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
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
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.