Firework Safety: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe this Fourth of July


The Fourth of July is quickly approaching, bringing with it all of our favorite summertime activities…cookouts, pool parties and fireworks! Keep yourself and your family safe this year by following these tips.

  • Obey local laws. Before you grab your fireworks on the 4th, make sure you are aware of any local laws in your area. Many towns have different guidelines, so it’s a good idea to research your local laws and regulations before lighting off any fireworks.
  • Read the caution labels. Some fireworks work differently than others, even if they look similar. To avoid injury, make sure you read all important labels before lighting any fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks away from children. This may seem like a no-brainer, but kids are quick and things can get a little hectic during gatherings with friends and family. If your kids are of an age where some fireworks may be appropriate, you may want to start off with something that doesn’t shoot or fly off the ground. Always make sure there is a responsible adult around to supervise children while they are near fireworks.
  • Wear safety glasses. Fireworks can be fun to watch but if you are the one lighting them, it may be necessary to take some extra precautions. Wear protective eye gear to avoid injuries to your eyes while lighting fireworks.
  • Don’t try to re-light a firework. Duds happen. It’s very important to remember to never try to re-light a firework that didn’t work the first time. If you come across a firework that doesn’t light, leave it where it is for 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly. After the fun is over, you need to dispose of your used fireworks properly. Soak them in water and place them in a metal bin or trash can, away from any combustible materials. Let them sit for at least 24 hours.
  • Protect your pets: Our pets are part of our family, so it’s important to keep them safe as well. Make sure you never bring them to a firework show, even a small one. Keep them in a secure interior room of your home so they aren’t as exposed to the loud noises, and make sure they have their identification tags on them in case they run away.

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Myrtue Medical Center provides high quality, cost-effective health care services to improve the well being of the people we serve. Call us today at (712) 755-5161 or visit our website to learn more.


Swallowing Disorders Common Complication From Stroke, Parkinson’s, and Other Medical Conditions in Adults

Communication for AllWith swallowing disorders affecting 300,000–600,000 people yearly in the United States, and the impact of these disorders on daily life multifaceted and potentially severe, it is critical that all Americans understand the treatment options available to them should they or a and loved one experience difficulty swallowing.

Swallowing disorders, also called dysphagia, can affect a person’s ability to eat, drink, and take medicine. These disorders are diagnosed and treated by speech-language pathologists, making May—which is Better Hearing & Speech Month—an opportune time for Shelby County residents to learn more about this common problem.

“A person’s ability to swallow seems effortless, but in reality, this is a very complex process with much room for error,” explains Myrtue Medical Center Rehab Services Speech-language pathologist Edie Shetler. “Roughly 50 pairs of muscles and many nerves work to receive food into the mouth, prepare it, and move it from the mouth to the stomach. People who experience difficulty swallowing can be at risk for serious health repercussions, reduced enjoyment of eating, and even social isolation. It’s important for people to know that treatment for these disorders is available and can greatly improve their quality of life.”

Swallowing disorders are often caused by stroke or brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). They can also result from problems that affect a person’s head or neck, such as cancer, injuries, or surgery.

“We want people to know that in many cases, treatment can help fully restore a person’s ability to eat and drink—allowing them to enjoy food to the degree they did prior to injury or disease. People who experience stroke and other conditions can go on to live many decades, making effective treatment for swallowing so important.”

If you have concern for yourself or a family member, contact Myrtue Medical Center’s Rehab Services, Edie Shetler at 712-755-4342.

Gallbladder Health and What it Means to You

Like many things in life, most people don’t pay much attention to certain organs in their body, until they start causing issues. The gallbladder is no exception. The gallbladder is the small sac-shaped organ beneath the liver, in which bile is stored after secretion by the liver and before release into the intestine. The gallbladder is part of the biliary system, which includes the liver and the pancreas. The biliary system, among other functions, transports bile and digestive enzymes. Bile is a fluid made by the liver to help in the digestion of fats. Several issues can arise and cause considerable pain if left untreated. Thankfully, gallbladder treatment is typically minimally invasive and you can lead a normal, healthy lifestyle afterward. Here some common gallbladder problems, symptoms, and treatment.

Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)

Gallstones typically do not cause any problems, in fact, up to 20 percent of adults in the United States may have gallstones, yet only 1-3 percent of people actually develop symptoms. Cholesterol stones make up a majority of all gallstones. These stones usually form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile. Gallstones can vary in size from a grain of salt to the size of a golf ball. As you can imagine, the larger stones are typically the ones which cause symptoms.

Anything that increases the level of cholesterol in the blood, increases the risk of gallstones. A healthy diet and exercise can reduce your risk of developing gallstones.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Sudden and intense pain in your upper abdomen, especially after a high-fat or large meal
  • Pain in your right shoulder
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Back pain between your shoulders

When to see a doctor:

  • When you are having pain so severe you are unable to sit or be comfortable
  • Yellowing of your skin and/or eyes
  • High fever and chills


Treatment for gallstones generally only occurs when the individual is experiencing symptoms and can require surgery and dietary changes.

bendorfThe surgical procedure, called cholecystectomy is most commonly performed by inserting a tiny video camera and special surgical tools through four small incisions to see inside your abdomen and remove the gallbladder. The procedure is minimally invasive and is usually done in an outpatient setting under anesthesia.
Dr. David C. Bendorf, MD specializes in general surgery, including the removal of the gallbladder. Myrtue Medical Center – General Surgery

Other less common gallbladder problems can include gallbladder cancer, inflamed gallbladder, perforated gallbladder which can be caused from untreated gallstones, bile duct infection, and chronic gallbladder disease, just to name a few. Oftentimes, symptoms of gallbladder problems include pain that comes and goes and can range from mild to severe, and frequent pain.

BernalIf you suspect a gallbladder pain please visit Dr. Alexander B. Bernal, MD. Dr. Bernal holds a Gastroenterology clinic at Myrtue Medical Center the first Monday and third Thursday of each month.  Gastroenterology is a specialty within internal medicine that focuses on digestive diseases. Gastroenterology concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine (colon), liver, gallbladder and pancreas.  Dr. Bernal is experienced in performing upper and lower endoscopies. Myrtue Medical Center – Specialty Clinics




Petersen Family Wellness Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary of National Senior Health & Fitness Day®

2018 Logo2018 Event Theme: “Active Today…Healthier Tomorrow!”

Petersen Family Wellness Center (PFWC) will join an estimated 1,000 local groups to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of National Senior Health & Fitness Day® (NSHFD) on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 to help promote active, healthy lifestyles through physical activity, good nutrition, and preventive care.

As an official event site, the Petersen Family Wellness Center (PFWC) will hold a health fair, physician presentations and other activities on Wednesday, May 30th from 8:00-10:30 a.m. Admission will be free to all non-members of the PFWC for this event.

According to Todd Alberti, Director of the PFWC, “Our Senior Health and Fitness Day is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to make, renew, and revitalize their commitment to live healthier lives through better health and fitness.”

The Senior Health and Fitness Day will include:

  • Health Fair booths promoting wellness for seniors
  • Three physician speakers discussing the following:
    • Heart Health by Dr. Smer, Cardiologist at CHI Health and Myrtue Medical Center Specialty Clinic
    • Colon Health by Dr. D. Bendorf, General Surgeon at Myrtue Medical Center
    • Maintaining Your Mobility by Dr. Davidson, Family Physician at Myrtue’s Harlan Clinic
  • Healthy snacks
  • Cooking Demonstration
  • Prizes and Giveaways

Join us on Wednesday, May 30th from 8:00-10:30 a.m. at the Petersen Family Wellness Center for a morning of health, education and well-being.

Dr. Scott Markham Honored as Emergency Room Provider

MarkhamAt the 23rd annual Iowa Emergency Nurses’ Association (ENA) Conference, Dr. Scott Markham was recognized with the Emergency Provider Award. Recipients of the Emergency Provider Award are Emergency Department (ED) physicians or mid-level providers who consistently demonstrate excellence in emergency room care and they have made significant contributions to the profession of ED nurses.

Dr. Markham actively fills the roles of ED Medical Director, Trauma Medical Director, EMS Medical Director, Shelby County Coroner, and ACLS instructor. He has been instrumental in maintaining Myrtue’s Level 4 Trauma designation and encouraged the continuation of the Trauma Nursing Core Course program being taught in our rural location of Harlan. He is a strong advocate and promoter of community involvement. Dr. Markham has most recently become co-sponsor of the community Stop the Bleed campaign and is an advocate for providing Narcan to law enforcement and EMS responders.  In addition, he is a Board Member of the Shelby County Medical Corporation and the Ambulance Commission of Shelby County.

“Dr. Markham is a constant role model, mentor and patient advocate in the ER.  The ER Staff values his experience and is grateful that he shares his knowledge to improve patient outcomes.  Dr Markham is a valuable member of the ER team and is fully deserving of this award,” said Jenny Lefeber, Manager of the Emergency Department at Myrtue Medical Center.

The Emergency Nurses’ Association (ENA) mission is to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice. They are the global emergency nursing resource and advocate for Safe Practice and Safe Care.