September 2nd, 2010
04:56 PM ET

Hurricane waves can break bones, rupture eardrums

The spotlight is on Hurricane Earl, but its predecessor Hurricane Danielle isn't entirely harmless. Hurricane Danielle moved past Bermuda on Saturday, but the storm's effect on the surrounding ocean has caused several injuries to beachgoers on the East Coast.

In Ocean City, Maryland, residual rip tides and heavy surf from Hurricane Danielle have caused several dislocations of shoulders and cervical injuries, said Dr. Roy Cragway, Jr. physician, Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Maryland. This is a common issue around hurricanes, he said.

A wave may knock a person down onto rocks or something else hard and if the person extends an arm to try to break the fall, that can dislocate a shoulder, he explained. Cragway has been seeing about two or three injuries that happened like this per week.

Another potential risk from forceful hurricane waters is rupturing your eardrum, he said. Small perforations will heal by themselves, but some people will require surgery, Cragway said. Anyone who experiences bleeding from the ear, and hears the sound of the ocean even away from the beach, should consult a doctor.

Injuries to the neck also can happen when people dive into shallow water, regardless of whether there's a hurricane. And even the most experienced swimmers may be harmed, or even drown, in rough waters during or after a hurricane.

As Hurricane Earl threatens the East Coast, beachgoers should pay attention to the lifeguard situation, he said. Don't go swimming if there is no lifeguard on duty, especially after the beach closes. If you have small children, make sure you are watching them. Don't go more than 20 or 30 yards offshore, if that, he said.

If lifeguards say the beach is closed, don't go swimming, he said.

"Don’t endanger your health and don’t endanger anyone else’s for the sake of a good time," he said.

Here are storm preparation tips from the CDC.

September 2nd, 2010
04:05 PM ET

Schools ban 'boobies' bracelets

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Move it, Silly Bandz. There's another rubber bracelet getting students into trouble at schools.

Middle and high school students in South Dakota and central and northern California have been facing possible suspension and have had to remove their controversial bracelets that read “I heart boobies." FULL POST

September 2nd, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Foursquare offers badge for STD testing

Social networking on phones has gotten competitive with Foursquare, a tool that lets people "check in" at the locations they visit. The reward for frequent visits to a single place is the "mayor" title - which leads to colleagues vying to be mayor of the office parking lot and restaurant patrons trying to score discounts reserved for mayors.

Now there's another distinction you can earn in Foursquare: a badge for getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases. The initiative is part of It's Your (Sex) Life, a partnership between MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation to promote sexual health responsibility in young people.

The new campaign is called Get Yourself Tested. Its website offers a wealth of information about STDs and how you can get tested, as well as additional resources. You can enter your ZIP code on the website to find a convenient local testing center.


September 2nd, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Americans' RX drug use on the rise

Americans are using more prescription drugs than ever before. New data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that over the last 10 years the number of Americans taking one prescription drug increased 10 percent, those taking multiple prescriptions rose 20 percent and the number of folks using five or more prescription drugs jumped 70 percent.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) monitors health and nutrition of the U.S. population. Participants were asked about their prescription drug use in the past month. The survey found for the year 2007-2008–the most recent data–one of five children and nine out of 10 adults over 60 used one or more medications.


September 2nd, 2010
10:19 AM ET

TEDMED: Here's music from Sobule, Hancock

Musicians Jill Sobule and Herbie Hancock brought a more artistic message to the TEDMED audience. Sobule performs "Where is Bobbie Gentry?" from her 2009 album "California Years" and Hancock accompanies on piano.

There's a singalong portion at the end to celebrate TEDMED.

TEDMED is an annual event that brings together dozens of luminaries from a variety of fields to "demonstrate the intersection and connections between all things medical and health care related: from personal health to public health, devices to design and Hollywood to the hospital." TEDMED 2010 will take place from October 26 to 29 in San Diego, California.

Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be attending TEDMED in October and his coverage of the conference will be featured in "Sanjay Gupta, M.D."

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.