Archive for the ‘First Aid & Emergencies’ Category

What If There Is No Ambulance? New Blog Teaches DIY Medicine

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Duct tape. It can do a lot of things. But did you know it could help save your life?

That’s the kind of thing you’ll learn at the new blog The Survival Doctor: What to Do When Help Is NOT on the Way. It’s do-it-yourself medicine for when a natural disaster or terrorist attack strikes and you can’t get expert help right away.

After reading just one post, you’ll be able to stop a bleeding artery, clean the wound by puncturing a jug of water, and close the wound with duct tape. You can even use honey on it if you don’t have antibiotic ointment. (Don’t use it on babies though.)

The Survival Doctor is written by our publisher, James Hubbard, M.D. He spent years as a family doctor in small-town Mississippi and says the blog is “a combination of science, improvisational medicine, and Grandma’s home remedies.”

You can subscribe easily by email at the site. You’ll learn a little more with each post. Just imagine how glad you’ll be when phone lines are down, the Internet won’t work and the roads are blocked. When all you have is you.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance writer specializing in health and aging. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

What They Don’t Tell Kids About Bees

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Growing up in Mississippi, exploring dense woods and thick brush, my sister and I were always on the lookout for ticks. We had our fair share and learned early on how they got removed: grasp the head with tweezers, and pull.

I don’t know about where you live, but I think the South may be the critter capitol of the world. Bees, wasps, spiders, snakes—and it’s balmy weather for them most of the time. So we knew a lot about what to do and not do to keep ourselves safe. But there is one thing I didn’t know back then: Sweat attracts bees. I would have known it if I could have read this week’s featured article, “11 Tips for a Safer Hike.”

But I couldn’t. It wasn’t written, and we didn’t have the Internet. And it’s probably best nobody told us kids such things. During those boggy Mississippi summers, you could stick your pinky out the window and be swimming in sweat. As scared as we were of honeybees and their massive bumblebee cousins, we never would have gone outside.

I have to admit, though, that there’s one thing on the article’s list you couldn’t have gotten us kids to do in a million years: wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. The average high in August was 91 degrees. All pants were good for was being cut off into shorts.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

How Surgery Is Like Flying

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Part of what makes surgery so scary is we’re not in control. It’s like flying in an airplane. No matter the statistics, we’re not at the wheel, and that’s disconcerting.

Of course, letting others take over is a good thing sometimes. Doing surgery on ourselves isn’t ideal, though some try. But putting our life in the hands of someone else—while we’re completely unconscious—well, no wonder it makes us nervous.

This week’s featured article answers three questions about surgery, to help you feel more comfortable and informed. One question spotlights anesthesia. In the 1980s, our doctor writes, two in 10,000 people died of anesthesia-related causes. By 2000, “that number had decreased to one in every 200,000 to 300,000.” You can read the article here: “3 Surgery FAQs.”

At least there are a few things we can control: Picking a good doctor and a good hospital gives us a leg up. Now if only we could pick our own pilots. And plane.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Frostbite Gone Mild: What to Do About Frostnip

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Frostnip is the teeth-gritting side of frostbite’s personality. Not scary, unless you keep agitating it. Then it gets mean.

Like burns, frostbite comes in three degrees, explains family doctor Eva Briggs in this week’s featured article. Frostnip is the mildest. With it, your skin looks pale and feels stiff. It doesn’t lead to permanent damage. But it’s a good, nippy warning to warm up before frostbite starts chomping.

In “Frostnip Vs. Frostbite: What’s the Difference?” you’ll learn how to treat both ailments—and what not to do. (For example, don’t rub, even with frostnip. It could damage skin.)

Get the latest articles monthly in our free health e-newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Why You Should Keep Matches in the Car – for Winter Safety

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte

Do you have a winter car kit? Does it include matches and a can?

In most areas of the country during these frigid-weather months, a survival kit is essential. But what should it include? In this week’s featured article, “Winter Car Kit: What to Pack for Emergency Survival,” an emergency-medicine doctor shares his list. On it: matches and a can, to melt snow for water. He suggests that if you don’t carry everything on the list, at least “make sure you have things to keep you warm (blankets or sleeping bags), water, food and a charged cell phone.”

How’s your kit looking?

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Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Honey as Medicine: The Yummiest Remedy

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte, Managing Editor

Did you know that properly stored honey never spoils? Yep, and it may help wounds from spoiling too. Integrative physician Robert Pendergrast explains:

[Honey] has strong antibacterial activity, mainly because of its low water/high sugar concentration: It literally sucks all the water out of bacteria.

Honey seems to be an effective wound treatment in certain situations. Of course, there are important precautions and guidelines. Find out more by checking out our article. It also covers whether a nighttime dose of honey can treat children’s coughs and whether bee stings—yes, stings—can treat arthritis. (Do be sure to read the precautions. For example, never give honey to a child under 12 months because of botulism risk.)

MyFamilyDoctorMag.com, giving a whole new meaning to “licking your wounds” …

Pssst … sign up for our free e-newsletter! You’ll get fascinating articles delivered once a month.

How to acclimate to the heat and how it happens

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Pop quiz:

  1. Why are some outdoor workers more prone to heat strokes after the first hot spell in early summer than later when it gets even hotter?
  2. Why are there more heat strokes in Chicago when the temperature may be hotter elsewhere at the same time?

Answer:

Much has to do with your body having time to adapt, otherwise called acclimatization.  It takes between eight and 12 days for your body to acclimate to higher temperatures so when those hot days hit, you’re not ready.  The body acclimates to heat by: (more…)

Chain saw injury prevention

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I always dread seeing chainsaw injuries.  It is never a clean cut.  Even if the blade barely nicks the skin, it causes a nasty, dirty, macerated laceration leaving an ugly scar.  Of course the less you use the saws the more likely you are to get cut when you do, but experience is not immunity.  I have seen bad cuts in old pros.  Most of the time the the saw kicks back so fast and with such force you can’t stop it, and it cuts really well through flesh.

The CDC has good tips for preventing injuries.  Mostly take your time and stay focused on what you are doing.  Remove excess debris and wear goggles.  Keep your body out of the way of a kickback as best you can.  Have a partner within hollering distance and know where the limb will fall.  If you are helping, stay clear of danger.  You may think “duh”, but once I saw a patient (more…)

How to avoid lawn mower injuries

Monday, June 1st, 2009

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Lawn mower accidents can be pretty devastating.  They can mangle a hand or foot, or injure an eye.  The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons released these tips to avoid lawn mower injuries this summer.  Even though they are simple and obvious, they are worth a read.  Every year I see someone who has something in their eye thrown from a lawn mower and occasionally I see more serious injuries due to rocks.

Often I see someone with a mangled finger or hand who tried to remove debris from the blades before they had completely stopped, or gets a bare foot or toe caught underneath.  I know of children being killed when they fall off the larger tractor type mowers.

Invariably the victims say they feel so dumb, but really they just had a lapse of judgement.

Read these tips and keep them in the back of your mind.

(more…)

When does an ankle injury need an x-ray?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I still remember when a sweet, smiling little girl came into my office a few years back.She had injured her wrist.I did my usual exam which includes palpating areas of tenderness.Well I hit a sore spot; she let out a yelp and sobbed “why did you hurt me?”I felt so bad, but was tempted to tell her that’s what doctors do (not really).Instead I explained I needed to know what specific area was injured so I would know where to look on an x-ray.I don’t think she bought it.

At any rate, I thought of this when I read an Academy of Emergency Medicine study concluded the Ottawa Ankle Rules could be applied to as young as 6 years old and up.What are these rules? (more…)

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