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Guest Post by:
Eric Angermeier, MD
Hand, Wrist, and Microvascular Surgery
Department of Orthopaedics
Medical University of South Carolina

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Perhaps you have noticed that we take great pride in our food here in the Lowcountry.  In the words of our unofficial poet laureate, Bill Murray, "The standard of food here is so high, when I go around any place, I just go 'eh".  It should be no surprise then that Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal around here.  Ask a dozen local foodies how to cook a turkey and you'll get just as many different answers.  Whether you brine or baste, roast or fry, there is one thing we should all agree on...DO IT SAFELY!Carving Turkey

Every Thanksgiving I see far too many hand injuries in our Emergency Room.  We are always happy to treat them, but your food is never quite as good reheated when you get home, so here are a few tips to prevent common hand injuries this holiday.

1) When carving that beautiful turkey (or anything for that matter) never cut toward yourself, always away.

2) Always use sharp knives.  Injuries often happen when forcing a dull knife through tough meat or joints.

3) Use proper gloves/pads to handle hot dishes.  Grease burns from fryer pots are especially common.

4) Keep sharp utensils, hot cookware, and other dangerous items out of reach from small children.

5) Don't Drink and Drive!  Many of the hand injuries I see during the holidays are associated with much more serious injuries caused by alcohol-related car accidents.

First Aid for Cuts and Burns:

1) Rinse the wound thoroughly with fresh cool water.

2) Apply gentle pressure to bleeding cuts with a clean cloth.

3) Place a clean bandage on the wound.

When to go to the Emergency Room:

1) The cut is still bleeding after holding pressure for 15 minutes.

2) Severe burns, deep cuts, dirty cuts, numbness in the finger, or inability to move the finger.

3) You are unsure of your tetanus immunization status.

If accidents happen, MUSC is here to help!  Our Emergency Department is open 24/7, and there is always a hand specialist on call.  For all of your non-emergent hand and wrist problems, you can request an appointment with me by calling 843-876-0111.  We can often accommodate same-day or next-day appointments by request.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Guest Post by:
Stephanie Davey, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer
MUSC Sports Medicine

It’s that time of year again.  The transition between fall and winter sports is upon us.  Thousands of high school athletes will be trading in their cleats for court or mat shoes.  While, single sport specialization has reduced the number of multi sport athletes, there are still plenty of kids that need to balance the demands of multiple sports in a year.  While, high school athletes playing multiple sports is ultimately a good thing, special care needs to be taken to make the transition smooth.  Coaches and parents need to be aware of these demands and find a way to help their athletes cope.

First and foremost, the health and safety of the athlete is priority.  Any injuries that occurred during the fall sport should be 100% healed.  It doesn’t matter if the injury was a grade one ankle sprain or a concussion, the injury needs to be healed.  If this does not happen, the injury will either get worse or will lead to another injury else where in the chain.  Secondly, if the fall sport was a contact sport, the athlete should have enough time to get over any soreness or stiffness.  The timeline for that is dependent on each athlete and the position and minutes that they played during the fall season.  If an athlete isn’t allowed to be fully recovered after the fall season, there is a higher chance that they will be injured at some point during the fall season.  If they are having trouble getting over their fall injuries, contact your high school’s athletic trainer.

Mental health is just as important to the success of an athlete.  Playing sports while getting a high school education is a time consuming process for American teenagers.  They also apparently enjoy having a social life!  While all this teaches our high school student athletes to manage their time, it can be very stressful.   The athlete should be completely caught up in all their school work.  This will not only make the teachers happy, it will lower stress levels by having everything under control.  Also, it can help to prevent burnout  if an athlete can have a few days to themselves after school.

It’s hard to determine how much time off each student athlete will need between each sport.  Parents, coaches, athletic trainers and the student athlete all need to be on the same page when determining time off.  The health of each student athlete is always priority number one!

Thursday, November 19, 2015 is the Great American Smokeout. Get ready to lose the habit, and become victorious over tobacco. The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event is your chance to triumph over addiction. Every November, we set aside the third Thursday to encourage smokers to go the distance, and to finally give up smoking.

About 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. As of 2013, there were also 12.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and over 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.

By quitting — even for one day — you will be taking an important step toward a healthier life — one that can lead to reducing your cancer risk. It’s a race for your health, and it starts November 19. That’s the day that quitters win. #QuitLikeAChampion.

It's hard to quit tobacco.

Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:

  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
  • Stop-smoking groups
  • Online quit groups
  • Counseling
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
  • Guide books
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.

Want some tips for quitting? The American Cancer Society offers a Guide to Quitting Smoking.

And if you have friends or family who are trying to quit, help them out by reading these Do's and Don'ts for helping smokers quit.

MUSC also offers resources for those who want to quit.  You’ll find links to tips from former smokers, links to videos and even information about cessation classes.

Does it take more to make you want to quit?  How about a "Quit and Win" contest with cash prizes? MUSC and several community partners are sponsoring this contest In January of 2016.

Whatever it takes to get you to quit, we want to help! #QuitLikeAChampion

Guest post by:
Lindsey Clarke, MS, ATC, CMT
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Sports Medicine

138,336 feet doesn’t sound too far, right?  How about 26.2 miles?  That sounds much farther, but it’s the same distance…and that is the official distance of a marathon.  The distance was originally set at 24 miles to commemorate the Greek soldier called Pheidippides, who ran 24 miles from a battlefield in Marathon to Athens to deliver news of victory. Those extra 11,616 feet, or 2.2 miles were added by decree of the International Olympic Committee at the 1908 Olympic Games in London, England, so the race would finish in front of the Royal box at White City Stadium.  The distance of 26.2 has been regulation since.  That kind of mileage is no joke.  Legend has it that our man Pheidippides died promptly after his run to deliver his message.  Training for a marathon takes intense preparation, dedication, and skill.  I’m not saying you’ll die if you run a marathon without training, but the chances of you having a successful and enjoyable race will greatly increase if you’re properly prepared!  Depending on your experience, training for mileage like this can take anywhere from 4-6 months, and up to a year for less experienced runners.  This is definitely not a race you can just sign up for and give it a go.  There are a number of variables that can determine the outcome of your training efforts, and eventually, your race day.

Diet.  Throughout training, your diet plays a significant role in helping you perform and recover.  In making food choices, it’s always best to stick with what you know works. You do not want to experiment the day of the race.  A well-rounded diet of lean meats, legumes, dairy, fruits, and vegetables is a great way to set your self up for success come race day.  Foods with a moderate to high glycemic index are your best choices before a race.  Glycogen stores will deplete over long distances, so practice during your long and semi-long runs with the sports drink and energy gels you intend to refuel with during the race.  While staying hydrated is key to performance, marathoners often get into trouble by over hydrating (hyponatremia).  This can be quite serious.  As you become dehydrated, less oxygen, fuel, and electrolytes are delivered to working muscles, resulting in fatigue, injury, and possible cardiac implications.  In addition to fluids, there are significant nutrient losses during races lasting 1-4+ hours.  It is best to take advantage of a sports drink containing carbohydrates and electrolytes to offset these losses during your race.

Race Prep.  Select the shoes, socks, and attire you'll wear in the marathon. The shoes should be fairly lightweight, but provide good support.  Do not wear brand new shoes the day of your race. You should do a mid-long distance run in your shoes at race pace to determine whether you'll develop blisters or sore feet. If the shoes bother you on this run, get yourself another pair.  Many running specialty stores offer gait analysis which may be helpful in determining which shoe is best for you.  It may not seem so, but attire is very important.  Be aware of weather conditions, and dress accordingly. Non-cotton/technical moisture-wicking fabric is essential for comfort and prevention of chaffing.

Training Habits.  Research your race and determine the terrain.  If at all possible, start doing runs on the same topography as the marathon. If your race is hilly, incorporate hills or incline work to your training.  Flat may sound easy, but you’ll be using the same muscles the entire time, so you must be prepared.  If at all possible, run at the same time of day as the start of your marathon. As a result, your body's rhythms (especially your bathroom routine) will be in sync with the demands of the marathon come race day.

Pre-Race Habits.  Extra sleep prior to a race is critical. Your body will really appreciate it the day of.  The day before, continue eating as you have in the week leading up to the race, but increasing your intake of up to 5.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight.  For longer races, your body will require more fuel.  A more substantial meal is warranted approximately 2 hours prior to start, so set that alarm just a little extra early.  In addition to your meal, it is good practice to have a light snack 1 hour prior to the race.  A granola bar, energy chews, GU, etc are good options for more sustained energy release and a lower possibility for GI distress.  Maintain the hydration practices you’ve been following during training.  Consume three to six ounces of fluid (water and sports drink) every 15 to 20 minutes to replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes and prevent dehydration.  An hour prior to start, find a quiet place to spend a few moments reviewing your race plan and motivation.  Remind yourself of why you're there and be confident in the months of effort you’ve put in.

Post Race.  While every fiber in your body may be screaming for rest…keep moving.  Gentle stretching and lower intensity cardiovascular movements, such as walking, for up to 60 minutes after the race, will help diminish a lot of post-race stiffness.  Replace fluids, drinking enough so you have to use the bathroom within 60 to 90 minutes after your run (approximately 8-24oz).  Post race practices are very important in regards to recovery. Replacing fluids lost and replenishing glycogen stores are crucial and the window of opportunity is small. It is best to consume a recovery ‘meal’ within the first 30 minutes after completion of the run. The optimum ratio is 3:1 carbohydrates to protein. Depending on your preference, this meal can take the form of nutrition bars, recovery sports drinks, or even chocolate milk. For a long run such as this, you should also take in a full meal within 2 hours of completing your race that contains lean proteins, carbohydrates, and maybe even a post-race treat…you deserve it!  And finally…CELEBRATE!!!  You’ve completed a major accomplishment.  You have earned your bragging rights as being part of the 0.5% of Americans that have run a marathon. Be proud of all of your planning and sacrifices.  Wear that race t-shirt with pride and make sure to slap your little black and white 26.2 sticker on your car when you get home!

Many children enjoy jumping on a trampoline and many parents worry about their safety.  By following these safety tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), you can reduce the liklihood and the severity of possible injuries.

  • Use of trampolines for physical education, competitive gymnastics, diving training and other similar activities requires careful adult supervision and proper safety measures.
  • Trampolines should not be used for unsupervised recreational activity.
  • Competent adult supervision and instruction is needed for children at all times.
  • Only one participant should use a trampoline at any time.
  • Spotters should be present when participants are jumping. Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should be avoided without proper supervision and instruction; these maneuvers should be done only with proper use of protective equipment, such as a harness.
  • The trampoline-jumping surface should be placed at ground level.
  • The supporting bars, strings and surrounding landing surfaces should have adequate protective padding.
  • Equipment should be checked regularly for safety conditions.
  • Safety net enclosures may give a false sense of security – most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
  • Trampolines are not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
  • Make sure trampoline ladders are removed after use to prevent unsupervised access by young children.

Thanks to the AAOS for these tips.


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