Blog posts by Paula Cody, MD, MPH

Panic at the Disco (and the NBA sidelines… and school… and home…)

Kevin Love, a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team (yes, there are more players than just Lebron James, although some of these finals games may appear otherwise) reports following the symptoms in the middle of a basketball game: shortness of breath, heart racing, feeling like he was about to die. He abruptly left the game and was checked out at a hospital; all the tests came back normal. He had just experienced his first panic attack. He penned a wonderful piece for The Players Tribune going into detail about his panic attack, his misconceptions about mental health, and why it’s important to him to decrease the stigma of mental health.  Bravo, Kevin!  This fits right in with this year’s Mental Health Health theme – “#CureStigma.” One of the best ways to cure stigma is to educate –so here we go! Read more

Synthetic Cannabinoids (Take 2)

A scary news alert from April 20th (or 420, wink, wink):  Synthetic marijuana (“K2”, “Spice”) laced with rat poison has sickened at least two people in Milwaukee (now it’s actually up to 4 confirmed cases in Wisconsin). From when the index case was identified on 3/8/18 in Illinois through 4/29/18, at least 4 people have died and at least 160 people presented to healthcare facilities in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin with serious unexplained bleeding. Lab testing found the warfarin-like blood thinner (a rat poison!!) in at least 60 patients and in at least 7 synthetic cannabinoids specimens.  Just goes to show you that you can’t always trust the drug dealers – your health may not be their top priority (this is seriously a sentence I say to a patient in clinic at least once a day). 

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Reading Past the Headlines

Like we talked about last week, April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness month (#STDMonth18).  The theme of this year is Treat Me Right (#TreatMeRight). This theme has 2 distinct sides: the patient and the provider.  Where last week’s blog focused on the patient and how to be an independent healthcare consumer, this week will focus a little more on providers (but it is good info for everyone!). In order to provide the best care for patients, a healthcare provider needs to know what’s going on in the community, and when to delve a little deeper into rumor vs reality.

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Learning Medical Independence

April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness month (#STDMonth18).  The theme of this year is Treat Me Right (#TreatMeRight). This theme has 2 distinct sides: the provider and the patient. For providers, it means obtaining an accurate medical and social history (including risk-taking behaviors, like sexual activity) for every patient. For patients, it means knowing how to ask providers for the care that they need and deserve, for sexual health as well as all other kinds of health.  How to be an independent health care consumer is an important skill to learn for all teens and young adults.

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