Did You Know?
Flu season typically peaks between January and February. The flu is a contagious virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. It is spread when a contagious person coughs, sneezes or even talks, allowing tiny droplets filled with germs to land on the mouth or nose of someone else. Alternatively, you can catch the flu by touching something with the flu virus on it, and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Children younger than 2 years of age, seniors over the age of 65, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to complications from the flu, including hospitalization and in some cases death. There are steps that can be taken to help prevent getting and spreading the flu virus. Make it a point to wash your hands, especially after you or someone around you is coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. If you have to cough or sneeze, you should cover your mouth with a tissue or use your arm as a shield. One of the best ways to prevent the flu, however, is the flu vaccine. Formulated each year to protect you against the most likely strains of the flu virus, the flu vaccine is a shot or nasal spray that can greatly reduce your chances of getting the flu. To find out if the flu vaccine is right for you contact your healthcare provider, or Newman Memorial Hospital at (580) 938-2551.
Save The Date
Mark your calendars! In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness month, Newman Memorial Hospital is hosting a free lecture for the public on cervical health. The talk will be led by Dr. Smith and light refreshments will be provided. The event will be held in the Newman Memorial Hospital meeting room on the lower level by the cafeteria on Thursday, January 29, from 6-7 p.m. Everyone is welcome!
New Year’s Baby
First time parents Rachael and Brian Pearson of Woodward were presented with three gift baskets at Newman Memorial Hospital. Born January 6th, Cameron Raelyn was the first baby born at the hospital in 2015, earning her the title of New Year’s Baby. Rachael was all smiles, as she said “I was so excited to have my baby here at Newman Memorial Hospital. Dr. Stuart was great and her nurse was so helpful.” Donations for the gift baskets were made by Newman Memorial Hospital, Dr. Stuart, SNB Bank, Medic Pharmacy, Gustos, Deals and Dazzel, Newman Pharmacy, Purgason Tire, Venture, Ed’s Café and other generous donors. The gift baskets included necessities for the new baby, snacks and gifts for the parents, and gift cards.
Preventing Cervical Cancer by Kirk Smith, MD
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and Newman Memorial Hospital wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to decrease your risk of developing cervical cancer. Nearly 12,000 women in the United States each year are diagnosed with new cases of cervical cancer, many of which could have been prevented through vaccination and regular screening examinations. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infections with high risk types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Cancer studies have identified high risk HPV in 99.7% of cervical cancers; it is also identified in 90% of anal cancers, 40% of vulvar and penile cancers, 3% of oral cancers, and 12% of oropharyngeal cancers.
The good news is cervical cancer is a slow developing condition. Regular screening women’s health examinations with a provider performing the Pap test beginning at age 21 as well as routine testing for HPV beginning at age 30 can help identify precancerous changes that can be treated prior to the development of actual cervical cancer. Vaccines are also available, which can prevent high risk HPV transmission if they are given prior to initial HPV exposure.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for both girls and boys to help prevent the risk of future cervical and penile cancers. It is routinely given at the 11 year old well child exam along with the Meningitis vaccine and a booster dose of the Tdap (tetanus) vaccine. However, HPV vaccination can be given from ages 9-26. HPV infection is acquired through sexual contact; over 80% of people have exposure to HPV within 12 months following their first sexual experience. The HPV vaccine is most effective if given prior to exposure to HPV and thus recommended to be given routinely at age 11 prior to first sexual contact.
Dr. Smith is a Board Certified Physician in Family Medicine and fellowship trained in Advanced Obstetrics. He is a former clinical faculty member at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Smith is currently in private practice and seeing patients at Newman Healthcare Associates in Shattuck, OK.
In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, Newman Memorial Hospital encourages you to follow these guidelines:
- Women are recommended to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
- The HPV vaccine is recommended for both men and women ages 9-26
- Parents are recommended to get their pre-teens the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
Check with your insurance company, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you.
For more information please visit the following links or call (580) 938-5400 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers: