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February 2015

There have been several stories in the news the last few weeks about location accuracy of 911 calls made from cell phones.   A recent story on KARE 11 stated that in more than half the 911 calls made from a cell phone did not show the correct location of the caller.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to tour the Nicollet County Sherriff’s 911 Dispatch center.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of calls that came in during that early afternoon time.

As the calls came in, the supervisor explained how they 911 system works and how emergency personnel are dispatched.  Then she demonstrated a 911 call with a cell phone while in the dispatch center.  The location that came on the screen was from a cell phone tower about a mile away.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 70 percent of 911 calls are made from a cell phone and that the first address to come up is a cell phone tower.

Here are some tips to help you help dispatchers find you faster in case you need to call 911 with your cell phone –

  • Tell the dispatcher your location right away.
  • If traveling in an unfamiliar area be observant of the mile markers along the highway, intersections, distinguishing landmarks, etc. This will help the dispatcher locate you faster.
  • Give the dispatcher your cell phone number in case you get disconnected.
  • Do NOT auto program 911 into your cell phone. Most phones now come with an “emergency call” option.
  • Create a call list on your phone called “In Case of Emergecy” or ICE with a list of people who should be called if you’re involved in an accident.

 

Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.

Positive attitude and preparation lead to successful double knee replacement
 By Stephanie Hill

Gene Krohnberg of St. Peter injured his knees when he was in his 20s.  It wasn’t until December 8, 2014 that the retired teacher had a bilateral knee replacement at River’s Edge Hospital through the OrthoEdge program.

A virus in both knees sent Krohnberg to the hospital in September.  He said it was then that he knew it was necessary to have both of his knees replaced.

Prior to attending Joint Camp, OrthoEdge’s joint replacement education class, Krohnberg said he talked to some people who had also had knee replacement surgery.

“I did lots of exercises ahead of time,” he said.  “It helped in recovery.”

Following surgery Krohnberg stayed at River’s Edge for three days.  The day of surgery he got up and started his recovery.

“I knew what was going to happen,” he said. “The first time getting up was painful but once I was up it was better.”

Krohnberg said he would recommend the OrthoEdge program and River’s Edge Hospital to anyone.

“The nurses were so great and so friendly.  The aides were a lot of fun,” Krohnberg said.  “The facility is so good.  The rooms are big and I felt safe. There is always someone around to help.”

Since having his surgery Krohnberg says he is looking to spring and summer.  In the meantime, he is keeping up with his recovery by going to LiveWell Fitness, the medical gym at River’s Edge.

To others having joint replacement Krohnberg offers the following advice, “Exercise a head of time and have a positive attitude.”

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.

Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.

A new knee allows for active retirement
By Stephanie Hill

A person can live with chronic joint pain for so long before a decision needs to be made to do something about that pain and discomfort.

“My knee has been bothering me for years,” said Darvin Wicks of Le Sueur. “It really got painful in the last 6 or 7 months so I decided last summer to call Dr. Springer.”

Wicks is “retired” from the restaurant business – he owned a diner in Le Sueur for more than a decade.  Soon he will be retiring from his full-time job of driving motor coach for a southern Minnesota tour bus company.

The first appointment Wicks had with Dr. Springer was at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic.  After an X-ray, Dr. Springer told Wicks “there’s nothing left.”  The cortisone shot he received lasted three weeks.

The plan Wicks had was to continue to work full time throughout the summer and have knee replacement surgery in the fall when work slowed down.

Wicks has always been active.  He does a lot of walking, although he said his knee pain put a stop to that a few months before surgery.  He also put a new roof on his house before surgery.  “That didn’t help much,” he said.

In September he scheduled his surgery and on November 20, 2014, Darvin Wicks got a new knee.

His surgery took place at River’s Edge Hospital.  “The nurses took good care of me,” he said.

Like all OrthoEdge joint replacement patients, Wicks attended joint camp about a week prior to his surgery.

“It was interesting to find out what I was going to go through.  It was informative and I learned a few things,” he said.

Wicks stayed in the hospital three days following surgery which is typical for most knee replacement patients.  He started physical therapy at River’s Edge the day of surgery then continued therapy in Le Sueur after discharge.   He finished physical therapy in mid-January.

Wicks says he will not do anything different now that he has a new knee.  But he does know one thing now that he’s retired, “I have more time to do what I want to do, like spend more time with my grandkids.”

Having a new knee will certainly help him keep up with them.

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.

Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.

Better to prevent it than treat it.

On January 6, 2014 Gov. Mark Dayton ordered all schools be closed due to extreme cold temperatures that blanketed the state.

Fast forward one year later and Minnesota is again facing double digit air and wind chill temperatures for much of this week. When wind chill values of 20 to 40 below zero are forecasted it is time to think about protecting yourselves, children and pets from frostbite.

The temperature the morning of January 5, 2015 was -11 and with the wind chill it felt like -25. Kids headed out the door with extra layers to keep them warm while waiting for the bus and plumes of exhaust filled the air as cars were warmed for the chilly drive to work.

While bundling up when you know you have to be outside is a good idea, it is important to note that frostbite can occur within 30 minutes when temperatures are as low they were on Monday. Dress in layers and go inside immediately if you get wet.

There are three degrees of exposure – frostnip, superficial frostbite and deep frostbite. People with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease are at increased risk for frostbite. Certain medications also increase the risk.

“Superficial frostbite results in very little tissue loss and heals quickly with little to no need for medical treatment. Deep frostbite has greater consequences; one can expect significant tissue loss and often results in amputations to manage the injury. Do not rub the skin and do not pop blisters,” said Carrie Lager, Manager of Emergency Services at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic.

Frostbite most often occurs in areas furthest from the body’s core – fingers, hands, ears, nose, feet and toes. It begins when blood vessels in the affected area begin to contract, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the area. Loss of feeling in the area occurs then color changes – pale to blue –will begin.

“Avoid alcohol before going out in the cold weather or during as it may keep you from recognizing the symptoms of frostbite,” Lager said.

Treatment of frostbite includes a physical exam of the exposed area. In some cases the patient is admitted to the hospital for observation. Warming of the exposed area is done by placing the frostbitten area in warm water (100-105 degrees Fahrenheit). In 3-5 imaging of the area is done to identify any tissue damage after rewarming. If getting immediate medical attention is not an option, get out of the cold as quickly as possible and, if there is no risk of refreezing, warm the area in warm water to thaw the exposed area. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.

By Stephanie Hill

On January 1 I, like many of the 45 percent of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, made a New Year’s resolution. My resolution was to take charge of my health and focus on being more active.

I have tried this same thing over and over again. I go fast out of the gate and lose interest and motivation after about 6 weeks.

This time is going to be different. I set reasonable goals and am staying motivated. So what is the difference? It’s my FitBit. According to Business Insider, 3.3 million wearable fitness trackers were sold in 2014. Some of the most popular are the FitBit, Jawbone and Garmin. These devices also have mobile app that syncs with the device to record your progress toward your goals.

I am not endorsing the Fitbit as the best wearable device, but I do love mine. It tracks my steps, my sleep, calories burned and it has an alarm clock. The mobile app and desktop application allow me to set calorie intake goals and log the food and I water I consume. I can also specifically track activities – like using the treadmill or elliptical machine at the gym.

The Journal of the American Medical Association said in a recent article that wearable devices are designed to facilitate health behavior change. The idea is that by tracking the things I listed above, the user becomes educated about their health and will be motivated to make better choices.

SPOILER ALERT: The Fitbit or any other wearable fitness tracker is not a magic device that suddenly gets you moving more and makes pounds disappear into thin air. You have to start it and keep doing it.

Okay, that sounds a little harsh but it’s true. As a chronic stopper and starter I know from experience. The best way sustain physical activity and healthy eating is to change your habits.

Notice I did not say “create new habits.” CHANGE the ones you have. In the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life & Business by Charles Duhigg, habits are described as a three step loop – the cue, the routine and reward. You should use the same cue and the same reward but change the routine.

“Attempts to give up snacking, for instance, will often fail unless there’s a new routine to satisfy old cues and reward urges,” Duhigg writes.

So what does that mean? When you feel hungry are you really hungry? Most likely you’re not. The cue is your stomach rumbling. The old routine is grabbing the bag of chips and eating half of what’s left. The reward is the growling from your gut is gone. Let’s switch it up – you feel hungry (cue). Instead of chips you walk to the water cooler and fill your cup with 8 ounces of cool, filtered water (new routine). The reward – your stomach is full and you’ve increased your water intake by 8 ounces.

You can do this with activity as well. At the end of a long work day the first thing you want to do is kick off your shoes and put your feet up. RIGHT? I know I do. Well, kick off those shoes and put on your tennis shoes and take a walk around the block (or two). Your heart will start pumping and you’ll have more energy for the evening.

Of course you can change your bad habits without having a fitness tracker around your wrist. For me it was a personal decision. I need to see my results to stay motivated. When I reach my daily step goal before bed each night I am motivated to do it again the next day – but get them in sooner.

How and what you change to be healthy is up to you. Stick with it – no matter how many times you stop and start.

Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.