Thursday, January 04, 2018
Doctors Perspective
People do dumb things

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
When I was assigned to Shaw AFB in South Carolina, we participated in a Memorial Day fundraiser which was a video telethon. Various groups created videos and the local television station would play the video if someone called in to donate money. My 50s group Godfather and the Doo Wops made a video based on Weird Al Yankovics song, Like a Surgeon. The video was a spoof on medical care. Lawyers on base insisted that we put a disclaimer at the end of it. The disclaimer had to say that the antics in the video did not represent the kind of care provided at the base hospital. Really?! I guess the expectation was that the people watching the video were stupid. How could anyone believe the video was real? This is an example of how we think all people do dumb things. All of us do dumb things on occasion. Some of us do dumb things more often than others. However, doing a dumb thing does not mean a person is dumb. This is similar to children. They do bad things but that does not make them bad children. Society is full of the perception that people consistently do dumb things. You only need to look at warning labels to see how deep that perception is. Lawsuits provide a good example. The woman who spilled hot coffee on herself sued McDonalds. A woman in Texas sued a furniture store for tripping over a toddler and falling in the store. The toddler was her child. She won. A man in California sued a driver for running over his hand while he was trying to steal hubcaps off the car. He won. A burglar in Bristol, Pa., got trapped in the garage of a house he was robbing. The family was away for a week. He had no food. He sued the insurance company for mental anguish. He won. A woman in Philadelphia sued a restaurant when she slipped on a wet floor. The floor was wet because she had thrown her drink at her boyfriend. She won. A woman in Claymont injured herself while climbing through a window to get into a night club without paying the cover charge. She sued the club. She won. A man in Oklahoma purchased a new Winnebago. He set it on cruise control and went in the back to make a cup of coffee. It crashed. He sued. He won. Winnebago now has a warning label. These stories bring several things to mind. First is the fact that these lawsuits have resulted in all of the warning labels we see on products. The price for these labels is paid by the buyer of the product. Second, governments both local and federal issue regulations to put these types of warning labels on products. Third, there are jurors who will give money for any reason which only encourages more lawsuits. People are trying to hit the jackpot. People are not stupid. They are not dumb. They sometimes do stupid and dumb things. Rewarding that behavior only encourages more of the same behavior. We need to respect those around us even on those occasions when they make a bad decision.

Nanticoke to host Parkinsons education, support group Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and the Manor House, will hold a Parkinsons education and support group on Thursday, Jan. 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Manor House located at 1001 Middleford Road in Seaford. This support group is FREE and open to the public. Parkinsons disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects the part of the brain that controls muscle movement.Each individual may experience different symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity, poor balance, and a list of others. A PD diagnosis can bring out many difficult emotionsÑfear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and more. It is a challenge to learn how to cope with these feelings along with the stress of diagnosis and treatment. Participating in support groups is essential for coping with an illness such as PD or other disorders that impair bodily movement. This support group is not only helpful for the individual diagnosed with PD, but also for caregivers, friends and family. Group members welcome guest speakers on a variety of subjects related to PD and provide support to each other through other small group discussions. Studies show that the information, training, and counseling that participants receive at support groups enhances the quality of life, help to alleviate stress, and may even boost the immune system. Tara Trout, LPN at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, co-facilitates the group with Kathy Landis, Caregiver Resource Coordinator at CHEER in Sussex County. For more information, contact Tara at 302-629-6611, extension 3838.

Delaware Hospice offers safe sitter training session Jan. 9 Delaware Hospice will offer a safe sitter training session on Tuesday, Jan. 9 from 1-4 p.m. Located at 100 Patriots Way in Milford, Delaware Hospices safe sitter session is an opportunity for individuals to learn more about one aspect of volunteering with Delaware Hospice. This three-hour session will provide specific training and answer questions regarding this program. Volunteers are needed to provide companionship and a safety visit to patients in the community. Sitters do not provide personal care and a clinical background is helpful but not necessary. Caregiving experience preferred. All are welcome to learn more about this program and about other volunteer opportunities by visiting or contact Maxine Middlebrook at 302-856-7717.

Nanticoke Weight Loss hosts bariatric support groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center located within the Miller Building at 121 S. Front Street in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are open to the public.

Support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide useful information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The nutrition-focused bariatric support group is designed to provide nutritional support to bariatric patients and is held the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m.

Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services to hold Lymphedema support group Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services hosts lymphedema support groups on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center located at 600 N. Market Street Extended in Seaford. This months meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18. This free support group is open to anyone affected by lymphedema including patients, caregivers, and relatives. Meetings will consist of a lecture by health care professionals and medical equipment providers followed by refreshments and an open question and answer session or discussion amongparticipants. Registration is required. Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin that occurs most commonly in the limbs. The condition can be caused by a variety of factors including family history, damaged lymph vessels, lymph node removal, infection, or radiation therapy. Lymphedema causes swelling which may create movement limitation, and leaves patients at higher risks for wounds and infections. Lymphedema is a chronic condition with specific manual treatments, skin care, compression pumps, wraps, and exercises. For more information or to register, contact Robert Donati, PT, CLT at 302-629-6224. To learn more about services provided by Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services, visit

Yates joins Nanticoke Immediate Care The Nanticoke Physician Network welcomes Kimberly Yates, MSN, APRN, to its Nanticoke Immediate Care staff. Yates received her bachelor of science in nursing from Wilmington University and her master of science in nursing from the University of Delaware. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and has over 26 years of experience in various clinical settings. Her professional affiliations include the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Delaware Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to hold Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on Jan. 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 5-7 p.m. Pre-registration is required. As a person with diabetes, Nanticoke can help teach you the self-care skills needed to keep you on track. Our four-session diabetic program includes weekly education sessions in a group setting.One family member or significant other is welcome to attend as a passenger on your diabetic road trip. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. Program schedule: Week #1- What is Diabetes? Physiology and Self-Care Skills Review; Week #2- Meal Planning, Eating Out, Reading Food Labels; Week #3- Self Blood Glucose Monitoring & Management, Sick Day Rules, Traveling; Week #4- Medications Used to Manage Diabetes; Stress ManagementÑCoping with Diabetes & Lifestyle Changes; Summary & Course Evaluations, Goal Setting To register or for more information about this course, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education Department at 302-629-6611, extension 2288. To learn more about diabetes services at Nanticoke, visit

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet for a total of five weeks Ð four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. 2018 Dates: January 11, 18, 25, February 1, 8 February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22 March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26 May 16, 24, 31, June 7, 14 July 5, 12, 19, 26, August 2 August 30, September 6, 13, 20, 27 October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1 *November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11 (*Tuesdays) The maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. A refresher course is also available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes. The refresher class covers breathing techniques, signs, symptoms, and stages of labor, birthing options, and a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. The cost of the childbirth course is $50, and the cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Pre-registration is required for either class. To register or for more information, contact Nanticokes Maternal Child Health Clinical Educator at 302-629-6611, extension 2540. To learn more about womens health services provided by Nanticoke, visit