Ensuring Water Safety

Ensuring Water Safety

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell or Dr. BCW. as National Water Safety Month comes to end end I wanted to discuss an important topic: Water Safety. Whether enjoying the beach, pool, or even at home, implementing these year-round tips can help prevent accidents and save lives.

1. Swim with a companion:

Always remember the importance of swimming with a friend, family member, or lifeguard nearby. In an emergency, having others around significantly increases your chances of survival. Remember, even strong swimmers can find themselves in dangerous situations. A recent incident where a US Olympic swimmer fainted while swimming reminds us that unforeseen circumstances can affect anyone. If not for her swim coach’s quick actions, the swimmer would have drowned.

https://www.womenworking.com/olympic-swimmer-almost-drowns-during-competition

 

2. Timesharing…not a condo in Hawaii:

It’s easy to assume that everyone is watching for one another in a group, particularly when children are involved. Unfortunately, this false sense of security can be dangerous. Establish a schedule for supervision, dividing the day into equal blocks to ensure everyone gets a chance to relax while maintaining safety. By doing so, you create a system where someone is always focused on water safety and watching out for the little ones and vulnerable individuals in your group.

 

3. Stay vigilant:

If your child is swimming, it’s crucial to be present and attentive. If you need to step away momentarily, ask a trusted friend or family member to watch over your child or take them with you. Even if your child is a proficient swimmer, never assume they are invulnerable. Continuously supervise them as if they cannot swim. Remember, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the 2nd leading cause for children 5-14.

https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html

 

4. Beware of Overconfidence:

Avoid relying solely on floaties or “puddle jumpers” for children who cannot swim, as they can create a false sense of security. This could lead to a child jumping into a pool without the necessary support, mistakenly believing they can swim or float. Instead, prioritize swimming lessons and appropriate safety measures to ensure their protection.

 

5. Water Safety at Home:

Even within the confines of your home, water can pose risks. When using a bathtub, check the water temperature (it should not exceed 120°F) to prevent scalding accidents. Remember that even shallow water, as little as an inch or two, can be hazardous for children. Always remain vigilant and never leave a child unattended near any water source.

 

6. Empower yourself:

Taking the time to learn CPR can be a life-saving skill. You can make a difference in an emergency and potentially save someone’s life. Consider enrolling in a CPR course and equipping yourself with this invaluable knowledge.

On National Safety Day, prioritize water safety and proactively protect our loved ones by implementing these tips; 

  • Swimm with companions
  • Staying vigilant
  • Empowering ourselves through CPR training

Stay safe and enjoy the water responsibly.

Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)

Maternal Mortality – Health with Attitude

Maternal Mortality – Health with Attitude

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, participates in a regular segment with Eugene L. Green called Health With Attitude.  In the most recent installment, Dr. BCW talks with Eugene on Mother’s Day about Maternal Mortality in Black Mother’s.  There are serious disparities between black mothers and white mothers when it comes to death during pregnancy and it is something that needs to be addressed and taken seriously as it is literally killing mothers.

Dr. Curry-Winchell also recently did a blog on this topic as well.  Find that here – https://drbcw.com/maternal-mortality-in-black-women/

Check out this important video that highlights a serious equity issue that is terrorizing the black community.

Remember, to subscribe to Beyond Clinical Walls.  It really helps the channel and it helps Dr. BCW continue to provide helpful informations on health topics, health literacy and health inequity .  Thank you so much for your support – Dr. Curry-Winchell

Danger of Supplements

Danger of Supplements

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell’s, health series Beyond Clinical Walls, talks about the danger of supplements after a recent study that found dangerously high levels of Melatonin in some gummy supplements.

In this episode of Beyond Clinical Walls, Dr. Curry-Winchell M.D., aka Dr. BCW, talks about a recent study that found dangerously high levels of Melatonin in some gummy supplements that were reviewed.  With some gummies having over 300% the recorded amount of Melatonin and some having zero Melatonin.  And some had substances that were not even recorded on the label at all.  It is important to be very mindful about vitamin and hormonal supplements you take.  Some can have negative impacts on your health.  Since there are no regulations regarding the manufacturing, distribution or marketing of supplements you also never know what you are actually getting.  To learn more about the danger of supplements, check out this video to learn more.  Make sure and check out this episode to learn more.

Remember, to subscribe to Beyond Clinical Walls.  It really helps the channel.  It also helps Dr. BCW continue to provide helpful informations on health topics, health literacy and health inequity .  Thank you so much for your support – Dr. Curry-Winchell

No Menthol Sunday

No Menthol Sunday

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW, and today, let’s talk about No Menthol Sunday. No Menthol Sunday is an important initiative that aims at addressing the issue of menthol cigarettes and their impact on Black communities. Let’s delve into this topic and shed light on menthol.

The Influence of Menthol Marketing

Menthol is a minty flavor added to tobacco products, enticing younger individuals to start smoking and making it more challenging for them to quit. Shockingly, research reveals that 85% of Black smokers prefer menthol cigarettes, while only 30% of White smokers do. This is not an accident. This results from decades of targeted marketing efforts by the tobacco industry in Black communities.

The Role of the Tobacco Industry

The tobacco industry has invested heavily in advertising menthol products in Black publications and communities for years. This deliberate strategy has perpetuated the disproportionate prevalence of menthol cigarette use among Black smokers. By specifically targeting these communities, the tobacco industry has contributed to the disparities in health outcomes Black individuals face.

The Difficulty in Quitting Menthol

Studies have shown that quitting menthol cigarettes is more challenging than quitting tobacco without this flavor. The menthol’s cooling sensation can create a soothing effect, making it harder for individuals to break free from the addiction. Consequently, many Black smokers find it especially difficult to quit smoking.

The Impact on Health and Quality of Life

More than 16 million Americans currently live with smoking-related diseases. Black smokers, in particular, experience a higher burden of smoking-related health issues, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, chronic cough, and recurring lung infections. These symptoms disrupt their ability to engage in daily activities and enjoy life fully.

No Menthol Sunday and Taking Action

No Menthol Sunday is an important initiative to raise awareness about the impact of menthol cigarettes and support Black communities in overcoming this challenge. By educating individuals about the harmful effects of menthol and providing resources for quitting, this campaign seeks to empower Black smokers to make healthier choices and improve their overall well-being.

Getting Involved

I highly recommend watching “Black Lives / Black Lungs” by Lincoln Mondy on YouTube (link here). This eye-opening video sheds light on the intersection of race, tobacco marketing, and the impact on Black lives. To learn more about “No Menthol Sunday” and the organization responsible for establishing it, The Center for Black Health and Equity, please visit their websites. By supporting these organizations and spreading awareness about the impact of menthol cigarettes, we can help reduce health disparities and promote healthier communities.

Conclusion

The impact of menthol cigarettes on Black communities is a pressing issue that requires our attention. We can make a difference by supporting initiatives like “No Menthol Sunday” and promoting health equity for all. Stay informed, take action, and remember your health matters.

– Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)

Black People and Skin Cancer

Black People and Skin Cancer

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell’s, health series Beyond Clinical Walls, talks about black people, skin cancer and sunburns and some myths associated. Before you go out and enjoy the sun or have your next doctor visit make sure and educate yourself on the truth behind these topics.

In this episode of Beyond Clinical Walls, Dr. Curry-Winchell M.D., aka Dr. BCW, talks about sunburns, skin cancer and having dark skin.  Often there are myths surrounding people of color and things like sunburns and melanoma.  Many people believe that people of color cannot get sunburns.  And many believe that people of color cannot get melanoma.  These are both untrue, common misconceptions that can lead to major health disparities for people of color.  Make sure to learn more about the true nature black people, skin cancer and sunburns check out Dr. BCWs quick video on the topic, you might find that some of your long held believes are not 100% correct.  Make sure and check out this episode to learn more.

Remember, to subscribe to Beyond Clinical Walls.  It really helps the channel.  It also helps Dr. BCW continue to provide helpful informations on health topics, health literacy and health inequity .  Thank you so much for your support – Dr. Curry-Winchell

More Black Doctors, Longer Life Spans

More Black Doctors, Longer Life Spans

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell’s, health series Beyond Clinical Walls, talks about a recent study that shows that counties with more Black Doctors results in Longer Life Spans for Black residents.

In this episode of Beyond Clinical Walls, Dr. Curry-Winchell M.D., aka Dr. BCW, talks about a recent study from The Journal of the American Medical Association, which showed a correlation between the number of Black Physicians in a county and the life span of Black residents in that county. This is another example of the critical role that Black Doctors play in bringing Health Equity to our healthcare system.  It is important to support improving black representation to help bring equity to health care.  This topic is incredibly important to Dr. BCW; in fact, it was the topic of her first TEDx talk – Why Do Blacks Mistrust the Healthcare System?  To learn more about how More Black Doctors equals Longer Life Spans, check out this video to learn more.  Make sure to check out this episode to learn more.

Remember, to subscribe to Beyond Clinical Walls.  It really helps the channel.  It also helps Dr. BCW continue to provide helpful informations on health topics, health literacy and health inequity .  Thank you so much for your support – Dr. Curry-Winchell

Parkinson’s and the Black Community

Parkinson’s and the Black Community

Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, M.D. or Dr. BCW, talks Parkinson’s and the Black Community, a group not normally considered impacted by Parkinson’s in her latest episode of Beyond Clinical Walls PODCAST.

Synopsis:

In this Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast episode, Dr. BCW hosts a discussion on Parkinson’s disease. Featuring guests Dr. Shah and Mr. & Mrs. Coley. The guests share their experiences and work raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease. They emphasize its impact on various communities, specifically communities of color with which Parkinson’s is not commonly associated. Dr. Shah, a neurologist and movement disorder specialist, focuses on addressing healthcare disparities, increasing access to care, and ensuring high-quality treatment for Parkinson’s patients.
Mrs. Coley, a Parkinson’s advocate and patient herself, highlights her efforts to provide education, resources, and research on Parkinson’s to underrepresented communities. Mr. Coley, her care partner, emphasizes the ripple effect of the disease on the entire family and discusses the importance of addressing health disparities, particularly in communities of color.
Dr. BCW acknowledges the progressive nature of Parkinson’s and the challenge of detecting its symptoms, especially in underrepresented groups. The conversation aims to shed light on the intersectionality of Parkinson’s and its impact on individuals and communities. The guests discuss invisible symptoms, known as non-motor symptoms, which can affect various organ systems in the body. They stress the significance of early diagnosis and treatment to prevent individuals from suffering without appropriate care.
The episode concludes with Dr. Shah discussing the group’s work on their book PD Movers, a free book aimed and providing increased health literacy regarding the impact of Parkinson’s on the Black community. Check out this great episode in its entirety for more information.

Closing:

BCW Podcast is a platform to discuss health-related topics in an open forum to help improve health literacy.  Some make sure and check out the podcast and subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode.  Subscribing really helps Dr. BCW’s efforts and she is very grateful for all of the support.  Thank you all so much for your continued support.

Beyond Clinical Walls PODCAST is available on all major podcast platforms.  This includes Apple Podcasts, Spotify,  iHeartRadio, and many more.

Allergies or a Cold?

Allergies or a Cold?

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell’s, health series Beyond Clinical Walls, tells you how to tell the difference between allergies and a cold.

Have you ever wondered, how to tell the difference between allergies or a cold?  Well in this episode of Beyond Clinical Walls,  Dr. BCW talks about that very subject.  With flu season coming to a close and allergy season starting up it is often asked, “do I have allergies or a cold?”  Well there are a few things to keep in mind when you are contemplating that question.  Both can have very similar symptoms but there are a couple of key differences to keep in mind.  Make sure and check out this episode to learn more.

Remember, to subscribe to Beyond Clinical Walls.  It really helps the channel and it helps Dr. BCW continue to provide helpful informations on health topics, health literacy and health inequity .  Thank you so much for your support – Dr. Curry-Winchell

The Importance of Sharing Information with Your Doctor

The Importance of Sharing Information with Your Doctor

Hi, It’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW. Today I want to discuss the importance of sharing information with your doctor for the best health outcome. Effective communication between patients and healthcare providers is crucial for receiving optimal care. During doctor visits, you must openly share your concerns, family history, medication details, and the status of your health issues.

Unfortunately, barriers, such as fear, mistrust, and lack of knowledge, can hinder some patients from sharing. So let us explore the significance of sharing critical information with your doctor and provide tips for better communication. I did a related article on this with Eat This, Not That a while back. You can find that article here (https://www.eatthis.com/news-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-doctor/). But this topic was so important I thought I should do a blog on it as well.

Sharing Your Concerns:

One of the primary challenges patients face is hesitating to share their concerns. Fear of being judged, feeling that their complaints will be trivialized, or worrying about wasting the doctor’s time can prevent patients from fully expressing their health issues. It is crucial to remember that every concern matters, and no question is too small. Doctors are there to support and guide you on your health journey, so it’s important to voice your worries.

Family History:

Sharing your family history with your doctor is vital. Many diseases and conditions have genetic links. Understanding your family’s medical background helps healthcare providers order appropriate screenings, monitor risks, and develop a comprehensive health plan.

Conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and certain cancers can have a hereditary component. By sharing your family history, you empower your doctor to make informed decisions with you about your care plan.

Medications, Vitamins, and Supplements:

When visiting your doctor, please do not forget to disclose all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements. Even seemingly harmless over-the-counter medicines can interact with prescribed drugs or have unexpected side effects. A comprehensive list of your medications helps your doctor assess potential interactions and ensure your treatment plan is safe and effective.

Status of Your Health Issue:

Communicating the details of your health issue is essential for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Tell your doctor about the duration of the symptoms, how they started, and whether they have worsened, improved, or remained the same. This information provides valuable insights into the progression of your condition. Additionally, following up with your doctor after the visit is crucial, especially if your symptoms persist or worsen. This feedback allows your healthcare provider to adjust your treatment plan or recommend other care if needed.

Addressing Communication Challenges:

In cases where you feel your provider does not understand your concerns, advocate for yourself. Invest in a conversation, express your thoughts, and ensure your doctor hears and understands you.
If, for some reason, you are not able to communicate effectively or feel uncomfortable, consider seeking a new provider. Your health should be your top priority, and finding the right provider to be your health advocate is crucial.

Conclusion:

Effective communication between patients and healthcare providers is the cornerstone of quality care. By openly sharing your concerns, family history, medication details, and the status of your health issues, you empower your doctor to provide you with the best possible care. Patients should be active participants in their healthcare journeys. Work with your healthcare provider, forge stronger relationships, and help providers build the best healthcare plan possible.

Stay informed and make well-informed decisions about your health and well-being.
– Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)

Maternal Mortality in Black Women

Maternal Mortality in Black Women

Hi, It’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW. In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to discuss maternal mortality in black women. Within this troubling reality of maternal mortality, a striking disparity exists. Black women, particularly in the United States, face a disproportionately higher risk of maternal death than their white counterparts. This fact demands attention and immediate action to address the systemic factors contributing to this tragic inequity.

The Stark Reality:

The statistics surrounding maternal mortality in black women are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black women in the U.S. are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. Even in high-income brackets, well-educated black women face higher risks than their white counterparts with lower incomes and education levels. This glaring disparity persists across all age groups and income levels, underlining the deeply rooted structural issues.

Underlying Causes:

Access is often cited as the cause of many health-related disparities. However, given the findings that even economically fortunate and highly educated black women face a higher risk of death, this issue is not simply a matter of access. Several factors contribute to the elevated rates of maternal mortality among black women. First and foremost, racial bias within healthcare cannot be overlooked, and unconscious bias and racial stereotypes are undoubtedly a factor. These biases influence medical professionals’ decision-making resulting in poor health outcomes for black mothers. Studies show that black women often face inadequate medical care, misdiagnoses, and delays in treatment, leading to preventable deaths.

Do not fall into mental trap that this isn’t an issue any more. These biases are alive and well today.  Look at the 2016 study that showed that almost half of medical students surveyed believed that black patients had thicker skin and felt less pain than white patients.  Find the study here: https://www.aamc.org/news/how-we-fail-black-patients-pain

Social determinants of health can play a role. Economic disparities, limited access to quality healthcare, and higher rates of chronic diseases all contribute.

A Call for Action:

Addressing maternal mortality in black women requires everyone’s help, and we need to target both healthcare systems and social structures. Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Raising Awareness: Awareness of the disparities in maternal health outcomes among black women is crucial. Education and dialogue can foster empathy, drive change, and encourage action.
  2. Eliminating Racial Bias in Healthcare: Implementing training programs for healthcare professionals to recognize and combat racial bias is critical, as is dismantling structural racism within healthcare systems. 
  3. Investing in Community-Based Support: Establishing community-based programs that provide culturally competent care, support networks, and education can empower black women during pregnancy and childbirth. These initiatives can help bridge the gaps in healthcare access and provide vital resources.

Conclusion:

Maternal mortality in black women is a devastating and persistent crisis that needs our attention. The systemic factors contributing to this disparity must be acknowledged and addressed at all levels. By addressing racial bias within healthcare systems, improving access to quality care, and investing in community-based support, we can move towards a society where every woman, regardless of race, receives the care and support she deserves during the miraculous journey of motherhood.

Stay informed and make well-informed decisions about your health and well-being.

– Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)