Life-saving tips

Hot car is an oven

Recently, a New York man was charged of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for the death of his infant twins he forgot were in his car when he went to his 8-hour shift during a hot summer day.  A 10-month old in Virginia is the 21st this year to die inside a hot car. Children or pets should never be left inside a car unattended.  Within five minutes, the temperature inside a car with windows shut (or even slightly ajar), could reach 150 degrees F, on a very hot day.

Toxic fumes in car

Cars parked under the sun could cause the overheated dashboard material to release some toxic chemical fumes. Before getting in the car, open the door and windows for a couple of minutes, with the blower on high. This will fan the toxic fumes out. Dashboards are made of PVC blended with ABS, the acronym for Acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Their safety, when exposed to high degree temperature, is a big question. Chemical poisons increase the risk for the development of lung disease and cancers.

DIY cleansing solution

While cleansing solution made of chlorine or other chemical agents are effective for many cleaning jobs at home, they could potentially cause lung, liver, kidney, and thyroid diseases, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. A concoction I have been using for general cleaning at home, garage or garden is a lot safer and very inexpensive; and can be replenished at any time. The is my 5-5-3-1 formula: 500 cc water, 50 cc vinegar, 30 cc alcohol, 10 cc or two tsp dish liquid soap, poured into a small spray bottle. I find this is good for cleaning greasy stovetops also. This solution kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses as well. Vinegar is 5 percent acetic acid. The best thing about this DIY cleansing solution is that it is not toxic, unless you drink it.

Brisk walking is in

For decades, physicians have been advising people to jog, but now there are evidences that jogging all those years have led to degenerative (wear and tear) injuries to the spine, hip joints, knee joints and ankles, some requiring surgery (like knee or hip replacements, etc.). Brisk walking, the minimal impact form of exercise with the same benefits but lesser complications, is in. Done at tolerable, comfortable, speed, at least 5 times a week; brisk walking confers great health benefits, to ward off (or minimize complications of) metabolic, cardiovascular diseases. Exercise is also anti-Alzheimer’s and anti-cancer. Yes, regular exercise, amazingly, does all those.

Vegetables, fruits, nuts

These three food items are not only effective in reducing the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke; but studies have also shown that when eaten daily; vegetables of all colors, fruits, and nuts, also lowers the risk for cancer. Of course, calories from all these should be considered when calculating the daily caloric intake for those with diabetes and or persons trying to lose weight. Unlike carbohydrates (rice, soft drinks, bread, pasta, ice-cream, all sweets, etc., which are inflammatory food items), these are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants and could be eaten as much as one wants daily (instead of carbs and meats) and still maintain a desired weight.

Deadly peanut allergy

Airlines used to give its passengers peanuts or snacks. They have stopped this practice because of severe peanuts allergies among children which on occasions have caused severe shortness of breath, anaphylactic shock or even death. When someone eats peanuts, even several rows away, people who are allergic to peanuts could develop a reaction.  So airlines have done away with peanuts and give pretzels and cookies (without nuts) instead.

Epi Pen or adrenalin ampoules

Severe allergic reaction could be fatal. Our friends, a surgeon and a pediatrician, lost their 18-year-old daughter, who was allergic to horses; went to a barn with her friends, immediately had a violent reaction and died on the spot. She did not have any adrenalin injection with her.

Two other friends of ours lost their 18-year-old son to severe asthma because he did not have any adrenalin with him. And these are not isolated cases. The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics reported that,  “2,458 deaths due to anaphylaxis and additional 593 deaths due to fatal allergic reactions identified over a twelve-year period.” And most of these did not have an injectable drug with them to rapidly counteract the allergic reaction. EpiPen (one-hand self-injected adrenalin) or adrenalin ampoule (given with a tuberculin syringe) are available for individuals with allergies, and rescue inhalers for those with asthma and COPD for urgent situations to combat severe shortness of breath from bronchial (breathing pipe) constriction-spasm. Having these lifesaver drugs on hand at all times (in a purse or pocket) could stave off a catastrophe.

Food allergy can kill

It is not well known but food allergies can kill. Many individuals are allergic to seafood, some to all types, others to specific ones — like shrimp or crab or lobster. I know of someone allergic to bagoong (shrimp paste) only, and another to shrimp only. Rarely, to MSG (Mono Sodum Glutamate, “vetsin,” food taste enhancer.

I lost a classmate and fellow cardiac surgeon who was attending a conference in Nice, France, where he was to be inducted president of a Filipino association. Tired of eating French foods, he and his wife went to a Chinese restaurant and told the waitress that he was allergic to MSG. After swallowing food a couple of times, he had severe shortness of breath, an anaphylactic reaction, and died on the spot. When ordering, it might be prudent to instruct the food server repeatedly, 3 or 4 times, to make sure he/she understood. If needed, ask for a translator.

Re-confirmed: Soft drinks are toxic

I have been advising my readers (newspaper column, website, and of my book) for years to stay away from soft drinks of any kind, cola or uncola, regular or diet, flavored or not, zero or 100, especially for children.  This is because these drinks are toxic to our body and increase our risk for metabolic syndrome (a cluster of medical conditions, like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fats, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels) that elevate one’s risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. New studies have re-confirmed the toxicity of soft drinks and the diseases they cause in the long run. The question is: why do we have to swallow any poison at all in the first place?

***

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

Dr. Philip S. Chua
Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.