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Health Notes

Violence in the ER increasing

Nearly half of emergency room physicians report having been physically assaulted at work, according to poll results released last week by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Three out of five of those assaults occurred during the past year, according to the national poll of more than 3,500 ER physicians. Nearly eight in 10 said patient care is affected by the violence, and roughly half said patients also have been physically harmed.

Meanwhile, a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine concluded that emergency department violence was getting worse in Michigan despite stepped-up security members.

"Violence in emergency departments is not only affecting medical staff, it is affecting patients," said Dr. Vidor Friedman, president of the emergency physicians' group. "When violence occurs in an emergency department, patients can be injured or traumatized to the point of leaving without being seen."

Local agency supports breastfeeding moms

Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, which seeks to strengthen its neighborhood by connecting families who care about young children, now is offering a lactation room in its offices at the former Lincoln Park School.

The space, designed to allow women to pump and express milk privately during work, was created with grant money from Healthy Northland and St. Louis County, the agencies reported. The collaborative also implemented a new breastfeeding program to support mothers.

"Women who return to work often find it difficult to meet their breastfeeding goals," said Pam Galle, breastfeeding coordinator at Healthy Northland, in a news release. "By creating breastfeeding-friendly spaces and policies to support employees returning to work after having a new baby, these businesses are providing family-friendly environments."

PT clinic added in Proctor

St. Luke's announced the opening of its newest outpatient physical therapy clinic. It's in the newly renovated St. Luke's Proctor Fitness Center at Proctor High School.

Physical therapist Jessica Wojtysiak, a Proctor High School graduate who earned her doctorate of physical therapy from the College of St. Scholastica, provides services at the clinic.

Wojtysiak will see patients in Proctor from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. She will continue to see patients at St. Luke's Miller Creek Medical Clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays.

A physician referral is required. To schedule an appointment, call (218) 249-6040.

Film, panel feature patient safety

A screening and panel discussion on the documentary "To Err is Human" will be presented from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 at Teatro Zuccone, 222 E. Superior St.

The film focuses on patient safety and preventable medical error, which now is recognized as the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to Annalisa Peterson, an assistant professor of economics in the healthcare management program at the University of Minnesota's Labovitz School of Business Economics.

The free event is sponsored by the healthcare management program along with the Duluth campuses of the University of Minnesota Medical School and College of Pharmacy, as well as Essentia Health and St. Luke's.

'Light-colored poop' and other Googled symptoms

You've been having trouble sleeping, or your throat has been sore for days, or you have a strange ache in your legs. What do you do?

You check out your symptoms on Google, of course.

So the operators of a website called decided to find out what symptoms are referred to Dr. Google most often, by state.

Some of the results seem counterintuitive.

In Minnesota, for example, it's "irritable." In Wisconsin, it's "light-colored poop." In Rhode Island and New Jersey, it's "lucid dreams." And in Indiana, the most frequently searched symptom is "uncircumcised problems."

But in the United State as a whole, as well as in Oregon, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and Connecticut, it's "stress."