Giving to the Community & Community Support

CCMH Employees with Lawton Food Bank Director in food storage facility

From the left: Charmain Baldwin, the Lawton Food Bank Director, and Mitchell Spaulding.

Giving to the Community

The Business Services Office had a food drive this month and donated 283 pounds of food to the Lawton Food Bank! “We are so happy to have been able to bless someone,” said Mitchell Spaulding.

 

BancFirst employees and CCMH nurses with mask strap extenders

From the left: Waheed Gbadamosi, BancFirst; Melissa Alvillar, CCMH Nursing; Tara Deavours, Bancfirst.

Community Support

We are so very grateful to BancFirst who donated 500 mask strap extenders to nursing on Friday, September 11, 2020. These mask extenders will help our front line workers protect their ears.

3D COVID-19 virus with "Community COVID Antibody Testing" text

Community COVID Antibody Testing

Community COVID Antibody Testing

Wednesday, September 23rd
6am–4pm

Thursday, September 24th
8am–5pm

Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Outpatient Center Resource Room
110 NW 31st Street • Lawton, OK

Call 580-585-5406 to RSVP

$30, no fasting blood draw
NO CREDIT CARDS
CASH OR CHECK ONLY

Free for CCMH Employees

3D COVID-19 virus with "Community COVID Antibody Testing" text

Community COVID Antibody Testing

Community COVID Antibody Testing

Wednesday, September 23rd
6am–4pm

Thursday, September 24th
8am–5pm

Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Outpatient Center Resource Room
110 NW 31st Street • Lawton, OK

Call 580-585-5406 to RSVP

$30, no fasting blood draw
NO CREDIT CARDS
CASH OR CHECK ONLY

Free for CCMH Employees

children covid

Mitigating the Mental Health Consequences to Children During COVID-19

If we are all honest with ourselves, we have all probably struggled mentally at one point or another throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Problems such as anxiety, suicide, and depression are on the rise. Sadly, over 47,000 individuals have lost their lives to suicide since the beginning of the pandemic

 

The feelings of uncertainty, changes in routine, social distancing, concern over the virus, and loss of income are all issues that can create a mental storm for anyone. Many times, we shelter our children from the news and think they are not affected by all that has gone on in the world. These times present new challenges and things we don’t know how to handle for all of us. Children are not exempt from these struggles. 

 

Quarantine, the sudden stop of the school year, missed activities and milestones are all possible reasons for dealing with mental stress for children. It is also common for children to internalize feelings they don’t understand or are not mature enough to deal with.

 

What changes may indicate a child is struggling mentally?

 

Children often react differently to mental distress than adults, making it more difficult for adults to recognize issues promptly. Here are some warning signs to be aware of: 

 

Unexplained body pain and headaches. 

Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting).

Excessive irritation or crying in younger children.

Unhealthy sleep or eating habits. 

Excessive sadness or worry. 

Acting out and irritability in teens.

Decreased school performance and / or avoiding school.

Difficulty concentrating.

Use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. 

Avoiding activities enjoyed in the past.

 

How can I positively impact my child’s mental health during COVID-19? 

 

Have a positive attitude about school 

 

How you react to the school year changes greatly impacts your own child’s attitude and anxiety level. If you remain positive, he or she will have less reluctance about returning to school. 

 

Spend time preparing your child for the changes that will take place this school year, whether online, on campus, or homeschooling.

 

If he or she will be wearing a mask to school, let them pick out masks that reflect their personality and interests. Have him or her practice wearing their mask, slowly increasing the amount of time each day to become accustomed to wearing it for the school day. Let him or her have extra screen time or do another enjoyable activity while mask-wearing. 

 

Have something to look forward to

 

With so many of our calendars cleared of events, life can feel a little monotonous. Make sure there is always something in the distant future to look forward to. 

 

Even if it is as simple as planning to watch a new movie with your child over the weekend, having “plans” makes us focus less on all the difficulty in the world right now and give some normalcy to our lives.

 

Spend time outdoors 

 

Fresh air and sunlight do the body good. Being in the sun increases your level of vitamin D, the vitamin which regulates calcium and phosphorus and leads to healthier teeth, bones, and muscles. It may also impact mental health by increasing the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin boosts the mood and helps you feel focused and calm. 

 

If your child isn’t big on the outdoors, now is a good time to work to find an outdoor activity he or she will enjoy.  It may be a great time to find an activity that the whole family may enjoy as well. From swimming to hiking, to fishing, to practicing a sport- there are many great options! 

 

Promote a mental health-friendly diet 

 

In 2010, a study found that women who ate unhealthy diets common to our culture had more psychological symptoms. These food include:

 

processed and fried foods

sugary products

refined grains (such as white bread)

beer

 

Some diets may, on the other hand, lessen anxiety and depression. Some of the diets include the Mediterranean diet, lower-calorie diets, and intermittent fasting. 

 

Discern when to talk about it and when to shelter them 

 

Don’t assume because your child isn’t saying anything about the virus that he or she is not bothered by it. 

 

Focus on making age-appropriate questions without confusing your child or adding to their fears. Begin by asking questions such as, “What have you heard about the virus?” “What questions do you have about it?”

 

Your child may be worried about getting sick or you getting sick, especially if he or she knows someone who has been seriously ill or died from the virus. 

 

Kids of all ages can be taught the importance of handwashing and how germs are spread. Knowing there are healthy habits that can prevent the spread will help him or her feel more confident that he or she will be ok. 

 

Take time every day to build them up

 

Some days during a pandemic are just survival mode. Take a few moments every evening to discuss the good and bad of the day. Focus on asking specific questions instead of just “How was your day?” The linked article has a great list of questions to help get the conversation going with your child. 

 

No matter what, remind your child they are surviving something none of us have ever navigated before. Celebrate the small victories and strategize plans for conquering the challenges. 

 

Make them unplug

 

Social media can be a great source of entertainment and a way to stay connected with friends and family. Especially during a pandemic, many of us have been spending time online. However, too much time online can lead to unhealthy physical habits as well as emotional ones. Not only does the bad news make us anxious, but many teens and even adults also struggle with comparing themselves to others which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. 

 

According to the BBC, unplugging, even for small periods of time can decrease anxiety. So, it may be a good idea to implement a time when your whole family unplugs. Especially consider unplugging in the evenings as we know screen time can affect sleep quality

 

If you suspect your child is struggling at this time with problems such as anxiety or depression, please reach out. Your CCMH Providers are here to help as we all navigate these challenging times. 

 

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.

illustration showing person wearing mask incorrectly (not covering nose or mouth) and correctly (covering both nose and mouth) with the words "face masks required to enter"

CCMH Coronavirus Update

Friendly reminders: Masks must be worn at all times while in the facility. They must be put on at the point of entry into the hospital and may be removed once you have exited the building. In addition to this being a CCMH policy, it is also now a city mandate. Patients and visitors must wear masks while staff members are present in the room. N95 masks must be worn by all staff present while aerosolizing procedures are being performed (CPR, insertion of an airway, etc).

Please use hand sanitizer upon entry into the cafeteria, before using the soda machine, and before getting coffee. This helps keep dietary workers, other patrons, and yourself safe!

Travel, international or domestic, is strongly discouraged at this time.

Infection Prevention holds virtual town halls every other Thursday at 11 AM (new time!). If you need an invitation with dial-in information, please email Chris Godman.

COVID-related questions can be sent to CCMHcovid19hotline@ccmhhealth.com

We would like to thank Occupational Health for the hard work, flexibility, and readiness that they have displayed since the beginning of the pandemic. Though they are a small department, they have organized and implemented several mass screening clinics for our employees during this time. Thank you, Occupational Health!

illustration showing person wearing mask incorrectly (not covering nose or mouth) and correctly (covering both nose and mouth) with the words "face masks required to enter"

Coronavirus Update

COVID cases in Oklahoma are remaining at a higher level of activity than previously seen. CCMH Incident Command continues to watch the community and statewide situation closely, as well as making adjustments to policies and procedures to maximize safety for staff. Some recent policy and procedure changes made include:

  • Patients must be provided a mask if they do not have one, and must wear the mask while a healthcare provider or staff member is in the room, or when the patient leaves their room (this includes in the hallway to ambulate, when being escorted out for discharge, and when being transferred to other departments or units).
  • Healthcare providers involved in direct patient care must wear eye protection for all patient encounters (eye glasses are not sufficient to meet this requirement).
  • Healthcare providers involved in direct patient care may not wear a cloth mask, per CDC recommendations; if a cloth mask is worn, it may only be worn over a provided procedure mask, and must be laundered daily.
  • All participants in CPR and intubation of a patient must wear a N95 mask during the procedure.

As always, our primary focus is keeping our staff, visitors, and patients as safe as possible. If you have a concern or question, please submit it to ccmhcovid19hotline@ccmhhealth.com.

In local COVID news, the City of Lawton passed an ordinance last week requiring face masks/coverings to be worn inside any establishment. The ordinance is tailored after similar ordinances in various municipalities throughout Oklahoma and created to be consistent with CDC recommended guidelines. The ordinance states every person in the City of Lawton shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building, structure or space open to the public, public transit, or when in an outdoor public space where social distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions include circumstances involving age, private settings, activity, medical conditions, potentially hazardous situations, or certain types of businesses and clientele. Educational institutions with adopted plans are also exempt.

woman in mask

Why the Bubonic Plague Is Not a Great Concern

China reported a case of the bubonic plague in a herdsman living in the northern city of Bayannur earlier this month. This morning, ABC News reported a squirrel testing positive for the disease in Colorado.

Hearing of recent cases of the bubonic plague naturally might make you feel uneasy as we continue to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic. After all, the disease did trigger the “Black Death” Pandemic in the mid-1300s. Black Death killed around 50 million in Europe alone. The pandemic continued for centuries, making it one of the deadliest diseases in history.

 

What is plague?

Plague is an infectious disease.  In 1894, Alexandre Yersin discovered Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for plague, under a microscope. The most common carriers of Yersinia pestis are small mammals and their fleas. Fleas transmit the disease to mammals including humans. Therefore, transmission can take place from direct contact with a flea, or from an animal infected by the flea. There are three forms of plague: bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic.

 

How does plague spread?

Many mammals are hosts of Yersinia pestis. These mammals include mice, rats, prairie dogs, rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels. Rats are often associated with the plague. They were once a common catalyst for plague spread due to their close proximity to humans in crowded, unsanitary urban areas.

Recently, scientists discovered that Xenopsylla cheopis, a flea that lives on rats, is in fact the main cause of human cases of plague. After a rodent dies from plague, fleas jump to a new host, infecting the new host. Transmission also occurs through handling tissue or blood from a plague-infected animal, or inhalation of infected droplets.

 

What are the symptoms of plague?

Initial symptoms of the early stages of bubonic plague include vomiting, nausea, and fever. Bubonic plague’s name derives from buboes—swollen, painful lymph nodes which are also a symptom of plague. They occur around the armpit, neck, or groin.  These skin sores turn black, giving it its nickname “Black Death.”

Pneumonic plague is the most infectious type. This advanced stage of plague moves into the lungs. Pneumonic plague passes directly from person to person via airborne particles coughed from an infected person’s lungs.

Untreated, bubonic and pneumonic plague may progress to septicemic plague. Septicemic plague infects the bloodstream. Nearly all humans infected with pneumonic and septicemic plague die.

 

The beginning of plague in the United States

The first known cases of plague in the  United States occurred in 1900. Cases arrived in the U.S.  by rat-infested steamships, mainly those arriving from Asia. Epidemics in port cities were not uncommon.  In 1924-1925, the last U.S. urban plague epidemic occurred in Los Angeles. Plague then spread from urban rats to rural rodents, causing the disease to occur in more rural areas of the Western U.S.

 

Is plague common today?

Plague spread today is mostly sporadic. It pops up in countries all around the world each year including the United States. The World Health Organization reports 1,000 to 3,000 new cases of the disease every year. Plague is present on all continents with the exception of Oceania. Most human cases, however, have occurred in Africa since the 1990s. The top three countries that experience plague are Peru, Madagascar, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with DRC having the highest number of cases.

Scientists link the prevalence of plague in DRC to the mountainous terrain and tropical climate.  The most recent outbreak of plague happened in Madagascar in 2017 with more than 2,300 cases.

The United States, China, India, Vietnam, and Mongolia are common countries that report human plague cases. In the U.S., seven human cases of plague appear each year on average, emerging primarily in California and the southwestern states.

 

Is plague still deadly?

It is virtually impossible that the plague could become a pandemic due to modern medicine. Untreated, the plague still progresses to a deadly stage, but today, most people survive with rapid diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.  Antibiotics work best if given within 24 hours of symptoms. In severe cases, patients can receive oxygen, intravenous fluids, and breathing support. Those who have come into contact with an animal or person who has the plague may also take preventative antibiotics.

 

How do we prevent the spread of plague?

To prevent plague outbreaks, practice good sanitation, hygiene and pest control, and; minimize contact with wild animals that may carry infected fleas.

 

Sources 

1 Yes the Bubonic Plague Is Still Around, Why You Don’t Need to Worry. Healthline. Ries, Julia. 7 July 2020.

2 Plague was one of history’s deadliest diseases—then we found a cure. National Geographic. Howard, Jenny.

3 PlagueWorld Health Organization.

4 Maps and Statistics, Plagues in the United States. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

5 Squirrel tests positive for the bubonic plague in Colorado. ABC News. Haworth, Jon. 14 July 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 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.

 

illustration showing person wearing mask incorrectly (not covering nose or mouth) and correctly (covering both nose and mouth) with the words "face masks required to enter"

CCMH Coronavirus Update

CCMH continues to promote a culture of safety and accountability during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the number of new cases in Oklahoma remaining at high levels, it is more important than ever that all people inside the facility are wearing masks.

There is currently no timeline for a vaccine, which means masks will be the “New Normal” in CCMH going forward. Incident Command, Occupational Health, and the Infection Preventionists are meeting weekly to continually discuss the direction of all CCMH activities moving forward. Thank you all for being part of a caring and supporting team during the challenging time!

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.

A Salute to Healthcare Heroes

Flyovers from Altus Air Force Base and Sheppard Air Force Base took place on Friday, May 1, over the Comanche County Memorial Hospital campus.

The first flyover was from Altus Air Force Base as a salute to healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel supporting the COVID-19 effort in Oklahoma.

The second flyover was from Sheppard Air Force Base giving a high flying “Thank You” with Operation Spirit over Texoma.

Col. Clayton Bartels, 80th FTW Vice Commander was at CCMH communicating with the lead aircraft.

The 97th AMW and 71st FTW encouraged viewers to tag the bases on social media in photos and videos they captured during the flyovers using #AirForceSalutes, #MobilitysHometown, #VanceProud and #SpiritOverTexoma.

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