Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 20, 2018

Nearly 500 attend health fair

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Apr 09, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo Members of the Comet Attack traveling softball team from Cardinal step inside a helicopter during the Jefferson County Health Center’s health fair Saturday. The girls are, from left, Ella Drish, Summer Larue, Maclain Hickenbottom and Breanne Drish. The team was supposed to have a game that morning but it was canceled because of the cold, so they spent the morning at the health fair.

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor

 

The Jefferson County Health Center hosted its annual health fair Saturday featuring activities for young and old alike.

The weather felt rather cold for April, but at least it wasn’t snowing, so the outdoor activities could go on as planned. Children rode in the JCHC train around the campus. People got to sit in a helicopter that flew in from Iowa City. The Fairfield Fire Department demonstrated the Jaws of Life by cutting open a van.

 

Antibiotics

Inside, informational booths lined the health center’s corridors. One of those was staffed by Katie Mitchell and Dustin Lane of the health center’s pharmacy. They taught the public about antibiotics, and about how germs can become resistant to antibiotics when overused. These resistant bacteria are harder to kill and may require stronger treatments to defeat.

Mitchell and Lane talked about how antibiotics only work on bacteria, not viruses, and trying to defeat viruses with antibiotics won’t cure the infection or make the patient feel better.

Patients with a viral infection don’t have to leave the health center empty-handed. The pharmacy department hands out sick kits with supportive treatments, things like Tylenol, water, tissues, salt packets for gargling, chapstick, cough drops and hand sanitizer.

 

Breathing lung

Respiratory therapists Cody Goehring and Kristen Roth showed the public how a lung works by connecting a cow’s lungs to a breathing apparatus and inflating them. A pair of pigs’ lungs was connected to a respirator, too. One of the lungs was a healthy red color and the other was black, tinted to show the effect of smoking every day for 20 years. Roth said pigs’ lungs are used since they’re about the size of human lungs.

Respiratory therapists monitor heart and lung functions, and administer breathing tubes to people who have suffered a heart attack or overdose. Goehring and Roth promote lung health by educating the public about the importance of exercise, and wearing masks when working in dusty environments. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the lungs, too.

 

CPR machine

Members of Midwest Ambulance demonstrated a device that can be strapped onto a patient and restart their heart through chest compressions. It is known as a Lucas CPR device, and Midwest Ambulance has had two of them since November. One of them went to the health center (This sentence has been modified to reflect the fact one of the devices went to the health center. The sentence initially incorrectly stated that Jefferson County Public Health received two of them.)

Base supervisor for Jefferson County Jody Smith said the device provides compressions at a consistent depth and rate. To revive a person whose heart has stopped, 100 compressions per minute are recommended. That can be tiring for a human to perform, but not for a machine. Another advantage of the device is that it can compress the chest even while the patient is being moved.

Smith said the device has been used four times so far, and in two of those cases the patient’s heart was restarted. In both of those cases, CPR was started on the patient before the ambulance arrived. Smith said that’s a testament to the importance of the public learning CPR and starting it as soon as possible.

 

‘Splat’

Emergency room nurse and education assistant Shelly Adkison ran a booth on bicycle helmet safety called “Splat.” She had two containers that looked like human heads, and put an egg inside each one. She put a protective helmet on one of the containers, then dropped both from a height of about 5 feet onto the ground.

Without exception, the egg in the container with a helmet survived, and the one without a helmet cracked. Adkison said it helped children understand the importance of wearing a helmet.

“I learned that not all kids wear their helmets all the time,” she said. “It surprised them to learn what happens to their brain if they don’t wear a helmet.”

The demonstration even had an effect on adults. Art Atkinson has ridden a bicycle for years with no helmet, resisting it for reasons of comfort and ego. After speaking with Adkison and seeing the potential damage to his brain, he agreed to finally get a helmet.

 

Goals

Jefferson County Health Center community relations manager Wanda Bagby said the health fair had two goals.

“We want to have a venue where health related services and businesses can share their services with people in the community,” she said. “The other goal is that we want the community to come and receive meaningful information and resources to make healthy choices in their lives. We hope that the nearly 500 people who attended the health and wellness fair enjoyed their time here and will benefit from the information they received.”

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