a change in your health or a loved one’s or the ability to access resources for your healthcare needs. For me personally, it has been a great year of change and growth as a wife, mother and nurse trying to navigate life during a pandemic. Not to mention thetask of packing up and moving a home, a one year old and an oversized Siberian Husky 1,000 miles across the country. Despite the challenge; and although I already miss the beach, I am overjoyed and thankful to reside in and serve my hometown area after living the last seven years in Florida.
With all of the changes you may have experienced this year, I am sure it has also been a year of much self-reflection. If your own health and wellbeing related to your diabetes has been on your mind, please call the Diabetes Education office at Pomerene Hospital 330-674-1584 ext. 1023. Whether it be a new diagnosis, a speed bump in your current treatment plan, help in getting your diabetic supplies or an A1C that will not budge for you- I would be happy to assist you in navigating the life changes related to self-managing your diabetes.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month to remember that everyone is affected by breast cancer. Everyone?
While women make up the majority of breast cancer cases (breast cancer in men is possible, but rare), men are also affected when someone they know - wife, mother, sister, or friend, gets breast cancer.
How common is breast cancer? Statistically one in eight women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. Do a quick calculation, how many women can you think of by name off the top your head? Family, friends, colleagues, church member, etc. Can you name 40 women? Divide that by 8; statistically five of those women you name will get breast cancer at some point in their life. That’s sobering. Now think, reader, if you are a woman, you could be one of those five; reader if you are a man, that could be your spouse.
The good news is there is a screening test that detects most breast cancer - a mammogram. It is essentially an x-ray of the breast that is interpreted by a radiologist (a physician specialized in interpreting medical imaging).The American College of Radiology recommends that for a women of average risk they get a mammogram every year after the age of forty (some women have higher than average risk, these women need to discuss with their primary care providers when they should start breast cancer screening). Unlike some cancers that grow slowly over several years, breast cancer can show up in just one year, making it important that women get an annual mammogram.
What role does breast exam play? Monthly self breast exam and an annual clinical breast exam are very important, but they don’t replace mammography. The goal of mammogram is to detect a cancer while it is still very small; the earlier the stage the better the survival rate.
A common question I’ve been asked is about the radiation. Similar to an x-ray, mammogram uses a low dose of radiation. The risk of getting breast cancer from a mammogram is very, very, low and the benefit of detecting a cancer early outweigh the risk. Are there other ways to screen for breast cancer? No; mammogram is the only tool that has shown a decrease in deaths from breast cancer. Sometimes a breast ultrasound or MRI is ordered to get another look at something that is seen on mammogram, but these cannot be used for breast cancer screening.
What happens if an abnormality is seen on the mammogram? Additional images will need to be obtained; with mammogram, ultrasound and/or MRI. Depending on the abnormality and how it is seen best a patient may need to proceed to a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure that a physician performs to get a piece of the abnormal breast tissue. The piece of abnormal tissues is sent to a pathologist (a physician specializing in looking at body tissue) to evaluate and determine if the tissue is cancer. If the abnormality is seen only on mammogram the patient would have a needle localization procedure in the mammography room and then they would go to the operating room for the surgeon to perform a surgical biopsy. If the abnormality is seen on ultrasound, the biopsy would be performed with ultrasound without needing to go to surgery. These procedures can all be done at Pomerene Hospital.
If you would like more information about breast cancer screening, the mammography test or how to prepare for the test you can find answers to your questions as well as additional resources at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=screening-breast. To schedule an appointment, please call Pomerene Radiology Services at 330-674-1584, ext 4124.
Remember, breast cancer screening saves lives!
With fall fast approaching with winter on its heels, yard work is looming, as is other household prep for winter. Many of these tasks requiring bending, lifting, reaching and carrying, all of which may put your back into a position where injury may occur. So, whether you are raking leaves, cleaning out your gutters, getting out the Christmas decorations, or winterizing the camper, you may benefit from the following body-mechanics tips and tricks.
1.Use your back brace.
Your abdominals, that is. When preparing to lift, push or pull, first tighten your abdominals. Your abdominal muscles, along with several other muscles are key in stabilizing your spine. When contracted they act as a built in back brace, since they wrap around the front and back of your trunk from your ribs to your pelvis.
2. Lift with your legs.
If you are going to be lifting a heavy object, bend your knees to allow you to get closer to the object. Keeping your knees straight and just bending at the hips and/or back creates a lot of strain on your lower back and creates a greater potential for back pain in the future.
3. No playing Twister.
One of the biggest mechanisms of injury in the low back is lifting and twisting. When you are moving an object from one surface to another and walking is not required, try to pivot with your feet, while keeping your spine straight.
4. Phone a Friend.
If you have an object to move that is too heavy, big or bulky for you to move safely, get a friend or family member to help you.
5.Don’t forget to breathe while lifting!
If you currently have back pain, Pomerene Therapy can help! Come see us!
The flower beds are alive with color, butterflies, and bees, and weeding is a daily task. Overgrown fence rows are being freed of tangled greenery. Wood is chopped and stacked in preparation for another round of cold Ohio winter weather. Each of these summertime tasks, which get us out into the fresh sunshine, hold its own danger. Ohio may be short on venomous snakes and insects, but there is a poison that lurks among the greenery, one of which we must all beware.
Poison ivy plants are commonly found among the elements of beauty in our landscape.In fact, all year round, this plant has been known to cause misery.As nefarious as poison ivy might seem, there are many myths surrounding the “leaves of three” that should be dispelled to help prevent, or relieve, the itchy red rash it causes.
The rash that shows about 12-48 hours after touching the poison ivy plant is actually a “contact dermatitis”, much similar to a rash that develops with any allergen. The allergic reaction is a result of skin contact with the sap of the plant, urushiol, which is an oily substance with allergic properties. Any place the oil encounters skin, an allergic reaction, in the form of an itchy rash, develops.
Prevention is the best treatment for poison ivy rashes. Avoid areas that poison ivy plants grow: in flower beds, along fence rows, against trees. If avoidance isn’t possible, the next action is to wash quickly and thoroughly, within 30 minutes, if possible. Showering with plenty of warm water and soap (dish soap is an excellent grease cutter!) will remove the oil from the skin.Reducing exposure limits the extent of the rash. It is also a must to clean well under fingernails and any clothing, shoes, and tools to which the oil may have transferred. The oils may linger on them, spreading the rash long after exposure to the plant.
Alas, sometimes after the best of efforts, a poison ivy rash develops anyway. There are some things to know about this, too. Ultimately, if you did nothing to the rash, it would dissipate in about 2-3 weeks. Frequently, that is too long to suffer. Cool compresses, or even ice, oatmeal baths, and hydrocortisone cream, can relieve the itching. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine and may also help alleviate the itch of the reaction. Poison ivy rash on the arms, legs, and torso are more annoying than worrisome.If the rash is on the face or groin, though, frequently a healthcare provider will prescribe an oral steroid to prevent further problems. Steroid injections are not recommended.If a problem with the medication occurs, the oral pill can be stopped. Once the medication is injected in to the body, there is no reversing it.
It is important to understand that any fluid that drains from the area cannot spread the rash. That is simply the body’s immune system trying to be in repair mode. Oils left on the skin, or repeated contact, though, can cause additional reactions. Keep the area clean, avoid scratching to prevent infection, and use soothing methods to treat symptoms.
A couple other bits of trivia: Ohio has only poison ivy. Poison sumac is found in the southern United States, and poison oak is found in western United States. Whichever you’ve been in contact with, though, the rash will be very similar. As it is an allergic reaction, not a rash specific to each plant, we could never tell the cause by looking at the rash.
The CDC has several recommendations to assist businesses when an employee is suspected to have or confirmed infected with COVID-19.
- If an employee arrives to the workplace with symptoms or becomes ill during their shift, they should be separated from other employees as soon
as possible, customers, and visitors and should be directed to go home. If an employee gets symptoms outside of work they should stay home.
The employee should not return to work until they have consulted with a healthcare provider and met the guidelines set forth by the CDC.
- Individuals with COVID-19 have had a wide variation of symptoms, including: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
- On July 17, 2020 the CDC recommendations state that for the majority of people with COVID-19, isolation and precautions can generally be stopped 10 days after symptom onset and without a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medications and with improvement of other symptoms.
- It is important to close off any areas used for long intervals by the sick employee until cleaning and disinfection can be done safely.
- In the event an employee is suspected or positive for COVID-19, employers need to determine other employees who may have been exposed and should take some extra measures:
- Employers should inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 if the employee is confirmed positive.
- Provide education to employees on what they should do if they become ill.
- Employees should not return to work until they have met the guidelines to suspend home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.
- The CDC recommends that employers do not use antibody tests to determine which employers can work. A viral test checks a respiratory sample to determine if an employee has the virus.
- Pomerene Hospital can do outreach testing at your business if you are considering testing all of your employees. Please contact Pomerene Hospital's Infection Preventionist to arrange for Outreach testing at your facility by calling 330-674-1015.
- Additional information and resources are available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html.
Days are warm, the sun is shining, and back-to-school couldn’t be further from your mind. The truth is, those three short summer months will soon be gone, and life will again be filled with schedules and running from one activity to the next (hopefully!). Before we know it, our free time, during which we planned to get that to-do list caught up, will disappear. Now is the time to plan ahead.As children prepare to return to school, many are also getting ready to join their favorite sport or need those immunizations which are required. Right now is the time to get those well visits out of the way. Every child should have a yearly physical to monitor growth and development, as well as to address any future needs.
Those last lazy days of summer are frequently riddled with hurried parents, desperate to get those provider visits completed in a timely manner. Waiting until the last minute can mean deadlines may be missed. Getting your child’s well visit done now will relieve you of one back-to-school responsibility and offer more relaxed end of summer days.
As a reminder, if your child is entering preschool or kindergarten, check with your school for the paperwork which needs completed. Also, for children entering kindergarten, a DTaP and polio vaccine, frequently given as a combination, Kinrix, and the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines (frequently given as a combination, ProQuad) are due. For those going into seventh grade, a Tdap and meningicoccal vaccination are required. For those entering their senior year, a final meningococcal immunization is due.We also offer the serogroup B meningococcal vaccination series, to protect against the fifth type of meningococcal bacterium.
Unsure if your child’s immunizations are up-to-date? Let us check for you. Bring any immunization cards you may have at home and we will also check the Ohio Department of Health website to ensure your child has everything needed to be protected.
Have a safe, happy, healthy summer and get those well visits done early!
AUTHOR: Danielle Byler, MSN, APRN, FNP-C
The American Academy of Dermatology (2020) recommends these 6 tips for treating a sunburn:
- Take frequent cool baths or showers to ease the pain
- Use a moisturizer that includes aloe-Vera to help sooth sunburned skin.
- Consider taking ibuprofen to help decrease swelling, redness and discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- If your skin blisters, let the blisters heal. Do not pop the blisters, as they will help protect your skin heal and protect you from infection.
- Protect sunburned skin while it heals by wearing clothes that cover skin when in the sun.
Remember that a result of skin getting too much exposure from the sun’s ultraviolet rays can affect long-lasting harm to the skin and increase your risk for getting skin cancer.
What is the safest way to grocery shop during the pandemic? And what should you do when you get your groceries home? Here are some tips offered from the Food and Drug Administration [FDA], (2020):
- Make a list before your trip to the grocery story. Only buy what you need for 1-2 weeks.
- Wipe down and sanitize the handles of the shopping cart.
- Practice social distancing while shopping – keeping at least 6 feet between you, other shoppers, and store employees.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when you leave the store and after you put your groceries away at home
Below are a few more tips that recommended to help in preventing foodborne illnesses, not just during the pandemic but always:
- Before eating, rinse fresh fruits and vegetables with running water.
- Make sure your perishable groceries are refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours of purchasing.
- Clean and sanitize your counters with a disinfectant product.
- Remember to follow the 4 food safety steps-Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill
We encourage you to follow this advice to remain safe while you are shopping!
Author: Fran Lauriha, CNO Pomerene Hospital