Thursday, October 12, 2017
Doctors Perspective The gun law debate

By Dr. Anthony Policastro Every time there is a mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas, there is a debate. Those who support gun control look for stronger laws. Those who are gun advo.cates do not see that as the answer. There is a precedent that can give some of the answers to the questions that arrive. The United States has approximately 24 times the population of Australia. In 1996, Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement, which was prompted by a mass shooting. A 28-year-old man killed 35 individuals with a semi-automatic rifle. The law looked primarily at addressing weapons that were used for mass shootings. They focused on semi-automatic, self-loading rifles. As part of the program, they agreed to buy back prohibited fire.arms from the public so people would not lose the money they spent on the weapons. As a result about 700,000 weapons were turned in. Twenty-four times that number would be about 17,000,000 if the same numbers held up in the U.S. The law also included stricter licensing and registration requirements. The prob.lem is it is hard to tell if a law like this has any impact. Changes that occur after the law could be just coincidental. However, changes did occur. In the 18 years prior to the law, there were 13 gun massacres (more than four people killed at one time) in 18 years. These massacres resulted in more than 100 deaths. That is a little less than one per year. If you multiple that by 24, it works out to about 17 incidents in a country with a pop.ulation our size. In the 14 years following the law, the number was zero. Suicide by firearm rates were compared for seven years before and seven years after the law. The rate dropped to less than half of what it had been. Similar statistics were found for homicide by firearm and they were cut almost in half. The biggest drop in deaths were those due to the type of firearm involved in the buyback. It is not clear if this drop was coin.cidental or related to the law. However, history has pointed out the effectiveness of these kinds of laws. Seat belt laws save lives. Child seat laws save lives. Motorcycle helmet laws decrease head injuries in the states that have the laws. Immunization requirements have been the biggest public health success story in this country. In 1938, measles, diphtheria and whooping cough were all in the top 10 killers of children. Prohibition was a failure but deaths from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol decreased. We currently have an opioid epidemic. In 1907, when we passed the Pure Food and Drug Act approximately one in 500 Americans were addicted to opioids, usually laudanum. It is clear that adjusting laws help im.prove safety. They do not make the problem go away. We still have people dying in auto accidents when they do not wear their seat belts. However, we need to find the happy medium. There is always room for improvement. We just need to find out how to improve.

Tournament benefits Cancer Center On Sept. 21 and 22, Nanticoke Health Services held its 9th annual Ladies Day Golf Tournament and 31st annual Open Day Golf Tournament. Over the two days, 250 golfers took to the course at Heritage Shores. The theme for this years Ladies Day tournament was Flamingling for the Cause. Proceeds from the tournament total over $105,000 and will benefit the Nan.ticoke Cancer Care Center. The Cancer Care Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Can.cer, combines a loving environment with quality care delivered by a team of com.passionate experts. Nanticokes Cancer Care Center treats patients living in Sussex County and surrounding areas, allowing them to receive lifesaving cancer treat.ments in Seaford. As a result, the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center is once again expanding to meet the cancer needs of the community. The Pink LINKS program returned again to this years tournaments. Through the support of the community, Nanticoke lined the course with over a hundred pink golf-ball-shaped signs In Honor, In Memory, or In Celebration of a loved one.

Stroke support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a free stroke support group on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Seaford Library & Cultural Center. This support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families, friends, and caregivers. Modeled from the American Stroke Association, the group provides education, com.munity resources, and emotional support to those who have been affected by this life-al.tering event. The two-hour meetings consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions in which caregivers and stroke survivors meet in groups to discuss concerns, providing sup.port and networking. Pre-registration is not required and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services at 629-6224. To learn more about Nanticokes stroke program, visit

Nanticoke Vein Center to host free community seminar The Nanticoke Vein Center will hold a free community seminar on Monday, Oct. 23 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Nanticokes Training Center located at 121 S. Front Street in Seaford. The seminar will feature a presentation on varicose veins and venous insuffi.ciency by Dr. Arvind K. Gireesh of the Nanticoke Vein Center. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is kindly requested. Varicose veins develop through a combination of weakened vein walls and faulty valves. In a healthy vein, a small one-way valve opens, allowing blood to flow up.ward as it moves toward the heart, then closes to prevent it from flowing backwards. When the valve fails, blood pools and pressure will build-up, further weakening the valve and damaging the vein, causing it to become twisted, enlarged and, sometimes, painful. The Nanticoke Vein Center provides safe, non-invasive treatments that can help. For more information or to RSVP to this event, please call 302-536-5386. For more information about services provided by the Nanticoke Vein Center, visit

Nanticoke Weight Loss to host Believe to Achieve 5K fun run/walk Nanticoke Weight Loss and General Surgery will host their Second Annual 5k fun run/walk on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Hoopers Landing Fitness Trail in Seaford. This event is a fun run/walk for weight loss patients and their family and friends and is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. The Hoopers Landing Fitness Trail is located around the perimeter of the Hoopers Landing Golf Course at 1019 Locust Street in Seaford. On.line pre-registration will be open from Oct. 1-26 at Cost to participate is $15 which includes an event t-shirt. Late registrations or day-of registrations will also be $15, but t-shirts will be limited to sizes on hand. Registration and check-in begins at 9 a.m. and the 5k walk/run begins at 10 a.m. Strollers are allowed, but will be asked to line up in the rear. Staff and leadership from Nanticoke Health Services recognize and thank Barbara and Chick Allen for their support of the cancer center.

Nanticoke cancer center renamed after Allens Nanticoke Health Services is pleased to announce its cancer center in Seaford is being renamed in honor of Barbara and Chick Allen, recognizing their gift of over $1 million for cancer care services at the hospital.

The Allens have been longtime sup.porters of Nanticoke, previously contributing to the expansion of the cardiac cathe.terization program as well as the hospitals capital campaign in 2016. Each year, Nanticokes Cancer Care Center provides nearly 10,000 cancer treatments, including nearly 5,000 infusion treatments. For 2017-2018, this number continues to grow. Through this gift, the Allen Cancer Center at Nanticoke will establish a new pharmacy and lab specifically for cancer patients. Additionally, the cancer center will expand the number of infusion bays, including semi-private treatment areas, increasing the comfort of our patients. The infusion bays overlook the Nanticoke River where it is not unusual to see fish jumping, turtles sunbathing, and eagles fishing, said Julie Abel, LPN, MHA, CTR, and director of Nanticoke Cancer Care Services. The project also includes updates to the facade, entrance and lobby areas, making the environment more relaxing for patients and their families and friends supporting them during care.

Making waves with Aquatic Therapy Aquatic Therapy is a specialized area in the field of physical therapy. For years, therapists have observed positive results when applying this water modality to a variety of patient populations. Water improves motion and flexibility, and the warmth and massaging effects of the water allow muscles to relax while helping to reduce pain. The natural buoyancy reduces gravitation pull and lessens compressive forces, thus making exercises much easier to perform than on land. Fact: A person immersed to the neck in water experiences an apparent loss of 90 percent of their body weight. Janice is a patient who experienced the benefits of aquatic exercises at Aquacare Physical Therapy in Seaford. Her neu.rologist suggested that she be evaluated at Aquacare Physical Therapy to have a specialized aquatic physical therapist de.velop a routine of water based exercises. Aquatic therapy has been the best thing that has happened to me, preventing the need for surgery for my arthritic knee and back. The therapists at Aquacare Physical Therapy know my limitations and condi.tion and have helped me get back to the activities I enjoy such as hiking and taking care of my grandchildren, she said. You have a smaller risk of re-injury from water therapy, says Cara Konlian, physical therapist/owner. In the aquatic environment, patients can eliminate joint stresses and experience pain free movement due to the buoyancy of the water. The aquatic environment is an excellent medium for those individuals suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or low back pain. Aquacare Physical Therapy utilizes the pool at the Boys and Girls Club in Seaford. Ask your physician about a referral for aquatic therapy! You have the right to choose where you want to go for physical therapy.

Fit for Life Heart Unhealthy Foods By Jonathan Souder Recently an article from American Council on Exercise (ACE) jumped out at me. The authors are the Nutrition Twins, who are identical twin sisters and, as they describe themselves, veg.gie and chocolate loving registered dieticians and personal trainers. Now how can you not like them? Im a per.sonal trainer that also likes chocolate and likes food just like you, even the whoa, I cant believe a fitness trainer is eating that food. Ive had some nutrition courses, but Im not a registered dietician nor a nutrition expert. But the Nutrition Twins are, and here is what they have to say about foods that are bad for our heart. Deep-fried foods. Deep frying foods creates trans-fats, and trans-fats can raise the bad cholesterol. Also, these foods often contain saturated fats and are high in salt (risk factors for heart disease). The option to deep frying foods is to bake them. Fast foods. The majority of fast foods are fried and high in salt, sugar and calories. Again, all risk factors for heart disease. Take the time to plan your meals daily and not depend on fast foods. Are you living fast and furious with too many commitments? Take a moment to consider the benefits versus the risks of these commitments that may be making you live unhealthy. Margarine. Again the words trans-fat comes to mind when talking about margarine. A trans-fat is created when the plant oil is processed and made into a solid. Instead, use a soft spread that doesnt contain the word hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated in the ingredients. Processed meats. Bacon, sausage, pepperoni, salami, cold cuts and cured meats are all processed meats. I know, I just said bacon and I love bacon! Who doesnt? But Im very careful to make bacon a treat and not overeat it. Researchers suggest to limit processed meats to once a week. You can choose eggs, fresh fish, poultry, beans and lean red meat instead. Salt. Salt is in a lot of foods today. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that most people eat 4,000 mg a day when the recommendation is just 2,300 mg maximum allowed per day. Instead use spices, vinegars and squeezed lemons on your foods and the amount of packaged foods you eat. Sugar Sweetened drinks. Look around. Sugar drinks are everywhere and in most peoples hands these days. Sugar drinks contribute to inflammation, raise blood sugar and increase risk of heart disease. Instead, drink water, selt.zer or unsweetened drinks. You can also infuse water with orange, lime, lemon and other flavors such as cucumber and watermelon. All of these foods are very popular in our society today because theyre easy to buy and eat. We have a saying in the fitness training business that puts it all into perspective: You cant exercise away or out train poor nutrition and overeating. Think about that and make wise food choices. Heres to your great health.

About the author Jonathan Souder is the fitness direc.tor at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Email your thoughts to

Nanticoke Tributes are Nov. 9 The 14th Annual Nanticoke Tributes for Healthcare Leadership, presented by Nanticoke Health Services, will take place Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Heritage Shores Clubhouse in Bridgeville from 6-9 p.m. The awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the provision and improvement of healthcare in the communities of western Sussex County. The Founders Award will be presented to Nancy Cook-Marsh; the Charles C. Allen, Jr. Philanthropy Award is being awarded to the Trinity Foundation, and Dr.. James Palmer is being inducted into the Nanticoke Physicians Hall of Fame. For more information, visit or contact the Nanticoke Health Foundation at 536-5390.

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