swimmer in pool

The Facts About Sunscreen

With over 7,000 Americans expected to die from melanoma this year alone 1, protecting your skin from skin cancer is so important! However, there are many options out there for sunscreens, and there are ways you can maximize its effectiveness. To help you protect your skin every day, here are answers to some of the most common questions patients have for doctors when it comes to choosing sunscreen. 

 

Are the chemicals in sunscreen safe?

 

The Journal of the American Medical Association released a new study raising concerns about how we protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Researchers took blood samples of 24 people who used sunscreen four times a day. In only four days, they discovered levels of four chemical ingredients that exceed the FDA’s recommended limits. These chemicals are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule. 2 Researchers have discovered oxybenzone in particular  in human breast milk, urine, amniotic fluid and blood. Further research is expected to arise after this study to show the true effects of these findings. 

 

So how do you choose safe sunscreen? 

 

If you are concerned about the safety of chemical sunscreens, use a mineral based one which relies on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect sunlight from the skin instead of absorbing it like chemical sunscreens.

 

Your sunscreen should also have the following characteristics: 

 

Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)

SPF 30 or higher

Water resistance

 

Are high SPFs better?

 

Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s UVB rays. However, no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays.

 

Many incorrectly believe that higher number SPFs last longer. A high-number SPF does not allow you to go longer in between applications. You should reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours while outdoors according to the directions on the bottle.

 

Do I need sunscreen if I am sitting in the shade?

 

Yes, even if you are sitting under a beach umbrella for example, you cannot be completely protected. You don’t know exactly how much protection the umbrella gives from the sun’s rays. 

 

Do I need sunscreen if the sun isn’t out?

 

Yes, you should apply it every day that you go outside. The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round; it doesn’t matter what season it is. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.

 

Furthermore, sand, water and snow increase the need for protection from the sun because they reflect the sun’s rays.

 

Are spray sunscreens effective? 

 

The challenge with spray sunscreens is that it is difficult to know if you are effectively covering your skin. If using, spray and ample amount, and rub it in to ensure even coverage.

 

How much sunscreen should I apply?

 

Most people do not use the recommended amount. As a rule of thumb, adults need about 1 ounce to fully cover their body, enough to fill a shot glass.

 

How should I store sunscreen?

 

Keep your sunscreen in good condition by avoiding exposing it to excessive heat or direct sun. Many keep sunscreen in their car. Although this may compromise the effectiveness, it is better to have sunscreen in your car than to find yourself without!  Keep sunscreen containers in the shade or wrap them in a towel. Discard it when you notice changes in color or consistency. Sunscreen that is kept out of the heat and sun should last three years before expiring.

 

 

Have questions about protecting yourself from the sun? Our CCMH Providers would love to visit with you. Find your new Physician today by visiting CCMHealth.com/Providers.

 

Sources 

 

1 CBS. Sunscreen facts and fictions: What you need to know about protecting your skin. 7 May 2019.

 

2 Murali K. Matta, PhD1; Robbert Zusterzeel, MD, PhD, MPH1; Nageswara R. Pilli, PhD1; et al. American Medical Association. Effects of Sunscreen Application Under Maximal Use Conditions on Plasma Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients. 6 May 2019.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Cancer Centers Award Recipients

Cancer Centers Receives Employer Recognition Award

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma has been selected as the 2019 Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation Small Employer Recognition Award recipient. The award was presented on Friday, April 12, during the Recognition Breakfast for Oncology Certified Nurses at the ONS Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma put a major emphasis on certification and participation in professional organizations. While newly hired nurses do not have to be certified upon hire, they are required to become certified within the first two years of employment. CCSO is also a major proponent of the Oncology Nursing Society. Reimbursement is given for ONS membership dues, courses taken through ONS, and travel costs to attend the meetings in Oklahoma City. Patients are made aware of certified nurses since we include information on patient education materials, on our website and in patient teaching sessions.

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma currently has 31 nurses on staff, 25 RNs and 6 LPNs. 16 are ONC and/or CBNC certified. At the time of nomination, 16 out of the 22 RNs (73%) on staff were certified.

woman blowing dandelion in summer

Summer Safety

The summer season is a special time for many of us. There are holidays, outdoor activities and lots of sunshine to enjoy. However, during the summer, there are some unique safety concerns all should take to heart. Here are our top tips to help you enjoy a beautiful, relaxing, and injury free summer!

 

Boating safety 

 

Many boating accidents begin with alcohol, but water and alcohol really don’t mix well! Avoid drinking alcohol and boating to prevent injuries like drowning and boat collisions. 

 

Don’t be lax about lifejackets either. Make sure you have proper fitting life jackets for all passengers. Children and those who cannot swim especially should never go without their life jackets while boating. 

 

Also make sure you know what to do in case of a water accident. Visit the American Heart Association website at Heart.org to learn where you can take courses in CPR and First Aid training. These classes are simple, and you never know when you may help save a life! 

 

Driving safety 

 

Operating a motor vehicle after drinking is, of course, also a bad idea. If your summer plans include a road trip, take breaks every few hours to avoid fatigue while driving. Also, avoid driving after midnight. 

 

Avoid harmful insects 

 

To avoid bees, mosquitoes and other insects,  avoid wearing heavy perfumes, especially floral scents, wear light-colored clothing free of floral patterns, and keep a lid on sugary drinks like sodas. For mild insect bite reactions, patients may take acetaminophen for pain and an antihistamine for swelling. 

 

Seek emergency care when the following symptoms are present: 

 

Difficulty breathing

Hives, itchiness, and swelling over large areas of the body

Swelling of the face or tongue

Dizziness or feeling faint 

 

Hydrate 

 

Dehydration and heat stroke are common problems in the summer months, although, both can be easily prevented. Ensure everyone has plenty of water when spending time outdoors, take breaks in the shade whenever possible, and try to plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.  

 

Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include:

 

a core temperature of 104F or higher

confusion

rapid heart rate and breathing

headache 

nausea or vomiting

 

If you fear someone may be experiencing heat stroke or severe dehydration, call 911. Get the individual indoors as soon as possible, cool them with ice packs or wet washcloths, give them water and have them lie down while you wait for emergency assistance. 

 

Cover up

 

Sunlight can be dangerous for your eyes and skin. Wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Stay in the shade, wear hats and apply sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage every two hours while outdoors. 

 

Prevent food poisoning 

 

Picnic season is often when many individuals encounter food poisoning. To avoid it, practice the following: 

 

Clean your hands and the surfaces where you are preparing food well.

Keep raw meats wrapped and away from other food items. 

Have a meat thermometer with you for grilling to ensure meat reaches a safe internal temperature. 

Keep everything cool as long as possible. Store perishable picnic foods in an insulated cooler of ice. Keep whatever you will eat last at the bottom of the cooler. 

 

 

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy summer. If you need emergency medical care however, we’re here for you at the Drewry Family Emergency Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital!

 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Rising Star Award Honorees

Rising Star Award Honorees

Becky Holland of Accounting and Billie New IT Director Allbritton of Guest Relations, were honored last week with a Rising Star Award. They were nominated by a patient for their help resolving transportation problems. The patient stated they both treated her like family and the care they showed is reflective of the amazing care she has received throughout the organization.

people on crowded beach

Zika Impact on 2019 Summer Travel

In 2015 and 2016 especially, pregnant women or those hoping to conceive faced the Zika virus. This mosquito borne illness spreads mostly through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes live in tropical, subtropical, and some temperate climates. They are also the main species of mosquito that spread other illnesses such as dengue and chikungunya.

 

Why Zika is a concern for women 

 

Zika passes from infected men to women during intercourse. Zika may also pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause an increased risk of pregnancy loss and severe birth defects such as microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition that causes a smaller than normal head and developmental issues. 

 

How does Zika spread? 

 

Because the Aedes mosquitoes live near and feed on people, they are more likely to spread the virus than other mosquitoes. The CDC estimates that this mosquito can thrive within the majority of the U.S. states and countries throughout the world. Given this great range, completely avoiding Zika risk is impossible although there are certain precautions travelers can take to avoid the illness. 

 

What is the current risk for Zika worldwide?

 

No country is currently reporting a Zika outbreak. However, the CDC’s most recent stance regarding the illness is that “Zika continues to be a problem in many parts of the world.” 1 Those pregnant or planning a pregnancy should take precautions. 

 

What should pregnant couples or couples trying to conceive do to prevent Zika?

 

The CDC recommends that pregnant women should avoid traveling to any area during a Zika outbreak. Even though no countries are experiencing an outbreak at this time, it is also recommended that pregnant women or those planning to conceive in upcoming months talk to their health care provider to weigh the risks before travel. 

 

The CDC also recommends men who are exposed to the virus use condoms throughout their partner’s pregnancy. If a man is exposed and planning a pregnancy, trying to conceive should be delayed and condoms should be used for three months. 

 

Have concerns about Zika? Reach out to a CCMH Provider via our online directory at CCMHhealth.com/Directory.

 

Source

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika Travel Information. 2019.

 

Disclaimer 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. CCMH does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the CCMH website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

LCHC Logo

LCHC Set to Open Two New Clinics

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is excited to announce the opening of two new LCHC clinics to serve more families in Comanche County. On July 22, a brand new LCHC Cache clinic will open its doors to that community located at 512 C Avenue. in Cache. LCHC is also in the process of transitioning the OU Family Medicine Residency Clinic located at 1202 NW Arlington Avenue in Lawton into a new LCHC clinic that will be named LCHC Midtown.

Comanche County Hospital and LCHC leaders have been working with the OU Residency Program leadership since the announcement of closing down their Southwest Oklahoma Family Medicine Residency Program and clinic in Lawton. LCHC Midtown will continue to serve the current patients of the clinic and provide healthcare to new patients in and around the Lawton area.

“LCHC is pleased to step in and continue providing vital healthcare for this area of the community; therefore no patient will have to go without consistent care. CCMH, LCHC & OU leaders are actively working to minimize any downtime during this transition,” said Sean McAvoy, Executive Director of Primary Care.

The LCHC Midtown has been able to employ most of the current staff. The new clinic will be staffed by Dr. Daniel Joyce, Tom Mills PA-C, and Amy Hannington PA-C. This clinic will also add a pediatric provider in August. The LCHC Midtown is scheduled to open on August 12th. Open Houses are being scheduled for both new clinics, the times and dates to be determined.

Lawton Community Health Center has served the residents of Comanche County and surrounding counties since January 2008. LCHC clinics are located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin and Marlow communities. LCHC provides family practice and pediatric services to individuals with Medicaid (SoonerCare), Medicare, and private insurance. LCHC also provides healthcare to those residents who do not have health insurance on a sliding fee schedule. Patients are required to provide proof of income to ensure they receive discounts for which they are eligible.

For more information or to make an appointment with LCHC Midtown please call 580-248-2288 or LCHC Cache please call 580-699-7361.

fireworks in the sky

Fireworks Safety

The holidays make up many of our best memories. No one wants those wonderful memories tainted by an unsafe mistake, yet nearly 12,000 people received medical care due to fireworks injuries in 2017. 1 Here are our tips to ensure your family enjoys a holiday that is both fun and safe! 

 

The dangers of fireworks

 

Without proper use, fireworks can cause eye injuries and burns. Of course the safest way to deal with fireworks is not to set them off at your home and only attend public displays. However, many of us can’t resist the urge to enjoy them at our homes. Check with your city or police department to learn the days and hours fireworks are allowed. 

 

Fireworks safety tips

 

Check your fireworks labels. Legal fireworks have the manufacturer’s name and directions. Illegal fireworks do not have a label. Although banned in 1966, illegal fireworks still account for many firework related injuries. Never try to make your own fireworks!

 

Wear eye protection. 

 

Use fireworks outside only. Keep a bucket of water and water hose close in case of accidents.

 

Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any body part over them while lighting. 

 

Keep your distance from others setting off fireworks. You never know when fireworks may shoot in the wrong direction. 

 

Also, never point a firework at someone or throw it in their direction. 

 

You should store fireworks  in a cool, dry place. 

Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket. The friction may ignite them. 

 

Point fireworks away from homes. Keep them away from brush and leaves and flammable substances as well.

 

Light one firework at a time. Never place them in a container when lighting. 

 

Never relight a dud.

 

Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before placing  them in the trash can.

 

Don’t forget to secure your furry friends. Pets should stay indoors to reduce the chance of injury or running away. 

 

Fireworks safety for children 

 

Be sure to discuss fireworks safety and your expectations with your children. 

 

Sparklers are one of the most common injury-causing fireworks. If you allow your child to handle them, choose the kind that have a wooden handle so they are less likely to burn their hands. Try to keep them out of the wind so the sparks do not blow back on them. Also, ensure that they hold them away from their face, hair, and clothing.  It may surprise you to know that sparklers reach nearly 2,000 degrees and can cause serious burns! 

 

Don’t allow children to pick up fireworks pieces after your event. Some may still be hot or ignited. They may explode without warning.

 

If an injury happens

 

In the event of serious injury, seek immediate medical care. We’re here for you at the Drewry Family Emergency Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital .

 

If an eye injury happens

 

Do not  touch or rub they eye. This may cause more injury. 

Don’t flush the eye out with water or apply ointment. 

Remove the bottom of a paper cup and place it over the eye to protect it. 

Seek immediate medical attention. 

 

If someone receives a burn

 

Remove clothing from the affected area.

Seek immediate medical attention. 

 

We hope you have a happy and safe Independence Day! 

 

Source

1 Consumer Product Safety Commission. 2017 Fireworks Annual Report.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Residency Graduation

2019 Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine Graduates

Last Friday, five Family Medicine residents celebrated their graduation and the week prior four Emergency Medicine residents had their graduation. Both residency programs began in 2014 at CCMH. Dr. Karen Schafer, retired physician, was instrumental in getting the Family Medicine program established. Both residency programs are ACGME accredited. Our institutional sponsor is Oklahoma State University. CCMH is excited that some of the residents will stay on as physicians with the hospital. “As a highly under-served area for healthcare it’s important to ensure we have a mechanism to retain qualified physicians for our community and the surrounding areas. Statistics show that 50% of physicians stay in the area where they are trained. It’s a win win program for the residents, the hospital and the patients they serve. We are excited that many of our residents choose to stay with CCMH each year,” said Sharon Smith, Graduate Medical Education Administrator. Congratulations to all the graduates!

couple holding hands

Prediabetes and Infertility in Men

A couple typically receives their infertility diagnosis after not conceiving for one year of unprotected sex. When it comes to infertility, women often feel societal pressure to conceive. However, 40-50% of infertility is due to male factors. 1 New research released in 2018 may also give new insight into why some men are unable to impregnate their partners. This condition, prediabetes, is often undetected and underdiagnosed.

 

What is prediabetes?

 

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. However, these levels are not as high as when type 1 or type 2 diabetes is present. These levels indicate that the body isn’t using its own supply of insulin efficiently.  

 

What does the research show?

 

In the study, researchers checked the glucose levels of 744 men who had not impregnated their partners after 12 months. 15.4% of the participants had fasting and after-meal blood glucose levels in the prediabetes category. 2 This is between 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and 125 mg/dl at fasting. At two hours after drinking 75 grams of glucose, it is between 140 and 199 mg/dl. It can also be measured by having an average blood glucose reading, known as a hemoglobin A1C reading, of at least 5.7%.

 

What is the link between prediabetes and infertility?

 

Without treatment or positive lifestyle changes, prediabetes can become type 2 diabetes. Diabetes affects overall sperm quality. Sperm motility also decreases. Sperm DNA integration is affected and semen volume decreases as well.

 

What factors increase the risk of prediabetes?

 

Always take prediabetes seriously. It’s a warning sign that you may develop type 2 diabetes. Those who meet any of the following criteria are more likely to have prediabetes according to the Center for Disease Control:

 

Having a close family member with type 2 diabetes

Age in the mid-forties or older

Exercising less than three times a week

Weighing over the recommendation for your height

Being of certain ethnicities: Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Pacific Islander, Native American, and some Asian American ethnicities

 

How can men combat prediabetes?

 

According to the American Diabetes Association, weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes can help lower blood glucose levels into the nondiabetic range. This range is less than 100 mg/dl at fasting and not higher than 126 mg/dl two hours after eating.

 

Some recommended lifestyle changes include:

 

Losing 5 to 7% of your current body weight

Cooking foods with less fat by roasting, broiling, grilling, steaming or baking rather than frying

Exercising for at least 30 minutes at least five days a week

 

 

Are you diabetic? Learn about diabetic care at CCMH by visiting CcmhHealth.com/Diabetes-Services.

 

Sources

 

1 Naina Kumar and Amit Kant Singh. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. 2015 October.

 

2 Luca Boeri, Paolo Capogrosso,  Eugenio Ventimiglia, et al.  BJUI International. Undiagnosed prediabetes is highly prevalent in primary infertile men – results from a cross‐sectional study. 16 October 2018.

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

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