What is EVALI and Could Your Vaping Teen be at Risk of a Serious Illness?

Causes of EVALI

On December 31, 2019, Dallas County, Texas, reported its first death associated with E-cigarette, or Vaping, Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). The report was notable not only because it was the County’s first EVALI-related death, but because of the age of the victim: only 15 years old. The victim was not yet old enough to drive a car, vote, or legally buy cigarettes. Today, they are one more in a growing list of teen illnesses and fatalities that are among the reasons why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially classified EVALI as a recognized disease in August 2019.

Since the current national outbreak began in June 2019, the CDC has recognized more than 2,600 cases of hospitalized patients diagnosed with EVALI and 60 deaths. What is this new disease that is resulting in a growing number of teens presenting at hospital emergency rooms, and could your teen be at risk?

What are Vaporizers and E-Cigarettes?

A vaporizer (vape) is a device that heats and aerosolizes a liquid solution so that the user can inhale it. While vapes can be used to smoke marijuana, an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a type of vape used to inhale nicotine-based solutions.

What are the Symptoms of EVALI?

Symptoms of EVALI include cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, weight loss, and possibly death.

What Causes EVALI?

Researchers are still studying the causes of EVALI; however, what we know is that the liquid solutions used within vaporizers pose serious health risks. Many include particles associated with cancer and cardiopulmonary toxicity, such as formaldehyde and fungicide. When used to consume nicotine, e-cigarettes pose additional risks. Not only is e-cigarette and vaping use causing an uptick in adolescents being hospitalized for symptoms, but EVALI-diagnosed teens may also be at an increased risk of hospital readmittance.

A recent study of EVALI patients found that many were readmitted anywhere from five to 55 days post-discharge with a reoccurrence of symptoms. Health officials are researching if the readmittance is coming as the result of the lungs being weakened by the disease if patients are continuing to use unsafe products after being treated or other factors.

 The Risks of THC Vaping Products

When e-cigarettes and vaping products initially hit the market, their manufacturers attempted to market them as “safer” ways to smoke. Today, researchers have found a strong connection between THC products used with vaping tools and EVALI diagnoses. Approximately 82 percent of EVALI patients reported using THC products with their vaping devices, while 57 percent report using nicotine products. Due to these risks, the CDC encourages people not to consume THC-containing vaping or e-cigarette products, especially if they have been obtained from informal sources.

 Is Vaping Safe for Teens?

Based on the number of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths over the past year, parents should encourage their teens not to form a vaping or e-smoking habit. If your teen vapes or uses e-cigarettes, talk to your doctor or pediatrician. He or she can speak to you and our teen about the risks and help your teen find the motivation to quit for good.

Five Must-Read Ice Skating Safety Tips

5 Ice Skating Safety Tips

Winter isn’t nearly behind us yet here in the Pacific Northwest, which means you still have plenty of time to adopt a new wintertime hobby to get you off the couch, out of the house, and expand your horizons. Ice skating is a fun and challenging activity that is perfect for families, couples, and friends of all ages. Before you lace up your skates, review our ice skating safety tips below. While we value our patients, we’d rather not see you in one of our urgent care centers with a nasty sprain or strain.

  1. Wear a Helmet. Every year about 50 out of every 100,000 Americans suffer a concussion—an immediate and brief loss of consciousness followed by temporary amnesia after a blow to the head. You wear a helmet to ride your bike, rollerblade, or skateboard (we hope!), so why wouldn’t you wear a helmet when you strap blades to your feet and glide across the ice? Ask your neighborhood ice rink if they have helmets for rent. If not, bring your own. Make sure it fits snug, and don’t obsess over what it will do to your hair. What’s most important is that you avoid a potentially dangerous concussion if you slip and fall.
  1. Ensure Your Skates Fit Properly. Whether you are buying, borrowing, or renting ice skates, make sure they fit comfortably. Be like Goldilocks and choose skates that are neither too tight, nor too large. A good-fitting pair of ice skates should support your ankles and feet. 
  1. Practice Falling. Seriously. Broken, strained, cut, and dislocated arms are among the most common ice skating-related injuries. Before you step onto the ice, take a few purposeful drops to the ground so that you can practice how to brace yourself. Your goal should be to protect your head and to keep your limbs away from sharp skate blades. Consider wearing wrist pads to make it easier to grip the ice and keep your arms from sliding out from beneath you.
  1. Check Your Blades. Dull ice skate blades put you at a higher risk of a fall, and trust us when we say that a broken coccyx (tailbone) can be extremely painful. A reputable ice skating rink will keep their rental skates in proper condition, but it is always a good practice to check your skates yourself. Properly sharpened blades should have a slight curve. If your blades appear flat, exchange them.
  1. Keep a Space Cushion Around You. Novice skaters can put those around them at risk by grabbing onto them if they start to fall. If you’re a newbie, try not to skate too close to others around you. The last thing you want to do is be the cause of a painful injury for someone else.

If you want to head out for an evening of ice skating that will make you feel like you’re living in a Hallmark original movie, then make sure you take precautions to skate safely. Even though what’s terrific about ice skating is that anyone can do it, don’t take the safety realities for granted. Gear up, stay aware and be safe out there, skaters.

Nova Health Brings Urgent Care Services to West Eugene

Nova Health West Eugene Location

Local Provider Nova Health Brings Urgent Care Services to West Eugene

The long-standing community partner in wellness hosts ribbon cutting and blood drive with Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

Nova Health, a comprehensive provider of quality urgent care, primary care, physical therapy, and musculoskeletal services in Lane and Douglas Counties, announces today the opening of its newest urgent care clinic in West Eugene.

The Nova Health Urgent Care – West 11th clinic offers immediate access to care seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This clinic represents Nova Health’s mission to provide more access points for immediate healthcare in the Eugene community. Nova Health has five additional facilities in the Eugene Springfield area providing urgent care, primary care, and physical therapy services. Across Lane and Douglas counties, Nova Health is equipped to serve Western Oregon healthcare consumers with quality, patient-focused care in its 15 clinic facilities offering an umbrella of services.

“It is critically important to Nova Health that we continue to build our provider network to provide more access points and support rural and underserved communities with necessary medical services,” said Bill Clendenen, Nova Health Chief Executive Officer. “Eugene is where our story began, and it is rewarding to extend our urgent care resources into West Eugene.”

Nova Health and Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce will host a blood drive, ribbon cutting and open house for the West Eugene community to celebrate the clinic’s opening and continued care practices. Everyone who attends the event will be entered to win a Nova Health gift basket. Details below:

WHAT:

Nova Health – West 11th Ribbon Cutting and Blood Drive

WHEN:

January 22, 2020
Bloodworks Northwest Blood Drive from 3 to 6 PM
Ribbon Cutting and Open House from 6 to 7:30 PM 

WHERE:

Nova Urgent Care – West 11th
4040 West 11th Avenue, Eugene
RSVP here on the Nova Health Facebook page

WHO:

Richard Abraham, MD,
Founder and Jeff Myers, Chief of Staff Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

VISUALS:

Community members donating blood and clinic tour

WHY:

Recent studies show that young people (ages 18-34) are increasingly relying on “immediate care” services in non-emergency situations including urgent care clinics compared to older generations. Nova Health understands the need for immediate access to medical care is more and more prevalent and is therefore committed to providing such services and options for patients to receive affordable and consistent healthcare.

About Nova Health

Celebrating over ten years of serving patients throughout Lane and Douglas Counties, Nova Health is an outpatient healthcare organization that provides urgent care, primary care, physical therapy services, and musculoskeletal clinic services. Our focus is on providing high-quality patient care to the neighborhoods and communities we serve. Nova Health is a growing company that was established in 2008 with one clinic and nine employees and has grown to 14 clinics all within the Eugene, Springfield, Junction City, Veneta, Oakridge, Cottage Grove, Florence, and Roseburg areas. For more information, please visit novahealth.com.

 

Media Contact:
Kristine Rice
541-870-3726
krice@novahealth.com

National Blood Donor Month—Easing Your Fears to Earn Your Donation

January is Blood Drive Month

Few of us get an opportunity to be a genuine hero. While police officers, doctors, and firefighters regularly earn the title “savior,” most of us, fortunately, don’t find ourselves in positions where life and death are on the line. However, there is one easy way to become a hero and to save not just one life, but as many as three, and to do it over and over, multiplying the impact of your generous actions—and all it takes is one pint of blood.

January is National Blood Donation Month, a time for all those who can to resolve at the start of the new year to become a regular blood donor. If you’ve thought about donating blood in the past, but have found yourself stacking reasons why you can’t, or shouldn’t give blood, we’ve compiled answers to your questions and solutions to your concerns so that this January, you can become a hero too.

I Don’t Like Needles.

It would be rare to hear someone say that they enjoy the temporary discomfort that comes with a needle stick. Understand that the minor sting and discomfort that you will feel when the needle is inserted is minimal compared to the pain of someone who needs regular blood transfusions due to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, liver disease, or sickle cell anemia. Even if you have Trypanophobia, a severe fear of needles that affects 20 percent of people, a blood draw staff member can make the experience as comfortable and reassuring for you as possible if you are honest and upfront about your concerns.

My One Donation Won’t Make an Impact.

Every single pint of donated blood makes a difference. Every three seconds, someone needs blood. As a result, 32,000 pints of blood are used daily in the U.S. alone. Since whole blood only has a shelf-life of 42 days, and platelets only have a shelf-life of five days, the constant need to bolster our blood banks is ongoing.

Donating Blood Will Put Me at Risk of Contracting a Deadly Infection or Disease, like HIV.

Donating blood with a reputable service provider such as the Amerian Red Cross is safe. New, sterile, disposable equipment is used for each donor, eliminating the risk of contamination and of contracting a disease such as HIV.

I’ll Pass Out.

Every precaution is taken during blood donations to minimize discomfort and adverse side effects for donors. As part of the donor screening process, your blood iron levels will be checked, and you will be asked to verify that you meet height and weight requirements. Donors who do feel light-headed during or after a donation are cared for closely by donation staff. Typically, a few extra minutes of laying down and rehydrating is enough to end any feelings of lightheadedness. Keep in mind that the average person has ten pints of blood in their body, and a whole blood donation only takes one, which most people replenish within a few hours.

Final Words of Encouragement

More than one million people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and many will need blood—possibly daily—during chemotherapy treatments. The simple act of donating blood takes less than an hour, involves minimal discomfort, and can save as many as three lives, turning everyday good samaritans into genuine heroes. To make a blood donation appointment with the American Red Cross today, click here.