Talking about Organ Donation with Your Loved Ones

National Donate Life Month is an event celebrated in April to help encourage Americans to register as an organ donor and to celebrate those who have saved lives through organ donation. If your family has yet to make this commitment and you need help talking about organ donation, here are some insightful tips.

Be Honest

If you’re thinking about becoming an organ donor, it’s important to be honest with your family. This lets them know where you stand and prepares them in case something unfortunate happens. They will have prepared ahead of time, so your generous donation won’t cause them additional grief. Tell your family why you want to donate and that you’ve taken the proper steps to register.

Explain the Benefits                  

Being an organ donor truly is a great thing and helps people around the world. To make this process easier to understand and less stressful, you should talk with your family about all the benefits. There are many organs that can still be salvaged to potentially save another life. Such is the case with hearts because they can be used in patients with different heart diseases.  Ones such as cardiomyopathy, coronary heart disease, and congenital heart disease.

Pancreas transplants can be used for those with diabetes. While intestine transplants work well for patients who have short bowel syndrome. The list of disorders that can be treated using said transplants goes on and on.

Sometimes being an organ donor can even comfort your family should you pass on. They’ll think of your passing as a second chance for another grieving family, ultimately making the world a better place for all.

Mention News Stories

Sometimes the best way to express your wishes to be an organ donor is to bring up topical news stories about this issue. This helps you show its full impact and sheds light on issues that might matter to your family. You can have them read through different articles, making it a little easier to bring up organ donation in conversation. Your family can then establish a connection with these stories and find comfort in other people’s generous donations.

Being an organ donor gives you the chance to save lives and make a real impact on the world today. If you or your family is on the edge of becoming a donor, just take your time with the decision and don’t force the issue. Let your family decide what’s right for them and support their decision either way.

The medical staff at Surepoint ER have seen lives saved because of organ donation. It may not be the best option for everyone but talking about organ donation with your family will help you to understand if it is right for you.


How to Have a Happy Distracted Drivers Awareness Month

Distracted drivers comes in many forms: Eating and drinking in the car, talking on the phone, looking at your phone, texting, taking selfies and watching videos all can be distracting.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year.

With that in mind, consider these alarming statistics about distracted drivers:

  • Every year, more than 330,000 accidents with severe injuries are caused by texting while driving.
  • One out of four car accidents in the U.S. is caused by texting while driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to get you in an accident than drunk driving.
  • The chances of a car crash for any reason increases 23 times when you are texting. You may be able to avoid a crash if you’re paying attention to the road.
  • Eleven teenagers die every day from texting while driving.
  • Teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car accident when texting while driving than adults.
  • Ten percent of adults and 20 percent of teenagers admitted to having entire conversations via text messaging while driving.

Being aware of the other drivers around you and by keeping your eye on the road you may be able to lower your risk of getting into a car accident. While we want you to be safe, if you get injured in a car wreck, we are here for you.

To learn more about Distracted Driving Awareness Month and how to cut down on distracted driving, please visit the National Safety Council’s website.


Is it Irritable Bowel Syndrome or something else?

A stomach issue can be IBS or something more serious.

When you have an upset stomach it’s hard to tell what’s really going on. You may feel bloated and have gas, you may have slight pain or an uncomfortable feeling, or you may have diarrhea or even constipation. It could be caused by a reaction to something you ate, or it could be a food sensitivity or allergy. It could come on suddenly and go away just as fast or it can linger. With so many variables it’s hard to know when to seek medical treatment.

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is very common. It’s a series of symptoms that can occur together and may include abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of IBS are:

  • Cramping and abdominal pain
  • A bloated feeling
  • Constipation or diarrhea or sometimes with alternating bouts of each
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Gas

There is no cure for IBS but symptoms can be managed with medications, diet, and exercise. April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, and the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders encourages you to seek medical treatment if you think you have IBS. You don’t have to suffer in silence. With the proper treatment plan, you can manage IBS and gain control over your daily activities without worrying about having any embarrassing issues.

When to seek emergency treatment

There are symptoms that warrant a trip to an emergency room, and some that don’t. You could have IBS or it could be something more serious. Only a trained medical professional will know for sure. If you experience sudden, intense abdominal pain, abdominal pain that worsens, rectal bleeding or vomiting you should seek emergency medical treatment. If you think you need to be seen by one of our emergency room doctors please come in right away. We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.