Hiking, biking, picnicking, or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors this season?
Dont forget your bug spray!
If you want to steer clear of mosquitoes, gnats, chiggers, and ticks through the summer, there are many safe and effective insect repellents that will do the job, including those made with DEET* as well as those with natural substances, such as citronella and soybean oil. DEET, which is found in repellents such as Off and Cutter, offers the longest-lasting protection, while plant-based oils are generally effective for less than 2 hours.
DEET, the active ingredient in the most widely used insect repellents, works by disrupting insects ability to detect carbon dioxide, which is given off by our skin and breath and attracts biting insects to us. DEET does not kill insects it simply makes us invisible to them for a while, thus providing protection not only against bites but also the serious diseases some insects transmit (e.g.,West Nile Virus and encephalitis from mosquitoes, Lyme disease from
ticks). While effective for many insects, repellents do not protect against most stinging insects, such as wasps, bees, and fire ants.
The concentration of DEET, typically between 10% to 30%, determines how long a repellent will be effective. Repellents with 10% DEET work for about 2 hours, and those with 24% offer protection for about 5 hours. The protective effect peaks at a concentration of about 30%.
During the 50 years of safety and effectiveness testing of DEET, it was first thought that concentrations over 10% were unsafe, but the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that products containing DEET in concentrations up to 30% are safe if used according to directions, except for children under 2 months of age.
Applied to exposed areas, DEET is absorbed through the skin and is safe when used as instructed. Products with any concentration of DEET, however, should not be applied near the mouth, eyes, open cuts, abrasions, to skin under clothing, or to the hands of small children who might rub their eyes or put their fingers in their mouth. Repellents should be washed off with soap and water as soon as they are no longer needed.
DEET is not harmful to natural fibers and nylon, but it can damage plastics, synthetic fabrics, leather, and painted or varnished materials, so be careful when applying near these surfaces.
For the best protection, use a repellent with DEET on the skin, and products containing Permethrin on clothing and camping equipment, such as tents and mosquito netting. Permethrin is a long-lasting broad-spectrum insecticide that bonds to fabric but is ineffective on the skin.
Other than avoiding insect-infested areas and using repellents, here are a few other ways to protect yourself and your family:
Dont kick or move logs, and avoid marshy woodlands and areas with dense underbrush and tall grass.
Wear a hat outdoors to cover your head.
Keep garbage cans closed and clean.
Avoid wearing jewelry and shiny buckles.
Wear light-colored clothing fitted snuggly at the wrists and ankles.
Wipe off sweat, which attracts insects, as soon as possible.
Avoid using perfume, scented sun lotions, soaps, creams, cosmetics, or hairspray before going outdoors.
After swimming, shake out towels and clothes.
Inspect your familys skin and clothes after being outdoors.
Whenever possible, avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when insects are most active.
Tick reminders: Ticks are difficult to spot because they are so small: nymphs are dot-sized and adults are smaller than a sesame seed. Get a family member to help you inspect your skin and clothing after being outdoors, but if you find a feeding tick on your skin, dont panic. Lyme disease is rare in this area, not all ticks carry the bacterium, and it takes more than 24 hours for a feeding tick to transmit the disease. However, remove the tick as soon as possible using tweezers: grasp firmly at its head and pull until it releases. Following removal, swab the site with alcohol. See your doctor immediately if a rash appears in the following 2 weeks.
Source: How to Use Insect Repellents Safely, Office of Pesticide Programs, EPA, May 2002; Taking the Bite Out of Summer, Kids Connection, Patient Information, American Academy of Dermatology, 2000; Insect Repellents, Medicine Cabinet, KeepKidsHealthy.com, June 2003; Basic Facts About DEET and DEET-Based Insect Repellents, Consumer Specialty Products Association, August 2002 (all websites).
Most of Les Pollards major decisions have had one common denominator family. From his first inkling of interest in becoming a doctor to his most recent move back to Augusta to practice medicine at CPC, his family has always played a pivotal role.
Despite growing up in a family of teachers, Les was never drawn to teaching as a profession. His father, Les Sr., is a history professor at Paine College, his mother Brenda,taught music at Lucy Laney High School for 25 years, and their uncle Lester is an English professor at Augusta State University. Instead, another family member provided the inspiration for his choice of medicine as a career. My grandmother had bone cancer when I was very young and I think that triggered my interest in becoming a doctor, Dr. Pollard explains.
Even so, the educators in his family made their mark as well. They nurtured in young Les an interest in community service, leadership, and learning. As a teenager, he was a volunteer counselor at the day camp at Augusta State University, where he helped supervise childrens activities. Later, his interests turned more toward academics. The first of these was the Student Educational Enrollment Program (SEEP) at the Medical College of Georgia. SEEP is a minority-oriented program designed to generate interest in science and medicine, and thats exactly what it did for Les.
After graduating from Westside High School in Augusta, Les chose Xavier University, a private Catholic college in New Orleans, because it was a good fit for his personal and professional interests. At the time, Xavier had only 1500 students, a strong pre-med program, and the nations 2nd highest percentage of black graduates admitted to medical school, Les explains. He was further influenced by
The Pollard Family
Tammy, Leslie III, Christina, Les, and Brooke
Xavier being a historically black college and by the schools conservatism set against the colorful big-city atmosphere of New Orleans.
Les took advantage of many social and educational opportunities available to him during college. In addition to being a Minority Access to Research Scholar, he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a national social and community service organization, in which he has remained active as an alumnus. During summers, he did research at MCG, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, and the University of Maryland in College Park. Although Les considers his lab experience invaluable to his education, perhaps the most important thing he learned was that he did not want a career in medical research.
For medical school, Les again chose a small, Southern, historically black institution in a large metropolitan setting. I liked the small class size at Morehouse (in Atlanta) because it was more one-on-one versus a big university where you dont get to know your professors, he explains. While a student at Morehouse, he started the Family Medicine Interest Group.
It was during Less third year in med school that his uncle suggested a blind date with a young lady named Tammy Luke, an Augusta native and counselor at Charter Hospital. Despite the usual trepidation one might have about blind dates, Les called Tammy and there was soon little doubt that the two were as good a match as his uncle imagined. In 1993, when Les graduated from Morehouse School of Medicine, he and Tammy married in a large ceremony at the Paine College chapel and began their life together.
Les realized during med school that he wanted to be a family physician. I considered other specialties but doing just one thing was boring to me, he explains. A family doctor cares for all family members, gets to know several generations, sees babies from the beginning, and watches them grow and develop. It also allows for a better understanding of the family and its impact on each persons well-being. You get to know the ins and outs of a family and how each member integrates with the others, and that, he believes, enables him to provide better care for everyone.
Les and Tammy made their first home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Les completed his internship and residency in family medicine at the University of North Carolina. I liked the university setting and what it had to offer, he says. Some universities are either research or academic institutions but this one enabled me to prepare for private practice.
Dr. Pollard had several opportunities to join groups in small Georgia towns, but he eventually decided to settle in Statesboro. I wanted to go to a small town where I could really make a difference, he said, and Statesboro was close enough to Augusta for frequent visits with their parents. The closeness factor became even more important when the couple found out they were expecting twins. Brooke and Leslie were born in August 1997, followed by Christina two years later.
Dr. Pollard originally planned to settle permanently in Statesboro, but there were drawbacks to being in solo practice. Youre always on duty and its hard to take time off, even when youre away, he explains. When the Pollards were on family vacations, he would usually call the office twice a day and was always accessible by phone or pager.
Add to that the time-consuming business demands. It can be tough because you have to handle everything yourself. Tammy helped a great deal in the office, but competing family and practice demands made working with a group all the more appealing. They also wanted to be closer to extended family.
The Center for Primary Care seemed to be a perfect match for the Pollard family on many levels. Besides enjoying working with the other physicians at CPC, Dr. Pollard values CPCs administrative support , the camaraderie of a physicians group, and the luxury of not always being on call. The proximity of family is another plus. We have two sets of grandparents in Augusta so theres lots of support, he says, and theres much more for our family to do in Augusta.
Being devoted to his patients, it was difficult for Dr. Pollard to leave the Statesboro practice. It was a tough decision because I care for my patients, he says, but ultimately, he had to do what was best for his family. Dr. Pollard began seeing patients at CPC-Central on July 1, some of whom are from Statesboro and chose to stay with him despite the travel distance.
The Pollards have come full circle now and are back raising their own children in Augusta where they grew up, a city Dr. Pollard describes as big but with a familiar, comfortable small-town feel. As we welcome Dr. Pollard back to Augusta, we hope he will feel equally at home with the Center for Primary Care.
Bug Bites & Bee Stings
What You Should Know
about Allergic Reactions
The stings of bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, and fire ants are the most common causes of allergic reactions in people who tend to be allergic to insect bites and stings. Bites from ticks, flies, spiders, and mosquitoes can also cause reactions, although they are less common and typically less severe.
Normal reactions to bites and stings are mild, resulting in some pain, itching, swelling, and redness around the injury site. If a stinger is embedded in the skin, remove it by scraping or brushing it off with a flat edge. Avoid pulling the stinger, which forces more venom into the skin. Disinfect the wound and apply a cool pack to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Calamine lotion may provide additional relief from itching and discomfort.
More severe reactions might involve swelling and hives extending beyond the original reaction site and may last for several days. These reactions can be upsetting and uncomfortable but are rarely serious, except when there is swelling around the mouth, throat, or nose that interferes with breathing. Antihistamines and/or steroids may be needed to reduce pain and swelling. Consult with your doctor if you are unsure how to treat the injury or if over-the-counter treatments arent working.
The most severe reaction to bites and stings is anaphylactic shock , which involves not only swelling and hives but also may cause tightness in the chest, swelling in the throat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and dangerously low blood pressure. Untreated, anaphylaxis may cause unconsciousness and death. People with life-threatening allergies should have emergency treatment that can be self-administered, such as epinephrine (ie, an Epi-Pen), on hand at all times. Even after using epinephrine, however, the allergy sufferer should always seek professional medical care as soon as possible.
Source: Insect Allergies: Stinging Insects to Watch For, Insect & Skin Allergies, NCERx, June 2003 (website).
CPC-Central: A Bigger Waiting Room
Before the end of this year, CPC-Centrals patients, staff and physicians will be enjoying a larger and more beautiful office building. The expansion project, which began in July and is scheduled for completion in October, includes 1000 additional square feet, a larger waiting room with a public bathroom, a larger medical records room, three new examination rooms, and a beautiful new entrance with a wraparound porch on what is now the left side of the building.
According to Jim Larson, CPCs VP of Operations, the expansion is designed to accommodate the addition of a fifth doctor at CPC-Central, Leslie J. Pollard, Jr., M.D., and to meet the needs of the growing patient population.
North Augusta Health Center
The Center for Primary Care will be extending its services to residents of North Augusta next spring with the opening of the North Augusta Health Center. The new medical complex will be located be located on Knox Avenue, just down the street from the new Wal-Mart. Groundbreaking for the facility is planned for August.
The 12,000-square-foot building will house the fourth office of the Center for Primary Care as well as healthcare services provided by Doctors Hospital, including x-ray and occupational and physical therapy, and a multispecialty suite. The North Augusta Health Center is scheduled for completion in April 2004
CPC Central is now open weekends for Urgent Family Care
Sat. 9 am-5 pm Sun. 10 am-4 pm
Please call ahead on Saturday or Sunday for an appointment
Weekend hours are for established CPC patients
Twice as Nice
A warm welcome to our newest family members, twins Reagan Denise and Granville Smith, born to CPC-Central doctors Phillip and Denise Kennedy on June 14 at Doctors Hospital. Congratulations to the new mom and dad!!