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Health Fair takes pulse of community

March 19, 2006|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

WAYNESBORO, PA.

Local residents turned out in the usual droves Saturday for the Waynesboro Health Fair at Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The event usually attracts 1,700 to 2,000 people, according to Sheran White, public relations coordinator at Waynesboro Hospital.

Long lines formed at the bone density screening booth and at the massage booth. Glaucoma screenings, vision tests, blood pressure readings and body fat analysis were among tests offered at the 23rd annual event.

Hospital employees and many other agencies offered a plethora of information.

The Safe Haven program protects babies from abandonment and abuse, according to Family Birthing Services Manager Wanda Crilly, R.N. "New parents sometimes discover they are not coping well with a newborn after they get home from the hospital," she said. They may take the infant to any hospital and leave it there without penalty if the baby has not been harmed in any way.

"This is not meant as a substitute for adoption, which is usually done during the prenatal period," Crilly added.

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At the Medication/Herbal Safety booth, Nancy Musselman, R.N., said that this is the age of specialization. "People go to one doctor for arthritis, another doctor for a heart condition and to a general practitioner for a cold." Each may prescribe medicine that the others do not know about.

People should take a list of all their medications to each doctor and to the hospital if they are admitted, she added.

Herbs, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines can all interact with prescription medications, and some interactions may be life-threatening, Musselman said.

At the Waynesboro Hospital Rehab and Sports Medicine booth, Physical Therapist Julianna McCracken talked about wound care, which has become a specialty in physical therapy. "We're giving information to diabetics who do not have foot problems to encourage them to care for their feet properly," she said. "Sixty to 80 percent of the diabetic foot problems that may lead to amputation can be prevented."

Because diabetes works directly on the circulatory system, diabetics are more at risk for peripheral vascular disease, which causes foot and leg problems, McCracken said. New procedures such as electrical stimulation, which is painless, aid in wound healing.

Bill Hedrick of Waynesboro had a glaucoma test at the fair and a free 10-minute seated chair massage. "It was excellent," he said. "I'm floating."

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