Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 41

the first is playing with Legos, counting coins or coloring with crayons,
and younger siblings can end up with
little objects in their mouths, ears
or noses. "I saw a little girl whose
brother had a seed and he dared
her to put it in her ear," Lev says.
"It got stuck, and it was quite a
fiasco to get it out."
For older kids, make sure they're
wearing helmets and other protective gear when biking, skating,
skateboarding and skiing.

If you drink, do
so in moderation

Everyone knows about the dangers of drinking and driving. But
alcohol can lead to other risks
besides vehicle crashes. Lev sees
injuries in people who have fallen
and hurt themselves or gotten into
fights when under the influence.
And binge drinking can lead to
alcohol poisoning.
Lev recommends talking to your
teenage children about the dangers
of drinking too much. "I work in a
hospital surrounded by colleges,
and every Saturday night I see girls
and guys, well-dressed, completely
unconscious, with vomit in their
hair. They're a total mess," Lev says.
"They went out to have a good time
and ended up being miserable."

Be careful
at work

Two professions are especially dangerous when it comes to sending
workers to the emergency department, Lev says: food service and
healthcare. Food service workers
risk lacerations from knives and
broken glasses. "Stemware is prone

to breaking in the dishwasher or
sink, causing cuts on the fingers,"
she says.
Healthcare professionals need to
be careful when lifting or moving
people, because that's a common
cause of back strain. And they should
follow protocol for handling needles
at all times, as needle stick injuries
happen frequently.

Mind your
medications

Maybe you see your internist for
your overall healthcare, an orthopedic specialist for a sports injury
and a psychiatrist for anxiety. They
might all give you different medications, and "those medications might
not work together," Lev says. "You
want to make sure they don't cause
interactions." Drug interactions can
create excessive sedation, weakness
and dizziness; in some cases, they
are life-threatening.
Lev recommends using your cellphone to keep a list or a photo of
your medications so you always have
it at hand.

GO, EVEN
THOUGH
IT'S A PAIN
People tend to deny or downplay
symptoms of two leading killers in
the United States-heart attack
and stroke-instead of getting the
care they need.
It's natural to worry about the
time and expense involved with
going to the emergency department.
After all, you may reason, you're
probably fine, right?
Maybe. But it's not worth betting
your life. You should be evaluated
for any type of chest pain. Lots of
conditions can cause it, including
heart attack, and only an expert can
make the diagnosis.
If you have stroke symptoms-
sudden-onset arm or leg weakness,
trouble speaking or an asymmetrical
facial appearance-call an ambulance. The effects of stroke can
be reversible if treatment starts
soon enough.

Take your time

Often, people end up in
the emergency department when
rushing leads to a fall. (Falling is
especially dangerous if you're on
blood thinners, because you may
bleed too much, including inside your
body. "If you fall and hit your head,
even if you think it's insignificant, you
should be evaluated," Lev says.)
It can be hard to slow down and
take care when life is hectic, but it's
worth the effort. That's especially
true of driving, when being hurried
or distracted can be fatal. ■

WEBSITE

Stop a Stroke
Before It Starts
Early detection and treatment of
vascular disease can reduce your
risk for a heart attack or stroke. To
see if you're eligible for a vascular
screening, go to uvahealth.com/
vascularscreening.

FAL L 2017

41


http://www.uvahealth.com/vascularscreening http://www.uvahealth.com/vascularscreening

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
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