Don't let Father's Day end with a trip to the emergency room.
That's the message from the American College of Emergency Physicians. The June edition of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, a journal produced by the organization, includes findings of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research that said half of non-work-related finger amputations in 2001 and 2002 for men 55 and older were caused by power tools.
Because power tools are a popular Father's Day gift, the organization sent out a news release that hyped the study and included a list of power-tool safety tips. Some of the tips may seem a bit obvious: Power-tool users are reminded to read instruction manuals and not to stand in water while operating an electrical device. One of the other suggestions may explain why many of the tips are so simple: Don't drink while playing with power tools.
However, study author Judith Conn says the data don't factor in who among the injured were following these safety tips, a limitation of the research. "This is kind of a first step," she says. "I feel good about what we do because it usually leads to prevention."
Here's to your ... lifestyle
Speaking of booze, one of these days researchers are going to be able to say definitively whether there is a relationship between having a drink and protecting your heart. So far, all they have done is muddy the waters. First came the surprising news of a relationship between red wine and a reduced incidence of heart attacks. Next, we were told that it isn't any magic component of red wine but that any alcohol will do the trick. Then we were told to stick to one to two drinks per day to stay healthy. Now comes a study citing the healthy lifestyles of wine drinkers and not the drinking alone that may be helpful in lowering health risks.
Wine drinkers exercise more, eat healthier diets, smoke less and have more normal body mass than people whose preference is beer or mixed drinks, according to research published in the June issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence and funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
"The notion that wine itself has health benefits fails to take into account a host of other factors, including that wine drinkers apparently live healthier lifestyles," says Mallie Paschall, the principal investigator on the study and senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Berkeley, Calif. "Our finding that there's a relationship between wine preference and healthy lifestyles raises questions about those studies that propose health benefits from wine itself." More research is needed to determine whether wine has any healthy side effects, she says. Until that day, wine drinkers will undoubtedly keep sipping, hoping for the best.
Until recently, it seemed that Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston was cursed, or possibly haunted.
The 80-year-old structure was built over a Confederate army graveyard and operated as intended as an acute-care hospital for only 10 years, says Mary Lawler, executive director of Avenue Community Development Corp. Her group is renovating the structure for low-income artists lofts as part of its mission to bolster Houston's Washington Avenue and near north-side communities. "It is quite beautiful but (has) fallen into disrepair," Lawler says.
Rumors suggest that Jefferson Davis is haunted but Lawler says she doesn't believe ghosts can be found roaming its hallways. Nevertheless, the building has struggled to make something of itself over the years, previously housing a mental health clinic and a residential drug treatment facility, among other things, before closing completely 20 years ago, Lawler says. The building has been an eyesore for many years.
Things are looking up, though, for the old hospital, which may get an additional moniker -- Elder Street Artists' Lofts -- as part of Avenue CDC's rehab. The organization plans to spend $6.3 million on the renovations, including a $50,000 boost from Home & Garden Television, which will feature the hospital in 2006 as part of its Restore America campaign.
Roberto Ramos learned last week that if you have to have a major heart attack in the middle of a 10K run, it's best to have an emergency room nurse running right behind you who notices your distress and is willing to stop and save you.
Ramos, 52, a veteran runner, was just past the halfway mark of the Mercedes-Benz Cotton Row Run in Huntsville, Ala., when he collapsed, unconscious, to the pavement. Lori Foy, who was running behind him, stopped to help and found him unresponsive. Foy, an ER nurse at Huntsville Hospital, began CPR with the help of another runner.
"It was a blessing that she was running right behind him," Ramos' wife, Kathy, told the Associated Press. "Otherwise, he would not be here."
Emergency medical personnel reached Ramos after several minutes and took over treatment, using an automated external defibrillator to get Ramos' pulse back. Ramos was transported to Huntsville Hospital. His wife says he was conscious at that time and talking in cardiac intensive care. She says physicians told her that he had a heart attack and had three artery blockages that would require bypass surgery. "We didn't know he had a heart condition at all," Kathy Ramos says.
Foy eventually ran on to the finish line. "At that point, it was just a race," she says. "The guy's life was more important."