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A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

Concussion in Young Athletes

Concussions are unfortunately all too common in high school sports, especially football. Without a doubt a concussion is not just a minor bump on the head with no consequences down the road. In fact the NFL is now struggling with how to prevent CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a devastating brain disease which results from repeated head injuries. Even a simple concussion carries risks of personality changes, loss of smell and risk for CTE down the road. Second impact syndrome,… Read More »

Stop Chewing Tobacco In Major League Baseball

Major league baseball needs to ban chewing tobacco use by all players. Presently, chewing tobacco is banned only at certain stadiums.Minor league baseball already has bans in place. Why should this happen? After all,players are adults and should be able to chew tobacco if they want, right? Well,millions and millions of Americans watch and idolize these players and over a million of these fans currently chew tobacco. Major league baseball has already banned smoking cigarettes during games, so why not… Read More »

What To Do With Skin Cuts?

Do you need sutures for every cut? Of course not! Some gashes especially those under 2 cm or a little less than an inch usually don’t need anything except some soap water and a bandage. Of course if you see some funny things underneath which could be anything from a tendon, nerve or bone to a pebble, then you might need to see us. Ditto if you have diabetes, are on chemotherapy or are in general poor health. What about… Read More »

What In God’s Name Is A Subungual Hematoma?

Our hands have evolved as powerful tools to explore the world. Along with these amazing body parts are included many, many nerves. In fact other than the tongue, our fingertips have the greatest concentration of nerves anywhere in the body! More nerves unfortunately means more pain when structures nearby are injured or inflamed. A small cut on your forearm or leg for example won’t be nearly as painful as the same cut on your fingers. A skin infection in your… Read More »

A Brief Primer On Blood Thinners

Blood thinners play a very important role in treating conditions in which blood clots cause strokes, heart attacks and breathing problems. They work in different ways. Some will prevent the body from making blood clots. Others will help break the clots down when they are formed. Still others will prevent platelets from sticking together and helping form clots. Newer versions are more expensive but easier to dose. Whatever the mechanism, these medications are powerful and effective if used for the… Read More »

Profits and Chemotherapy

Should cancer doctors be paid more when more expensive cancer drugs are given? Absolutely not! Yet the government has been doling out money this way for years. Medicare Part B pays for drugs. When cancer doctors or oncologists administer chemotherapy in their office, they are currently paid about 6% of the price of the drug plus a little more. What that means is that if the oncologist chooses a drug which costs say $ 100 he or she will be… Read More »

Vagal Nerve Stimulation For Weight Loss

There are many treatments out there for weight loss, which involve either taking medications or surgery such as gastric bypass. Ideally,diet and exercise should be tried first before starting any medications or undergoing surgery. Recently a novel device for weight loss has been approved. This is an electric stimulator which essentially sends small bursts of electricity through wires. These wires are attached to electrodes. Finally, the electrodes are attached to the skin and the energy is transferred to the patient.… Read More »

Sialolithiasis: Funny Name Common Condition

Sialolithiasis is one of those conditions which have a funny, hard to spell and pronounce name but which is simple to explain. Sialolithiasis means stone in the salivary duct. The salivary glands are located near the tongue and secrete saliva through the ducts. if a stone forms in one of the ducts, it can cause obstruction of the duct. The gland, not aware that there is something blocking the flow of saliva, continues to put out more saliva. This in… Read More »

Hypothermia After Successful CPR

Hypothermia or low body temperature is used in patients, whose heart has stoppped and then was restarted. If the patient still remains unconscious, this usually means that the brain did not get enough oxygen during the time the heart was stopped. If nothing is done to help out the brain other than usual measures such as giving oxygen and supporting normal vital signs, then the brain is more likely to be permanently injured. The result is a patient who survives… Read More »

How to Control Pain in Children

When adults undergo painful procedures, we doctors place an iv and can give medications through the iv to relieve the pain. What about kids? Sure you can put an iv and give them medications as with adults, but even putting the iv in is painful and anxiety producing. For newborns up until about a month or two of life, having the baby suck on a sugar stick works as well if not better than narcotics. This is not suprising, considering… Read More »