Flood 2016

Ochsner BR Offers Tips for Staying Safe When Returning Home

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Dr. Keith Holmes and Dr. Asghar Naqvi
Primary Care, 
Ochsner Health Center – Central

    Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge would like to remind all residents in the region who are returning home for cleanup of flooded homes to be careful and stay safe as you are working. 
    The Ochsner Baton Rouge Emergency Department is seeing over 100 post-storm injuries, patient dehydration, and routine medical emergencies per day.  As residents return to their homes following a major disaster like the flooding across the Baton Rouge region, physicians are advising everyone to be extremely cautious of the potential risks and to keep proper fluid intake, especially in the hottest parts of the day.  
    Additionally, physicians are asking patients to stay current with their tetanus shots to prevent infection and the worsening of injuries. Your physician can advise if you should get an updated tetanus shot.  
The recommended tips below are to prevent injury and stay healthy. REMEMBER: 9-1-1 is still the primary number to call for all emergencies.
Post-storm clean-up
•    Use safety goggles, gloves, masks, hats, cut-resistant legwear and boots that cover the ankles when moving debris or cutting down branches and trees. Always wear socks and closed-toe shoes – never wear sandals or go barefoot.
•    Be aware that the most serious and most frequent injuries are hand injuries related to use of chain saws and eye injuries from contact with downed tree branches. Slips and falls are another common source of injuries as well as back problems from lifting heavy objects.
•    Inside the home, be careful about mixing household cleaners and disinfectants like bleach products, as combining certain types of products can produce toxic fumes and result in injury or death. 
•    Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid that has been sealed shut. When in doubt, throw it out.
•    Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with flood waters. Clean hard surfaces (e.g. flooring, countertops and appliances) thoroughly with hot water and soap or a detergent.
    If an injury occurs, apply direct pressure over areas of bleeding and seek medical care. If heavy bleeding occurs go to the nearest ER or call 9-1-1.
    Patients are asked to call 225-761-5200 to schedule an appointment with your Ochsner physician or visit www.ochsner.org.