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Lewes, Delaware
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August 22, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 22, 1997
 

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c,s'E Gyu'=, d,v, A.Z z . , 8 tW7- 4o Summer se00onbrings surf, related injuriesto Beebe As certain as the local beaches will be crowded with sunbathers and the water teeming with swimmers off Delaware's coastline, rough surf and tidal conditions are likely to spoil more than a few summer vacations. Beebe Medical Center's Department of Emergency Services in Lewes and Millville have once again become acquainted with patients suffering from surf injuries. Millville Emergency Services registered nurse Marylee Verdi reports, "We're seeing the normal amount of surf injuries. The in- juries include minor cuts and abrasions, spinal contusions, and dislocated shoul- ders." She adds, "Last weekend, we saw at least five or six injuries from patients body surfing in rough water, where the waves break too close to shore and the surfer gets t0ssed around." Vacationers and local beachgoers alike are vulnerable to rough surf injuries as a re- sult of their unfamiliarity with surf, wind and tidal conditions, coupled with the fact that they sometimes ignore poor weather conditions and lifeguard warnings. Injuries run the gamut from scrapes, cuts and bruises to more serious problems such as dislocated shoulders, broken bones, and worst of all, spinal cord injuries and death. Ann Caputo, R.N., Beebe Medical Cen- ter's Manager for Emergency Services in Lewes said, "We've seen minor surf-related injuries most every day this season." She added, "We've seen dislocated shoulders, minor back pain when people are tossed around in the surf and very few broken bones. This season we've seen more in- juries where surfers are shaken up by rough SUrf." Significant spinal cord injury can be caused when swimmers dive into too-shal- low water, or when a surfer is thrown vio- lently into a wave. If a spinal cord injury is sustained, the in- jured person should be moved as little as possible. Too much movement can result in permanent paralysis and even death. James Marvel, M.D., an orthopaedic sur- geon in Lewes, has seen more than his fair share of surf injuries caused by poor judg- ment and bad tidal conditions. The greatest caution, Marvel said, is rec- ognizing a spinal injury and moving the in- jured beachgoer as little as possible. Emer- gency medical help should be summoned immediately, because the first hour after in- jury is most critical, he added. "Too much movement can result in per- manent paralysis and even death," Marvel said. His advice to swimmers is to swim or surf only in guarded areas, and to never swim alone or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to a Delaware State Parks guide to safe ocean swimming, the four dangerous surf conditions are rip currents, littoral currents, backwash and shore break. Rip currents are the most dangerous and cause more surf injuries than any of the oth- er four. Rip currents occur when large amounts of water accumulate on shore, then flow back to sea in a narrow path. This pulls many swimmers along with it, many of whom panic and swim against the current. Littoral currents are those that flow paral- lel to the beach, and generally pose a threat only to weak swimmers who can be pulled into rip currents from the force of the lit- toral currents. Backwash occurs when tides are high, and when water remains on the beach be- tween waves, then returns forcefully to the surf. Backwash can be so forceful that it has been known to knock beachgoers off their feet. Shore break occurs at high tide when large waves break on shore with little water under them. This surf condition can be dan- gerous because it catches swimmers in the waves and slams them on the shore. Even though the waves may look tempting, body surfing should not be done during shore break conditions. AIDS testing Continued from page 44 getting false positives. "That's a lot," he said. "That's one out of every 20 people. That piece of data alone means they need to do a lot more to get it through the Federal Drug Admin- istration (FDA)." Other research further suggests that injection drug users may have even higher rates of false posi- tives, "but we don't know why," he said. Home saliva or blood tests, he said, are available now as over- the-counter products, but those who use them send samples to labs for testing. Users call to get results, and they are connected with trained counselors, who advise them to see their physicians for more test- ing. Urine tests, he said, lack the counselor component, so the im- SAVE MEN'S, LADIES' 6' CHILDREN'S SHOES FIRSt Q FOOIWEAR AT A DISCOVNT Featuring: Sebago Docksldes * Keds Trotters Sperry Top-Sider Tretorn * Etonic New Balance MIA * Clarlcs of England Wigwam * Reebok * Rclcport * Grasshoppers Best selecaonfrom over lS,000 Irs/n stock. Men's sls: N 9-14, M 6 I/2-14. W6 I/2-14. WW 8-13. W0men's slzes: N 6-I0. M 5- I I. W 6-I0 Cldren's 10-3 and Boy's s/zes 3 I/2-6 LOCATIONS Route 1, Ames Plaza, Rehoboth Beach, DE 302-227-5828 Route 1 at West Virginia Ave. (4 streets north of MD line on ocean side) lrenwiek Island, DE 302-539-4599 pact a false positive reading could have on someone is serious. "I think it would be a mistake to have it as a home test," said Olewiler. "It's just not accurate." However, he said, the test could be useful in a public health set- ting. "The utility will be to screen large populations easily," he said. For example, in a nation such as Africa, where the disease has hit in devastating proportions, a sim- ple urine test may quickly identify people who need additional iests. Free anonymous AIDS testing is available in the Cape Region. The Sussex County AIDS Com- mittee provides free tests every Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. in its office located at 107 South Street, Rehoboth Beach. No appoint- ments are necessary, and anyone is welcome. For more informa- tion, call 644-1090. Delaware Cardiovascular Anthony D. Alfieri, D.O, F.A.C.C. Jonathan W. Kamen, D.O., F.A.C.C. Anthony B. Furey, D.O. Raffaele Corbisiero, M.D., F.A.C.C. Christopher Baldi, D.O. Judith Ann Rippert, D.O. We are pleased to announce the addition of a new associate Budi R; Bahureksa, D.O. BOARD CERTIFIED INTERNIST y Cardiology Fellowship, Garden City Osteopathic Hospital and University of Michigan Medical Center y Internal Medicine Residency, Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital and Henry FoCd Hospital in Detriot, Michigan y Doctor of Osteopathy Degree, University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri y Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry from Loma Linda University in California - ON STAFF AT BEEBE MEDICAL CENTER - Consultative Cardiology, Heart Catheterizations and Pacemakers All Insurances Accepted New Patients Welcome CALL OUR NEW LEWES OFFICE AT BAYVIEW MEDICAL CENTER Fax 644-4876 644-7676 1539 Savannah Rd., Lewes