Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 43


Q

In a mad rush to get dinner on the
table, you grab the handle of a hot
pan. Ouch! Your skin immediately
gets red and starts to blister a little.
Is it: A minor burn or a thirddegree burn?
MINOR BURN. Yes, it hurts. But if you
grabbed the pan and put it down right
away, you're probably safe to treat it with
cold water, cold compresses and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, Kaplan says.
Even if the skin starts to blister, you're
probably still in the clear to treat it with
antibiotic ointment. Don't pop that blister,
though. The broken skin invites bacteria
that could lead to infection, Kaplan warns.
And if red streaks move up your arm,
you've splashed yourself with hot oil, or
the skin looks doughy but isn't painful, get
to the emergency department. These are
signs of a more significant burn.

Q

Your son took a tumble down the
stairs and hit his head against the
wall as he tried to break his fall.
You check him all over and nothing
seems broken, but a knot is popping
up on his head.
Is it: A bump or a concussion?
BUMP. He didn't lose consciousness.
He seems like his normal, albeit clumsy,
self. And he's not repeating the same
questions without seeming to hear the
answer, something called perseveration.
Such behavior would indicate concussion, Kaplan says. Nausea and vomiting would be other worrisome signs,
perhaps caused by increased pressure
inside the skull. If those symptoms surface, seek care, Kaplan says.
For now, it's best to keep a close eye
on him over the next 24 to 48 hours to

make sure he's with it and not feeling
nauseated or overly sleepy.

Q

Dashing to an afternoon meeting,
you round the corner of your office
and turn your ankle. Aside from
wishing you'd worn sneakers, you're in
pain and wondering whether something
is broken as you hobble to the conference room.
Is it: A break or a sprain?
SPRAIN. Look, you're still walking on
it without too much trouble, right?
That's a good sign of a sprain rather
than a fracture. You'll want to stay off
the ankle, elevate it and apply cold compresses for 20 to 30 minutes at a time
for about four hours, Kaplan says.
"The more you keep it elevated, the
less swollen it's going to be. The less
swollen it is, the more quickly it will
heal," he says.

Q

After an evening of too many
chips and some really spicy Mexican
food with friends, you're feeling
nagging discomfort in the lower part of
your chest.
Is it: Indigestion or a heart problem?
PROBABLY INDIGESTION. But, as
Kaplan notes, you don't mess around

with chest pain. If you're having pain
that you can't explain from say, catching
a football against your chest or having
tried to eat your weight in habaneroladen salsa, you're best served getting
medical attention. This is particularly
true for someone who has a family history of heart problems, is overweight,
has high blood pressure or cholesterol,
or smokes cigarettes, Kaplan says.

Q

You're really sick and have been
running a fever that won't come
down. You're bedbound and sore
all over, particularly around your neck.
Is it: A run-of-the-mill virus
or meningitis?
COULD BE MENINGITIS. Many people
consider a fever high when it reaches
102 and might head to the emergency
department, though the fever is probably treatable with acetaminophen or
ibuprofen, Kaplan says. But the addition
of neck stiffness and headaches might
signal something serious such as meningitis, an infection that causes swelling
of the membranes around the brain and
spinal cord.
Get to the emergency department
"if there's a stiff neck or alteration in
consciousness, they're not taking in fluids or not acting themselves," he says. n

VIDEO

Heart Attack in Women
Learn about the symptoms you might not expect by watching a short
video starring actress Elizabeth Banks at bit.ly/1bdKZ49.

WIN TE R 2016

43


http://www.bit.ly/1bdKZ49

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 4
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 5
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 6
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 7
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 8
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 9
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 10
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 11
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 12
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 13
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 14
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 15
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 16
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 17
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 18
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 19
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 38
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 39
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 40
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 41
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 42
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 43
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 48
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 49
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 52
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 53
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 55
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 56
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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