Saturday, 29 July 2017 22:09

Men: How to Salvage Your Sperm Count

A study this week, reported in BBC, found men’s sperm count to drop 50% over the last 40 years.  This sparked rumors that humans could eventually become “extinct”.

Researchers from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Icahn School of Medicine in New York analyzed 42,000 male participants involved in 185 studies from the period 1973 to 2011, looking at men from North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and found close to a 60% drop in sperm count, although semen volume remained stable.  Men from South Africa, Africa and Asia appeared to retain their sperm numbers.

So let’s break this down….

 

What’s in a sperm count/semen analysis?

 

Let’s review some anatomy.  Sperm is produced in the seminiferous tubules within the testes.  Once formed they travel to the epididymis, where they mature and are stored.  During ejaculation, the mature sperm travel from the epididymis through the vas deferens to the ampulla, meeting with seminal fluid (produced by the seminal vesicles, prostate and bulbourethral glands) to become semen.

 

When a couple is having fertility issues, a semen analysis will be ordered.  This looks at a variety of factors.

 

Volume – Sperm can’t dry up and need a medium in which to travel.  Seminal fluid can amount to 1.5-5 ml (1/4-1 teaspoon).  A decrease in this amount could imply issues with any of the above organs or a blockage.

 

Concentration – Sparse sperm in an ejaculate makes it more difficult to fertilize an egg, hence concentration of sperm should be close to 20 million sperm/ml of semen.

 

Motility – Sperm need to swim and compete with others, hence sluggish sperm don’t have a chance in …..well….the Fallopian tube.  Close to half of the sperm analyzed should be moving.

 

Shape/Morphology – sperm need to be the appropriate shape to maximize success in fertilization. At least half of the sperm in each sample should be of normal shape.

 

Liquefaction – initial ejaculate is thick to enable an easier passage of the package of sperm. Then it needs to thin, liquefy, to allow the sperm to travel and swim.  Normal liquefaction time is 15-30 minutes.

 

Color – semen color is usually whitish-gray but brown could signify blood, green could mean infection, yellow could signify a change due to medications, chemicals and sometimes age.

Other factors are noted such as the acidity (pH), white blood cell composition, and fructose.

 

What causes low sperm count

Multiple issues could account for a drop in sperm count.  These include:

  • Hormones in our food

  • Endocrine disruptors in our cosmetics

  • Chemical exposure such as solvents, herbicides, pesticides and benzenes

  • Obesity

  • Electronics sitting on our lap

  • Antibodies attacking our sperm

  • Heavy metal exposure

  • Radiation

  • High Stress

  • Anabolic steroid use and some medications

  • Varicoceles – swelling of the veins in the testicle disrupting transport of sperm

  • Infection

  • Tumors

 

and the list goes on.

 

How to protect your sperm count

So to protect your sperm count, we recommend the following:

 

  • Keep it cool – Testicles that overheat produce less sperm, so avoid laptops or anything that could heat up the groin.

  • Avoid tight fitting underwear – same issue.  Testicles closer to the body heat up so let them hang low and away keeps things cool.

  • Avoid tobacco products

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Decrease caffeine consumption

  • Avoid pesticides and chemicals

  • Avoid hot tubs

  • Decrease stress



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LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information

Ice used for soft drinks at leading fast food chains in the UK were found to contain bacteria usually seen in fecal matter.  This comes weeks after the same BBC investigation found similar contaminated ice at Starbuck’s, Caffe Nero, and Costa Coffee.

 

On the TV Show Watchdog, BBC reported more than half the samples tested at food chains including Burger King, McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) contained coliform bacteria, or bacteria that colonize intestines.  Harmful bacteria, such E. coli, however was NOT found according to a spokesperson for McDonald's.

 

So even though the bacteria discovered would not harm humans if ingested, the potential for a dangerous pathogen exposure is there.

 

Samples were taken from 10 random store locations for each of the fast food chains.

 

Of the samples tested on McDonald’s ice machines, 3 out of 10 samples were contaminated.  At Burger King, 6 out of 10 samples tested positive for coliform bacteria and at KFC, 7 out of 10 tested positive.

One theory is the cleaning of the machines and/or handling of the ice is done with direct human hand contact which could have fecal contamination from poor hand washing after bathroom use.

 

The contamination issues hopefully prompted chains in other countries, such as the US, to reevaluate their procedures on ice and cup handling.

 

 

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LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

Published in News & Information

Last week, when we were told Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was being treated for a blood clot above his left eye, we suspected a tumor could have been involved, as he was a cancer survivor and tumors are thrombogenic, meaning clot forming.

 

Unfortunately, the 80 year old melanoma cancer survivor has been diagnosed with primary glioblastoma. However, it's been reported that the whole tumor was removed when the doctors performed a craniotomy (opening of the skull) to remove the blood clot. A statement from his office reports Senator McCain is home and recovering “amazingly well.”

What is Primary Glioblastoma?

 

Primary Glioblastoma Multiforme is a type of brain tumor that arises in the brain and spinal cord and is very aggressive in nature. “Primary” suggests the tumor is not secondary to another cancer, such as the melanoma Senator McCain successfully battled.

 

In 1993, 2000 and 2002, McCain had three malignant melanoma lesions removed, and the 2000 lesion was close to his left temple.

 

Those diagnosed with a glioblastoma may have a poorer prognosis compared to other cancers as the 5-year survival rate is only 10%. Its median survival is less than 15 months. However, with his lesion removed, and chemotherapy and radiation set to begin once his incision has healed, many medical teams are optimistic.

 

According to his daughter, Meghan McCain, her father is “confident” and “calm”. CNN reports that when the Senator awoke from surgery he was “cracking jokes” and ready to go home and get to work.

 

This is a developing story.

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LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information

While monsoon season brings shifts in temperatures, it also brings heavy winds and thunderstorms.

Yet for an asthmatic this can be exceptionally dangerous.

“Thunderstorm Asthma” is a term used when a very windy storm can induce an asthmatic attack.

Last year, nine people died in Melbourne, Australia after a thunderstorm precipitated respiratory difficulties.

 

The storm, it’s believed, caused pollen particles to swell and rupture into much smaller particles, which were dispersed by wind.  The theory is that the immediate propulsion of much smaller (and more numerous) particles into one’s lungs was the recipe for asthma disaster.

 

We first learned of “thunderstorm asthma” in the 1980’s when epidemics occurred in parts of Europe, Australia and Iran. Environmental conditions change and asthma allergens meet the unsuspecting lungs.

Asthma is a respiratory condition in which inflammation causes the airways to narrow, restricting air flow and causing wheezing, shortness of breath and cough.  This bronchoconstriction can be deadly if the patient doesn’t receive enough oxygen. Bronchodilators, such as albuterol are used to dilate the airways and steroids are commonly given to decrease the inflammation.

 

If someone has baseline asthma, a storm forecast should warrant preparatory measures, including ensuring one has plenty of inhalers, and seeing their provider to determine if they are vulnerable to “tipping over”.  Many feel a false sense of security with rain as they believe it will wash away the dust.  As Melbourne witnessed, a thunderstorm can be just as deadly.

 

A variety of factors can cause asthma attacks including:

 

Pollen

Smoke

Alcohol

Cold air

Dust mites

Mold

Pet dander

Exercise

Laughing

Stress

Acid reflux/heartburn

Aspirin

Air fresheners, perfume, scents

Traffic and pollution

 

and more.

 

As we see, asthma is not solely caused by a Spring time flower particle. A variety of issues can trigger an attack.  If its sudden, unexpected, stressful and carries a concentrated variety of particles, this combination can be deadly.  Hence “thunderstorm asthma” can be a lung’s perfect storm…….

 

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LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 17:24

The Presidents and Their Medical Issues

It’s been long postulated that JFK could have survived if he wasn’t wearing his back brace the day he was shot.  President Kennedy suffered from many issues including Addison’s disease and multiple back surgeries.  His brace possibly kept him upright when the first shot hit, whereas he could have slumped over and been out of the line of fire during the second shot.

 

The medical issues plaguing our Presidents used to be kept secret, a luxury current politicians can’t fathom in today’s media world.  Each President faced insurmountable tasks on national and global levels.  Let’s now take a look at what our leaders battled personally.

 

George Washington – I cannot tell a lie….

 

It is believed that George Washington suffered from diphtheria, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, dysentery, possible sterility, tonsillitis, and epiglottitis.  He appeared to have  many issues with the back of his throat.  Syphilis has been debated but then again many people at the time had syphilis (Abraham Lincoln supposedly had syphilis when he was younger).

 

George Washington had one original tooth left by the time he became president.

His teeth were not made of wood…..instead made of hippopotamus/walrus/elephant ivory or transplanted teeth.

 

The tooth loss could have been from the mercury oxide that was used to treat his smallpox and malaria.

During one of his battles it's been said he had to ride with a pillow on his saddle while being ill with fever.  It is believed that the dysentery left his bottom in so much pain that he required a pillow on which to sit.

 

In 1799, George Washington died of presumed epiglottitis, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.  His end was a painful one as doctors burned and blistered him to draw out the humors.

James Garfield – “Did the doctors kill this President”

 

James Garfield was shot twice (once in the arm and once in the back) on July 2, 1881.  The bullets and wounds supposedly were not lethal but the un-sterile technique used (the practitioners used their fingers to find the bullets while he lay at the train station) caused him to have an infection and his doctors supposedly restricted his eating since they thought the bullet pierced the bowel.

 

They fed James Garfield by rectal enema.   He was fed beef bouillon, egg yolks, milk, whisky and opium through his rectum.  It was considered a “nutritional enema.”

 

Interestingly, Alexander Graham Bell devised a metal detector made of a battery and several metal coils positioned on a wooden platform, connected to an earpiece to help find the bullet. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful. James Garfield died 80 days later.

Thomas Jefferson – ahead of his time…….

Thomas Jefferson lived until he was 83.  He was not a vegetarian but ate less meat than others and increased his vegetable intake.

 

His sleep habits were also good – 5-8 hours of sleep in a “reclined” position.   “Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun.”

 

He was against tobacco, and moderately used alcohol. “…you are not to conclude I am a drinker. My measure is a perfectly sober 3 or 4 glasses at dinner, and not a drop at any other time. But as to those 3 or 4 glasses I am very fond.”

 

Its been postulated he also had Aspergers…….

 

William Taft –  Poster child for sleep apnea and the “Atkins diet”.

 

President Taft weighed over 300 lbs. and supposedly would nod off during the day and during meetings with world leaders. It was therefore presumed he had narcolepsy, most likely a result of his sleep apnea.

His doctor put him on a low carb diet and he lost 60 lbs.

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt –  as if polio wasn’t enough…..

In addition to being a victim to polio, cerebral hemorrhage and very high blood pressure, its been postulated that FDR had malignant melanoma above his left eyebrow….possibly the cause of his hemorrhage when it spread to the brain.

 

fdr

Abraham Lincoln – was he suicidal?

Firstly, let's discuss the myth that Abraham Lincoln had Marfan’s Syndrome.  We now understand he didn’t but actually had a genetic disorder, MEN2B  which gave him a Marfanoid appearance (tall, lanky, long limbs), large lower lip, history of constipation, bumpy lips, “pseudodepression,” and his mother possibly suffered the same disorder.

 

Was Lincoln suicidal?  The poem, Suicide’s Soliloquy was believed to be authored by Abraham Lincoln.

Why did it take Abraham Lincoln 11 hours to die from his fatal wound? ……Doctors actually relieved the intracranial pressure, and appeared to do an amazing job considering the time. Unfortunately he fell unconscious immediately, and they never were able to revive him.

Woodrow Wilson – Was he always in charge?

In October of 1919, Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. After his medical incident it's believed his wife Edith ran the country while he was bedridden. He died in 1924, three years after leaving office at the age of 67.

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower – if your heart’s not in it…..

 

In 1955 he suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack). He originally thought he suffered from indigestion.  Recovery time was much slower than modern day and he was kept on bed rest for months.  He was considering resigning.  Months later he regained his strength and successfully ran for a second term.

 

John F. Kennedy – did his back brace kill him?

Why was JFK so “tan”? He suffered from Addison’s disease and along with this suffered from chronic back problems.  He required  multiple injections and medicines on a routine basis after a series of failed back surgeries.

 

His back brace may have cost him his life……Historians believe he didn’t slump over after the first shot (prevented by the brace) and was therefore sitting upright when the second shot hit his head.

 

jfk-slump

 

JFK appears to be in his back brace that day.  If the first shot caused him to fall over, historians believe he could still be alive today, avoiding the second fatal shot to his head.

 

Other reported maladies affecting some U.S. Presidents include:

 

Ulysses S. Grant – throat cancer

Chester Arthur – Bright’s disease

Teddy Roosevelt – detached retina

Herbert Hoover – GI Cancer and GI bleed

Richard Nixon – phlebitis, blood clots

George HW Bush – hyperthyroidism/Graves disease

In short, Presidents are not always in the finest of health and may suffer the same maladies their constituents do.  Washington has always found a way to keep this from the public and may continue to despite today’s technology.

 

LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

 

Published in News & Information

Antibiotic resistant strains of the sexually transmitted illness, Neisseria gonorrhea, have been on the rise, and the World Health Organization cites oral sex as a culprit.

 

“Super-Gonorrhea” is a term used for a gonorrhea infection that cannot be treated by conventional antibiotic therapy. Drug resistant strains cause infections that cannot be cured, hence increasing its risk of morbidity and spread to other individuals who think their partner is “cured.”

 

Gonorrhea infection may present with green/yellow discharge emanating from the penile urethra or female vagina or it may be asymptomatic. Additionally the bacteria could colonize or infect the rectum, mouth, or disseminate throughout the body, causing arthritis, rash and multiple other maladies. Untreated gonorrhea can also lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and increase one’s risk of acquiring HIV.

 

Oral sex allows an easy route of transmission if condoms aren’t used.  According to Dr. Teodora Wi, WHO Medical Officer, “When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance.”

 

Let me explain. Superbugs develop when a bacteria survives an antibiotic treatment that should have killed it. The surviving bacteria, with its “super genes,” makes offspring that has the same “super genes” capable of withstanding the same antibiotic that didn’t kill its parent. The more exposure a bacteria has to antibiotics that it can withstand, the greater the possibility of it developing antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics used to kill throat infections are not always designed to kill off gonorrhea, hence any gonorrhea sitting in the throat after oral sex can produce resistant progeny.

 

Until recently, gonorrhea would be treated with a single dose of ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, or azithromycin. Due to a rise in resistance to these individual medications, the current treatment for gonorrhea infection recommended by the CDC is a single dose of 250 mg of intramuscular ceftriaxone AND 1g of oral azithromycin.

 

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LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 17:15

Tips to Prevent Childhood Drowning

The leading cause of death in children are “unintentional injuries” including drownings.  According to the CDC, 20% of drowning victims are under the age of 14.  And non-fatal drowning victims could sustain brain damage and long term disability.

 

Pools, bathtubs and any body of water pose risks, however this time of year is especially dangerous, because activities surrounding pools, such as BBQs and alcohol use, become distractors to the adults supervising.

 

When it comes to drowning prevention, the following is necessary:

All pools should be enclosed

 

Fence height should be at least 4-5 feet high and the entry gate should self-close and self-latch.

Even if your pool has a fence, be aware that the house who’s hosting the BBQ, play date, or sleep-over may not.

 

And any kiddy pools or ice buckets used for drinks should be dumped out after use and flipped over so they do not become a future threat.

All young children should be within arm’s reach of an adult when swimming

 

The farther you are away from the child you’re supervising, the longer it takes to rescue. With distance between you and the victim, other children may swim in your path and you may lose sight of where the victim submerged. And seconds count. A panicked child under water may also aspirate water into the lungs becoming hypoxic quicker.  Moreover they could be at risk of “secondary drowning” in which water in the larynx triggers a spasm closing up the airway, or water falling into the lungs causes pulmonary edema and respiratory failure days after the water incident.

Do not get distracted

 

Put the phones away.  Adults supervising kids in a pool should not be answering a phone call or on social media.  Moreover, adults should not be drinking alcohol while supervising a child. Reaction time is key, and a drunk adult could become a drowning victim as well.

Remember that drowning is silent

 

Many drownings occur while others are feet away from the victim. Why? Because a submerged victim makes little sound and nearby splashing visually and auditorily obscures the victim’s splashes.

Parents have long learned that when children get quiet during playtime, something could be going wrong.  Use that same Spidey-sense when they are in the pool.

 

Learn CPR and water rescue skills

 

Most CPR classes teach adult, child, and infant CPR.  Having this knowledge and becoming certified could save a life one day.

 

If swimming in open waters, know the weather and sea conditions prior to jumping in.  Life jackets/vests, appropriate for the child’s size, should be worn, even if the child is out of the water, such as in a boat.

Have a safe and healthy summer!

 

 

LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information

Healthcare workers frighteningly face assault all too often, including verbal, sexual and physical, with some of these instances including gun violence.  This may rise as we attempt to combat the opioid addiction epidemic.

 

Las Vegas unfortunately has seen multiple cases, especially when it comes to shootings that involve medical offices.  This week four people were injured when a patient walked in asking for a walk-in appointment at the Center for Wellness & Pain Care. When he was denied, he shot at employees before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.  All the victims of the shooting are expected to recover.

 

Unfortunately, this is not the first time gun violence has involved medical personnel for suspected pain related issues.

 

In 2003, David Freeman kidnapped his physician, Dr. Sheldon Mike after he refused to call in a pain medication prescription to the pharmacy.  The Freeman took Dr. Mike by car at gunpoint to a drive-through Walgreens. He was stopped by police and Dr. Mike was shot in the shoulder and sustained a neck wound during the incident, but fortunately survived his injuries.

 

In 2006. Dr. Avi Ostrowsky survived a shooting from a long time patient who had “chronic back pain”.

In 2009, Dr. Edna Makabenta was shot and killed by her patient, Eliseo Santos, when she entered his exam room.  It was reported that Santos was suffering pain from prostate cancer although the exact motive was unknown.

 

Industries involving customer service expose staff to hundreds of clients a day putting them at risk for altercations. However, medical staff are even more vulnerable to violence in the workplace for many reasons. Firstly, health care personnel deal with people who aren’t well, whether it's physical, emotional or mental illness. When one is in pain, or possibly suffering an addiction to narcotics, he/she may not be able to control their anger or emotional outbursts.

 

Secondly, clients of the healthcare industry are more often disgruntled and frustrated with the medical system, whether it be wait times, cost, or lack of getting their desired services.

 

Thirdly, medical staff frequently have to say “no”, or deny services to their clients whether it's a medical insurance issue or an “unsubstantiated request” for pain prescriptions.  With the ongoing opioid epidemic, medical offices feel pressured to deny prescription requests, therefore angering more patients.

Medical facilities strive to ensure the safety of all their patients.  Many are not equipped, however, to protect those in the waiting or exam rooms from gunfire.

 

As we gear up to battle the opioid crisis we need to avoiding thrusting millions of people into narcotic withdrawal.  We should prepare for more disgruntled patients becoming violent when their medication requests are turned down.  Narcotic withdrawal is painful and scary and more needs to be done to help those addicted to narcotics to transition and detox easier.  Moreover, the need for increased security at medical offices is paramount.

 

LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

 

Published in News & Information

June 14th is World Blood Donor Day.  Established by the World Health Organization in 2004, World Blood Donor Day thanks donors and raises awareness for the global need of blood products. Blood banks throughout the country, including American Red Cross and United Blood Services, are holding drives to help keep their stores full for local hospitals and medical centers.

 

Blood products are used for trauma patients,  those whose blood counts are low due to anemia, and many who suffer from blood disorders. One pint of blood could be used to save three lives.  Whole blood donations can last “on the shelf” for 42 days, but platelets, which provide clotting factors, only last for 5 days.

 

Donors are therefore needed year round.  One can donate blood every 60 days and platelets can be donated every week for up to 24 weeks a year. Although 38% of the US population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10% actually do.

 

World Blood Donor Day helps bring much needed blood during the summer months when less people donate. In 2016 a United States National Blood Donation Day was created along with a National Blood Donation Week, with multiple states creating state blood donation days during the first full week of September.

 

nvbloodme

Doc. Daliah putting her blood money where her mouth is.  

 

Campaigns such as these remind people that blood is needed year round.

The World Blood Donor Day slogan this year is “What can you do?”….

Give Blood, Give Now, Give Often…..

 

To find the nearest blood bank near you, visit:

http://www.unitedbloodservices.org/

http://www.redcross.org/give-blood

 

LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

 

 

Published in News & Information

A Houston boy who went swimming at Texas City Dike over Memorial Day Weekend died days later from reportedly “dry drowning,” or possible “secondary drowning.”

 

“Dry Drowning” sometimes gets confused with secondary drowning. The latter occurs when fluid gets into the lungs when one swims and hours, or days later (out of the water), causes respiratory failure.  As will be discussed below, dry drowning causes a spasm of the vocal cords which inhibits breathing.

 

Frankie, 4 years old, appeared fine until a few days later, his father, Francisco Delgado, Jr., said he appeared to be suffering from a minor, stomach ailment. Then one morning the boy woke up with shoulder pain, and “Out of nowhere, he just woke up. He said ahhh.”  His father told KTRK, “He took his last breath and I didn’t know what to do no more.”

 

Despite efforts by paramedics and the parents, Frankie passed. A GoFundMePage has been created for the family to help with funeral expenses.

What is “Dry Drowning” and “Secondary Drowning”?

Dry Drowning occurs when water touches the first pass of the respiratory tree, one’s vocal cords, larynx.  When water touches this area a reflex is triggered, causing a spasm (laryngospasm) such that the vocal cords constrict and close up the airway. It's a defense mechanism designed to prevent water from falling into the lungs. However, laryngospasm causes immediate hypoxia, lack of oxygen, and if not reversed, the victim will die.  In dry drowning, water never officially reaches the lungs.

 

bronchi_lungs.jpg

 

In Secondary Drowning, water gets inhaled and sits in the respiratory tree and if uncleared through coughing, will sit and prevent proper oxygenation. Moreover the water will irritate the lung linings causing more fluid and inflammation, resulting in pulmonary edema. This could occur hours to days after the water activity.

 

According to Florida Hospital Tampa pediatrician, Dr. James Orlowski, these events are very rare, comprising only 1-2% of drowning incidents.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms for both “Dry” and “Secondary Drowning” are similar in which the victim could have any of the following:

 

  • Cough

  • Chest Pain

  • Difficulty Breathing

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Neck Pain

  • Confusion

  • Irritability

  • Behavior Changes

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty speaking

 

to name a few…

Prevention

Horse play in water should be avoided. This includes bathtubs, plastic pools, hot tubs, pools, lakes, ocean, etc.

 

Never swim alone.

 

Swim in areas staffed with lifeguards and/or appropriate supervision. If water does get inhaled watch the child or adult to look for any of the above symptoms. If concerned seek medical help immediately.

 

LearnHealthSpanish.com / Medical Spanish made easy.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information
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