Safety First - Think Twice!

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dont try this at home

GotSafety.ORG is devoted to keeping people safe and out of the Emergency Department (ED). The tips contained in our Safety Books have been collected from the medical literature, the general health literature, and from the sometimes zany stories of thousands of ER patients.  You can support GotSafety.ORG by purchasing one of our Safety Books for yourself or a friend (they make great gifts). In addition, please consider making a $20 donation. Each donation “buys” ten copies of the pocket version of Think Twice: More Lessons from the ER for ten ED patients.   All of our books are available on this website and Think Twice is also available as a Kindle book through Amazon.com.  If you or someone you know works in an Emergency Department or Urgent Care have them visit EMresource.org for our other products.


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Whooping Cough Sucks

Spring and summer are the time of year when pertussis or whooping cough are most prevalent.  This nasty infections starts like the typical viral infections, so most savvy people don’t rush to see their doctor and instead let their immune system take care of things.  Viral bronchitis being far more common than, pertussis, this strategy usually works out OK.  Unfortunately pertussis can turn in to a nagging cough that lasts months and months.  It’s rarely fatal, except in infants, but it can make adults quite sick for a vary long time.  Once you are at this stage, antibiotics are unlikely to help you, but they may help prevent the spread to other people – up to 80% of close contact eventually get it.

Fortunately there is a vaccine that we all received as children to prevent pertussis.  The bad news is that the immunity wanes over time and most adults need a booster.  These booster shots were rarely given until recently.  Now most tetanus boosters also contain the pertussis booster and it should be good for 5-10 years, just like the tetanus shot.  I got mine about 3 years ago.  When will you get yours?  Ask your doctor about this and other adult vaccines.


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FLU SEASON SAFETY

If we all are better about keeping our germs to ourself not only could that protect us from bird flu, SARS and E. coli but also from the many more common conditions that we unfortunately share. “How should I sneeze or cough?” is actually an important question to ask yourself. The best places to aim are probably down your shirt or into your elbow. The worst places are in your hands or into space. To watch a funny yet educational video on this topic click here


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