Thursday, January 25, 2018
Doctors Perspective
Not all challenges are good

By Dr. Anthony Policastro Sometimes challenges can be good things. For example, we had the ice bucket challenge which raised a lot of money for ALS and its victims. On the other hand challenges can also be a bad idea. The Internet has created many challenge fads like holding ice until it burns and throwing hot water or rubbing alcohol on people. The latest challenge began within the last month. This challenge asks people to chew on Tide laundry pods. The challenge includes having the participant video themselves doing something stupid. Perhaps they can get a video of themselves vomiting after the ingestion. That is far and away the most common result. Or, perhaps they can get a video of themselves having breathing problems from inhaling it. Individuals with a history of asthma can have a full blown asthma attack. Tide pods are also toxic to the eyes. A pod can pop open and spray toxins into the eyes. Perhaps they can get a video of themselves developing neurologic complications such as unconsciousness, seizures or even death. The pods have many highly concentrated toxic substances. The surface coating dissolves with moisture so putting them into a wet mouth will dissolve the pod. We have statistics about unintentional ingestion of these pods. The National Poison Control Center keeps records. In one year, 769 children were hospitalized for poisoning. Many of them required a breathing tube. The neurological complications were more serious. Thirty children went into a coma. Twelve children had seizures and two children died. One wonders why someone would do something like this. As I indicated in a recent article, people are not stupid, however, they frequently do stupid things. Another one of my articles talked about fails videos. The Tide laundry pod challenge falls into that category. It appears to be part of human nature to do things like this. Unfortunately, the results of challenges are not always beneficial. Not all challenges raise money for good causes.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet for a total of five weeks four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. 2018 Dates: January 25, February 1, 8 February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22 March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26 May 16, 24, 31, June 7, 14 July 5, 12, 19, 26, August 2 August 30, September 6, 13, 20, 27 October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1 *November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11 (*Tuesdays) The maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. A refresher course is also available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes. The refresher class covers breathing techniques, signs, symptoms, and stages of labor, birthing options, and a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. The cost of the childbirth course is $50, and the cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Pre-registration is required for either class. To register or for more information, contact Nanticokes Maternal Child Health Clinical Educator at 302-629-6611, extension 2540. To learn more about womens health services provided by Nanticoke, visit

Free weight loss seminars Nanticoke Weight Loss and General Surgery will host free weight loss seminars on Saturday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the Nanticoke Training Center in Seaford. These seminars are designed to provide education to individuals considering weight loss surgery to help them make informed decisions on whether surgery is an appropriate option. Obesity can lead to several health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. For those who suffer with morbid obesity, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above, it can also affect many organs within the body. Many patients are able to bring their BMI down through lifestyles changes under the care of their physician. For others who have not been able to achieve weight loss through these methods, bariatric surgery can be an effective method to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. The weight loss seminars will consist of educational presentations by Dr. Tarek Waked to inform individuals about the many benefits of weight loss surgery.

Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is required. To register for one of these free seminars, call 536-5395. To learn more about services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit

Heart failure support group to take place Jan. 25 at Nanticoke Memorial Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a heart failure support group on Thursday, Jan. 25 from noon to 2 p.m., in the Nursing Conference Room. This free support group is designed for individuals with heart failure, as well as their families and caregivers, to share stories and tips with others with this disease. This months meeting will feature a presentation on Over the Counter Medications and Herbal Supplements by George Schwobel, pharmacist at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Attendees are encouraged to bring their medications to receive a free pharmacy consultation. For more information or to register, call 629-6611, ext. 2428.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to hold Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Pre-registration is required. As a person with diabetes, Nanticoke can help teach you the self-care skills needed to keep you on track. Our four-session diabetic program includes weekly education sessions in a group setting. One family member or significant other is welcome to attend as a passenger on your diabetic road trip. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. Program schedule: Week #1- What is Diabetes? Physiology and Self-Care Skills Review Week #2- Meal Planning, Eating Out, Reading Food Labels Week #3- Self Blood Glucose Monitoring & Management, Sick Day Rules, Traveling Week #4- Medications Used to Manage Diabetes Stress ManagementCoping with Diabetes & Lifestyle Changes Summary and Course Evaluations, Goal Setting To register or for more information about this course, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education Department at 302-629- 6611, extension 2288. To learn more about diabetes services at Nanticoke, visit

Nanticoke hosts bariatric support groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts free bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center located within the Miller Building at 121 S. Front Street in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are open to the public. Support group meetings consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide useful information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.. The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The nutrition-focused bariatric support group is designed to provide nutritional support to bariatric patients and is held the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. Due to scheduling, there will be no nutrition-focused support group this month. For more information about these support groups or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 302-536-5395.

Women Supporting Women upcoming events á Stretch & Sip Feb. 7 at Jimmie and Sooks in Cambridge, Md. Drink wine while doing yoga! The cost is $25/person in advance or $30/person if registered after Feb. 2 and fee includes two glasses of wine and hour-long yoga class. Come in yoga appropriate attire and bring your own mat. Must be 21yrs or older to participate. Tickets can be purchased online at á 17th Annual Pink Ribbon Bingo March 8 at the Salisbury Moose Lodge. $20/person in advance or $25/person at the door. Prizes will be Thirty-One and Pampered Chef with 50/50, raffles, food and baked good sale. Doors open at 5 p.m. and games start at 6:30 p.m. Must be 18 to enter. Proceeds to benefit WSW. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the WSW office.