Page 18 - PagosaMagazine
P. 18
The Pagosa Magazine & Real Estate Guide | 2014-2015 Winter/Spring Edition

Healthy Living Better Health and
Wellness Where You Live
at 7,000 feet (and higher!)
From its physician-staffed 24/7 ER to the
By Norm Vance Important Tip on-site Wellness Center, the Pagosa
The rugged, primitive and high altitude San Juan Mountains Everyone in your group should have a fishing license Springs Medical Center is committed
give many people concern for their health when vacationing, or buy a $3 Colorado Outdoors Recreation Search and to improving healthcare access and
hunting and living here. It is a natural concern. The body gives Rescue Card. Even the least expensive fishing licenses availability for Pagosa Springs and the
feedback that alerts one to the change of environment. Bones come with a twenty five cent extra charge that covers region. In addition to 911-dispatched EMS
and muscles more used to concrete and carpet than rough terrain the holder for all expenses involved in search and ambulances, our medical center is ready
communicate through pain. The lungs find less oxygen in the air at rescue. Even the smallest injury on the trail can require with advanced telemedicine technologies for
this altitude and shortness of breath is the result. Other pains are expensive help to get the patient out of the forest and stroke and cardiac treatment. We also offer
a type of feedback and are also reasons for natural con­cern. The this is the cheapest insurance you can buy. general surgery, including orthopedic and
following is a discussion of the most common of these. gastrointestinal procedures. For in-patient
Hy pother mi a and intensive nursing needs, an 11-bed unit
Thin Air Loss of body heat is dangerous and can be fatal. It is at the ready.
Probably the most unique environmental fac­tor we have here can occur gradually and undetected. If it occurs more
which can influence health is lower atmospheric pressure. In at high altitude, it is merely because it generally gets The hospital maintains an on-site lab and
layman’s terms, the air is thinner. This means that oxy­gen does colder than expected at high altit­ude. Many cases of some of the most advanced diagnostic
not get into the blood as easily or readily as at lower altitude. This hypothermia occur during seasons other than winter, at equipment in Four Corners, including the
translates into more shortness of breath when exercisi­ng. It can times when the ambient temperature is above freezing. area’s only 128-slice CT scanner and
mean serious trouble for those with poor cardiac health and even They occur due to victim ignorance of the possibility of the technology and dedicated radiology
for an occasional healthy, conditioned individual. the condition. They are corrected by proper planning, personnel to have your diagnostics
the use of adequate clothing and avoidance of wetness completed and transferred anywhere in
Altitude Sickness and wind. the world. A campaign to build a Women’s
Mild Shortness of Breath (S.O.B.) is a condition which is normal Health Program with digital mammography
for those coming from lower elevation. It should be monitored A problem often seen with hypothermia or another is currently underway.
but not worrisome unless it becomes more serious. Fortunately, altitude-realted sickness is that a person becomes
serious S.O.B. is relat­ively rare and usually affects indiv­iduals injured or affected by a condition and does not want to The providers and support professionals
who spend more than 24 hours continuo­ usly at elevations above cause the other members of the group to suffer so, he in the medical center’s primary care clinic
8-10,000 feet. It involves headache, nausea, anxiety and short­ or she hides or down-plays the symptoms. Sometimes and Wellness Center are committed to
ness of breath which is worse when one lies down. The problem the person affected insists they are willing to wait alone early detection and prevention. They are
is swelling of the lung tissue. while the others finish the activity. People having any available six days a week for walk-ins and
The treatment is to return to lower altitude immediately. The of these symptoms may be absolutely insistent they appointments. Medicare, Medicaid, private
result of a severe or neglected case can be death. Headache and are fine and need no help because their thinking and insurance, and self payers are all welcome.
an often surprising degree of shortness of breath with exercise decision making is compromised. Your group should For those without insurance, the medical
are common at high altitude. Do not worry that you have altitude pledge together to listen to each other and accept help center offers a sliding fee scale, based on
sickness unless you continue to feel more and more short of before a hike or exercise begins. income, to help make quality care affordable
breath, even at rest. for all. We look forward to serving you and to
Finally, always be careful and know your limitations. making sure you get better care, right here
Most of all, have fun in Pagosa Country! in Pagosa Springs.  

We live here for a reason. We are here for you!

We bank here for a reason.

It just makes sense.

Construction Loans Home Management • Caretaking Services
Personal Banking Concierge Services
Mortgage Loans
Local Lender
Convenience Services
Business Banking

NMLS #451376 970-731-1070

18 Jim Smith Realty | 970-264-3200 | | | 445 San Juan Street | PO Box 1680 | Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147
   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23