Can you imagine the physician for a professional sports team telling an injured athlete to walk down the street to the hospital for an xray?
Well, that’s exactly what happened to Gordie Howe.
I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon which featured one of the greatest hockey players of all time, “Mr. Hockey”, Gordie Howe. He was speaking to us (mostly a group of physicians) about his experiences and the various injuries he encountered during his career in professional hockey.
One story was about when he severely injured his wrist. While being examined in the locker room the physician said, “Gordie, it looks like you may have a fracture in your wrist. You’re going to need x-rays. You’ll have to take a walk to the hospital down the street.
I could hardly believe what I heard. One of the greatest professional athletes of all time had to walk on his own to a hospital in order to receive medical treatment.
This time of year, many people are busy outside with gardening, picnics and just enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s not uncommon to see bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets while we are out enjoying these activities. We need to be aware of this, how to avoid them and what to do in case you or a loved one is stung.
Stay away from stinging insects. These insects are most likely to sting if they are provoked or they feel that their home is threatened. So be aware of your environment.
- Avoid brightly colored clothing or perfumes that may attract these insects.
- Keep food, drinks and garbage covered when eating outdoors.
- Beware that insects may enter a straw or a can of soda pop.
- Wear shoes because some insects will be in the grass and sting if they are stepped on.
If you have a close encounter with a stinging insect, remain calm and move away slowly.
What Happens After a Sting?
When most people are stung by an insect, the site develops redness, swelling and itching.
However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom.
If you are insect-allergic, after the first sting, your body produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). If stung again by the same kind of insect, the venom interacts with this specific IgE antibody, triggering the release of substances that cause an allergic reaction.
Many adults are unaware of what immunization shots, if any, are needed. This should be discussed with the person's physician during their annual physical.
For purposes of today's blog post, we will assume the adult has had immunizations up to the age of 19.
A tetanus diphtheria booster 10 years after the last tetanus shot and a tetanus diphtheria shot every 10 years thereafter is recommended.
Adults under the age of 65 who have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months should get the whooping cough (pertussis) booster added to this booster once if it's been at least five years since their last tetanus/diphtheria shot.
Most folks are aware of the annual flu shot. It is usually given in October and November but getting the vaccines even later will still be beneficial in most years for as long as the illness is occurring in your community. It can occur anytime from November through May but most often peaks in January and February.
These days we can identify two forms of disease:
- Communicable, i.e. infections
- Non-communicable, i.e. allergy, heart disease, obesity.
Non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Today I would like to focus on food allergies.
A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a particular protein found in a food.
Within minutes, the affected person may experience itching and swelling of the skin, breathing difficulty, light-headness and disorientation, vomiting and diarrhea.
Food allergies, especially to peanuts and tree nuts, are the most common cause of the most serious allergic reaction described above, also known as anaphylaxis. (an-a-fi-LAK-sis).
Emergency room visits for food-induced anaphylaxis occur about once every six minutes in the United States.
The most common foods known to trigger allergic reactions are:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
The rise in the prevalence of food allergy is unprecedented. The burdens personally, socially and economically are vast. And while food allergy affects both children and adults, the greatest burden from the rise of food allergy falls to our very young children.
Join Our Team and Help Us Say FAREwell to Food Allergies
If you are asking yourself why this is happening and what you can do to learn more and to help, here is your answer!
Join the Westshore Primary Care Center for Allergy and Immunology on August 10th for the FOOD ALLERGY RESEARCH and EDUCATION (F.A.R.E.) walk to raise funds and awareness for this very important cause. 2014 FARE Walk for Food Allergy Event Info.
Photo Credit: "Peanuts" by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The flu. Measles. Tuberculosis.
Immunizations help to prevent these serious illnesses and keep you protected.
National Immunization Awareness month is the perfect time to learn about vaccines and to remind our family, friends, and coworkers to stay up-to-date on their shots.
Vaccines Aren't Just for Kids
It’s not only babies and young children who need to stay on schedule, preteens, teens, and adults all have recommended immunizations. Be sure to check these schedules before sending your kids to school or to college.
Infants & Children (Birth-6 years)