Thursday, June 20, 2013
Accidents are often 'duh' moments
By Dr. Anthony Policastro

I often listen to the news and hear about accidents. The story line will tell about the parents of the injured child or about the child of the injured parent. However, it sometimes feels like a V-8 moment. I want to hit myself in the forehead and go "duh." For example, there are many auto accidents. Fortunately, deaths in auto accidents have decreased over the years. However, there are many "duh" moments associated with those accidents. The injury might have been secondary to ejection from the vehicle. "Duh," that's why they make seat belts. The injury might have occurred because the driver was drinking. "Duh." The injury might have occurred because the driver was texting or speaking on a cell phone. "Duh." They do not give driver's licenses to adolescents under age 16. That is because physically and mentally, they do not have the skills to operate a vehicle prior to that age. However, we see younger children injured every year from operating things like lawn tractors. "Duh." Head injuries are common with even minor bicycle accidents. That is because when we fall from a bicycle our center of gravity causes us to lead with our heads. There are helmet laws for bicycle riders. However, when I walk along the road in Fenwick Island, there are many riders without helmets. This includes parents and children riding together without helmets. If they suffer a head injury my reaction is "Duh." Young children and handguns are a bad combination. There are individuals that leave their guns loaded and unlocked. Then they are shocked when a child uses it to shoot someone. "Duh." There are still over 50,000 injuries per year from jumping on trampolines. When the child shows up at the ER with something broken, the response should be "Duh." We sometimes laugh at the stupidity of instructions put on items that we buy. It might say something like "Not to be eaten." Or, it might say "Do not use in such a manner." We look at these instructions and say to ourselves, "no one would be that dumb." Unfortunately, the usual reason that such stupid instructions exist is that at some point in time, someone actually tried what they are warning against. These things all tend to come from a "Duh" moment. My favorite story along these lines is the individual who bought an RV. He set the cruise control and then went back to fix a cup of coffee. Lo and behold the RV crashed. "Duh." However, now we have a warning about doing such a thing. Many accidents are foreseeable. If we can imagine it happening, it likely will. When I give poison control instructions, I tell parents to put their medicines on the top shelf of the linen closet. Any toddler can climb from the toilet to the sink and then get in the medicine cabinet. Moving the medications will prevent the "Duh" moment. We need to look at things we plan to do. If we can see ourselves saying "Duh" later, then we need to adjust the plan. Otherwise we will likely have a black and blue forehead from hitting it so many times and saying "Duh."

Health options for small businesses Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) reminds small businesses of new resources for employee health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it has finalized the applications for the small business exchanges, also called the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). SHOP will allow small business employers to choose from a range of easy-to-understand health coverage options for their employees. Applications to the program will be available Oct. 1, 2013, with health coverage plans to take effect Jan. 1, 2014. Additionally, employers may qualify for a tax credit worth up to 50% of the employer's premium contribution. "I often say that the role of government is to create a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation," said Sen. Carper. "A big part of that is providing our small businesses with the support they need to provide high-quality, affordable health insurance plans to their employees. Programs like the small business health insurance exchanges, called Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, help small businesses to form large purchasing pools, using market forces to reduce the cost of health insurance, while also making the process of purchasing employee health insurance plans easier and more accessible. The program also expands the variety of options potentially available to employees, which ultimately helps many workers in our state access the best coverage for their health needs for the lowest cost. I encourage Delaware's small businesses to examine this resource and become familiar with SHOP before enrollment begins in October." CMS also announced its rule for transitioning employers into the SHOP program. In 2014, SHOPs will provide employers the flexibility to choose to offer only one plan or allow their employees to individually choose from a range of plans. The Federally-facilitated SHOP will allow employers to choose one plan from a range of plans to offer their employees. In 2015 and thereafter, all SHOPs will allow small businesses to let their employees choose coverage from a number of plans. The SHOP application can be found at this link, under Affordable Insurance Exchanges:

Nanticoke Memorial goes live on network In May, when Nanticoke Memorial Hospital (NMH) began posting its patient reports and test results to the Delaware Health Information Network, it was a "first" not only for the organization, but for the nation. With those first key strokes, DHIN became the first health information exchange in the country to have all acute care hospitals in its state delivering medical results to its statewide network. "Reaching 100% acute care hospital participation in just six years is just a tremendous achievement for the healthcare community and people of Delaware. It is a great thrill to be the first in the country to reach this milestone," said DHIN Executive Director, Dr. Jan Lee. "This provides a more complete and comprehensive community health record in Delaware, speeding care, saving potential duplication of efforts and, most importantly, helping to save lives. We appreciate how seriously Nanticoke Memorial Hospital took this project and applaud them in their efforts to complete the circle for the people of Delaware." Participation of all six acute care hospitals will become even more powerful later this year when DHIN launches an alert system that advises the more than 2,400 practicing physicians in the state utilizing DHIN (nearly 100%) when a patient from their practice is admitted to or discharged from the hospital. For more information about DHIN, visit While on the site, visitors are encouraged to register for a monthly newsletter that provides updates on programs, services and milestones.

DPH recommends vaccine Due to Delaware's proximity to New York City (NYC), the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging men who have sex with men (MSM), and who may have had intimate contact with a man who was known to be from NYC, or could potentially be from NYC (if the sexual partner's place of residence was unknown), to discuss the need for meningococcal vaccination with their physician. NYC is reporting an outbreak of meningococcal disease in men who have sex with men. There has not been any increase in Delaware cases of meningococcal disease. This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution. In addition, routine screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including syphilis is encouraged for any of these men if they have not been tested in the past six months.

For more information, contact the DPH immunization program at 1-800-282-8672. Individuals seeking TTY services should call 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460.

Nanticoke welcomes nurse practioner Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Nurse Practitioner, Jessica Baxter, FNP-BC to the Nanticoke Physician Network. Baxter joins the Georgetown Family Practice of Drs. Harry Anthony and Joseph Karnish at 505 B W. Market St., Georgetown. Baxter, a Delaware native, received her masters of science in nursing from Wilmington University in Delaware and her bachelors of science in nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Baxter's most recent experience includes working as a perioperative nurse at Beebe Medical Center's outpatient surgical center. Baxter is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Association.

CPR classes offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor. The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency because of job responsibilities or regulatory requirements. Cost is $45. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Hospice holds support workshop Delaware Hospice will hold a Family Support Workshop on "Antidotes to the Deadly Impact of Stress" on Friday, June 21, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, Milford. Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, will present this workshop, which will feature a video produced by PBS called, "Stress: Portrait of a Killer." In the beginning, the stress response saved lives, making us run from predators and enabling us to take down prey. Today, human beings are turning on the same life-saving physical reactions to cope with 30 year mortgages, $4 a gallon gasoline, final exams, and traffic jams. Understanding how stress works can help us figure out ways to combat it and mitigate negative impacts on our health. Family Support Workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is required as seating is limited. Register by Wednesday, June 19, by contacting Vicki Costa at 856-7717, ext. 1129, or

Asthma Awareness Workshops The Sussex Coalition, Telemon, Department of Public Health, Nemours and the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club are sponsoring Family Fun Nights to facilitate a series of asthma workshops and promote asthma awareness. Family fun nights and asthma training workshops will be held on Friday, June 21 from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club in Seaford. Admission, activities (bring a swimsuit) and dinner are free. Presenters include Sheelagh Stewart, Nemours asthma educator; Denese Bell, public health educator and trainer; and Bill Leitzinger, Office of Healthy Environments. For more information, call Troy Hazzard at 302-444-9175 or Cathy Van Sciver at 302-262-9459.

Hospice offers Camp New Hope Delaware Hospice has spaces available at its Camp New Hope, which will be held from Aug. 6-9, at Killens Pond State Park, for children and teens who have suffered the recent loss of a loved one. Since 1990, Delaware Hospice's New Hope program has offered individual and family grief counseling to more than 1,500 children and adolescents aged 6-17. The New Hope program, including Camp New Hope, is a free, community outreach program. New Hope supports children referred from the community as well as members of Delaware Hospice families. Camp New Hope is the annual highlight of the New Hope Program. This inspirational day camp takes place over four days, connecting children in similar age groups in order to help them process their feelings of loss and grief. Many of the children in New Hope have lost a parent, sibling, or grandparent due to illness or sudden death. Learn more about Camp New Hope by contacting New Hope Coordinator for Kent and Sussex Counties, Robin Murphy at 302-678-4444 or

Report sick and dead wild birds DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife Mosquito Control Section is again asking the public's help in monitoring West Nile virus in Delaware by reporting sick or dead wild birds of certain species that may have contracted the virus. West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne disease that rates of considerable concern to the health of humans and unvaccinated horses. Beginning now, the Mosquito Control Section requests that the public report sick or dead birds of the following species only: crows, blue jays, cardinals, robins, and hawks or owls, plus clusters of three or more sick or dead wild birds of any species. Bird specimens should have been dead for less than 24 hours and not appear to have died or been killed by other obvious causes. The collecting and testing of virus-suspect wild birds may continue through the end of September, said Dr. William Meredith, Delaware Mosquito Control administrator. Sick or dead birds can be reported to the Mosquito Control Section between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling Mosquito Control's field offices in Milford at 422-1512. Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Group Cadia Rehab Renaissance near Millsboro is hosting and facilitating an Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group that meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. All meetings are open to the public and interested parties are invited to attend. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. One person out of eight who reaches the age of 65 will develop Alzheimer's, as will one person out of every two who reaches the age of 85.

Hospice 5K Run & Family Fun Walk Delaware Hospice will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the opening of the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford at its popular 5K Run & Family Fun Walk on Wednesday, July 10. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m., the race begins at 6:30, and the post-event cookout and party will go on until evening. Early registrants will pay $18 for individual entries until July 8. After July 18, individual entries are $20. Team rate for a group of four or family rate for a group of four or more from the same household is $50. Sponsorships are welcome. There will be medals for winners and door prizes for everyone. For more information, contact Peggy Dolby, assistant director of development, at 856-7717 or