Thursday, September 25, 2014
Doctor's Perspective
How do we deter any future acts of violence?

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
I am a season ticket holder for the Baltimore Ravens. I have been to 123 of their 130 home games at M&T Bank stadium. I attended the first pre-season game this year in early August. When they introduced Ray Rice, I kept my silence. The media has had a field day with the circumstances surrounding the Ray Rice incident. It makes me wonder how there can be so much to talk about. Domestic violence is bad and it is very common. The statistics make that very clear. About one out of every three women is a victim. Domestic violence accounts for about 15% of all violent crime. In 72% of murder-suicide cases the individuals are partners. In 94% of that group the murder victim is the woman. In addition 41% of all female homicides are committed by a partner. Even when a couple seeks help there is a 30 to 40% chance of future violence. I had two younger sisters when I was growing up. Siblings tend to fight frequently. However, I had it drilled into me from an early age that you never hit a girl. It does not matter what she does first. You never retaliate. When I was a commanding officer in the Air Force, I frequently had to mete out justice. Often the accused came in with his supervisor. The supervisor always told the story of what a good worker he was which was intended to mitigate the punishment. I told them all the same story. I love my children very much. They are all good girls but they sometimes do bad things. If my daughter decided to run out into the street in front of a car, that would be a bad thing. It would be up to me to teach her not to do that again. I would not be punishing a bad person. I would be addressing a bad behavior. The goal when addressing a bad behavior is to decide which level of punishment will get the message across. In some cases, the individual might not need a lot of punishment. In the case of running out in front of a car, the scare from the event might do more than any punishment I could come up with. The question then is what is the right punishment to correct the violent behavior in domestic violence? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Perhaps, losing one's job is effective. That is what happened with Ray Rice. However, the incident in question occurred when he had been drinking. Some people are mean drunks. Perhaps the approach needs to be one of stopping the use of alcohol. A question then arises as to whether losing your job will drive you to drink which could cause the problem to recur. Everyone has an opinion about Ray Rice. They all seem to have the answer. However, when dealing with human behavior there is no easy answer. Thus all the media attention is just that. It is attention that is not likely to have any significant effect on the individual situation. If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Free blood pressure screenings Do you know someone who has had a heart attack or stroke? You're not alone. Americans suffer more than two million heart attacks and strokes each year. Million HeartsÂȘ was created to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes across the country. This public-private national initiative is bringing together a wide range of heart disease and prevention programs and activities to raise awareness about what can be done to prevent heart disease and stroke in our nation. Join Nanticoke Health Services as we support the Million Hearts initiatives with a free blood pressure screening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, in the main lobby of the hospital. Two key risk factors for heart disease are blood pressure and waist circumference. Be one in a Million Hearts by taking the pledge to:

  • Get up and get active by exercising 30 minutes on most days.
  • Stay strong by eating a heart-healthy diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol.
  • Take control of your health by following your doctor's instructions for medications and treatments.
  • Know your ABCS: Appropriate Aspirin Therapy, Blood Pressure Control, Cholesterol Management and Smoking Cessation.
Visit to take the pledge to save a heart today.

Blood Bank in need of donors Blood Bank of Delmarva is in immediate need of Type O Negative blood and Type AB platelet donors. As a result of a tragic tour bus crash this past Sunday, the blood and platelet supply of local hospitals has been significantly impacted as numerous victims of this crash are being treated at various hospitals. Because it is universal, the O Negative blood type is always in high demand in our local hospitals. It can be safely transfused to any patient in a trauma or emergency situation," said Michael Waite, Blood Bank of Delmarva director of marketing and community relations. Blood Bank of Delmarva has four fixed locations – Wilmington, Newark, Dover and Salisbury, Md. - as well as more than 30 regularly scheduled mobile locations.

Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are also welcome at the centers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit, call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or download the free app on your iPhone or Android.

Nanticoke Pink Ribbon Tea October is Breast Cancer Survivors Month and the Cancer Support Community-DE, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, American Cancer Society and the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center will honor breast cancer survivors at a special Pink Ribbon Tea. Join other survivors and enjoy an afternoon of inspiration and time of celebration. The Nanticoke Pink Ribbon Tea will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, at the Seaford Library. To register, call 645-9150 by Oct. 2. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free of charge, but seating is limited.

Sleep apnea support group offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford is hosting the A.W.A.K.E. - Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic, sleep apnea support group. A.W.A.K.E. is a free support group for people with sleep problems including sleep apnea, insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, restless legs and narcolepsy. The support group also focuses on the impact medications may be having on your sleep. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Meetings will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on: Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the ground floor Nurse's Conference Room; Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the ground floor Nurse's Conference Room. There is no meeting in December. For more information about the group, call the Sleep Disorders Center at 629-6611, ext. 3815.

Walk to End Alzheimer's As many as 500 people are expected to gather at Grove Park in Rehoboth on Saturday, Oct. 4 for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. Register online at The day features live entertainment, prizes, snacks, beverages and the Promise Garden Ceremony which honors those affected by Alzheimer's. For more information, visit or call the chapter's helpline at 800-272-3900.

Annual LIVE Conference Learn how to identify and protect yourself and your loved ones from elder abuse at the Annual LIVE Conference, Live Safe and Secure," on Monday, Oct. 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sussex Academy in Georgetown. The $5 fee includes a light breakfast and lunch. Forty exhibitors will be on display. Pre-registration is required. Visit For more information, contact Sally Beaumont at 381-5491 or

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes education program on Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions. To register and for more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Drive-Thru Flu Clinic Peninsula Regional Medical Center's Drive-Thru" Flu Clinic returns on Thursday, Oct. 16 and Friday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, at Shorebirds Stadium in Salisbury. Vaccinations will be administered to individuals 13 or older. A donation of $15 per vaccination is requested (cash only; exact amount is appreciated). For the first time, PRMC will be offering the quadrivalent vaccine which offers protection against two influenza type A and two influenza type B viruses. Previously flu vaccines were trivalent, and made to protect against two type A viruses but only one type B. For more information, visit

Breast Cancer Awareness Walk The 13th Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness presented by Women Supporting Women will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Winterplace Park in Salisbury. Walkers are encouraged to bring their canine companions and form a team to help this local breast cancer support group provide free services and support to local breast cancer survivors, their families and friends. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10. Lunch is provided by Texas Roadhouse. To learn more about WSW, visit

Domestic Violence Awareness The 11th Annual Delaware State Police Ride for Domestic Violence Awareness will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11, beginning at Delaware State Police Headquarters in Dover. The police escorted ride will travel through scenic areas of Kent and New Castle counties and end at Bogey's Grill in Middletown. Sign up is from 9 to 10 a.m. and the cost is $20 per person.