covid 19- grocery store

How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 When you Need to Go Out

Many in the community are practicing social distancing and getting out as little as possible. As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise in Comanche County, you may be getting nervous about having to be out for errands you cannot completely avoid such as occasional grocery shopping. Although feeling apprehensive about going out is understandable, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself while you are out. Here are a few:

 

 

Limit going inside businesses as much as possible

 

Many businesses, especially restaurants, are offering curbside delivery or drive-thru options as dining in is not an option right now. If you’re unsure if the business you need to visit is offering such services, it does not hurt to call and ask them if they would mind accommodating you.

Also, consider having essentials delivered or take turns running errands with a friend. The fewer people out on any given day, the better! If you are elderly or in the high-risk category for contracting COVID-19 due to health reasons, you may wish to reach out to a friend or neighbor. He or she would probably love to help you out. If you know of someone who is unemployed due to the outbreak, he or she could probably use some extra cash in exchange for helping you out as well. Lawton Family YMCA is also offering to pick up groceries for seniors who order groceries through the Walmart grocery app.

 

 

Make use of technology

 

You may wish to ask simple things like documents to be mailed or emailed to you instead of visiting a business. Take advantage of video chat options like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to conduct business whenever possible.

If you have a non-urgent medical need, call your physician first to see what your options are. Many people also have access to free telemedicine services through the insurance provider. Memorial Medical Group is also providing access to telemedicine through many of our clinics.

 

 

Make a protective masks

 

When you do go out, try to wear a protective mask. Please remember our people working on the “front lines” of this epidemic. Our health professionals, restaurant workers, grocery clerks, etc., need masks and gloves more than anyone. Protecting them protects us all as they will likely be exposed to more carriers of COVID-19 than most of us.

However, you can find instructions on how to sew a homemade mask. Even if it isn’t the N-95 masks that provide the best protection, it can still keep you from touching your face which in return could possibly keep you from contracting the virus.

Think outside the box on how to protect your hands. Don’t touch items you don’t intend to buy. Use another type of plastic besides gloves. There have been people using bags used to clean up after their dogs when they take them outside to “take care of business!”

 

 

Sanitize your hands often

 

Sanitize your hands before going in and after leaving a business. If you can’t find sanitizer, you can make your own using alcohol and aloe vera gel.

 

 

Change your clothing as soon as possible

 

Before entering your home, remove your shoes and spray them with disinfectant. Remove clothes as soon as you enter and put them directly into the washing machine. You can wash them later if needed, but this keeps you from having to pick them up again before washing.

 

 

Sanitize items and let them sit

 

The COVID-19 virus can last hours to days on items depending on what material the item is made of. If possible, seal the bag grocery items are in to protect them, spray with disinfectant spray, and let it sit for a few days.

 

 

Wipe down surfaces touched by new items entering your home

 

If you can’t find disinfectant wipes in stores, you can make those too using paper towels and rubbing alcohol to wipe down surfaces.

 

 

Don’t allow anyone else to put items purchased away

To limit exposure to others living in the household, only the person who picked up items should put them away. This will help limit the exposure to any germs lingering on the items from others who have not yet touched them.

 

 

Have other questions about COVID-19? Visit ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources.

 

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.

coronavirus annoucement

Public Health Announcement: Coronavirus

Update 3-25-2020

COMANCHE COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ANNOUNCES TWO POSITIVE CASES FOR COVID-19 IN COMANCHE COUNTY

CCMH healthcare officials received COVID-19 test results back this morning of two patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Comanche County.
One patient tested through hospital screening protocol at CCMH and the other patient was screened and tested at the Assessment drive-through Center. Both patients and staff that have been in contact with these patients have been notified and all safeguards remain in place.
CCMH is in direct contact with the Comanche County Health Department who is taking the lead in the case investigations.

These two positive test results came in after the daily numbers are reported to the Oklahoma State Health Department and may not reflect in today’s report that is released.

Since January, Comanche County Memorial Hospital has been working diligently to take precautionary measures for the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to follow the CDC guidelines and use best practices to protect our patients, staff and community.

As a reminder, NO visitors are permitted in the hospital with very few exceptions such as end-of-life situations.

If you have general questions about coronavirus please call the Oklahoma State Department of Health call center at 1-877-215-8336.

If you have minor symptoms please call your primary care provider. (If you do not have a primary care provider you can call our referral line at 510-7030.)

If you are experiencing shortness of breath, respiratory conditions or fever please call the Emergency Department a head of time to let them know you are on your way.

Here are steps you can take to protect your health and the health of those around you:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social Distancing.
  • Stay home and away from others if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

For more information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), please visit the following sites:
www.ccmhhealth.com
www.coronavirus.health.ok.gov
www.cdc.gov

 

Update 3-23-2020

New Hospital Visitor Restrictions Start March 24

The new policy further limits visitors to the CCMH facility. Starting Tuesday, March 24, NO visitors will be allowed for patients in the hospital with a few exceptions. One adult visitor will be permitted for labor and delivery, NICU and pediatrics for the entire length of the hospitalization. Exceptions will be made for Emergency Surgeries during the time of the procedure, and once the patient awakes, visitors will need to leave. Exceptions are also being made for end-of-life situations. These visitors will still be screened in the hospital’s front lobby. These new restrictions on patient visitation are in place to protect our patients, their families, and our CCMH healthcare providers and staff, and to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19.

 

Starting Today All Employees Are Being Screened For Temperatures

All CCMH, MMG and LCHC employees will be screened for temperatures when arriving to work. Most employees will be screened in their departments. Others will be screened at the front lobby entrance, Outpatient Center entrance, and the TMC entrance. Please check with your supervisor or manager to find your screening location.

 

Text Alerts for Clinic Visits

Patients can now send a text message to a specific phone number that will be listed on each clinic’s door that they have arrived for their appointment. The clinic will acknowledge the patient and tell them to wait in their car until they get a text for them to come in. Each clinic will be calling and letting patients with upcoming appointments know that this texting capability is available.

 

Televisits Available

Memorial Medical Group is excited to announce that we are now able to offer televisits. Your provider may be contacting you to reschedule your appointment to be done via telemedicine if medically appropriate. These visits can be done from your home computer with a webcam, or from our HEALOW App on your cell phone or tablet. When your appointment is changed to a televisit, you will receive an email with instructions on how to join your visit all from the comfort of your home.

 —

 

Update 3-20-2020

Weekend hours for the Assessment drive-through Center are 2pm-4pm!

Saturday and Sunday hours for the CCMH and LCHC Assessment Drive-Through Center are 2pm-4pm at 3811 West Gore.  The drive-through clinic is for those who are experiencing a fever.  We are asking people to please self screen first – if you do not have a fever, please do not visit the clinic at this time.  People will be screened in their vehicles throughout the entire process for everyone’s safety.  Signage will be posted on the corner of Gore and Arlington.  Drivers will follow around the back side of the Lawton Community Health Center Clinic by using Arlington street.  Directional signage will also be posted on where to enter for step one screening.  Initial screening will include temperature checks and other vitals to determine if you will move on to the next screening station.  Registration will take place for those moving through the process; this process may include a flu test if necessary and, for those who meet the criteria, a specimen for COVID-19 may be collected and sent for testing.  COVID-19 testing is still not widely available for everyone who wishes to be tested.  Please bring your identification and any insurance information with you to the Assessment Drive-Through Center.  It will be open from 2pm – 6pm during the week as long as supplies last.

Elective, non-urgent surgical procedures postponed

Comanche County Memorial Hospital continues to take precautionary measures to safeguard our patients, staff and community from the coronavirus (COVID-19). CCMH Administration has decided to postpone elective, non-urgent surgical procedures that can be rescheduled and will not significantly impact a patient’s health.

This recommendation comes from both the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The decision was not taken lightly as we know it will inconvenience patients, impact our staff and providers. The reasons for postponing are two-fold: helping in our efforts to preserve supplies and personal protective equipment and reducing the risk of coronavirus spread.

Emergency and urgent surgeries and procedures will continue. These cases include any procedures that should be done right away or within a 4-week time period because postponing could negatively affect the patient’s health. Staff will be contacting patients as their cases become eligible for potential postponement.  You can still enter The Outpatient Center for routine blood work. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.


 

Update 3-18-2020

Assessment Drive-Through Center opening tomorrow at 2pm at 3811 West Gore

Starting March 19 at 2pm until 6pm Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Lawton Community Health Center will open up an Assessment Drive-Through Center at 3811 West Gore for those who are experiencing a fever.  We are asking people to please self screen first – if you do not have a fever, please do not visit the assessment center at this time.  People will be screened in their vehicles throughout the entire process for everyone’s safety.  Signage will be posted on the corner of Gore and Arlington.  Drivers will follow around the back side of the Lawton Community Health Center Clinic by using Arlington street.  Directional signage will also be posted on where to enter for step one screening.  Initial screening will include temperature checks and other vitals to determine if you will move on to the next screening station.  Registration will take place for those moving through the process; this process may include a flu test if necessary and, for those who meet the criteria, a specimen for COVID-19 may be collected and sent for testing.  COVID-19 testing is still not widely available for everyone who wishes to be tested.  Please bring your identification and any insurance information with you to the Assessment Drive-Through Center.  It will be open from 2pm – 6pm daily as long as supplies last.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital continues to monitor the ongoing coronavirus situation. We are following all guidelines and recommendations from local and state agencies and reputable sources of best practices. While we have restricted visitor access to the facility to one support person per patient for most patients, we continue to work with our community to ensure our patients feel protected but not alone.

Following Mayor Stan Booker’s proclamation yesterday, we have closed our dining room to further promote social distancing in the facility. Our dietary employees are continuing to provide a wide variety of food options in a to-go format. The cafeteria is not open to the public at this time, but remains ready to serve our employees and support persons of our patient population.

Updated 3-16-2020

CCMH Visitation Restrictions starting Tuesday, March 17th.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital remains committed to serving our community’s needs while keeping our patients, staff and visitors safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17th at noon, Comanche County Memorial Hospital will be restricting visitation to all patients in the hospital. Each patient will be allowed one support person who will be welcome to visit between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM. Outside of these hours, visitation exceptions will be made for some situations, such as during end-of-life. These support persons will be screened at the point of entry into the facility for symptoms. If they are symptomatic, they will not be allowed entry into the facility. We encourage family and friends of our patients to utilize phone calls and video calls during this time to support the emotional well-being of their loved one.

Employees are encouraged to check their temperature daily prior to coming to work. If an employee has a temperature greater than 100.4, or develops respiratory symptoms such as coughing, they should stay home and contact their manager. All Outpatient Services such as appointments and procedures are still taking place.

In preparation for the potential spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our area, we also implemented precautionary measures to our Emergency Department last Friday. To help reduce the potential transmission of any respiratory illness, we designated two areas for check-in at our ED. Upon entrance to the ED, individuals with flu-like symptoms will be directed to the west lobby and all other emergencies will be directed to the east lobby.

Due to recent CMS guidance, McMahon Tomlinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is restricting all unnecessary visitors (including families) from entering the facility with exceptions to end-of-life situations. Our Silver Linings inpatient unit has also restricted all visitors as well.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is currently working to establish an Assessment drive-through Clinic off campus later this week to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.  More information to come on this initiative.

To date, there have been no positive test results for the coronavirus at CCMH.

Yesterday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health removed the pre-authorization requirement for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. There are also several more third party labs coming online with the ability to test for coronavirus. This means testing is now more accessible than ever before.

With the increase in testing nationwide, we will begin to see a spike in cases. We want to stress that this increase in cases is normal and expected with an increase in testing. Testing is a critical piece of containment strategy. It is important to know who may be infected so the spread can be contained. We want to assure the public that we have been anticipating this increase in positive cases and have plans in place to care for those who need medical care.

We would like to remind our community that you do not need to come to the hospital to be tested. This can be done on an outpatient basis in coordination with county and state department of health. For those who have questions or concerns about coronavirus, or who think they may need to be tested, the state department of health has set up a hotline 877-215-8336.

For more information and the latest updates on COVID-19, you can visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov and www.cdc.gov.

 


Updated 3-14-2020

At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Group, Lawton Community Health Center clinics and McMahon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, we continue to monitor the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. As we partner with the Centers for Disease Control, the American Hospital Association and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, we are prepared should a case of COVID-19 present at one of our facilities. However, we are asking for the public’s help to prevent the spread of the virus in our communities!

 

We are asking that anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms (Primarily fever above 100.4, cough or shortness of breath) to call your healthcare provider BEFORE physically heading to a clinic or the Emergency Department. We will work with you on the best way to be seen for care without potentially exposing other patients and families during your visit. This type of social distancing has shown to lower the exposure rate and will help us curb contamination that could affect others visiting our facilities for care.

 

If an individual is seriously ill and requires urgent attention because of significant respiratory symptoms (severe shortness of breath) or other critical symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention at our Emergency Department.

 

We also want you to know that we have changed the Triage in our Emergency Department. We are separating patients with flu-like symptoms into one area. Other patients will be seen in a different portion of the Emergency Department. We believe these changes will also further safeguard patients and staff.

 

Because of the National Declaration of Emergency status for COVID-19, we may need to expand our bed and care capacity. We are considering options for this. We will keep you informed. Our community depends upon our talents and expertise. It is our desire to remain the Healthcare Facilities of choice for excellence in healthcare!

 

IN THE FUTURE:

We are also encouraging the limitation of visitors to patients that are in the hospital. We do not want our patients to be exposed to additional germs. We are encouraging all visitors to park in our garage and will be asking staff NOT to use the parking garage for ANY parking. All levels of the garage should be used for visitors. We will be encouraging visitors for hospital patients to enter through the Main Lobby.

 

We want you to know how important you are to maintaining healthcare in our facilities!

     · Please take care of yourself;
     · Get adequate sleep.
     · Avoid large crowds.
     · Please plan for daycare.

 

 

Scott Michener, MD, CMO

Chris Ward, RN, MSN, CNO


 

 

 

Updated 3-10-2020

Comanche County Memorial Hospital remains committed to serving our community’s needs while keeping our staff, patients, and visitors safe. We have screening and isolation protocols in place for patients who may present with concerning signs or symptoms. These protocols are being continuously refined as new information comes in from our national, state, and local health partners. Communication is ongoing between senior leadership, infection prevention specialists, and staff on new developments and recommendations. We remain ready and able to provide care to patients and families with a wide variety of health concerns.

Our partnership with the community is vital to our success as the leading healthcare organization in our area. We encourage those who feel they may have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) to first seek advice from their primary care physicians by telephone. Testing is available through the Oklahoma State Department of Health for individuals who meet criteria, but it is not necessary for this testing to be performed in a hospital setting. The Oklahoma State Department of Health has established a hotline for members of the general public who are concerned they may have been exposed and may require testing. This call center will help guide individuals on current CDC recommendations. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 7 PM, and Saturday, 9 AM to 3 PM. Their phone number is 877-215-8336.

When possible, if you are seeking medical attention and have respiratory symptoms and/or a fever, and have recently traveled to a geographic area that has community spread of coronavirus, please call ahead and notify the clinic, urgent care, or emergency department of your impending arrival. This will allow these medical facilities to appropriately prepare a place for you so as not to expose others.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is working tirelessly to keep our community safe and informed.

 

 


March 5, 2020

 

COVID-19, otherwise known as the latest novel coronavirus, is on everyone’s mind (and news) these days. At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, we have been intensively preparing for this new illness, both internally and with our community partners. We are ready to serve the community’s needs and also to help you, our community family, navigate these concerning times.

While the standard advice for keeping yourself healthy is still in place (wash your hands, avoid sick people and large crowds where possible, and stay home if you are sick), the following is additional advice related to seeking care when you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19:

 

Stay Home

 

Many people are under the impression you must go to the hospital if you have or think you have, COVID-19. This is not the case. If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, home is the safest place for you! In the event you need to be tested for COVID-19, this can be done without you having to come to the hospital. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but have no symptoms, seek advice from your primary care provider.

 

Call Ahead

 

If you are sick and need to be seen, please call your primary care provider first. Your primary care provider can assist you with symptoms over the phone, and determine if you need to be seen for further follow-up. If you choose to seek treatment at an urgent care center, please call before arriving and tell them of your concerns (such as recent travel to a high-risk area or exposure to someone with COVID-19) so that they are prepared for your arrival. If you do not have a PCP then you can call our physician referral line to get a provider at 580-510-7030.

 

When to Seek Emergency Care

 

If you are having trouble breathing, chest pain, or are suffering similar emergent symptoms, please seek emergency care.

If you have traveled to a high-risk area recently and are concerned you may have COVID-19, or if you have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, and you decide to seek medical attention, please notify the staff at the location where you are seeking medical care IMMEDIATELY upon your arrival so that proper precautions to not spread the infection to others may take place. Public health is everyone’s responsibility!
family in social isolation

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family During Social Isolation

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many individuals and families are now finding themselves dealing with a whole new way of living in social isolation due to work being moved home and/ or schools closing. During these uncertain times, taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically is more important than ever!

 

Here are ten tips to help you navigate these challenging times.

 

Create a routine

 

Having a few “vacation days” from the norm can be enjoyable at first. Use the time to let yourself or your children enjoy sleeping in, wearing pajamas all day, watching movies or playing video or board games.

However, having a routine reduces stress on yourself and children. Lay our clothes and prepare meals for the next day. Establish hours for educational time as well as chores if your children are old enough. The more like “normal” this time feels, the easier it will be on all.

 

Be careful of what your kids overhear

 

Kids often pick up more adult conversation than you realize. You may want to save turning on the news until after they go to bed and limit the adult conversation they are exposed to regarding the coronavirus.

They may be too old for you to completely shield them from it, however. Just because they don’t ask you about it, doesn’t mean they aren’t internalizing some fear. Have conversations with your child as appropriate and let them ask questions. It may be a good time to have important science lessons with younger children about germs and how to prevent illnesses.

 

Accomplish something new

 

Now may be a great time to find some video tutorials and learn a new skill or hobby. Try a new workout, write the book you’ve always planned to but never find time for, learn a new instrument, or master a new recipe. You may even wish to include your children in learning a new skill you haven’t found the time for amidst a busy schedule.

 

Make a simple, flexible meal plan

 

To keep the spread of coronavirus to a minimum, it is best to limit your grocery trips as much as possible. Yet, many individuals are finding it difficult to find some basic necessities, finding availability for grocery pick up, and having to shop multiple stores.

To keep your shopping as simple as possible, make a list of basic but healthy meals and a list of needed ingredients. Attempt to buy the ingredients as you find them and rotate through this meal plan.

Now is also a great time to reach out to friends and neighbors that may have farm-fresh produce and meat. We are fortunate to be in an area where we have an abundance of possibilities!

 

Form a strategy for working efficiently

 

Parents that work from home regularly love the extra time with their children. However, working from home has its challenges and disadvantages. To be successful, it takes a lot of flexibility on the part of the employee and employer as well as time management strategies. Some parents get up before their children and work an hour or two. Some work an hour or two after bed.

Prepping the night before helps as well. Prep snacks, meals and sippy cups. This includes your own drinks and snacks.

Plan a fun activity for small children and rotate toys to maximize playtime.

 

Remember that the outdoors are not canceled

 

Some fresh air, sunshine, and activity does the body good! Just because you shouldn’t be in large groups of people right now, doesn’t mean you can’t be outside. Play in your yard if you have a nice area to do so, or plan an outing with your family. Now may be a great time to discover a new park or take advantage of a nice spring day and visit the wildlife refuge.

 

Give each other space when necessary

 

Constantly being together has its challenges. Create boundaries to ensure everyone gets the peace and quiet they need. You could create a fun space for children with bean bags, or other alternative seating or even make a tent with blankets. Set aside an hour a day where everyone reads or listens to music in their rooms.

Parents, find some time to unwind and enjoy the quiet alone after kids go to bed. You deserve it!

 

Clean

 

Not only is it a good idea to sanitize to ward off illness, but decluttering is a great way to improve your mood. Psychologists say it is even important for your mental health. Now may be a great time to straighten up the garage, organize your home office, or accomplish whatever other cleaning task that always gets put off. You never know what items you are ready to get rid of that someone needs during this time.

 

Find your outlet

 

There are many ways to help yourself combat all the emotions in these times of uncertainty.

Journaling is a great outlet that boosts your mood.

Exercising is another mood booster which you should be doing anyway to stay healthy!

Doing something kind for others is also an excellent way to put a positive spin on the situation.
Offer to pick up groceries and other necessities for an elderly neighbor or make cards for elderly patients quarantined in local nursing facilities. Help stock a local food pantry since many children are unable to get a needed meal at school at this time.

 

Keep in touch with friends and family

 

Although it isn’t the same as a good old fashioned gettogether, technology does help when we are in isolation away from dear friends and family members. Social media, emails, texts and FaceTime make it easier for keeping up with those we care about.

 

 

Check out how we are working to keep our community safe here: ccmhhealth.com/coronavirus-annoucement.

 

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.

tick

Protecting Your Family and Pets from Ticks

When you think about tick-related illnesses, there is a good chance you think of Lyme disease. However, Oklahoma is consistently one of the least-affected states for Lyme disease while even neighboring states report many cases each year. In Oklahoma, the main tick-borne illnesses include Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever .

 

 

What are the symptoms of Ehrlichiosis?

 

If a tick carrying the bacterium that causes ehrlichiosis feeds on you for at least 24 hours, you may begin to show symptoms. The symptoms will appear within 14 days of the bite:

 

Headache

Mild fever

Muscle aches

Chills

Cough

Joint pain

Nausea

Rash

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Loss of appetite

Fatigue

Confusion

 

Cases of ehrlichiosis vary in severity. Some patients may have symptoms so mild that they never seek medical attention. In best-case scenarios, the body fights off the illness on its own without medical intervention. If the symptoms are severe, however, hospitalization may be needed if patients put off treatment.

 

What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever?

 

Symptoms usually appear within the first week although it may take up to two weeks. Initial signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever may mimic other illnesses leaving many without proper treatment initially. The symptoms include:

Chills

High fever

Muscle aches

Severe headache

Confusion or other neurological changes

Nausea and vomiting

Red, non-itchy rash

 

Tick bites become common starting in the spring but can occur year-around during mild winters. As we go into the time of the year when we enjoy more time outdoors, be on the lookout for ticks on your children, pets and yourself. To prevent tick bites, the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:

 

How do I prevent tick bites?

 

Exercise caution in areas that are grassy, heavily wooded or leaf-filled. Wear protective clothing that covers as much as possible when hiking or walking in these types of areas.

Wear protective clothing and bug repellent containing DEET when hiking or walking through tall grass. When coming inside from outdoors, shower within two hours. Thoroughly wash and check crevices where ticks could hide. Discuss preventative measures with your veterinarian for your pets and thoroughly check their fur on a regular basis.

 

Tricks for tick removal

 

Remove ticks immediately upon finding them on you with tweezers. Avoid squeezing the tick and pull slowly to avoid leaving part behind or causing the tick to go into the skin deeper. Then, dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet. Wash the affected area with soap and water. Call your physician if you begin experiencing any tick illness-related symptoms.

Make a practice of tossing your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before washing them. Ticks are not easy to drown, but they cannot withstand dry environments. Therefore, even a short dryer cycle should be sufficient to suffocate and kill them.

 

If you are concerned due to exposure to a tick and have other questions, reach out to our CCMH Physicians. You can make an appointment today by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Providers. 

 

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.

worst foods for heart

10 Foods That Destroy a Healthy Heart

February is Heart Month. There’s no better time to make a decision to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy for years to come than right now! Here are 10 foods that you should save for occasional treats or find healthy swaps whenever possible: 

 

Deep-fried foods

Fried snacks, fried chicken, French fries, etc.  increase your risk of heart disease. Conventional frying methods create trans fats. Frans tats are a type of fat that raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. 

If you crave fried foods, look for alternative recipes. Examples include recipes that bake, air fry or use healthier oils. Many of these recipes also use mock “vegetable” versions or alternate batters. 

 

Cured and processed meats 

Meats such as sausage and bacon are often high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options, however, tend to be very high in sodium. A few thin slices of deli meat may have half your daily recommended amount of salt! 

High sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, and avoiding extra salt can greatly improve it. 

 

Fast-food burgers

Saturated fats may contribute to heart disease, their relationship isn’t entirely clear. In general, however, saturated fats from animals, especially in combination with carbohydrates, appear to have a negative effect on heart health. Fast- food restaurants tend to use lower quality ingredients as well as unhealthy cooking methods. Avoiding them is a good way to be kind to your heart. 

 

Candy

Diets high in added sugar may help contribute to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

 

Juices and soft drinks

Check your beverage labels carefully. Many soft drinks and juices contain a ridiculous amount of sugar!

 

Diet soda

You would think the fat-free and zero-calorie version of your favorite soft drink may be a good solution. It may be fat-free and zero-calorie, however, some research suggests that the chemicals in diet soda may alter gastrointestinal bacteria. Altered gut bacteria makes people more prone to weight gain. 

 

Pastries and cookies

Baked goods, especially commercially produced ones, are full of sugar. They also likely contain saturated fats or trans fats.

 

Sugar filled cereals 

Like drinks, breakfast cereals often contain sugar. The consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars in the morning produces inflammation. This in return makes blood sugar go up and down, increasing sugar cravings throughout the day.  

 

Meat-lovers pizza

Pizza is a food that often contains too much sodium (salt) according to the American Heart Association. The more meat and cheese you add, the worse it gets. When eating pizza, limit yourself to one or two slices and opt for veggie-filled varieties. 

 

Margarine

Trans fats are common in sticks of margarine which are often marketed as a healthier alternative to butter. To be on the safe side, select a soft, spreadable margarine that contains no partially hydrogenated oils. Olive oil is also a better alternative. 

Our CCMH providers commit to helping you live a healthier lifestyle! Find a list of them by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Providers

 

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.

Healthy heart luncheon information

2nd February Heart Healthy Luncheon and Risk Assessments

Heart Healthy Luncheon

Featuring Dr. Eugen Ivan, Cardiologist

Monday, February 24th, 2020 • 11:30am – 1:00pm
CCMH Oakwood Conference Center
$10 per meal

The Lunch & Learn will feature information on the Healthy Heart Center and how cardiac rehab can help you recover from a heart attack. Comanche County Memorial Hospital is the only comprehensive heart program in southwest Oklahoma and Oklahoma’s First Primary Heart Attack Center!

 

Risk Assessments

Monday, February 24th, 2020 7:00am – 11:00am
CCMH Healthy Heart Center in the Outpatient Center
$20 per person

LIPID PANEL PROFILE
Includes: Total Cholesterol, LDL/HDL, Triglycerides and Hemoglobin A1C.
For best results, no eating or drinking 8 to 10 hours before blood draw. Morning medications may be taken with a small sip of water.

FREE Risk Assessment
Includes: Height & Weight, BMI and Blood Pressure.
Appointments required.

 

RSVP by Friday, February 21, by calling 580.585.5406 for Luncheon and Risk Assessments.

Healthy heart luncheon information

February Heart Healthy Luncheon and Risk Assessments

Heart Healthy Luncheon

Featuring Dr. Timothy Trotter, Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeon

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 • 11:30am – 1:00pm
CCMH Oakwood Conference Center
$10 per meal

The Lunch & Learn will feature information on bypass surgery & heart valve replacement, when surgery is needed and what to expect. Comanche County Memorial Hospital is the only comprehensive heart program in southwest Oklahoma and Oklahoma’s First Primary Heart Attack Center!

 

Risk Assessments

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:00am – 11:00am
CCMH Healthy Heart Center in the Outpatient Center
$20 per person

LIPID PANEL PROFILE
Includes: Total Cholesterol, LDL/HDL, Triglycerides and Hemoglobin A1C.
For best results, no eating or drinking 8 to 10 hours before blood draw. Morning medications may be taken with a small sip of water.

FREE Risk Assessment
Includes: Height & Weight, BMI and Blood Pressure.
Appointments required. RSVP by Friday, February 14, by calling 580.585.5406 for Luncheon and Risk Assessments.

woman with coronavirus

Coronavirus: What Oklahomans Need to Know

Concerning health news broke in late December as coronavirus, discovered in Wuhan, China reached the public’s ears. The number of those affected rose swiftly, reaching several countries because of international travel. As of today, January 28th, more than 4,600 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China with 106 deaths reported. 1

 

Why is China so greatly affected? 

 

The virus is a novel coronavirus – a member of the coronavirus family previously unknown. Coronaviruses originate in animals. Many of those infected in China frequented the wholesale seafood market in Wuhan. This market sells both live and freshly slaughtered animals. New viruses that raise concern among health experts often start with an animal host. Examples of such illnesses include Ebola and flu.

 

What is a coronavirus?

 

Coronaviruses cause common colds and other upper respiratory infections. These viruses are called zoonoses. Certain animals are affected, and they spread the virus to other animals. Coronaviruses have the potential to affect humans. This occurs more commonly when a mutation in the virus occurs. 

 

The particulars of how this form of coronavirus spreads are not fully known. However, coronaviruses usually spread through droplets of large particles that can only be suspended in the air for three to six feet before dissipation. Varicella (chickenpox) or measles spread through smaller droplets and over much greater distances. Some coronaviruses have also previously been discovered in the stool of certain patients.

 

Given this knowledge, coronavirus is likely spread through sneezing and coughing. At this time, we do not know whether another route of transmission such as fecal-oral contact could spread the virus.

 

What are the symptoms of this new coronavirus from China?

 

From those affected in China, we can confirm that the virus can cause pneumonia. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Some early cases reported non-respiratory symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. 

 

Most affected recover in a few days. Those at risk for experiencing pneumonia and other complications include the very young, elderly and those with compromised immunity. Many of the fatal cases of the virus occurred in patients who were already in poor health.

 

How do I prevent coronavirus?

 

All the typical steps to preventing illness apply to preventing this virus: 

Wash your hands regularly. 

Cover coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow. 

Avoid touching your nose, mouth or hands. 

Stay clear of those with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and a runny nose. 

Stay home if you have a fever.

 

At what point should I go to the doctor if I have coronavirus symptoms?

 

Treat any normal, minor respiratory symptoms at home unless you have recently traveled to China or come in contact with someone who has. It is not necessary to visit a doctor unless you have a persistent cough or additional symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, or feel very unwell.

 

How is coronavirus treated?

 

Chinese health authorities have added the virus’s full genome in international databases so scientists can study it further. There are no approved antivirals for this type of coronavirus. 

 

When needed, care in an intensive care unit (ICU) can be lifesaving for seriously ill patients. Such patients receive fluids and support for their lungs. 

 

How does coronavirus compare to other viruses?

 

It is unknown how serious coronavirus is at this time. Based on numbers from China alone, the mortality rate is less than 1%. Even 1% is likely an overestimate since data may not include cases that are unreported from those who recovered without seeking medical care. 

 

To compare, flu typically also has a mortality rate less than 1% worldwide. The death rate of Sars, another coronavirus from the early 2000’s, was more than 10%. 

 

Should I be concerned about coronavirus? 

 

Oklahomans, as with all US residents have a very low risk of catching this form of coronavirus. Two Oklahoma residents who recently traveled to China are among the more than 100 being tested for the virus in the US. The results have not yet been made available to the public. 

 

We are much more likely to come down with the flu. Consider receiving the flu vaccine if you have not done so. Reducing flu cases will reduce the burden on health services should the outbreak turn into a larger problem. Although you are not guaranteed to remain flu-free, studies demonstrate that hospitalization, complications, ICU admission, and death are less likely to occur in flu patients who received the vaccine. 

 

Healthcare professionals may be at risk if they treat a patient who traveled to China recently. 

 

Soon, we will learn exactly how contagious the coronavirus is. Cases of death due to coronavirus will likely climb due to travel and the rapid spread the illness has seen, but this does not mean we should panic. 

 

As more information becomes available from public health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we will share this information to help you and your family remain healthy. 

 

Travel to China has greatly decreased to help stop the spread, and New Year’s celebrations in the country have mostly been canceled. The city of Wuhan, Hong Kong, and some other Chinese cities are on lockdown.

 

As always, our CCMH Providers are here for you if you have any concerns.

 

Source

1 Helen Regan, Steve George, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt and Meg Wagner. CNN. Hong Kong closes China borders as Wuhan coronavirus spreads. 28 Jan. 2020.

 

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.

 

 

Yellow Dot Program Launch

First Responders and Lawton Community Leaders launched the first Yellow Dot program in Oklahoma on Thursday. 25,000 dots and forms are making their way into the community. The program is sponsored by Lawton Community Health Center and BancFirst, and is FREE to everyone. Pick up your packet at one of the locations listed, complete the form, attach your picture, put the form in a zip lock baggie and put it in your glove box. Then attach the Yellow Dot to the back window of your vehicle. That’s it! If you are in a car accident, first responders will see the Yellow Dot on your back window and know to look in the glove box for your medical information. Having this crucial information during the first hour following a traumatic event could be the difference between life and death. Get your Yellow Dot packet here at CCMH today!

Thanksgiving Dinner dishes on a table

Thanksgiving Food Safety by Meagan Garibay, RN-BSN, CIC, Infection Preventionist Comanche County Memorial Hospital

With Thanksgiving not too far away, everyone is beginning to have visions of turkey legs and mashed potatoes dancing in their heads. Unfortunately, that Thanksgiving meal can come back to haunt you if it is cooked or stored improperly. Here are some tips to keep you on the couch with a full belly instead of a sick one!

 

THAWING A TURKEY SAFELY

  • Always keep your turkey in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw it, and in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

  • When you’re ready to thaw it, there’s a few different methods you can follow for safe thawing:

    • The refrigerator is the safest and most recommended method for thawing your bird. The rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours for every 4–5 pounds. Once it is thawed, it will keep just fine in the fridge for an additional 1–2 days before it needs to be cooked. It is recommended you place the turkey in a large dish on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to prevent raw turkey juices from leaking over other foods. Example: A 20 pound turkey needs at least 4 days to thaw in the fridge, and is safe in the fridge for up to a week. This turkey is safe to go in to the fridge on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

    • Using cold water to thaw a turkey is a bit more labor intensive, but it’s faster than the fridge method. Submerge the frozen turkey in cold water and change the cold water every 30 minutes. Thawing times will vary based on how large your turkey is. A turkey thawed using this method must be cooked immediately after thawing is complete. Do not use lukewarm, warm, or hot water for this method — it may thaw the bird faster, but it will also increase the danger of food-borne illness.

    • Using the microwave to thaw the turkey is the fastest method and is acceptable, but it is the least recommended method. To use this method, you would place the frozen turkey in the microwave (if it fits!) and use the defrost setting, based on weight of the turkey (in general, it will take about 6 minutes per pound). A turkey thawed using this method must be cooked immediately after thawing is complete.

  • Other methods, such as thawing the turkey on the countertop, are not recommended — the risk of food-borne illness goes up considerably when using these methods.

  • Can you cook a frozen turkey? Absolutely! If your turkey is just a little frozen on Thanksgiving morning, it will take just a little longer to cook. A frozen solid turkey will take about 50% longer to cook than a thawed turkey. 

  • Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature at the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing, and the thickest part of the turkey breast. 

 

GENERAL FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES

  • The “danger zone” for food is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When perishable food (cooked or uncooked) sits out for longer than 2 hours in this temperature range, your risk of getting a food-borne illness from eating that food goes up. Stick food in the refrigerator within 2 hours to keep everybody safe from getting sick!

  • Ensure food, especially meats, are cooked to the recommended internal temperature.

  • Wash your hands frequently — especially when handling raw foods, and after using the bathroom.

 

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