smiling girl outside

The Difference Between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke: When to Sweat It and Seek Care

Overheating is common for those who seek more time in the sun. However, heat exhaustion is a serious concern. If left untreated, it could result in a life-threatening situation known as a Heat Stroke. Heat Strokes occur when your body temperature rises to 103 degrees F or higher. The condition is most commonly experienced during the summer months. This is due to humidity and the sun being high when we spend more time outdoors.

 

Unsure of how to differentiate between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke? Read more to learn about the signs and symptoms of each and how to treat them fast! This action could help save your life or the life of someone you love.

 

 

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke?

 

Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions. Heat exhaustion begins with general muscle weakness, sudden excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, and possible fainting. A heat stroke is when your body’s internal temperature reaches over 103 degrees. You begin experiencing a loss or change of consciousness, agitated, unexplained behavior changes, hot, red, and dry skin.  All of these symptoms should be taken seriously. Call your medical professionals immediately upon onset. According to Healthline, If you experience heat exhaustion for an extended period of time, heatstroke may occur. While many experience heat exhaustion symptoms before heat stroke, it’s not always the case.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke:

 

There are many symptoms of a heat stroke. Be mindful if you or someone you know experiences the following while spending large amounts of time outdoors in the summer:

  • Sudden Severe Headache: It may be a migraine or just “any other headache.”  Be aware of any sudden headache onset, however. If you are spending time in the heat and high humidity, this could be a signal that our body is overheating fast.
  • Unexplained confusion or odd behavior. If someone suddenly shows signs of dizziness, confusion or agitation, loss of consciousness or disorientation, call 911. These are all beginning signs of a heat stroke.
  • Sudden rush of feeling cold and chills while sweating: When your body can’t regulate your temperature, it may send chills down your spine, literally. If you’re hot and sweating yet experiencing chills and a feeling of being cold, seek emergency care and take steps to cool down your body temperature fast.
  • Alteration in sweating. The Mayo Clinic states, “In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in a heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.” Pay attention to your skin and how you feel during strenuous activities while in a warm climate.
  • Racing Heart Rate, Rapid Breathing, Nausea, and vomiting. You could feel your heart rate increase rapidly without doing any strenuous activity and the culprit is a heat stroke. You may begin to feel sick to your stomach or physically vomit. If you experience any of these signs, it’s your body telling you to cool down, stat.

 

How to Treat Heat Stroke:

 

If you experience any of the symptoms above and suspect a heat stroke, call 911 and seek help from your local emergency care facility immediately. If you know someone who is experiencing heat exhaustion or who is beginning to show signs of a heat stroke, be sure to take them to a shaded area and apply cool compresses to their head, chest, neck, and/or back. You may also spray them with cool water from a nearby hose or use a sponge to apply cool water directly over their skin. Remove excess clothing.

 

Be careful not to cool off yourself or others too quickly by offering them ice water to drink.  Santosh Sinha, MD at Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield warns that by digesting ice cold water during a heat stroke will actually “constrict the capillaries, cause stomach cramps, and decrease the absorption rate”. The sudden rush of coldness in your body could cause more damage than good with a state similar to “shock”.

 

Who is Most At Risk of Heat Stroke?

 

According to the CDC, the following individuals are most at-risk for a heat stroke:

 

  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • Individuals who overexert during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation
  • People traveling from cooler climates to drastically warmer climates

 

How to Prevent Heat Stroke:

 

If you know you will be spending more time outside, be sure to dress in loose clothing made of lighter fabric. Avoid darker colors to prevent heat absorption. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. If you feel as though heat exhaustion is coming on fast, grab a sports drink with electrolytes to replenish what has been lost through sweat. Drink plenty of water every day and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol especially when you know you will be spending most of your day out in the heat.

 

If you or someone you know shows signs of extreme heat exhaustion or heat stroke, be sure to call 911 immediately. The Drewry Family Emergency Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital is ready to help you through any emergency you or a loved one are experiencing.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

woman in sun

How to choose the best sunscreen for your Summer Fun in the sun

Summer is in full swing! The sun is higher, hotter, and bound to bring on a surge of UV rays.  More and more activities also shift to the outdoors. While Vitamin D is a good thing, too much leads to cellular damage in the deeper layers of your epidermis. In fact, according to the University of Berkeley, we only need 15 minutes in the sun to absorb the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Just 15 minutes satisfies our daily needs! Any more than that may lead to long term damage without proper steps to protect ourselves.

 

So go to the store and snatch the first bottle of sunscreen off the shelf with the highest SPF, right? Wrong! Read on to sort through the many myths surrounding SPF and sunscreen options to ensure you get the best protection for you and your loved ones.

 

MYTH: The higher the SPF, the better the protection.

 

You rummage through your cabinets and find a sunscreen marked “SPF 100”. The squeeze bottle beside it is labeled as “SPF 30.” This means you should grab the SPF 100, right? Not exactly.

 

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), people who chose to lather up in 100 SPF did report fewer sunburns. However, those who chose aerosol sprays or non-certified water-resistant lotions showed less protection than those covered in lower SPF full-coverage lotions. Evaluate the factors that make a sunscreen effective, such as application and water/sweat resistance. Then, add in your SPF. Now, you’ve got an equation for the perfect amount of protection.

 

MYTH: If my sunscreen says “Waterproof”, I don’t have to reapply after getting in the water.

 

If you know you will be spending a day in the water, be sure to snag sunscreen that is marked “water-resistant.” Steer clear of those labeled “waterproof”. Why? The FDA confirms “There’s no such thing as waterproof sunscreen”. In fact, as soon as any application on the upper layer of your skin becomes wet, be ready to reapply within the hour.

 

The FDA claims, “All bottles  are required to state whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes after swimming or sweating, and all sunscreens must provide directions on when to reapply.” So be sure to read your bottle’s instructions after you take a refreshing dip in the deep end.

 

MYTH: Higher SPF means less Vitamin D absorption.

 

Taking a 15-minute walk during lunch? Chances are you’ve reached your Vitamin D quota for the day. Absorbing vitamin D through sunlight is one of the most wonderful feelings. It increases your natural serotonin level as well as activates your endorphins. But it’s not the only way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Many different kinds of fish and vegetables can also provide your daily dose of this sought after vitamin.

 

After 15 minutes of sun exposure within a day, however, your body stops absorbing and producing vitamin D. So more time than that in the sun, with or without SPF protection, won’t increase your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D through sunlight. And remember, your body has quite a bit of surface area for the sun to reach, so even if you have 90% of your body coated in sunscreen lotion or heavy clothes, that other 10% will still be catching those rays and accumulating vitamin D. 

 

MYTH: SPF is the most important factor when purchasing sunscreen.

 

While it may seem superfluous to look beyond the SPF number when choosing your block of choice, remember that many different factors will decide its effectiveness. Is it water-resistant? Is it being applied as an aerosol or lotion? Does it contain chemicals or minerals? Is it “broad spectrum”?

 

Like knowing what is in your food and how you prepare it, so is the importance of knowing what is in your sunscreen and how you apply it. Look at the labels to ensure it will guarantee you the protection you are seeking.

 

MYTH: A base tan prevents me from burning more later.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a tan is nothing more than a tell-tale sign that skin damage has already begun. As soon as our skin absorbs an overwhelming amount of UV rays, it begins to break down on the cellular level and produce more melanin to prevent even further damage. This breakdown will help you achieve that temporary bronze look but lead to permanent skin damage down the road such as fine lines and wrinkles.

 

So while the base tan may seem to help you from getting “burnt” later, just remember- your skin has already been damaged, and more sun exposure on top of these hurting cells will only cause greater damage, leading to a more intense burn if you neglect your sunscreen applications.

 

MYTH: Sunscreen won’t protect you from melanoma.

 

While it is true that melanoma can pop-up unexpectedly due to other factors, the main culprit of melanoma is overexposure to the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation confirms that 86% of all skin cancers are caused by overexposure to the sun. Much like the correlation of smoking cigarettes to lung cancer, sun exposure is the leading cause of Melanoma in humans.

 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, rare cases have occurred where patients developed skin cancer due to XRay or chemical exposure. But the cause of cancer (UVA rays) can be prevented by using broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapplication throughout the day. The Skin Cancer Foundation also states, “Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.” So lather up and protect that skin you’re in!

 

MYTH: All SPF is the same

 

If someone told you that sugar-free vanilla ice cream and a hefty scoop of Fudge Ripple from Ben and Jerry’s tastes the same, you’d be fast to call their bluff! Much like our favorite sweet summer treat, all SPF’s are not created equal. SPF can protect against UVA and UVB rays. But unless your bottle specifically states “broad spectrum”, don’t be surprised if you come home a little more toasty than your friends.

 

UVB rays and UVA rays are shining down on your precious skin while you are out in the sun. As both of these are detrimental to our health in many ways, be sure to be mindful of your sunblock labels and find a sunscreen that offers “Broad Spectrum” coverage to block both of those bad boys. 

 

Being out in the sun is one of our favorite summertime hobbies. Whether we are hiking the trails or playing by the pool, pick the best sun protection you can. Your skin will most surely thank you in the long run!

 

If you notice any suspicious spots on your body, you may need an evaluation for skin cancer. To find a CCMH Provider, visit our provider directory.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

man with sunglasses

June is Cataract Awareness Month

A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens of your eye becomes clouded. Vision for those with cataracts is similar to looking through a foggy window. This vision change can be difficult. It decreases one’s ability to drive, read, and see the expressions on someone’s face. Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.

When symptoms first occur, glasses and good lighting may help. Overtime, cataract surgery may become necessary. This surgery is generally safe and effective.

 

How does a cataract form?

The lens, where cataracts form, is behind the iris (colored part of the eye). The lens helps to focus light and produces clear images. Over time, or due to medical conditions, the lens breaks down and becomes clouded, thicker, less transparent, and flexible as you age. As the cataract grows, the cloud thickens and covers more of the eye. As light passes through the lens, the cataract blocks light and causes it to scatter, thus, blurring the image.

Cataracts do not develop evenly although they are usually in both eyes causing different vision abilities in each eye.

 

What are the causes of cataracts?

Causes of cataracts include injury, aging, or inherited genetic disorders. Other causes include past eye surgery, diabetes, other eye conditions, or long-term usage of steroid medications.

 

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts are a common although unfortunate part of aging. Over time, you may notice the following symptoms:

Cloudy, foggy, filmy, or blurry vision.
Sensitivity to lamps, headlights, or bright sunlight.
Glare (a halo around lights), especially when driving at night.
Prescription changes in glasses which include sudden nearsightedness.
Double vision.
Difficulty reading in lighting that used to be fine.
Poor night vision.
Seeing colors differently than before.

 

When should I see a doctor? 

Changes in visions indicate that you may need to schedule an eye exam. See your doctor immediately if you experience sudden headaches, double vision or flashes of light, or sudden eye pain.

 

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.

blood

Why Blood Donations are so Important

June 14th is known world-wide as World Blood Donor Day!  Organizations around the globe celebrate this special event that raises awareness of the importance of donating blood for the health industry.  Blood donations have helped aid the world on many emergency situations. Blood uses are great and more unique than many realize from aiding in research to plasma donations which provide enough blood for more than two people.

Here are a few interesting facts about blood and how your donations save lives:

 

The beginnings of  World Blood Donor Day

The first successful blood donation did not occur with humans. It was a successful transfuse of blood between two dogs. This led to the discovery of the ABO human blood type system which determines possible donor-recipient relationships.

World Blood Donor Day first took place in 2005. June 14th is when we commemorate this special day as it is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, Austrian biologist, physician, and immunologist, who discovered the various blood types.

World Blood Donor Day raises awareness of the need for regular blood donations and the importance of keeping the health industry with a stable supply. It also celebrates hardworking medical professionals in the research and development of new technologies and uses for blood donations. Last, but certainly not least, this day thanks blood donors for the contribution to improving the lives of others.

 

Facts about blood and donations

Approximately 4.5 million Americans receive a blood transfusion annually.

The four elements of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, all floating in plasma.

The average adult has 10 – 12 pints of blood.

There are eight blood types:  A, B, AB, and O. All blood types come in either positive or negative Rh Factor.

Rh, ” Rhesus factor”, is a protein that lives on the surface of the red blood cells. Those with it are positive and those without are negative.

Rh positive people can receive either kind of blood for transfusions, but Rh negative people can only receive Rh negative blood.

Type O negative is the universal blood type that can be used by anyone.

Blood has a great shelf life of 42 days for red blood cells, a year for plasma and frozen platelets for 5 days.

The largest blood donation drive occurred when 61,902 participants donated blood all across India.

 

The need for blood in the U.S.

Making a blood donation is quick, easy, and incredibly safe. However, of the people who are eligible, only about 10 percent choose to do so. Because blood donations are voluntary, World Blood Donor Day is an important reminder that the supply of blood is never too great!  In the United States alone, a patient needs blood every two seconds!

Many developed countries rely on voluntary, unpaid blood donations to reach 100% of their blood supply needs. However, obtaining volunteers and ensuring blood is safe is still a big issue in developing countries. When the supply is low, recipients must rely on family or paid donations. The WHO works hard to ensure that blood donations worldwide will one day be entirely unpaid and voluntary.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer sunglasses

Summer Habits to Establish and Continue All Year

We have had some incredible weather so far this spring! The official first day of summer will be here before you know it! As you are participating in all the outdoor activities of summer, there are many things to remember to help keep you healthier and enjoying during these warmer months. 

 

Here are our 7 summer health tips to implement this summer and the rest of the year as well. Some of us are better at remembering to do these tasks during the summer, but truly these are great tips to remember year-round!

 

Protect your skin

 

The sun’s rays are strongest during the summer months. Your skin is your largest organ and the first line of defense against the elements, so treat it well! However, summer is not the only time to remember sunscreen!  Your skin is still exposed every day. You probably don’t need to apply sunscreen as frequently as a summer day at the beach, but it is still a good idea to remember a little sunscreen daily, no matter the season or weather. 

 

Stay hydrated 

 

 With heat exhaustion and heatstroke serious summer threats, we tend to be more mindful of thirst in the summer. It’s important to stay hydrated, not just when you feel parched in the heat. Once summer passes, you may not feel as parched. Staying hydrated is still crucial to keeping your body at its best, however.

If you struggle with drinking enough water, buy a big jug you can fill up and keep near you all day. You need to drink approximately half of your weight in ounces of water every day.

 

Protect your eyes

 

Sunglasses are more than shade for your eyes and a fashion statement. Without them, you’re at the mercy of harmful UV rays and “blue light.”  This exposure puts you at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, and eyelid cancer. Furthermore, sunglasses aid with more comfortable and improved vision from not having to squint. Sunglasses just might keep more than just your eyes safe as well. Good vision is especially important when you’re participating in outdoor sports. 

 

Get moving more 

 

Sunny summer days and evenings beckon us outdoors to soak up the sun, but don’t let dreary days in the fall, winter, or spring keep you from getting some exercise. If you have an office job on top of that, it can seem difficult to get moving. Get a fitness tracker to help you make sure you’re getting your steps in around the office or consider getting a standing desk to get you on your feet to keep exercise in focus year-round. 

 

 

Don’t leave swimming to the kids 

 

Swimming is excellent exercise for the entire family. As a low-impact exercise, anyone can do it. Just thirty minutes of light to moderate lap swimming may burn over 230 calories! Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a very temperate climate though, swimming is not enjoyable for much of the year. However, you may have a good indoor swimming pool available. Many gyms do, such as our local Family YMCA

 

Protect yourself from mosquitoes 

 

West Nile and Zika viruses are mosquito bite spread conditions and are no joke! Insect repellants can help. Also, cover exposed skin whenever possible and avoid going outside during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are active. Remember not to scratch when you do get a bite! It will only make the itch worse! 

 

Eat seasonal foods

 

When you think of eating fresh, seasonal veggies and fruits, you probably think of summertime. In summer months, we tend to eat more fruits and veggies because they’re fresh. This can help us stay away from unhealthy snacks. Strawberries and tomatoes may not always be in season, but don’t forget fall superfoods around the corner. Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, and apples can be just as delicious and are also excellently healthy! 

 

If you are in need of a checkup or to find a new provider, summer is a great time to plan to do so when winter cold germs and the flu are lingering. Check out our list of providers at 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.

men in kitchen

Stroke: a Great Concern for Men’s Health

According to the CDC, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for men. It kills almost the same number of men each year as Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer combined. It is also a leading cause of long-term disability, being more common in men under age 44 than in younger women. Since June is Men’s Health Month, what better time to discuss stroke prevention for men than now!  

 

Although these facts seem concerning, did you know about 4 in 5 strokes are preventable? This prevention starts by knowing your risk for stroke. You can take a self assessment on the National Institute of Health website.

 

What is a stroke?

 

A stroke is a brain attack. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. Brain cells that are starved of oxygen die. Stroke is a medical emergency. It’s important to seek care for someone experiencing the signs of stroke right away. Seconds truly do count when a stroke occurs, and the damage to the brain is decreased by quick intervention. 

 

What are the signs of a stroke?

 

Signs of stroke include a drooping face, arm weakness, and slurred speech. Other sudden changes that may indicate stroke include sudden numbness, confusion, difficulty walking, and difficulty seeing. 

 

What risk factors should men know about?

 

Hypertension (high blood pressure)  is a main risk factor for stroke, with about 1 in 3 men having stage 2 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is having a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg). More than half of men with stage 2 hypertension do not have it under control.

 

Other risk factors that are common health problems for men include diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity.

 

How can stroke be prevented?

 

Healthy lifestyles and keeping health conditions under control are the best methods for preventing stroke. Controlled blood pressure, cholesterol and giving up smoking are all steps in the right direction. Discuss other health conditions or family history with your doctor such as diabetes or heart disease. 

Incorporate healthy foods into your diet such as foods low in salt, or sodium, fruits, vegetables, and foods that are rich in fiber and whole grains. 

 

Learn more about Comanche County Memorial Hospital’s excellence in stroke care at ccmhhealth.com/stroke-care.

 

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.

man with face mask

The Truth about Face Masks

It has been said that we are in a fight against a pandemic as well as a fight against misinformation. Misinformation may even be the bigger fight we face in a world of social media where anyone can easily have a platform and spread information that is not just false, it’s dangerous!

One of the trending topics on social media through the COVID-19 fight is whether or not face masks protect you from the spread of a virus. Some articles even claim wearing a mask is more harmful to your health! In this article, we hope to separate fact from fiction and provide a few tips to help protect you and your family from the virus.

 

How face masks protect from the spread of COVID-19

Can face masks help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus  (COVID-19)? Most certainly, face masks in combination with other preventive measures such as social distancing, help slow the spread of viruses.

You may wonder why then, were face masks not the recommendation at the start of the pandemic? At the time, experts didn’t yet know the extent to which  COVID-19 could spread before symptoms appeared. Nor did we know that some affected persons are asymptomatic. This means that the virus spreads between people interacting in close proximity. For example, vapor droplets spread as individuals speak, cough, or sneeze near each other—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.

It is also important to remember that we discussed last week that data shows that individuals may not show symptoms for 2-11 days after infection.

 

Should you wear a mask?

These discoveries led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend face masks for the general public. Some public health groups argue that masks should not be for the general public to protect the supply for health care workers fighting the virus on the “frontlines.”  A critical shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks took place at the beginning of the pandemic. The CDC acknowledged this concern and recommended cloth masks for the public, not surgical and N95 masks our health care providers use. The CDC then updated its guidance to simple cloth face coverings in public to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 by those who may have the virus and not know it.

 

How do different types of face masks work?

N95 masks

N95 masks are actually a type of respirator. They offer more protection than a surgical mask does because it filters out both large and small particles. N95 earned its name because it blocks 95% of very small particles. N95 masks are designed to be disposable. However, research is ongoing to make N95s reuseable.

 

Surgical masks

Also called a medical mask, a surgical mask fits loosely, is disposable, and protects the nose and mouth from contact with droplets that could contain germs. A surgical mask also filters out large particles. Surgical masks help protect others as they reduce exposure to the respiratory secretions and saliva of the mask wearer.

At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any type of surgical mask specifically for protection against the COVID-19 virus, but these masks may provide some protection when N95 masks are not available.

 

Cloth masks

While the supply of N95s and surgical masks is not great, cloth masks are more accessible, reusable, and easy to make out of a variety of materials. Cloth masks still help slow the spread of COVID-19. Cloth masks help protect others in case the wearer has the virus. An N95 mask, on the other hand, helps protect the wearer from getting the virus. However, if we all do our part, the transmission of the virus as a whole is less to all our friends and neighbors.

Countries that quickly implemented rules regarding testing, face masks, isolation, and social distancing early in the pandemic seem to have had some success at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Common sense, of course, is that some protection is better than none. Wearing a cloth face mask loses all of its value, however, if it isn’t combined with frequent hand-washing and social distancing.

Cloth masks are cheap and simple to make. Instructions are easy to find online. Masks can be made from everyday materials, like sheets made of tightly woven cotton. The CDC has published instructions for no-sew masks made from T-shirts and bandanas. Cloth masks should have multiple layers of fabric.

 

How do I wear a cloth face mask?

Wear a cloth face mask when you are in a public place where it is difficult to maintain social distance, especially in “high traffic” places like the grocery store.

 

Pointers for mask placement and removal:

Position the mask over your nose and mouth.
Secure the mask behind your head or use ear loops.
Don’t touch the mask while wearing it.
Wash or sanitize your hands if you accidentally touch the mask.
Untie the mask or lift it off the ear loops without touching your face or the front of the mask.
Immediately wash your hands after removing the mask.
Wash your mask with soap and water in the washing machine after each wear.

 

Face mask safety precautions:

Don’t put masks on anyone who cannot remove the mask without help, has difficulty breathing, or is unconscious.
Use masks only on those age two and older.
Don’t consider face masks as an alternative to social distancing.

 

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.

women with covid-19

Do I Need to be Tested for COVID-19?

As new information emerges during the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic, it seems you can find an article with just about any possible symptom pointing to COVID-19. You may begin to wonder, “Do I have COVID-19?” Information you gather from reliable, medically-based sources may be useful. However, research should never replace the assessment of a physician. These are unusual circumstances though. During the time of social distancing when seeking medical treatment may put you more at risk for coming in contact with this novel coronavirus, there are a few questions you can use to self-assess.

 

 

Here are the questions to consider:

 

Do you have any of the following emergency symptoms?

If you have emergency COVID-19 signs and symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure, confusion, trouble breathing, or blue lips or face, seek medical care immediately! A trip to the ER or call to 911 sounds necessary. Let the emergency operator know your symptoms and wear a face covering over your mouth and nose if being transported by ambulance. The phone number for our emergency department is (580) 355-8620.

 

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

New trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing may all be symptoms that point to COVID-19. Other symptoms include muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of smell, change in taste, a cough, and a fever. Generally, patients suffering from COVID-19 have a fever of 100.5 or greater.

 

Consider your contact with others

Have you been within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Did you see him or her for at least 5 minutes, or have direct contact with their saliva or mucus at any point in the past 14 days? Does the person with COVID-19 live with you?

According to the CDC, although we are still learning about how the virus transmits, it is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. These droplets reach others when the infected person coughs or sneezes. When these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or the person inhales them into their lungs, they may also become infected.

The incubation period is the time someone comes in contact with the virus until symptoms are present. For COVID-19, the incubation period is typically 2-11 days. To be safe, health professionals are asking patients to consider who he or she has come in contact with within a two week period.

 

If you feel it is possible you may have COVID-19, self isolate if you are not in need of immediate care, and reach out to your medical provider by phone. He or she will advise you how it is best to act.

 

 

Do you have other questions about COVID-19? Check out or resources at 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.

 

COVID-19 travel

Traveling During A Pandemic

Traveling during a pandemic is an unnerving thought. There may be instances that make it unavoidable for you such as going to care for a sick loved one or traveling for an essential work trip. What if you have to enter an area where the virus is spreading rampantly? What if you are in the middle of the spread and don’t even know it? Many concerns probably enter your mind at this time. Having a plan to make your travel as safe as possible will help you feel more in control, decrease any anxiety, and accomplish whatever you need to do.

 

Before travel 

Prepare your immune system. Travel is often stressful under good circumstances, making illnesses possible. Take as good of care of yourself as possible in days before leaving. Take your vitamins, eat well, and get adequate sleep.

Traveling internationally? Ensure you are up-to-date on all vaccines. Research any common health concerns for travel within your destination and have over the counter medications in case these illnesses arise. Know the country’s travel recommendations.

Take hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and sanitizing spray. Pack as many changes of clothes and essentials in a carryon bag as possible if you are traveling by plane including snacks. This helps limit your need to wander within the airport. In fact, if you can avoid checking a bag, this is even better as it helps limit your time within the airport and the germs you come into contact with.

Also, pack items you would be handed in a drive-thru if you plan on purchasing a meal. Having your own utensils, napkins, kleenex, even toilet paper limits your contact with items others have touched.

Have a plan for what you will do if you get sick. Do you have telemedicine available through health insurance? Do you know which clinics are offering care in your destination area? What is the COVID-19 screening protocol for the area?

Research the latest expectations within your destination city as far as shelter in place orders or expectations while being in public.

 

Driving tips

Take as many items as you can with you to limit your need for stops:

Pack meals, snacks, and bottled water.

Frequently clean often touched areas such as your steering wheel, stereo buttons, and door handles.

 

Flying tips

If you can print your boarding pass and check-in at home, do!

Arrive on time, but try not to spend more time in the airport than necessary.

Avoid sitting in crowded areas at the airport. As departure time draws near, consider moving to a nearby, but less busy gate as people tend to crowd near the gate.

Expect your travel to be interrupted. Have contingency plans in case flights are canceled.

Some good news is that because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. However, still, remember to practice good hygiene and avoid sitting near those who are coughing or appear sick.

 

When you reach your destination 

Shower as soon as possible. Place the clothes you wore during travel into a sealed plastic bag.

If you’re staying in a hotel, wipe down items that are often skipped by cleaning crews such as door handles, light switches, and TV remotes.

You may be in a less affected area with looser restrictions than your home. However, be considerate. You may be unknowingly bringing the virus to that community!

 

After returning home 

Consider quarantining yourself for 14 days if possible. If you know for sure you have come into contact with those who have COVID-19, DO quarantine yourself for sure!

Take your temperature a couple times a day.

If you need to seek medical care, let the medical provider know you have traveled before arriving at the facility.

 

If you have other questions related to COVID-19, check out our COVID-19 resources page.

 

Source 

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD)

Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

 

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.

kid with covid 19

FAQS: Covid-19 and Children

You have probably heard that children are less susceptible to COVID-19. However, it is understandable that parents are concerned for their children in regard to a novel virus that we are still learning about. Here is a summary of frequently asked questions parents have asked about the virus based on research provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

 

Should my child wear a mask?

Children 2 years or older should wear a mask or cloth covering over their nose and mouth when in public. Of course, getting a toddler to wear a mask may present a challenge. Having a fabric they choose, letting them “help” make their mask if you make a homemade mask, and explaining that you will wear one too may help.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask in addition to social distancing, NOT in place of social distancing. Remember that the incubation period for the virus is around two weeks in some cases. So even if your child has no symptoms, wearing a covering could protect them from spreading the virus if he or she is asymptomatic.

 

Do children with COVID-19 have different symptoms than adults?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are the same for adults and children. Children, however, usually have milder symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, including cough, fever and runny nose. Some have also reported vomiting and diarrhea.

Parents of children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs should be cautious. We are still learning if certain conditions put children at higher risk.

 

How do I keep my child safe during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Practice the same advice given to adults. Limit your child’s contact with others outside of the home and practice social distancing. Limit your child’s interaction with elder adults and those at high risk as much as possible. Although COVID-19 may be milder for children, children often spread illnesses due to not having a hygiene routine.

Help children to develop a good hygiene routine by observing you. For younger children, you may which to teach them songs about handwashing or show them cartoons about developing a good hygiene routine. Slightly older children may benefit from videos

Children should not be going to playdates and other activities. If you must take your child to daycare because you are required to work outside of your home in an essential business, ensure your daycare is working to maintain your child’s safety at this time. The CDC has given special guidance for how daycare centers should operate during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

No matter what, try to remain calm and limit your young child’s exposure to media. This is a difficult, confusing time for all of us. Maintaining a happy home and making the most of the situation by creating good memories of this time for children is so important. If you need ideas of how to thrive while isolating, check out this recent article.

 

For more resources on 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.

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