Samme Sez

I'm never wrong- and I can prove it!

Entering the Dangerous World of ….

I have to admit that I’m a fan of mystery and suspense stories. I get a little freaked out with clowns (“It”) and don’t go for the real slasher flicks, but a good mystery read or an old Hitchcock flick is a treat.

When I saw an article that called out the most “dangerous” room in the house, I took a peek. Published by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, the article stated that approximately 235,000 people report to the ER annually with injuries sustained in this particular room. I assumed this would be a story about the dangers in the kitchen: we see a lot of cuts and burns every day in our same-day visit program and at our after-hours locations. Many budding culinary wizards carry scars from their experiments in the kitchen.

However, the answer was “the bathroom.”

As a Hitchcock fan, I should have known this. No one showers alone without the quiet thought of “Mother” visiting you at your most vulnerable moment.

We docs know that the shower/tub is a primary location for slips and falls. And, let’s face it: there is nothing “soft” in that environment to cushion a fall. I often recommend that my patients install safety rails to protect against such an accident. But to think that the shower trumps the dangers of knives and fire in the kitchen?

Then, I saw the darker side of the bathroom: yes, the toilet.

No kidding:  “using” the toilet actually trumped “leaving the tub” in the stats. Although slips IN the tub and shower were responsible for one-third of the injuries, 14% were from “using the toilet.”

The increase of age did correlate with the number of injuries, but the degree to which women’s accidents outpaced those of men was shocking: 64% to 36%. 64% of all recorded injuries were women. How to explain the gender gap? Is it indicative of which sex has better hygiene? Is it indicative of men simply not reporting injuries? In this case, I agree with the author: along with the age factor it’s indicative of men’s general increased muscle mass (strength) and possibly women’s loss of bone density. Yet another reason to include walking, running and/or weight lifting in your daily schedule.

Another interesting fact: head injuries in the bathroom were highest among the 15-24 year old group. “Alcohol may be a factor,” says the author. “You bet,” says Samme.

So, aside from making sure that there is no can of Hershey’s syrup nearby, I plan to take greater care when entering “the most dangerous room in the house.”  Keeping myself active to stay strong, using rubber mats in the tub, and installing a safety rail or two seem to be reasonable ways to prevent becoming a statistic.

To read the full article, click here

November 10, 2011 - Posted by | The latest in medicine, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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