Monday, November 24, 2014

Western Massachusetts SNOW BLOWER safety for Thanksgiving Storm Cato

Keep Hands Safe When Using Snow Blowers

#thanksgiving2014 #snow

Snow Blower Safety

Recommendations for safe use of a jammed snow blower snow blowers include: (O C D  STICK)

1. If the snow blower jams, immediately turn it OFF
2. Disengage the CLUTCH
3. DELAY...Wait 10 seconds after shutting of to allow Impeller Blades to stop rotating
4. Always use a STICK or broom handle to clear impacted snow. The stick most be strong enough to avoid breakage or eye injures can result from flying fragments.
5. Never put your hand near chute or around blades
6. Keep all shields in place. Do not remove safety devices on machine
7. Keep hands and feet away from moving parts
8. Keep a clear head, concentrate and ...
    Do not drink alcoholic beverages before using a snow blower

As physicians dedicated to the care of the Hand and Upper extremity we want to inform the public concerning the perils and pitfalls of improper snow blower use.  Physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and therapists who deal with these injuries live in fear of the first heavy wet snow of the season. Invariably injuries are seen despite general knowledge that these injuries occur. These safety tips cannot guarantee against injury but hopefully if you are reading these or even better spreading these, it is one more step towards preventing these types of injuries.

Injury Profile*
Average age: 44 years
Sex: Male
Dominant hand — 90% of injuries
Amputations of tips of fingers
Middle finger most commonly injured
Common Weather Conditions
  • Heavy, wet snow
  • Large snow accumulation, greater than six inches
  • Temperature: 28 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
Injury Causes*
  • Snow clogging the exit chute of the machine
  • Not noticing that the impeller blades are still rotating even though the machine is off
  • Operator attempts to clean the clogged exit chute with hands
  • Hands connect with the rotating blades, resulting in severe injury
Snowblowers are safe if used properly.

Remember — if your snowblower jams*:
  • Turn it OFF!
  • Disengage CLUTCH.
  • DELAY, Wait five seconds after shutting machine off to allow impeller blades to stop rotating.
  • ALWAYS use a STICK or broom handle to clear impacted snow.
  • NEVER put your hand down chute or around blades.
  • Keep all shields in place. DO NOT REMOVE the safety devices on the machine.
  • Keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.
  • Keep a clear head, concentrate, and
  • DO NOT DRINK before using your snowblower!

News organizations and weather services can help

Conditions that are associated with a higher incidence of injuries, hay wet snow exceeding 6 inches of accumulation and temperatures above 28 degrees Fahrenheit offer good opportunities to provide warning for the public. We need your help to reduce the incidence of these preventable injuries. Let others know of this problem. Publicize these safety tips and injury statistics for every large snowstorm in your region.

Remind your colleagues, friends and neighbors when you see them outside. Lets put an end to these devastating injuries.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Xiaflex for Dupuytren's Disease

Xiaflex for Dupuytren's Disease

Xiaflex is used to treat cords that form in Dupuytren's Disease in the hand. Xiaflex injection on day one  is followed a day later by manipulation to break the cord and fully extend the finger. Fast forward if you wish to see the manipulation at 3:30.
Xiaflex for Dupuytren's
XIAFLEX® (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) is a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with Dupuytren's contracture when a "cord" can be felt. Over time, the thickening of this cord in your hand can cause one or more fingers to bend toward your palm, so that you cannot straighten them. XIAFLEX should be injected into the cord by a healthcare provider who is experienced in injection procedures of the hand and treating people with Dupuytren's contracture. XIAFLEX helps "break" the cord that is causing the finger to be bent.

Important Safety Information

XIAFLEX can cause serious side effects, including:
  • Tendon or ligament damage. Receiving an injection of XIAFLEX may cause damage to a tendon or ligament in your hand and cause it to break or weaken. This could require surgery to fix the damaged tendon or ligament. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have trouble bending your injected finger (towards the wrist) after the swelling goes down or you have problems using your treated hand after your follow-up visit.
  • Nerve injury or other serious injury of the hand. Call your healthcare provider if you get numbness, tingling, or increased pain in your treated finger or hand after your injection or after your follow-up visit.
  • Allergic Reactions. Allergic reactions can happen in people who have received an injection of XIAFLEX because it contains foreign proteins. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction after an injection of XIAFLEX: hives; swollen face; breathing trouble; or chest pain.
Before receiving XIAFLEX, tell your healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to a previous XIAFLEX injection, or have a bleeding problem or any other medical conditions. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Be sure to tell them if you use blood thinners such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix®), prasugrel hydrochloride (Effient®), or warfarin sodium (Coumadin®).
Common side effects with XIAFLEX include: swelling of the injection site or the hand, bleeding or bruising at the injection site; and pain or tenderness of the injection site or the hand, swelling of the lymph nodes (glands) in the elbow or underarm, itching, breaks in the skin, redness or warmth of the skin, and pain in the underarm.
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