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A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

Seat Belts

After seat belts were introduced, the number of motor vehicle related deaths dropped rapidly. At first lap belts were the only game in town. Then came shoulder belts and finally airbags. You would think that seat belt use would be universal. Yet there are still many of us who either forget about seat belts, are too much in a rush to take the microsecond it would take to secure the belt, are too high or drunk or just plain stupid.… Read More »

Rib Injury

If you ever break a rib or two, you will definitely feel some major pain. The pain will be worse when you take a deep breath and you may notice some shortness of breath as well. The break will not completely heal for at least a month or two so you will need to take it easy. Deep to the ribs are some pretty important structures including your heart and lungs. It is certainly not uncommon to have a bruised… Read More »

Ebola: A Minor Risk to Our Health

Ebola virus has been making the rounds quite a bit. It seems that you can’t listen to the news without some piece about this infection. To be sure Ebola virus causes a very serious infection. Most people who contract this virus will die and there is known cure. Finally, the potential exists for many more infections. However, let’s get real here. In the entire world there have been a little over 7,000 cases with  about 4,000 deaths. Contrast this to… Read More »

Be Your Own Advocate

Some but not all the times proverbs ring true. Consider “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. When for whatever reason, you, family member or friend happen to be in the emergency department, becoming your own or significant others advocate might be the way to go. Doctors and nurses are not perfect beings. We have good and bad days just like the rest of the population. We are often rushed, forced to multitask and occasionally forget that our patients do not… Read More »

Ear Pain: What To Do

Most of us at some time or another experience ear pain. If the pain turns out to be an ear infection, then what to do? Well, assuming you  are older than 2 (at times in my case my wife might dispute this), then you should first decide whether a doctor visit is in order. If there is any discharge including pus, blood or clear fluid then yes you should head over to you doctor or the emergency room. If you… Read More »

Bacteriophages: Replacement for Antibiotics?

Antibiotics have been used successfully to treat many bacterial infections such as pneumonia, strep throat and urine infections. They are without a doubt important in treating patients. However, antibiotics are not a cure all and are way over prescribed, often to treat viral infections. Along come some pretty smart researchers who asked themselves: What about bacteriophages? In turns out that these little organisms have evolved over millennia to attack bacteria. In fact, there are literally trillions of them. They manage… Read More »

We All Need To Chill Out

We live in a world where we are constantly being bombarded with stimuli. We surf the net while watching TV. We walk with our eyes glued to a small smart device. We drive and talk or text. At the health club multiple TV screens flash images as music is played and we work out. We blast classical music to our babies in the mistaken belief that the music is better than play for brain development. How about just hanging out?… Read More »

Nutritional Supplements: Not Worth It

Nutritional supplements such as Ensure have been successfully used to treat patients who are underweight and suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Elderly patients with chronic diseases are often placed on these supplements. It seems that the manufacturers of these products realized that their market was too small. They recently have heavily advertised these liquids protein drinks to others, who in all likelihood don’t need these drinks. Chief among these groups are the elderly, who often don’t have a great diet. This… Read More »

No Miracle Cure For Chronic Back Pain

When long ago our ancestors made the leap from crawling around the ground to standing and walking, who would have thought that back pain would for many of us be the result? Back pain is one of the most common and difficult problems to treat. Most of us at some point in our lives will suffer from at least one bout of it. For those unfortunate enough to have chronic severe back pain, options are becoming fewer and fewer. Surgery… Read More »

Texting and Driving Don’t Mix

When you drive a car, you propel a very heavy piece of metal at times at very high speeds.  This is arguably the most dangerous activity which you do in your life-not only dangerous for you but also for others . In years past the dangers of drinking and driving have been well publicized, yet people still drink and drive. Over 30,000 persons are killed each year in this country and drinking remains a major problem. And now with the… Read More »