NAU's COVID-19 Policy
March 21, 2020

Dr. Yang and Dr. Brenner Discuss Covid-19: Important Do’s and Don’ts for Protecting Your Health

Speaker 1: 

Welcome back to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee.

Donna Lee: 

Welcome back to the Armor Men’s Health Hour, this is Donna Lee. Dr. Mistry is off, like I mentioned earlier. He is practicing social distancing from his six children. So I hope he’s having fun at home right now, but he does have the day off. So we have another special guest and one of our partners, Dr. Chris Yang is here. Welcome.

Dr. Yang: 

Hey, glad to be back.

Donna Lee: 

Yeah, thanks for coming in. If you have questions like any other segment that we’ve ever talked about, call us at (512) 238-0762. You can send us an email to armormenshealth@gmail.com, that’s armormenshealth@gmail.com. I know you all are going to want to hear this. Dr. Brenner is back with us. He’s going to give us some good insight on all that’s going on in the wacky world of the ER. Welcome Dr. Brenner.

Dr. Brenner: 

Thank you so much for having me.

Donna Lee: 

Yeah, so what do we want to talk about? I’m sure there’s a million questions that people want answered.

Dr. Yang: 

Yeah. Well Dr. Brenner–let’s, let’s talk a little bit more about him first since it’s his first time here.

Donna Lee: 

Oh, that’s right. Welcome.

Dr. Yang: 

Yeah. So he’s an emergency room physician somewhere here in the Austin area. We are not going to tell you his exact hospital in case you know, in case he wants some social distance from you.

Donna Lee: 

He does see a quite a few number of fun things I’m sure.

Dr. Brenner: 

Head to toe ages zero to a hundred and everything in between.

Donna Lee: 

What have you seen lately with what’s going on?

Dr. Brenner: 

The most obvious thing we’ve seen is just people coming in with any type of respiratory fever, flu like symptoms, who are frankly just scared and understandably. The sheer volume of people that are coming in and just asking to be tested as well has just skyrocketed. And it’s a multifactorial thing. A lot of people are sick. A lot of people probably have Corona. There’s just so much we don’t understand and don’t know and don’t have answers for right now. And people are understandably frustrated, and they are looking to the medical community for answers and we don’t necessarily have all of them right now, but…

Dr. Yang: 

Now here’s one question that you know, I’m sure everyone’s worrying or wondering is, and this is something that probably changes day by day, but are testing kits available now?

Dr. Brenner: 

So the answer is yes and no. Ten days ago they were almost nonexistent. There is now a small increase throughout the city. There are two drive through stations set up where you can go online, you can fill out an online application and they will tell you if you qualify for testing, then they’ll email you back and tell you to go to the drive through station at a certain time. That’s one of the best testing centers available. Most hospitals and ER’s will have testing kits, but they’re reserving them for what they consider to be moderate to high risk exposures. So for instance, a patient that just got back from Iran 10 days ago who’s now exhibiting fever, chills, cough, etc.–that person will probably be tested. A person who is relatively healthy, has low grade fever, maybe a sore throat cough, very mild symptoms, no fever has a negative strep test, negative flu test–that person is still likely to not get tested. And I think this is the big frustration and the big misunderstanding that’s going on in our community right now is people are under the weather, they’re sick for a myriad of reasons, they want to get tested, they need to get tested, and they simply cannot. And it’s really driving people crazy, and it’s driving healthcare providers insane as well.

Donna Lee: 

So I know we’re doing social distancing, so we’re supposed to be how many feet apart? 10 feet apart?

Dr. Brenner: 

Six to ten depending on what, depending on what the day’s recommendations are, but six is probably a minimum, ten is probably very safe. There is now some evidence that this could be surviving airborne, which is even more concerning. But I think 10 feet is a very safe distance. The most important practices are still going to be hand-washing, not touching your face, and anyone that has any symptoms at all, just assume you’re positive. Assume you have this, just prepare to lock yourself into your home for two weeks. Fire up the Netflix, fire up the HBO plus, and just basically do everybody a favor and just get ready to lock yourself. Yeah.

Donna Lee: 

Well I know at our practice, and we talked about this in the previous segments, don’t be scared to call your doctor’s office and ask for an over the phone consultation. We call it a telemedicine appointment. So we’re doing that quite a bit so we don’t have to leave the house.

Dr. Brenner: 

Absolutely. And one of the hospitals I work at here is actually working on setting up a call-in number and hopefully that’ll be up and running in the next couple of days. And you can just call it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and talk to a healthcare provider and it can give you effective guidance.

Dr. Yang: 

I guess one of the big things here in Austin is, you know, the restaurants are closed except for takeout, except for delivery. So, you know, all the sports are off, so there’s not much sports to watch.

Donna Lee: 

I keep seeing things on Facebook about these guys saying, “Oh, I have to deal with my wife and she seems pretty nice. That’s cool…just met her the other day.” You guys need to just go home.

Dr. Yang: 

Overall, do you think that the volume of patients you’ve seen has increased in the last week or so?

Dr. Brenner: 

It’s been day to day. So I worked a ton of shifts this past week and a couple of days were just patient after patient of cold/flu, flu like symptoms, and then a couple of the nights were very chill, which is shocking. It’s a day by day scenario. Certainly the phone call volume has increased. The overall volume is probably about the same per average, but in terms of people coming in with mild stuff, that I think is certainly increased.

Dr. Yang: 

Okay. I guess, you know, one of the biggest things that we can do is get out the message of you know, which patients, which people should be going into the emergency room, which shouldn’t. You know, when it’s appropriate to call your physician, when it’s appropriate to go into, you know, an urgent care center or the emergency room.

Dr. Brenner: 

I completely agree. This is, this is probably the most important thing people can do for their own health and for the health of hospital workers in general. The most important thing is if you have very mild symptoms, if you have a cough, if you have a very low grade fever, if you just feel a little achy, a little under the weather, stay home.

Dr. Yang: 

So a low grade fever would, what would you call that?

Dr. Brenner: 

There’s two different numbers that have popped up. The CDC is still saying about 100.4. There’s been a separate communication at 99.6. So I think you have to use…[inaudible]. Yeah, exactly. So this is a problem. We’re getting different data every day: different recommendations from the CDC everyday, different recommendations from the White House, different recommendations from X, Y and Z. And it’s so frustrating, but I think you have to use your best judgment. If you have a 99.9 fever, you take a couple of Tylenol, please take Tylenol only, not Advil or Motrin or Aleve.

Donna Lee: 

Can you explain that? I heard that and I wanted to get that out there too.

Dr. Brenner: 

Yeah. So there has been significant data showing that what’s called nonsteroidals (NSAID’s) are causing increased inflammation and actually making the COVID-19 infection worse. So if you do have some symptoms, take Tylenol, even if it’s not…[Inaudible] Sorry, go ahead.

Dr. Yang: 

And that’s Acetaminophen if you’re taking the generic.

Dr. Brenner: 

Right. It has seems to be working better with less inflammatory processes going on. Certainly works great for body aches, for fever, for headaches, all of the above. There is just more of it. It’s showing that the NSAID’s, the Aleves, the Naproxens, the Advils, the Motrins are causing more side effects and we’re actually causing more harm than good. So stick with Tylenol and again, low grade fever, a little sore throat, little body aches–stay at home and just assume you have it. Assume you’re going to get some couch time in for the next two weeks and that’s it.

Donna Lee: 

And stay home, when you’re staying home, stay away from family, stay in your own room, your own bathroom.

Dr. Brenner: 

Best you can. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dr. Yang: 

Yeah. And I guess for the, if they’re getting delivery, you know, ask them to leave it at the door, and don’t open the door, don’t shake their hand.

Dr. Brenner: 

Absolutely don’t shake hands.

Donna Lee: 

I wonder if the restaurants should start taking temperatures of the delivery people.

Dr. Brenner: 

It’s not the worst idea. I also, I think delivery people should be wearing mask and gloves for every delivery without question.

Donna Lee: 

Well, I know they can deliver alcohol now with food. I heard that today.

Dr. Brenner: 

Thank God. Thank God.

Donna Lee: 

That took way too long.

Dr. Yang: 

Now, what would you say for patients who are people out in the public, out in the public who want to, you know, wear masks all the time, who want to wear gloves all the time?

Dr. Brenner: 

I don’t think anyone is going to frown upon you for wearing a glove and mask at this time. The main thing is you have to be careful with these masks that do, if you do get exposed, they’re going to trap particularly the N-95 particulates masks, they’re going to trap the virus right in your mouth right at the corner of your mouth.

Donna Lee: 

That’s why.

Dr. Brenner: 

So you might be making things worse. This is why everybody needs to be staying home in general. If you want to wear a surgical, a regular surgical mask to just kind of protect yourself or if you’re a little under the weather and you don’t want to…well, if you’re under the weather you shouldn’t be going on anyways. But, you’re probably fine. Gloves if you’re wearing them throughout the day and you take them off when you get home and toss them–probably not a bad idea. It’s, it’s probably, it might be overkill. You’re probably fine with just frequent hand washing, frequent antibacterial hand sanitizer. It’s probably fine. But if you want to wear gloves, and I do think food delivery should be wearing gloves, a new set of gloves every time they take food out.

Donna Lee: 

Agreed. Wow. That’s a lot of information to jam pack in one segment. What else do we want to talk about real quick before we go to commercial, Dr. Yang?

Dr. Yang: 

Well, you know, I guess…

Donna Lee: 

Elective surgeries are…

Dr. Yang: 

Yeah, right now elective surgeries–there’s guidance from the American College of Surgeons that elective surgeries done in the hospital inpatient setting should be postponed. That’s kind of up to each individual surgeon. So you know, if there’s patients out there who have upcoming surgeries, don’t be surprised if you get a call from your surgeon.

Donna Lee: 

Yeah, I know we were working on that earlier in the week, so. We’ll continue this discussion in a minute, but we have to go to commercial break, but you can reach out to us during the week at (512) 238-0762. Our email address is armormenshealth@gmail.com. That’s armormenshealth@gmail.com. And our website as you all memorized by now, I’m sure, is armormenshealth.com. That’s armormenshealth.com. Send us your questions and you can listen to our podcasts wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search “Armor Men’s Health” on iTunes, Spotify. Where else can you listen…anywhere you can listen to your podcasts. And it’s free medical advice! So…

Dr. Yang: 

And KLBJ.

Donna Lee: 

KLBJ! Oh yeah, our sponsor! KLBJ.

Dr. Brenner: 

Good place to go.

Donna Lee: 

We’ll be right back after these messages with Dr. Brenner and Dr. Yang.

Speaker 1: 

The Armor Men’s Health Hour will be right back. If you have questions for Dr. Mistry, email him at armormenshealth@gmail.com.

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