Stay Safe on Two Wheels

Staying Safe on Two Wheels

Staying Safe on Two Wheels

The right protective equipment and respect for the rules can help keep a bicycle accident from spoiling much more than your ride.

In 2015, emergency rooms across the U.S. treated more bicycle injuries — approximately 488,000 — than injuries from all but one other sport, basketball, according to the National Safety Council.

Low rates of helmet use may be to blame, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — fewer than half of riders wear one. Riders who don’t wear helmets typically experience the most serious injuries, such as damage to the brain or spinal cord.

Bicycle safety starts at home and continues on the ride. Here’s how to protect yourself.

Before You Go

  • Do your homework. “Plan your route before you leave home so you won’t encounter any surprises,” said Kathy Panther, director of the brain injury program and inpatient therapy at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health, and a cycling lover. “If possible, ride with a group, which is safer because you are more visible.”
  • Gear up. Every rider needs a fitted helmet (see “4 Steps to Helmet Harmony”), white headlight and red rear reflectors.
  • Keep your hands free. Outfit your bike with a rack, basket or handlebar bags — or wear a bike shirt with multiple pockets — so you can devote your hands to steering.

On the Road

  • Don’t ride distracted. Put your phone away and leave the earbuds at home.
  • Go with the flow. Travel the same direction as car traffic, which carries less risk of injury.

If you have recently suffered a brain injury from a bike accident or while playing a sport, Frazier Rehab Institute has a concussion helpline open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Just call 502.420.0125 to speak with an expert.

4 Steps to Helmet Harmony

  1. Check the label. Choose a helmet certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  2. Focus on fit. The helmet should cradle your head snugly with no forward or backward tilt or side-to-side movement. Above all, it should protect your forehead — the most likely point of injury in a crash.
  3. Adjust appropriately. Make sure the side straps form a “V” over the ears, and pull the chinstrap until it fits snugly.
  4. Know when to let go. If the helmet takes a hit in a crash, replace it.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Help Prevent Colon Cancer Through Screening Options

KentuckyOne Health News and Events

KentuckyOne Health News and Events

KentuckyOne Health Announces Affiliation Agreement With Taylor Regional Hospital

Lexington, Ky. (March 15, 2018) — KentuckyOne Health is pleased to announce a new affiliation agreement with Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville.

Read the full article

Help Prevent Colon Cancer Through Screening Options

Louisville, Ky. (March 9, 2018) – March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of colorectal cancer to help save lives. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States, and the second leading cause of death in men.

Read the full article

Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital to Offer Free Parkinson’s Disease Lunch Seminar

Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Are you looking to learn more about the disease and what you can do to live well with it?

Read the full article

Pills, Pills, Pills: Safety First

Pills, Pills, Pills: Safety First

Pills, Pills, Pills: Safety First

Staying organized is an Rx for prescription safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a quarter of Americans currently take three or more prescription medications. Managing multiple medications can be complicated, especially when many medications interact with each other.

One way to keep track is to create a list of all the medications you take. Share this information with your pharmacist and primary care physician. They can help make sure you don’t have duplicate prescriptions or mix the wrong medications, which can cause adverse side effects.

“Be open with your health care team about every pill you take, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter medications,” said Kevin Poe, PharmD, BCPS, clinical pharmacy manager at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. “If you notice unusual side effects, speak up. We can often find alternative prescriptions or adjust your medication list to help you feel better.”

Simple Is Best

“To make medication management easy, consider using the same pharmacy to fill all of your prescriptions,” said Carrie Schanen, PharmD, managed care pharmacy specialist with KentuckyOne Health Partners. “Create a relationship with your pharmacist. That way, he or she knows you and your history.”

Poe recommends asking your pharmacist for tips about organizing your medications. Your pharmacy may recommend tracking apps or sell color-coded pillboxes to sort medications.

“Having a routine can help you remember when to take your medications,” Schanen said. “Try pairing each dose with a memory trigger, like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.”

Pharmacists are there to help you get the most out of your prescriptions and make sure you take them safely. Always follow their recommendations for handling, storing and taking medications. Keep prescriptions in a dry location away from sunlight, preferably not in the bathroom where humidity can be an issue.

“Be aware of what medications you take and why you take them. You are your own best safety and health care advocate,” said Poe.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Channeling C.A.R.E.

Channeling C.A.R.E.

Tranquil scenes play 24 hours a day on the new C.A.R.E. Channel at Saint Joseph Hospital.

Hospitals can be a stressful environment for patients who are undergoing treatment or awaiting test results, as well as the visitors, physicians and staff members working diligently to provide the best of care. The new Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment (C.A.R.E.) Channel at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, is a resource to help decrease stress and optimize patient recovery times. The channel was made possible by a gift from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation.

“The C.A.R.E. Channel is available on every television in Saint Joseph Hospital,” said Lynnette RauvolaBouta, vice president of mission integration. “The channel always plays nature scenery videos and calm instrumental music, which have been shown to have a positive impact on anxiety and pain.”

The C.A.R.E. Channel began broadcasting in May and is one of the ways Saint Joseph Hospital strives to provide a more healing environment for patients and hospital team members. Additionally, the hospital offers 24-hour chaplain services and pet therapy. Research published in medical journals, including Journal of Music Therapy and Anxiety, Stress & Coping, shows that exposure to music and interacting with animals can be effective complements to standard medical treatment.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Want to find more ways to give back to your local community? Learn more about the KentuckyOne Health foundations and how you can get involved today.

Know Your Nerves

Know Your Nerves

Know Your Nerves

Approximately 20 million Americans have some type of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that can often be prevented and managed.

Tingling, numbness, muscle weakness — when these symptoms occur in the foot, they’re often signs of one of more than 100 nerve disorders called neuropathy.

Damage to the peripheral nervous system typically begins in the nerves farthest from the brain and spinal cord. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is uncontrolled diabetes. Other factors that increase the risk for neuropathy include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Nutritional deficiency in B1, B12 or iron
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Take Care

It’s possible to have neuropathy from diabetes without symptoms or with subtle signs that only a health care professional might notice. Numbness caused by neuropathy may make it difficult to notice cuts or swelling on the feet without routinely checking for them.

For this reason, doctors often tell patients with diabetes to do daily foot exams or, if they can’t, have a primary care provider or podiatrist do them. Unmanaged peripheral neuropathy can spread to the legs, arms and hands.

Nicole Everman, MD“Adopting healthier lifestyle habits, such as maintaining optimal weight, exercising daily and eating a balanced diet, can reduce effects of neuropathy,” said Nicole Everman, MD, neurologist with KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates. “Physical and occupational therapy are also important when treating peripheral neuropathy because they help improve balance and motor strength.”

Other treatment options include oral medications for nerve pain and topical treatments such as capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches. An early diagnosis of neuropathy can help prevent further nerve damage, so people with symptoms should seek medical care.

Keep Your feet in Check

Most of us have heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to diabetic neuropathy.

“Studies have shown that those with diabetes can reduce the risk of experiencing nerve damage by keeping blood sugar levels close to normal,” said Dr. Everman. “Peripheral neuropathy can also be a result of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B1 deficiencies, so eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Other prevention methods include:

  • Wearing well-fitted shoes
  • Inspecting your feet daily for any redness, swelling or wounds
  • Visiting your primary care physician or a podiatrist regularly

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Not only do primary care doctors specialize in diagnosing and managing a wide range of health issues, they also teach you about prevention and wellness.  If you don’t have a primary care provider, find one near you today. To speak with someone about peripheral neuropathy, call KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates at 859.263.8807.