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March 15-21, 2015 is National Poison Prevention Week!

 March 15-21, 2015 is National Poison Prevention Week!

poison-safety-with-childrenPoisoning is the leading cause of death from injuries in the U.S. Use this week as a time to inspect your entire home for medicines or household products, such as detergents, cleaning products, pesticides, and fertilizers that may not be stored properly.

                         As A Reminder:


-  Re-close medicines/household items if you’re interrupted during use. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted (i.e. by the telephone or doorbell) while using these products. –  Buy products in child-resistant packaging whenever possible. But remember, child- resistant is not childproof, and is designed to keep children away from the product for a short time before a parent notices. –  Daylight Savings Time is a good time to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. If you keep bedroom doors shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.

Severe Weather Awareness

Big Blue TornadoSevere Weather Awareness

It may be difficult to think about tornadoes when there is snow on the ground, but the fact is that tornado season is fast approaching.  March 23-27 is Iowa Severe Weather Awareness week.  This is a perfect time to look over your plans, whether for your home or business, and make sure not only that you are familiar with them, but that they are current.  Remember that how you respond during a tornado could save lives.

  • Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and warning?
  • Do you know the warning signs of an approaching tornado?
  • Where will you go during a tornado warning? Your answer should vary based on your location.
  • Does your family have a designated meeting place, should a tornado strike your home?  How about your workplace?
  • Does your flashlight work? Do you have a battery-operated radio with which to follow weather related announcements?
  • Do you have fresh drinking water available in case your plumbing stops working?
  • What will you do with your pets?

You can prepare in advance of storm season by having a plan and the supplies you need to follow that plan.  Review and practice your plan at home and in your workplace.  You can also remove damaged tree limbs, secure trash cans, and remove objects that may become projectiles in severe wind.

During a tornado warning, go to a secure location, ideally an underground shelter.  Do not seek shelter in a mobile home.  Watch out for flying debris, this is the cause of the majority of injuries during a tornado.

After a tornado, treat any injuries received.  Continue to monitor the radio for emergency announcements.  Be careful of downed power lines, broken gas lines, broken glass, and exposed nails.  Be careful when entering damaged structures. Use the phone only for emergencies. Respond to requests for volunteers.

You can find more information at:,
American Red Cross:

A Good Night’s Sleep is Critical to a Healthy Heart










A Good Night’s Sleep is Critical to a Healthy Heart

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. According to one study, even the common cold is three times more likely to strike an individual who sleeps less than the average seven hours a night.

Myrtue’s new Sleep Center features two new sleep suites that promise a hotel-like experience. Each is tastefully decorated and equipped with comfortable Sleep Number queen beds and private baths.

The Sleep Center uses state-of-art equipment to monitor sleep patterns in real time. Cardiologist, Thomas R. Brandt, MD, FACC, Methodist Physicians Clinic, Omaha, who comes to Myrtue Medical Center Outpatient Clinics said, “The adverse health consequence of undiagnosed sleep apnea is underestimated. Hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, heart failure and depression have been linked to sleep apnea.”

Take a few moments for a short questionnaire and talk to your doctor about
your results.

Currently, how likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?

0 = no chance of dozing 2 = moderate chance of dozing
1 = slight chance of dozing 3 = high chance of dozing

❑ Sitting and reading      ❑ Sitting and talking to someone
❑ Watching TV      ❑ Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
❑ Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g., a theater or a meeting)
❑ As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
❑ Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
❑ In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic


If your test score is greater than 10, you should talk with your doctor about how to improve your sleep, obtain adequate sleep and whether you may have an underlying sleep disorder.

Power Outages

power+outage2While the meteorologist can make predictions, we don’t know for sure what Mother Nature may bring.  With that in mind, it is important to understand that a power outage can occur any time or anywhere.  Here are some tips that you can use to prepare for a power outage, as well as what to do during one.




  • Fill plastic containers with water and put them in the refrigerator and freezer to take up empty space.  The chilled water will help the refrigerator or freezer stay cold longer.
  • Medications requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours, you can verify how long with your practitioner or pharmacist.
  • Remember gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps, so it is a good idea to keep your car’s tank at least half full.
  • Know how to use the release for your electric garage door opener, and if the door is heavy, you may want help lifting it.
  • Keep a spare key to your home with you if your primary way to get into your house is through the garage.
  • Use flashlights for emergency lighting.  Do not risk a fire by using candles.
  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed to keep food as fresh as possible.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and electronics to prevent damage from power surges when the power does come back on.
  • If you have a generator, be sure it was installed by a qualified electrician and do not run it in the home or garage, or near windows or doors.
  • Keep up-to-date by listening to a battery operated radio.
  • Leave one light on so that you know when the power has returned.
  • Have a telephone that does not require electricity to operate.
  • Do not call 9-1-1 for information; this is only for life-threatening emergencies.
  • If it is cold out, keep warm by putting on layers of warm clothing; consider going somewhere where the heat is working.   If it is warm out, wear light clothing and consider going somewhere where the AC is working to cool off.
  • Do not travel unless it is necessary; remember traffic signals may not be working.

Here are some links to websites with helpful information:

The American Red Cross

No Measles Cases in Shelby County

No Measles Cases in Shelby County

The United States is currently experiencing a large, multi-state outbreak of measles. More than 100 people from 14 states have been confirmed as having measles. As of February 6, 2015, there are no confirmed measles cases in Shelby County or in Iowa.    

“This national measles outbreak has brought the protection provided by vaccinations back into the spotlight,” said Shelby County Public Health Director and Nurse Practitioner Calla Poldberg. “It’s always important to keep your vaccinations up-to-date, but during times like this, when we know a virus is actively circulating, it’s especially important to check with your health care provider to be sure you and your family’s vaccinations are current.” The best way to prevent measles is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (known as MMR). Two doses of MMR will provide more than 99 percent of people lifelong protection against measles.

Two doses of MMR are required for elementary and secondary school entry in Iowa. Shelby County school-aged kids are well-vaccinated with over 99.9% of students receiving two doses of MMR vaccine. The first dose of MMR should be given at 12 months of age and the second dose can be administered as soon as 28 days later; however, the second dose is usually administered as part of the kindergarten shots given between 4-6 years of age. Generally, persons who started elementary school in Iowa after 1991 and were up-to-date on all school entry vaccine requirements have received two doses of MMR vaccine.

It is recommended that adults born in 1957 or later receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine, or have a laboratory test proving that they are immune and are protected. It is assumed that persons born in the U.S. prior to 1957 were likely infected with the measles virus and therefore have presumptive immunity. In addition, two doses of MMR is recommended for adults of all ages who work or volunteer in health care facilities, travel internationally, or are students in a post-secondary institution, if they do not have laboratory proof of immunity.

Giving vaccines to those who may have already had measles or may have already received the recommended vaccination is not harmful; it only boosts immunity. Therefore, if someone is unable to verify prior vaccination or history of illness, the easiest, quickest and most appropriate thing to do is to vaccinate the individual.

Measles is contagious to others before symptoms start.  Measles starts with a high fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Three to seven days after the fever, a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It usually starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can last for a week, and coughing can last for 10 days.  Complications from measles can be very serious.

You can learn more about measles by calling Shelby County Public Health at 712-755-4422 or your local medical provider or visit


January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and HCCMS Family Planning wants you to know that there are ways to stop cervical cancer.  HPV (human papillomavirus) is the major cause of cervical and some other cancers. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, which is sexually transmitted. Most people that have HPV don’t know that they are infected. Each year about 4,000 women die of cervical cancer, which is preventable.

Cervical cancer can be prevented by early detection with regular screenings called Pap tests, and follow-up care if needed. HCCMS Family Planning encourages women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21.

Gardasil is a vaccine that prevents cervical and some other cancers. It is given in three doses to both males and females starting as early as age 11. Women can get Gardasil vaccine until they are 27 years old and men can get it if they are under 22.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you may be able to get a Pap test and Gardasil vaccine at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company.  Uninsured women 40-

64 may be able to qualify for free Paps and exams through enrollment in the “Care for Yourself” program.

Call Rachel Birks RN at 755-4312 for more information on cervical cancer, the Gardasil vaccine or the Care for Yourself program.

For more information, contact Calla Poldberg ARNP @ 755-4423

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