Author Archives: Jennifer Kellner

Five Summer Reminders

Bug Bites

Bug bites can be annoying and itchy. They can also seriously affect your children if they bring an infectious disease like West Nile or Lyme disease. Prevent bug bites and infection this summer by avoiding buggy situations, using a good bug repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves when in buggy areas.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can be life threatening. In heat stroke, the body’s core temperature rises. Much like a fever, extremely high body temperatures can lead to permanent damage. Some signs of heat stroke include:
• confusion
• short, rapid breathing
• stopping sweating
• a fast pulse
If your child has these signs, call 911 immediately.

RCH Newsletter July 2016Food Poisoning

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 76 million people suffer from food poisoning. Summertime is full of picnics, and picnics bring food out into the open where it can stay warm too long. So if you take a tip from our Health Coach and go on a picnic with your children, avoid an outbreak of food poisoning by following simple guidelines about food safety and food handling. Keep perishable food cold and covered. Common sense will prevent you and your friends and families from coming down with a food-borne illness.

Eye Damage

UV rays in sunlight can damage your children’s eyes. If they are out in the sunlight in the summertime, get them to wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Otherwise, sunglasses are opening up their pupils by making things darker, which actually lets in more UV rays, not less. Be sure their sunglasses filter out 100 percent of UV light and try your best to have them wear them, especially around water, which can reflect a tremendous about of light to their eyes.


Once your baby reaches 6 months of age, it’s time to introduce sunscreens. Choose a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that offers a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Look at the active ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good choices, because these physical filters don’t rely on absorption of chemicals and are less apt to cause a skin reaction. Continue to cover your baby with a hat and protective clothing. Use sunscreen on all exposed areas, such as the back of the hands, face, ears and neck. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if you take your baby into the pool or if he or she is sweating. Also continue to seek shade, schedule outdoor playtime before 10 AM or after 4 PM and keep covering young children with hats, sunglasses and lightweight clothing that covers as much skin as possible. For added protection, look for special clothing marked with an ultraviolet protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more, which will allow only 1/30th of the sun’s rays to reach the skin.

Recognize the Signs of Dehydration

RCH Newsletter July 2016 WaterThe best cure for dehydration, especially in children, is prevention. Keep your children hydrated! They get enough water through drinking and eating. Total water intake for the day (all liquids and foods, including water, milk, soup, etc.) should be about half a gallon. When dehydration gets bad enough to cause symptoms, water might not be enough to make them feel better. Watch for these signs that children need additional help:
• dry mouth and tongue
• no tears when crying
• no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
• sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
• high fever
• listlessness or irritability
• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Dehydration occurs when the body has lost too much fluid and electrolytes (the salts potassium and sodium). Dehydration is particularly dangerous for children, who can die from it within a matter of days. Although water is extremely important in preventing dehydration, it does not contain electrolytes. To maintain electrolyte levels, you could have broth or soups, which contain sodium, and fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables, which contain potassium. Sports drinks, like Gatorade, can help restore electrolytes. For children, doctors often recommend a special re-hydration solution that contains the nutrients they need. You can buy this solution in the grocery store without a prescription. Examples include Pedialyte, Ceralyte, and Infalyte. Untreated, dehydration may lead to shock. If a person with dehydration has a low blood pressure or very rapid pulse, the victim may need to get intravenous fluids. Call 911 for a dehydrated victim suffering from confusion, dizziness, or weakness.

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Rising to the challenge

Dr. Wehling and Melissa Friedrick

Ed Wehling, D.O. and Melissa Friedrich, CRNA

Dr. Ed Wehling and his family are enjoying life in a rural setting while he performs surgeries and treats patients in the same community. When he arrived in Mt. Ayr a couple of years ago, his goal was to provide the people of Ringgold County the option to stay in town instead of traveling to Des Moines for many surgical procedures. He’s pleased with the response. “We seem to have educated patients on what we can do,” he said. “They’ve been very receptive. It’s been great to be able to bring a few new services to the community and keep people from traveling long distances.”

He performs a wide variety of vascular surgeries, including minimally invasive procedures, rather than making surgical incisions. He’s also performed several thoracic procedures in the lungs that have had very good outcomes. One of the most common conditions he treats includes gastric reflux disease and hiatal hernias. “We’re taking care of three to five a month here now,” he said. “The procedure corrects the effects of stomach acid going up into the throat which causes discomfort and can be pre-cancerous.”

With the goal of taking care of people close to home, his team has been able to do many dermatological procedures too. “Now we can treat skin cancers and do biopsies right here. In the past, a patient would have had to go to Des Moines for anything beyond a simple freezing.” Of course, not all surgeries can be planned and scheduled in advance. Traumas and emergencies always take precedence. According to Dr. Wehling, they’ve expanded their trauma capabilities and can keep someone in town who otherwise would have been transported to another facility. “We keep them in a situation where they feel safe.
It’s really important.”

Dr. Wehling hasn’t been surprised by his team’s success, but he commented that it has been a change for the people who have “grown up” in this facility. “Previously, patients that had some of these issues
wouldn’t even be referred here, because we couldn’t have helped them. Unless you can serve them, you don’t see them.” He applauds the surgical staff. “They’ve risen to the challenge and our patients benefit. They can take advantage of this efficiently run facility, which also has lower infection rates than a big-city surgical center. We’re very busy. We do six to nine surgeries a day of varying intensity. We’re able to do that because the staff is so efficient.” Dr. Wehling can’t say enough good things about the surgical team, although he thinks some have been astonished by what they’ve been able to accomplish.
“They have embraced our new capabilities as a challenge, and they have risen to the challenge.”

Join Dr. Wehling for a free educational seminar on Thursday, June 30, at 5:00 p.m. in the Hospital Cafeteria to learn more about the surgical and testing capabilities at Ringgold County Hospital. The program is free, and dinner will be provided, but please call 641-464-4401 by Monday, June 27 to reserve your place.

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Coach’s Corner – Seasonal Allergies

Spring and summer mean flower buds and blooming trees – but if you’re one of the Ringgold County area residents who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms. Let’s face it: seasonal allergies can make you miserable! Before you settle for plastic flowers or artificial turf, try these simple strategies:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside. Pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.

When there is a lot of pollen in the air:

  • Start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
  • Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
  • And remember, it won’t last forever!

Dr. Ed Wehling Elected as IOMA Trustee

Wehling_EdElections were held during the 118th Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association’s (IOMA) Annual Conference and Scientific Seminar held in Des Moines, Iowa on April 28 – May 1, 2016.  Dr. Ed Wehling of Mt. Ayr was elected for a two-year term as a trustee to the IOMA Board of Trustees.

Dr. Wehling is a graduate of Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona.  He completed his general and trauma surgery residency at Henry Ford Bi County Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.  He also completed his fellowship in Vascular Surgery at the University of North Texas in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.  He is board certified in general surgery by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery.

Dr. Wehling practices at Ringgold County Hospital and Decatur County Hospital in southern Iowa.

The Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association, founded in 1898 and headquartered in Des Moines, proudly represents osteopathic physicians in Iowa.  There are over 1,000 osteopathic physicians practicing in Iowa.  There are approximately 62,000 D.O.s in the United States practicing in all areas of medicine from neurology to sports medicine to dermatology to emergency medicine.  As complete physicians, D.O.s are able to prescribe medication and perform surgery.  In addition, D.O.s have added training in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), a hands-on treatment tool that they can use to diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses.  OMT can be used in conjunction with and sometimes in place of medication or surgery to restore mobility and function.

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