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Archive for the ‘Covid-19’ Category

Bone Health Care During the New Normal

June 8, 2020 @ 6:22 am
posted by Dr Ginther

We previously discussed Drive Thru Injections of Prolia and Evenity.  If requested, our staff will give your scheduled injection while you remain in your car in our parking lot.

We wear masks and we ask our patients to do the same.  You must answer the required questions before proceeding.  We have hand sanitizer at the front desk and in each room.  We sanitize surfaces and pens between patients.

If you see our receptionist with her mask off while talking on the phone, please stand back.  Unfortunately, masks and telephones do not play well together.

We sanitize our DXA machine between patients.  We can often safely put off repeat DXA/VFA patients for 6 months or even a year if they are well established and have been stable with no changes in treatment.

New DXA/VFA patients and those with changes in medical regimens should have their studies done as scheduled.  Outpatient blood tests are slower than before because of social distancing, masks, and sanitizing surfaces between patients.

Consultations and lab follow-ups can be done by telemedicine for most insurances in Iowa.  However, each insurance company has its own (changing) rules and limits on how long they will pay for telemedicine.  Computer sites which are approved for telemedicine charge for use.  You need a computer or cell phone compatible with the approved site.

We are all waiting for a vaccine.  But, for many persons, a hip fracture carries a higher risk of death than Covid-19.  Pay attention to your bone health.  Avoid a hip fracture.

Jay Ginther, MD

Bluebells at Katoski Greenbelt 2020

April 28, 2020 @ 10:40 am
posted by Dr Ginther

The parking lot on the south side of Ridgeway just east of Blackhawk Creek is fairly empty due to Covid guidelines.  Social distancing is easy on the more than mile long trails through the woodlands.

Spring Beauties are everywhere this early.  Virginia Bluebells are nearing their peak of tens of thousands of blooms.  Trout lilies are at peak although less common.  Blue, white and yellow violets and buttercups are blooming as well.  False Soloman seal are just starting to bud.

Katoski Greenbelt is a springtime Blue Zone.

Jay Ginther, MD

Bone Health Gets No Respect

April 24, 2020 @ 5:32 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

As testing increases, we are finding many individuals have been infected with Covid-19.  Many have no symptoms.  Many do not know that they have it.  The overall death rate when counting everyone infected is looking like less than 1%.

The same is true regarding Clinical Osteoporosis.  Many do not know that they have it.  There are no symptoms except a fracture.  Up to 80% of those with thoracic vertebral fractures do not know they have had one.  Up to 20% of those with a recognized vertebral fracture die within 6 months from complications of their osteoporosis.

A hip fracture is hard to miss.  Hip fracture can be the first symptom of severe clinical osteoporosis.  Like Covid-19, hip fracture (Clinical Osteoporosis) is most dangerous in those who are older and/or have pre-existing chronic diseases (co-morbidities).

Over 20% of older men who fracture a hip die of complications within 6 months and many die within weeks.  This is comparable to older men with Covid-19 who require a ventilator.  Yet osteoporosis gets no respect.  More than half the time osteoporosis is not even listed as a contributing factor.  And rarely is the hip fracture listed as the cause of death.

We consider Covid-19 to be the cause of death even if we only suspect it.  Perhaps it is time to consider a treatable chronic disease like osteoporosis in the same way.

Jay Ginther, MD

Fear of Covid-19 Can Kill

April 19, 2020 @ 6:20 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

We have discussed who is at the highest risk of death from Covid-19 or other diseases or injuries.  The usual suspects.  Those with serious chronic diseases:  Elderly, especially male; Diabetes, especially poorly controlled; Heart disease and blood pressure problems; Lung diseases like COPD, Asthma, Emphysema, especially those dependent on oxygen or inhalers.

None of these can be cured, but all can be controlled or made less severe.  That requires careful management.  Labs, other tests, discussion with the managing healthcare provider often need to be done every month or 2 or 3.  Medications need to be adjusted.  Careful management of chronic disease is not “elective”.  It is “essential”.

Fear of Covid-19 is keeping many with unstable chronic diseases from their usual testing and management.  Others delay going to hospital for worsening symptoms.  Waiting until your problems are severe makes even ICU care less likely to succeed.

Telemedicine can be an answer, but talk only is not as good as being able to see the patient.  Many older persons do not have a computer or smart phone which would make them visible to their healthcare provider.  Drawing blood tests by phone does not work either.

Most hospitals and many doctor’s offices are mostly empty making social distancing feasible.  Call your healthcare provider to arrange for needed management of your disease.  Adjustments can be made such as Drive-Thru Care.

Do not let fear of Covid-19 put you at greater risk of complications of your pre-existing chronic disease.

Jay Ginther, MD