Friday Fix: January 12, 2018

Drug Overdose Deaths Down in Jefferson County, Tips For Safely Falling on Ice, and A Harsh Flu Season Begins

friday fix

We get it – keeping up with daily news is hard.

That’s why every other week, North Country Vitals picks three pieces of important healthcare news and compiles them into the Friday FixSome are local and others affect our state, country, or world. We even do our best to break down complicated subjects and offer commentary to help you understand how the news affects your daily life.

So, what has been making headlines in healthcare recently? Here’s what we found:

1. “For the first time in years, 2017 saw a decline in drug-related deaths in Jefferson County”

In 2017, 18 people died from drug overdoses in Jefferson County — down from the 23 overdose deaths recorded in 2016, according to this recent article in the Watertown Daily Times.

While this number indicates there is still a serious problem to be addressed, it comes as good news to many in a county that was on track to exceed 30 overdose deaths in 2017.

“Every one of (those deaths) is tragic and dramatically affects so many people — children, spouses, grandchildren, friends, employees, businesses, support services, and the community as a whole,” Anita Seefried-Brown of the Alliance for Better Communities told the Times. “Still, we are beyond grateful (the rate) significantly leveled off during the last four months of 2017 rather than reach the most dire tracking estimate of 30 people.”

Though pleased to hear about the decrease, several experts in the story recognized that much work is yet to be done to further curb the region’s substance abuse issue. To read the full story, click here.

2. “How To Tumble With Care When It Gets Slippery Outside”

It looks like the next few days here in the North Country are going to be cold and wet, which means roads and sidewalks may be icy and slippery. And although some slips and falls may catch you by total surprise, this article from NPR offers tips on how to prevent injury if you know you are about to slip and fall.

According to professional stuntman Kevin Inouye, the key is to let the fall happen naturally. He said those who know they are about to fall should remember the following things to avoid hurting themselves:

  • aim to land on a fleshy part of your body — not a hip, knee or bone
  • do not try to brace your fall by reaching our with your hands, feet or elbows
  • breathe when you fall; do not hold your breath or suck in

To hear about more “Tumbling Tips,” read the whole story by clicking here.

3. “Flu stomps the nation, overwhelming ERs and leaving 20 children dead”

According to this report from CNN, this year’s flu season is one of the harshest in recent years, reaching every corner of the United States at the same time.

The article reports 11,718 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu during the first week of January, making the season’s total more than 60,000. Additionally, 20 children have already died from the flu, with several weeks left in the traditional flu season.

“We are currently in the midst of a very active flu season, with much of the country experiencing widespread and intense flu activity,” CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald told CNN. “The flu season may be peaking now. We know from past experience it will take many more weeks for flu activity to slow down.”

Click here to read the entire story.

Check back on January 26 for the next Friday Fix!

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