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Lavaca Medical Center News


In the Know - Avoiding Winter Injuries




For those wanting to get in a few last minute "cold weather" vacations before Spring Season, here are some tips to follow.

The most common winter sports injuries are sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures, and head injuries. Most happen at the end of the day as people become tired. In fact, the CDC reports that snowboarding accounts for 1/4 of all winter sport accidents. In addition, there are about 52,000 sledding accidents each year with 30% being head injuries.

Safety Tips:
- Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
- Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
- Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves, and padding.
- Make sure that equipment is working properly prior to use.
- Wear several layers of light, loose, and water/wind resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering accommodates your body's constantly changing temperature.
- Wear proper footwear that provides warmth/dryness, as well as plenty of ankle support.
- Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing/snowboarding.
- Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe temperature drops.
- Drink plenty of water before/during/after activities.
- Avoid participating when in pain or exhausted.
- Never participate on your own in a winter sport.

Information from the CDC

In the Know - Impaired Driving

Don't Drink & Drive - Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving




The Facts: Impaired Driving

Every day, 29 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That is one death every 50 minutes.

Who is at most risk?
Young people
At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people.
Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2016, nearly 3 in 10 were between 25 and 34 years of age (27%). The next two largest groups were ages 21 to 24 (26%) and 35 to 44 (22%).
Motorcyclists
Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2016, 25% had BAC's of 0.08% or greater.
Motorcyclists ages 35-39 have the highest percentage of deaths with BAC's of 0.08% or greater.
Drivers with prior driving while impaired (DWI) convictions
Drivers with a BAC of .08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were 4.5 times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system.

BAC Predictable Effects on Driving (based on a standard drink size in the U.S.):
About 2 alcoholic drinks (.02%) - decline in visual functions; decline in ability to perform 2 tasks at the same time
About 3 alcoholic drinks (.05%) - reduced coordination; reduced ability to track moving objects; difficulty steering; reduced response to emergency driving situations
About 4 alcoholic drinks (.08%) - concentration affected; short-term memory loss; speed control; reduced information processing capability; impaired perception
About 5 alcoholic drinks (.10%) - reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
About 7 alcoholic drinks (.15%) - substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing

What safety steps can you take?
Make plans so you do not have to drive while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
Before drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group.
Don't let your friends drive while impaired.
If you have been drinking alcohol/using drugs, get a ride home, use a ride share service, or call a taxi.
If you're hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Offer alcohol-free beverages, and make sure guests leave with a sober driver.

Think before you drink.

Interesting Comparison - Ford's Drunk Driving Suit

Ford (Motor Company) created a Drunk Driving Suit that mimics the effects alcohol may have on a driver. Read the breakdown of what the suit consists of below.

Earmuffs - Impair hearing to delay reaction time.
Vision Impairment Glasses - produce ghost images & tunnel vision.
Neck Bandages - Restrict head movement.
Elbow Bandages - Slow motion.
Wrist Weights - Affect balance.
Knee Bandages - Slow movement.
Ankle Weights - Affect balance, especially when worn on the limb opposite the wrist weights.

This unique suit was created by Ford to help teach young people the dangerous effects of drinking and driving. The Ford-developed suit restricts movement, impairs vision and throws you off balance. Ford developed impaired driving suits to simulate driving while drunk, and while under the influence of drugs like marijuana.



*Information from the CDC and Ford Motor Company.

In the Know - Hunter Safety Measures






In the Know - Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Education




Quick Facts:
• Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane) burn incompletely. (NFPA)
• Each year, Carbon Monoxide poisoning claims approximately 480 lives and sends 15,200 people to emergency rooms for treatment. (USFA)
• Each year, over 200 people die from CO poisoning by fuel burning appliances in the home (furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters). (CPSC)
• A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time, or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. (NFPA)
• CO can have different effects on people based on its concentration in the air that people breathe and the person's health condition.
• CO poisoning can be confuse with flu symptoms, food poisoning, and other illnesses - with symptoms including shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness, or headaches. High levels of CO can be fatal causing death within minutes. (NFPA)
• Consumers can die when they improperly use gas generators, charcoal grills, and fuel burning camping heaters/stoves INSIDE their homes or in other enclosed, or partially-enclosed, space during power outages. (CPSC)

Fast Tips:
• Install a CO alarm (also called detectors) in the hallway of your home near sleeping areas.
• Follow manufacturer instructions to test the CO alarm each month.
• Have BOTH a fire/smoke detector AND a CO alarm.
• Make sure a CO alarm is listed with Underwriter's Laboratories standard 2034, or that information in the owner's manual says it meets requirements of the IAS 6-96 standard.
• Make sure all household appliances are installed correctly.
• Have heating systems (including chimneys & vents) inspected /serviced annually.
• Only burn charcoal OUTDOORS.
• Always make sure to turn off any gas-powered engines, even if the garage door is open.
• DO NOT use gas appliances (ranges, ovens, clothes dryers) for heating your home.
• KNOW THE SYMPTOMS of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and then call 911.
• Treat the alarm signal as an emergency each time.
Information from redcross.org

Sources: American Red Cross, U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Late Fall/Early Winter is also a great time to re-visit fire safety. Click the link below to learn more from Red Cross!


Red Cross Fire Safety Information


In The Know - Diabetes Awareness Month




Be Heatlh Aware - Diabetes

NOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH

What is Diabetes?

- Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
- Your body breaks down most food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it to your blood stream.
- When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body's cells to use as energy.
- With diabetes: your body doesn't make enough insulin or can't use it as well as it should.
- When there isn't enough insulin, or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar remains in the bloodstream. Over time, this can cause serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
At this time, there is no cure for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy, and being active can help.

Other helpful things: take medications as prescribed, get diabetes self-management education and support, and make and keep your healthcare appointments.

Type 1 diabetes: Thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. Your body stops making insulin. Approximately 5-10% of people that have diabetes have Type 1. Usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes: Your body doesn't use insulin well and can't keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It is USUALLY diagnosed in adults - but diagnosis in children and young adults is on the rise.

Diabetes By the Numbers!

- More than 37 million U.S. adults have diabetes, and 1 in 5 don't know they have it.
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Diabetes is the number 1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness.
- In the last 20 years, the number of adults with diagnosed diabetes has more than doubled.

In The Know - Slips, Trips, & Falls




SLIPS, TRIPS, & FALLS...OH MY!

Older adult falls is a growing problem that can threaten the health and independence of this population, but it is a problem that CAN be prevented.

Falls ARE NOT a normal part of aging. Older adults, caregivers, and healthcare providers can work together to reduce the risk of falling and prevent devastating injuries.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Older Adults
Talk to Your Healthcare Providers:
-Tell your doctor if you have fallen, if you feel unsteady when standing or walking, or if you're afraid you might fall.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications to see if any might increase risk of fall.
- Ask your doctor about health conditions (like depression or osteoporosis) that can increase your risk of fall.
- Ask your doctor to check your eyes at least once a year and updated lenses as needed.
Stay Active:
- Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance (like Tai Chi).
Make Your Home Safer:
- Get rid of trip hazards. Keep floors clutter free.
- Add grab bars in the bathroom.
- Have handrails and lights installed on all staircases.

Caregivers - encourage your loved ones to take action to reduce their fall risk.
- Initiate a conversation with your loved one and their healthcare provider about fall risk and prevention.
- Encourage your loved one to participate in exercise programs that can help improve strength and balance (like Tai Chi).

In The Know #HealthAwareness - September is Sepsis Awareness Month





*Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis.

What Is Sepsis? The body's extreme response to an infection - and it is a life-threatening medical emergency. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Infections that lead to sepsis most often start in the
-lungs
-urinary tract
-skin
-gastrointestinal tract
Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

What Causes Sepsis? When germs get into a person' body, they can cause an infection. If you don't stop that infection, it can cause sepsis. Bacterial infections, viral infections, or fungal infections can result in sepsis.

Sepsis Quick Facts:
Each year...
-About 1.7 million adults in America develop sepsis.
-At least 350,000 adults who develop sepsis die during their hospitalization or are discharge to hospice.
-1 in 3 people who dies in a hospital had sepsis during the hospitalization.
-Sepsis, or the infection causing sepsis, starts before a patient goes to the hospital in nearly 87% of cases.

How Can You Get Ahead of Sepsis?
1. Prevent Infections
2. Practice Good Hygiene
3. Know the Signs & Symptoms
4. Act FAST
*Sepsis is a medical emergency. If you or your loved one has an infection that is not getting better, or is getting worse, ACT FAST. Get medical care IMMEDIATELY. Ask your healthcare professional, "Could this infection be leading to sepsis?" and if you should go to the Emergency Room.

Information gathered from the CDC. Please visit Sepsis to learn more.

In The Know - Summer Safety -> Snake Identification

Is It Venomous?
No single characteristic is shared by all venomous snakes in Texas. Learn to identify species that live in your area instead. There are two broad categories of venomous snakes in Texas - Pit Vipers and Coral Snakes.

Identify: Pit Vipers
All have an opening on each side between eye & nostril called a "pit".
Venom glands on the sides of their heads.
Triangular head appearance.
*There are three types of Pit Vipers in Texas: rattlesnakes, copperheads, & cottonmouths.**
rattlesnakes - only snakes with rattles.
copperheads - thick bodies, no rattles, alternating light & dark bands that look like an hourglass from above.
cottonmouths - also called water moccasins - found near or in water, triangular heads with slender necks, white mouth interior.

Identify: Coral Snakes
Only one species of the group in Texas - the Texas Coral Snake.
Slender bodies, small heads.
Alternating rings of bright red, yellow, & black.
Less aggressive than Pit Vipers.
Extremely potent venom.
Order of colored rings can be used to distinguish them: "Red Touch Yellow Kill a Fellow". Red & yellow together=Texas Coral Snake. You can also think of a stoplight - yellow means caution & red means stop. If read & yellow touch - STOP & don't touch the snake!

Similar BUT Non Venomous
*Bull snakes, Hog-nosed snakes, Water snakes, & Scarlet/Milk Snakes**

Snake Bites & First Aid
*Many "home remedy" snake bite treatments are not helpful and may actually be harmful.**
Anyone bitten by a venomous snake should be immediately taken to an emergency care facility (i.e. emergency room).
If possible, and only if safe, try to identify the snake to inform the doctor (who in turn can more quickly provide the antivenin).
*Aside from that, there are very few things you should do.**
Keep the person calm & reduce their physical exertion as much as possible.
Have them remove all jewelry (rings, bracelets, watches) or restrictive clothing near the site of the bite so blood flow is not restricted if swelling occurs.
DO NOT apply ice to the bite or make a tourniquet, & DO NOT make an incision on or near the bite.
*These "treatments" may harm the victim. The best treatment for a snakebite victim is that given by a doctor.

*A bite from a non venomous snake should be treated as a puncture wound -
Wash area well.
Apply pressure if bleeding.
Keep clean while wound heals.
If signs of infection develop (redness, swelling, pain) seek medical care.

Information from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension & Dr. Maureen Frank, Assistant Professor & Extension Wildlife Specialist.


In The Know - Stay Safe Around Water! Drowning Can Be Prevented




In the United States, Drowning Is a Leading Cause of Death For Children:
- More children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except for birth defects.
- For children 1-14, drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.

While Children Are At Highest Risk, Anyone Can Drown. Every year in the U.S. There Are An Estimated:
- 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings, including boating-related drowning. An average of 11 drownings per day.
- 8,080 nonfatal drownings. An average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day.

REMEMBER: Drowning happens in SECONDS and is often SILENT. It can happen to ANYONE, anytime there is access to water.

Drowning Prevention Tips:
1. Learn basic swimming and water safety skills.
2. Build fences that fully enclose pools.
3. Supervise closely.
4. Wear a life jacket.
5. Learn CPR.
6. Know the risks of natural waters.
7. Avoid alcohol.
8. Use the buddy system.
9. Take additional precautions for medical conditions.
10. Consider the effects of medications.
11. Don't hyperventilate or hold your breath for a long time.

Learn more on the CDC Website at: Water Safety & Drowning Prevention

In The Know - Summer Heat & Heat-Related Illness Prevention


HEAT REALTED DEATH & ILLNESSES ARE PREVENTABLE. HOWEVER, AROUND 618 PEOPLE IN THE U.S. ARE KILLED BY EXTREME HEAT EVERY YEAR.



It's HOT in Texas - and the temperature isn't finished rising yet!

Read up on some tips you can follow to stay as safe as possible in the heat. Stay COOL, stay HYRDRATED, & stay INFORMED this Summer!

Visit this link to get information on how to beat the heat: Tips For Preventing Heat-Related Illness
{Use the menu to the left to navigate more information & tips!}

In The Know - May: Stroke Awareness


STROKE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE U.S. AND IS A MAJOR CAUSE OF SERIOUS DISABILITY FOR ADULTS. IT IS PREVENTABLE & TREATABLE.

Don't delay - call 9-1-1 right away if you spot the signs of stroke in yourself or someone else. See image below for 5 symptoms to look for. And use F.A.S.T. as an easy acronym to help you remember them - and perhaps save a life!
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following test:

F - *face* Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A - *arms* Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - *speech* Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange?
T - *time* If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away! Note the time that the symptoms first appeared. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call for an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin lifesaving treatment on the way to the ER.

Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments they need. The stroke treatments that work best are only available if the stroke is recognized & diagnosed WITHIN 3 HOURS of first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don't arrive at the hospital in that time frame.

For more information click here: About Stroke

In The Know - May: Mental Health Awareness

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It's an important part of overall health, and affects how we think, fell, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.

Mental health is important at every state of life, from childhood and adolescence, through adulthood.

Mental Health in America - Facts & Figures:

-1in 5 adults (52.9 million adults) in the U.S. experienced mental illness in 2020.
-Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
-1 in 6 adolescents (aged 12-17) in the U.S. experienced a major depressive episode in 2020.
-54% of adults with mental illness did not receive treatment in 2020.
-The average delay between symptom onset and treatment for mental illness is 11 years.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness click here:
Taking Care of Your Mental Health


And here: National Council for Mental Wellbeing

#BreakTheStigma

In The Know - April: ATV Safety & Stats

ATVs: Big, Real, Rough, Tough, and Sometimes...Deadly.

Warmer weather means more time spent enjoying outdoor activities. One such past time is riding ATVs. Unfortunately, each year 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries can be attributed to ATV accidents. Read below for more statistics on ATV accidents, as well as safety tips to follow for proper ATV operation.

- Most ATV accidents occur in the months of May-September
- Injuries sustained in ATV accidents usually affect: the arms and hands (29%), the head or neck (27%), the legs and feet (22%), the torso (20%), and other areas (2%).
- On average, 77 children (under age 16) and 532 adults die in ATV related accidents each year.
- 32% of ATV fatalities occur on paved surfaces.

How To Be Safe on an ATV:

Wear a helmet - be safer with eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and long sleeved shirt.

Never allow more riders than the ATV was designed for.

Get training from a qualified instructor.

Stay OFF paved roads and use extreme caution when crossing one is necessary.

Never let a child under 16 ride an adult ATV - use the right machine for the right age.

As you enjoy ATV fun, make sure to follow all safety precautions to ensure the wellbeing of you, and all around you!

Information from: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Midday Meet - Featured Topic: Beyond the Basics-Aquatic Therapy

Lavaca Medical Center is happy to introduce a new informational session program being held at the facility. Join us on Thursday, March 24th as we kick-off "Midday Meet" with our first presenter, Kim Brandt, PT/LMC Rehab Director - as she shares information on aquatic therapy. The presentation will be held in the Johnson Conference Room from 11 a.m. to Noon. Light refreshments will be provided.

In The Know - March: Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.
A concussion, sometimes called a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is considered the most common type of brain injury. Concussions account for hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits each year.

This month, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) discusses minimizing the risk of concussion, or other serious brain injury, in our children and teens. Use the link below to visit the CDC website and its concussion resources.


Heads Up - Brain Injury Awareness Month

In The Know - Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposures and poisonings happen more often during the fall and winter months. Check out the CDC article below for information on symptoms of CO poisoning, key facts, and steps you can take to protect your family and yourself during the colder months of the year (and all year round). Click the link below to visit the article.


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

"In The Know"

Lavaca Medical Center wants to keep you "In The Know" when it comes to various topics, by sharing important information and tips that may affect you and your family! Check the In The News section often for tips and educational articles that we will share!

Blood Drive @ LMC

The need for blood is always high even when the amount of dedicated donors isn't. Please share this invitation with your friends, family, and co-workers and let them know the importance of donating. Local patients are depending on you.

All donors will receive points valued at $20 for an e-gift card. O+/- blood type donors will receive an additional $10 Amazon gift card, and all donors will be entered into a raffle for a $60 Visa gift card for this blood drive only!

Walk-ins are welcome and needed!
Lavaca Medical Center
09/20/21 (12:00 pm - 05:00 pm)
1400 N Texana St
Bloodmobile
Hallettsville, TX 77964

To Register:
https://donor.southtexasblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/131084

Check Back Soon

Check back to this section of the website for updated news and hospital information. We are here to serve your needs and to keep you informed of options concerning your health.

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Health Information Search
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Lavaca Medical Center Is On-Line

Lavaca Medical Center has recently developed a web site and is providing many sources for health information and programming. As you can see this is something that will be very useful to our patients, their families and those who may want to know what kinds of services or facilities we have. There are also many other features we hope you will explore. For example, you can look up medications in the drug search or find interesting health information. This is a valuable resource and we hope that you will take full advantage of it.