hand on vape

Vaping: Myths and Truths

There is an outbreak of lung injury from e-cigarette use or vaping. As of Septemeber 17th, the CDC reports 530 cases of lung injury due to the use of e-cigarette or vaping products across the US and its territories. The CDC also reports seven deaths from complications due to vaping across six different states. 1

The CDC said, “No consistent e-cigarette or vaping product, substance, or additive has been identified in all cases, nor has any one product or substance been conclusively linked to lung disease in patients.” 1

There is much we do not yet know about the effects of vaping, and that unknown causes much fear nationwide. Let’s shed some light on what we do know at this time. 

 

Myth #1: Nicotine is the only chemical in vapes.

There is more to vaping than just nicotine. Vaping is a very popular method of marijuana use. Some individuals even vape herbs. 

This is especially dangerous because there is not a standard among the types and amounts of chemicals in vaping products. This has also made it difficult to discover the exact harms of vaping. Each user’s experience is different due to different flavors, nicotine levels, and devices. 

 

Myth #2: Nicotine causes cancer. 

Nicotine is not a carcinogen. The other chemicals in tobacco products such as formaldehyde and lead, for example, cause cancer. Vape products don’t have these additives which has lead to the false belief that vaping is perfectly safe. 

Nicotine is highly addictive, raises blood pressure, and can harm developing adolescent brains. 

 

Myth #3: Vape products are safe because they don’t burn tobacco.

Clearly nicotine itself is not safe, nor is vaping harmless. There are all kinds of things you consume when you vape, many which are not regulated or well understood. 

So just what do you inhale while vaping? You get nicotine. Nicotine comes from tobacco, and this is why e-cigarettes are a tobacco product. You also get the solvents, the flavors and heavy traces of metal exposure from the heating coil, as well as other tobacco metabolites. 

 Secondary concerns include the potential for harder drug use and the mental effects of addiction and dependence. Addiction and nicotine use are closely associated with other health disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety. Depressions individuals may be more likely to abuse substances. These substances may lead to additional feelings of depression. 

 

Truth #1: Vaping is an epidemic among our youth. 

Although not everyone who vapes is a young person, there is a strong culture of vaping among teens and the slightly older Gen-Z adults. Vaping is cleverly marketed as the new thing in smoking, it’s new technology, and it is customizable with trendy colors, flavors, and sleek devices. There is an obvious appeal to it among the younger crowd, complete with the lie for parents that it’s safer than cigarettes. 

 

Truth #2: Not everyone is aware of the dangers of vaping. 

The US government, schools, and health organizations do an amazing job of informing our youth about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Facts and media to inform youth of the harms of the vaping trend, however, are still catching up. 

The medical community is fighting to catch up to this fast-growing trend. Research takes time.  Until we have evidence which provides clear results for specific vaping regulations, the real dangers of vaping and e-cigarette remain concerningly unknown. 

 

If you need help to break an addiction to nicotine or tobacco products, please reach out to one of our providers. You can find them on our CCMH Provider Directory.

 

Source

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping.19. Sept. 2019.

 

Disclaimer  

 

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

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

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

woman blowing dandelion in summer

Summer Safety

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

 

Boating safety 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Driving safety 

 

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

 

Avoid harmful insects 

 

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

 

Seek emergency care when the following symptoms are present: 

 

Difficulty breathing

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

Swelling of the face or tongue

Dizziness or feeling faint 

 

Hydrate 

 

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

 

Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include:

 

a core temperature of 104F or higher

confusion

rapid heart rate and breathing

headache 

nausea or vomiting

 

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

 

Cover up

 

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

 

Prevent food poisoning 

 

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

 

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

Keep raw meats wrapped and away from other food items. 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

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

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

people on crowded beach

Zika Impact on 2019 Summer Travel

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

 

Why Zika is a concern for women 

 

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

 

How does Zika spread? 

 

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

 

What is the current risk for Zika worldwide?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Source

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

 

Disclaimer 

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

 

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

 

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

LCHC Logo

LCHC Set to Open Two New Clinics

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

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

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

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

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

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

fireworks in the sky

Fireworks Safety

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

 

The dangers of fireworks

 

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

 

Fireworks safety tips

 

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

 

Wear eye protection. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You should store fireworks  in a cool, dry place. 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Never relight a dud.

 

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

 

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

 

Fireworks safety for children 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

If an injury happens

 

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

 

If an eye injury happens

 

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

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

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

Seek immediate medical attention. 

 

If someone receives a burn

 

Remove clothing from the affected area.

Seek immediate medical attention. 

 

We hope you have a happy and safe Independence Day! 

 

Source

1 Consumer Product Safety Commission. 2017 Fireworks Annual Report.

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

 

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

 

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

Mediterranean diet plate with vegetables and olive oil

The Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

The last few years have been overrun with fad diets such as the Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting. However, concerns exist among medical professionals of using both of these fad diets long term.

 

One tried and true diet though, has proven effective at warding off stroke, heart attack and premature death. This diet is the Mediterranean Diet. Of course, the biggest payoff comes from adopting such a diet early in life. However, even making healthy dietary changes later in life will still provide positive health benefits.

 

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month. It is also American Stroke Month. To recognize the health benefits this diet can provide, including stroke prevention, we would like to discuss some of the important, research based facts about the diet. Then, we will also provide examples of how you can incorporate it into your daily lifestyle.

 

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

 

The Mediterranean Diet incorporates foods typically consumed in the countries in the region bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This includes vegetables, fish, fruits and whole grains, and limited unhealthy fats. A bit of olive oil, limited alcohol and nuts are also typical in the diet of this region.

 

What does research say about the Mediterranean Diet?

 

Researchers reviewed the dietary habits of more than 10,000 women in their 50s and 60s. Then, they analyzed their health 15 years later.

 

Women who followed a healthy diet in middle age were nearly 40% more likely to live beyond age 70 without chronic illness, physical or mental problems than those following less-healthy diets. 1 The healthiest women ate more fish, plant based foods and whole grains; consumed less red and processed meats; and drank limited alcohol.

 

Do dietary changes midlife really make that much difference?

 

The foods eaten in the Mediterranean Diet are known to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. These are the two general pathways underlying many age-related health conditions and diseases. Other improvements include better glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

 

Whole grains, fruits, legumes and vegetables are also packed with fiber. Fiber slows digestion and also aids in controlling blood sugar. Monounsaturated fats found in fish, nuts and olive oils can have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help stave off heart disease and many other conditions.

 

Research has also shown that this type of eating pattern can help lower cholesterol,  improve rheumatoid arthritis, aid in weight loss, and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer. 2

 

What are the basics of a Mediterranean-type diet?

 

Eat fish at least twice a week.

Base meals on fruits, vegetables, whole grains ( brown rice, quinoa whole wheat bread,), olive oil, nuts, beans, legumes (lentils,beans and dried peas), seeds, herbs and spices.

Consume moderate portions of poultry and eggs every two days or weekly.

Eat moderate portions of cheese and yogurt.

Eat red meat sparingly or limit to three-ounce portions.

Drink ample water each day, and drink alcohol in moderation.

 

What are some easy ways I can change my current diet?

 

Limit high-fat dairy by switching to 1% or skim milk.

Add fruits and vegetables to recipes and have them as a snack.

Sauté food in olive oil instead of butter.

Choose whole grains over refined breads and pastas.

 

 

Don’t let new dietary goals overwhelm you. Transition gradually so your new eating style becomes an actual lifestyle change.

 

Have questions about achieving your health goals? Make an appointment today with a CCMH provider. Search for one in our directory found here: ccmhhealth.com/directory.

 

Sources 

1 Annals of Internal Medicine. Cécilia Samieri, PhD; Qi Sun, MD, ScD; Mary K. Townsend, ScD; Stephanie E. Chiuve, ScD; Olivia I. Okereke, MD; Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH; Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH; Francine Grodstein, ScD. The Association Between Dietary Patterns at Midlife and Health in Aging: An Observational Study. 5 Nov. 2013.

2 Harvard Health Publishing. Heidi Godman. Adopt a Mediterranean diet now for better health later.  6 Nov. 203.

 

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.

CCMH Administration Celebrates Volunteers

CEO Brent Smith and his wife Jaymi along with Senior Leadership treated our CCMH volunteers to a Holiday Tea at the Lawton Country Club last Tuesday. Over 90 volunteers and members of Administration were in attendance, singing Christmas carols, enjoying delicious foods and socializing with each other.

Michelle Callihan, Guest Relations and Volunteer Supervisor said “I’m blessed with the opportunity to work with wonderful, caring and compassionate volunteers and I am thankful for each one. I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful organization that serves and celebrates our volunteers.”

Photos courtesy of Billie Allbritton

Rising Star – Jennifer Walters

Jennifer is a great asset to the CCMH Cath Lab:She takes call for her X-Ray Tech position and she also helps the Cath Lab Scrub Techs with their call.  When the EP program was started, she volunteered to learn the roll of an EP Tech, going to classes and working alongside Dr. Nachimuthu during procedures. She works on billing and coding for exams. She orders our inventory to include picking up the inventory, checking it in, labeling the items with yellow stickers, and putting the products on the shelves. Jennifer is always willing to help out with any need from transporting patients to taking extra call.

Jennifer started up the RBC council for the Cath Lab and when it was joined the Radiology RBC group, she brought her knowledge and experience to that council group. Jennifer is also on the STEMI committee.

Jennifer’s enthusiasm for improvement is contagious to the staff.  She brings smiles to our work environment everyday. Congratulations to Rising Star Award Winner Jennifer Walters. Thank you for your care and dedication to patients and team members at CCMH!