Monday, January 28, 2013

Stuck on Zumba

Valerie Pensinger, RN
     Dancing with the Stars fans know there’s nothing better than watching a couple tango through a competition. As the new year unfolds, wouldn’t it be nice to transition from dance observer to dance participant? I’m not suggesting a gig on Dancing with the Stars, but consider taking a Zumba class.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Women: Wear Red and Take Note

Twinkies have an infinite shelf life. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started the Great Chicago Fire. Old men have heart attacks. Misconceptions are everywhere. Every year, the American Heart Association designates a day in February to wear red and remind us that woman too get heart disease. In fact, it is the number one killer of women.

And here’s another misconception. Women’s heart attack symptoms are the same as men’s symptoms. Wrong. Women often don’t know they’re having a heart attack, so they don’t show up in the emergency department until well into the attack, and then the outlook doesn't look good.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meet TG3

     He completed 20 touchdowns and threw for 3,200 yards in his NFL debut season. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, also known as RG3, reinvigorated the Washington Redskins and helped them post a 10-6 season record.

      He’s board certified in emergency and undersea and hyperbaric medicine, and passed rigorous evaluations to be named a fellow in three American boards of medical specialties. The Wound Center’s medical director, Thomas Gilbert III, D.O., FACEP, FAPWCA, FACHM, also known as TG3, built Meritus Medical Center’s Wound Center and redefined wound care in the tri-state area.

Anne Gill (AG): How have you created a buzz in wound care?
Dr. Gilbert (TG3): It’s really about our strong patient outcomes and word of mouth. We have a wound care team that’s dedicated to exceptional patient care. Many of our patients come to us with multiple chronic wounds or wounds that won’t heal. We look at these situations as challenges.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

     Old man winter hasn’t hit hard yet, but when the wind howls at 30 mph and the thermometer dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, frostbite can occur. Depending upon how long you’ve been outside, frostbite, or frozen body tissue, can cause a loss of feeling and color in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Redness or pain in any skin area could be a sign that you have frostbite.

     Hypothermia, another outdoor hazard, happens when your normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees falls below 95 degrees due to being outside for too long or becoming wet and cold. Signs of hypothermia include lots of shivering, feeling very tired, confused and sleepy. Both frostbite and hypothermia can happen before you know it, and the young and elderly are especially vulnerable. With both conditions, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Meritus Health Flu Advisory

In response to the surge in active flu cases in our community, Meritus Health is encouraging all visitors to refrain from visiting Meritus Medical Center at this time, especially individuals who are most vulnerable to acquiring the flu. Those at a greater risk include, infants and children, senior citizens, and individuals with asthma, COPD, a history of heart failure or respiratory failure, or otherwise have a compromised immune system. Children 17 and under are restricted at this time from visiting patients at the hospital. 

Anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms should not come to the hospital as a visitor. Flu symptoms include fever, feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue/tiredness. Some individuals may also experience vomiting or diarrhea. It is important to note that individuals with the flu may not have a fever.

If you have mild flu-like symptoms you are encouraged to treat at home with rest, fluids, ibuprofen, and steam. You should also wash your hands regularly and avoid exposing others. Call your physician’s office if you have questions about your symptoms. If your symptoms worsen, it’s important to call your physician’s office as soon as possible.

Meritus Health’s medical practices are taking extra measures to accommodate sick patients. If you do not have a primary care physician, you may contact any of the following Meritus Health medical practices to make an appointment:

North Pointe Internal Medicine - 240-313-9850
White Oak Pediatric and Adult Medicine - 240-313-9890
Potomac Family Medicine - 301-791-7900
Smithsburg Family Medical Center - 301-824-3343
Robinwood Family Practice - 301-714-4400
Williamsport Family Practice - 301-582-1150
J. Correces, MD - 301-665-4593
Robinwood Internal Medicine - 301-665-4825
WillowWood Adult Medicine - 301-714-4175

For life-threatening symptoms, individuals should call 911 or go to the Meritus Medical Center emergency department. Urgent Care centers at Robinwood Professional Center and the Sylvania Centre are also available for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Due to the large volume of flu cases, wait times are longer than usual in our Urgent Care centers and the emergency department. 
Meritus Medical Center may also reschedule elective surgery cases for individuals who are more vulnerable to the flu and to reallocate those resources to the high number of inpatients with the flu.

The most effective ways to reduce your risk of acquiring the flu are to get vaccinated, to regularly wash your hands, and to avoid individuals with flu-like symptoms. The flu typically peaks in January and again in March. It is not too late to get a flu shot. The flu shot is recommended for people over six months of age. Individuals should call their primary care physician to see if the flu shot is available or stop by a Home Care Pharmacy location. All Home Care Pharmacy locations have the flu shot available. The flu shot helps prevent or lesson the severity of many strains of flu.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Safety on the Hills

      Spring is a mere ten weeks away and January and February can be the snowiest months in the mid-Atlantic. You can either remain indoors for the long haul or embrace what nature offers. Downhill skiing and snowboarding let you take in the winter wonderland and get much-need winter exercise. But if you’re new to snow sports, you’ll want to take a lesson to learn how to put on the gear, move around, slide downhill and stop—all skills needed to avoid potential accidents.