Safe Communities Report – Feb. 2019

Safe Communities announced today that there have been one fatal crash in Wood County this year compared to three at this time last year.

Safe Communities announced today that there have been one fatal crash in Wood County this year compared to three at this time last year.

According to The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving has become a major concern of the public, ranking at or near the top of traffic safety issues in national surveys.

The Foundation defines aggressive driving as any unsafe driving behavior, performed deliberately and with ill intention of disregard for safety. Examples of aggressive driving behaviors include (but not limited to):

  • Speeding in heavy traffic
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes

As many as 56 percent of fatal crashes one or more unsafe driving behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving. Speeding is one of the most common contributing factors and is involved in nearly one in three deadly crashes.

Tip to Combat Aggressive Driving:

  • Plan your trip
  • Avoid dangerous interaction and confrontations
  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers
  • Be a courteous and patient driver
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Get out of the way and let an aggressive driver pass
  • Don’t challenge aggressive drivers

For more information

Let’s strive for zero fatal crashes in 2019!

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BVHS Weekend Column: Annual Pelvic Exams

There are many benefits to visiting your gynecologist’s office each year

by Jodi Bollenbacher, PA-C, Blanchard Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology

Jodi Bollenbacher, PA-C

Annual pelvic exams for females of all ages is vitally important. As Pap smear guidelines have changed, some women assume they do not need to see their local gynecologist every year. However, your preventive visit is about much more than periodically screening for cervical cancer with a Pap smear.

There are many benefits to visiting your gynecologist’s office each year such as:

  • Counseling about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. Experts agree there is substantial individual and system-wide cost-savings in prevention. Nutrition and fitness remain the foundation to weight management, prevention of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
  • Screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), which can lead to sterility or life-long pelvic pain if left untreated.
  • Evaluating your cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, obesity, diabetes, elevated lipids) and encouraging tobacco cessation.
  • Discussing your bone health. Building and maintaining bone through life can substantially reduce risk. Osteoporosis remains a leading cause of disability in seniors.
  • Discussing sexual function/abuse/domestic violence.
  • Explaining your contraceptive options.
  • Reviewing your immunization status based on age and risk factors.
  • Screening for breast, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancer.

Along with these benefits, annual pelvic exams are conducted as a preventative measure. Remember:

  • Vaginal cancers will be missed without a speculum exam. Just like no one objects to your dentist screening you twice a year for oral cancer, pelvic exams are just as encouraged. More than 3,000 cases of vaginal cancer are diagnosed each year. Regular screening can help detect this type of cancer earlier. If cancer is detected early, five-year survival rates are 84 percent. With advanced stages, survival rates drop to about 50 percent.
  • Vulvar precancer and cancer often do not have symptoms and may only be detected as part of a thorough preventive exam. Unfortunately, vulvar cancer is more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage in older women.
  • An examination may reveal hidden problems that patients are too embarrassed to discuss, such as bladder prolapse, urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence.
  • Perimenopausal women may have dry vaginal tissue seen on exam. Therapy can be started before symptoms worsen.
  • Women with a history of precancerous changes of the cervix, vagina or vulva should also have a regular pelvic exam to ensure disease has not returned.

Please call to schedule your annual exam with your gynecologist today. Your health depends on it!