Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Teves 5759, December 22, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine

Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine Ma'ayenei Hayeshua Hospital

Recently, the Israeli Association for Emergency Medicine elected me to its executive board. While this is a great honor, it increased my responsibilities, and as a result I reluctantly had to give my popular lecture series to the English-speaking ladies of Bnei Brak. This series lasted 2 years and I enjoyed it immensely. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the participants who wrote me such a nice letter, and would like to let all my readers know that the lectures will continue, but probably every three months instead of every month.

However, the fact that I no longer give these lectures means that the important topics that I have been emphasizing will now be less known because of the lack of public forum. So it is worthwhile to review them.

1) Learn CPR. Basic life support, or CPR, is the basic treatments that all people can do if someone G-d forbid starts choking or if his or her heart or breathing stops. People on whom CPR has started have about a 10% chance of survival in the event of cardiac arrest. Without CPR the survival rate is about zero. Courses last about half a day, and are available worldwide. The course teaches the treatments for infants and children as well as adults.

2) Stop smoking. While smoking is well-studied and the dangers are so well-known, most people who do smoke do not believe there are dangers. If you are married to a smoker, you have a higher rate of death and your children are likely to be affected as well.

3) Exercise. This helps to make your heart stronger, and makes you feel healthier overall and gives you more endurance. Swimming is great, but consider brisk walking or jumping rope.

4) Get regular checkups. By the age of 35, one should have had his first EKG and cholesterol check. By forty-five, one should have a yearly checkup including rectal exam. By fifty, mammography is important. By fifty-five, prostate exam is important. These ages are estimates. Certainly, if you have a family history of a particular disease, you need to be more prudent.

5) Protect your children. They must be disciplined for running out in the street between cars, and they must wear helmets while biking. Bicycles are not cars, and you must not bike the way you drive. Keep drugs and cleaning fluids away from children. They need to learn from an early age not to take medicines unless the doctor says so.

6) Be very careful with obstacles in the house if you are taking care of an elderly person. Hip fractures kill a significant amount of people.

7) Be an educated consumer. Do not allow pat answers on antibiotics to lull you into a false sense of security. You needn't be a doctor, but you should have enough basics to know if the response you are getting from your doctor is reasonable or not. I'd like to help you in that quest. Write me in care of the Yated.


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