Doctor Housecalls Blog

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Thanksgiving Safety

Thanksgiving is a joyous occasion celebrated in the comfort of home with family and friends. Unfortunately every year countless Americans end up in the hospital or much worse. In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving. This makes Thanksgiving the peak day of the year for home cooking fires. Christmas, Superbowl Sunday, and other holidays don’t even compare to Thanksgiving when it comes to danger.

The statistics show an alarming increase in injuries, illness, and death around Thanksgiving. Road-related accidents account for a large number of injuries and deaths, but cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Other turkey day activities like excessive unhealthy eating, deep frying turkeys and drinking contribute further to Thanksgiving harm. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with rowdy in-laws, or by watching your diet for you, but we can give you some helpful Thanksgiving-related safety tips to keep you out of harm’s way this holiday. Doctor Housecalls of Paradise Valley is available from 10AM-9PM on Thanksgiving if you require urgent medical care due to a Thanksgiving injury like a burn, cut, or turkey overdose.Thanksgiving

Top 10 Safety Tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Top 10 Turkey Fryer Tips

10 Tips for Turkey Frying
Turkey Fryer Top Ten Tips

Top 5 Thanksgiving Traveling Tips

Thanksgiving traveling tips
Thanksgiving traveling tips


There are some new methods of preventing and treating the flu, which could be available in the coming year. A company in Osaka, Japan called Shionogi & Co. Ltd. has announced that an experimental drug called baloxavir marboxil has been able to reduce the virus to undetectable levels, effectively killing it within 24 hours for half of the 414 individuals who were involved in their study.



Live Longer by Owning a Dog

A study that included more than 3.4 million people found that owning a dog is linked to living longer. The study was published in Scientific Reports and was conducted by researchers in Sweden at Uppsala University. The study included both men and women who were between 40 and 80 years old, and who did not have a history of cardiovascular disease. Researchers followed their health records and found whether or not they owned a dog from registries.

The study found that there was a lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease, as well as a lower risk of death from other causes. This was most prominent for people who lived alone. The design of the study was not to show a cause and effect relationship of owning a dog. However, they believe that those who owned dogs tended to be more active and in better health. They also believe that the dog’s effect on the owner’s microbiome could be a factor by providing immune benefits for adults. Other studies have shown that growing up with a dog can reduce allergies and asthma in children.



Synthetic Opioids Cause More Overdose Deaths Than Prescription Opioids

In 2016, opioid overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids surpassed those involving prescription opioids. The LA Times reported that there were a total of 42,249 overdose deaths from opioids. Over 19,000 of those were from synthetic opioids, over 17,000 were from prescription opioids, and over 15,000 were from heroin (some cases involved more than one type of drug). That means 46% of all opioid deaths were due to synthetic opioids, as opposed to 40% from prescription opioids. 

In 2015 there were more opioid overdose deaths from prescription opioids than synthetic. However, there was a shift and the overdose deaths from synthetic opioids doubled between 2015 and 2016. According to Emily Einstein, of the of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug enforcers have been hyper focused on prescription opioids, when in more recent years the biggest threat has been the rise in synthetic opioids.

The increase in drug overdose deaths in the United States is largely due synthetic opioids, like the most common synthetic opioid, illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). “IMF is mixed into counterfeit opioid and benzodiazepine pills, heroin, and cocaine, likely contributing to increases in overdoses involving these other substances,” according to the CDC. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous because the effects are active at much lower doses.


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