With bomb cyclones, blizzard conditions and a polar vortex prompting school closures and other restrictions, it would seem an optimal time to detail cold-related illnesses and deaths for the purposes of prevention. But, been there, done that. Instead, as snow days tend to make some a bit stir crazy, I figured I would simultaneously perform a public service by being educational and informative, yet also be compelling.

Nature and the human body in its development and capacity for resilience can be quite fascinating. Before delving into a few conditions that will pique your interest along the “did you know this was physically possible” line, I highly recommend being sensible to avoid some of the pitfalls of winter. To do so, review...

As the grocery stores start to sell out, school districts and offices announce closures and group discussions become preoccupied with the arrival of Snowstorm Stella, there is no better time to remind everyone of ways to avoid unnecessary injury and hardship.

Of the weather-induced causes of death that amounted to 2,000 per year between 2006-2010, 63% were due to excessive natural cold, hypothermia or both. For further review of winter hazards and how to avoid them, read Winter is No Wonderland.

Let’s address some basics for the purpose of prevention:

What is Hypothermia?

It is a dangerous, medically urgent condition where the body temperature has dropped too low as a...

All too frequently, the things we do daily become routine.  This is likely true of many tasks in a multitude of professions.  It’s just that in certain fields, like medicine, seemingly mundane and tedious duties can—all too often— provide the most valuable knowledge of a patient’s well-being and genuine health status.

Vital signs matter.  They matter most when done correctly and provide accurate data.  Hence, why they are likely called “vital” signs.

Dismiss them or do them incorrectly and the bad information obtained will guide medical decisions on your behalf-- potentially toward a negative trajectory.  Now, with electronic medical records, especially, this erroneous information will follow you and your future care may be directed based on these false results.   



Official Health Report for SANTA CLAUS






One St. Nicholas Icy Drive

North Pole, Arctic

Date of Birth (DOB):  Immortal

Medical Record #:  12-24-0000

This letter reflects the official summary of SANTA CLAUS’ (aka St. Nick) recent health visit to determine medical fitness to serve as himself on Christmas Eve in a global capacity.  As the Director of Medicine and a Board-Certified physician at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), I can...

With the holiday season upon us and the palpable slow descent of the temperature, it seems appropriate to nestle in to the unpleasant notion that cold-related deaths are a reality.  An often avoidable one at that.

So, let's be aware of some measures that can ensure a fun-filled, special winter -- only good memories allowed.

The National Health Statistics Reports generated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services attributed the annual death rate from weather-induced causes to be 2,000 per year between 2006-2010.  Of those, 63% were due to excessive natural cold, hypothermia or both.  These extremes can prompt significant morbidity and mortality.  It is believed this data is even underestimated...