Voices From The Readers – June 29, 2018

Voices From The Readers – June 29, 2018

A Poem For OC EMS


To begin, I will tell you my name is Kurt,
This is about a day I was tragically hurt.
It was on that day EMS of Ocean City got a call,

About someone involved in a fall.

Before the fall, and that call, something I want to tell you all.

I myself was glad to be at work, just me and my ladder, that particular day.

I did not know that day alone anything could become sadder, I now can say.

It was only a moment after I fell,
I lay helpless on the ground and could only yell.

No one was around, as I laid bleeding and helpless on the ground.

I was on my own, without even a phone.
It was after the fifth time I shouted for help.
Someone appeared and I had a change of belief.

I could stop yelling for help and that was a relief.

The man approached me and said, I called 911.

I am sure that call for him was no fun.

I lay there bleeding, I was quite a mess.
I heard him give out my locations address.
Soon I heard the sounds of help that was on its way.

It was March 23rd and I will never forget that day.

It was a comfort to see the arrival of these men in blue.

They had been trained to perform this kind of rescue.

Relax they said:  We are here for you!

A broken leg and wrist, there was nothing I could do.

The one thing I needed and it was a must, into their hands my life I did trust.

One thing for sure, I was glad to be alive, another thing for sure, I was thankful these men did arrive.

They showed up for work to answer a call, they helped saved the life of a man who just had a tragic fall.

I will always remember now whenever I see an ambulance, to say a prayer to you know who, to guide and keep protected , for inside are the these men in blue. Either coming from or going to.
Doing what they are trained to do,
performing what is sometimes, a life saving rescue.

I write to honor what they do, and simply say ‘Thank you.’

Thank you, to all the men and women in Blue.

Kurt Chavarie


Concussion Protocol Needs Insurance Coverage


A well-proven and FDA-approved concussion testing and treatment protocol called ImPACT is suddenly, and seemingly without proper explanation, not covered by Highmark BCBS, one of Delaware’s key insurance companies. My medical colleagues and I want to know why.

Schools and colleges across the country use the ImPACT testing protocol to create baseline tests for comparison before an athletic season which can then be compared to post-injury tests conducted in a follow-up at a physicians’ office. The physician can then compare the results pre-injury to post-injury to assess the severity of the concussion.

One of only two FDA-approved concussion testing tools available today, this easy to use and highly effective system has been successfully employed by more than 75% of American NCAA sports programs as well as approximately the same number of junior and senior high schools. We have more than 70 million results in our database and have been backed by close to 300 journal articles since 1998.

ImPACT works. It’s proven. It’s approved by almost all major insurers in the country. Yet, despite more than a decade of success and approval by almost all other insurance companies, the testing is, as of last year, suddenly labeled “experimental” by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The insurer refuses to compensate physicians so they can administer and diagnose concussions and follow patients to full recovery.

ImPACT is a fraction of the price of the only other FDA-approved concussion testing tool in the United States. Additionally, less than 10% of any MAC concussion patients require additional costly CT scans or MRIs. These tools are not normally required to diagnosis concussion and are only utilized to rule out bleeding or tumors.

Again, Highmark BCBS is the ONLY insurer we know of refusing to cover this critical testing. All other BCBS plans across the country cover this test. It doesn’t escape our knowledge that Highmark is involved in an unrelated, ongoing legal battle with University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC), coincidentally where ImPACT testing was created. Therefore, the sudden about face refusal to approve ImPACT testing last year would appear to be related. Our patients should not become collateral damage in what appears to be a grudge match between Highmark and UPMC.

Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) can result when initial concussions aren’t treated correctly, leading to severe disability or even death in our talented, young athletes. ImPACT testing is the only tool we have to objectively diagnose and follow a concussion to full recovery to prevent SIS. Our grievance is not about money; it is about saving lives.

I have reached out repeatedly to Highmark as well as local government offices and insurances boards, even testifying before Highmark’s Neuroscience Committee, to no avail. Professional and college athletes from all over America fly to Pittsburgh, PA for concussion care at UPMC.  Why can’t our patients continue to benefit from this well-proven technology?

Vincent Schaller, MD

(The writer is the medical director of the Mid-Atlantic Concussion Alliance (MAC) based in Hockessin, Del. and oversees more than 40 concussion testing and treatment centers in the tri-state area of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.)


China Outcry Growing


It is the solstice, the first day of the dog eating festival in Yulin, Guangxi Province, China.  This festival will last 10 days, during which approximately 10,000-15,000 dogs will be tortured and eaten.  There is growing opposition to eating dogs in China and across Asia, as more and more citizens have become dog owners and empathize with the intense pain and suffering in the way that dogs and cats are killed for food. But despite public outcry, the Chinese government has refused to enact laws to regulate the humane treatment of any animal, including dogs. In fact, dog meat traders have flourished, spreading their nonsensical claims that eating dog meat increases male sexual virility, promotes good health, and keeps one cool in the heat of summer.  Like ivory tusks or rhino horns, this belief has led to a demand for dog meat – but there’s a sinister difference: it’s based on the premise that the more a dog is tortured before being killed, the greater the health benefits.

The pain and suffering increases the levels of stress hormones which in turn makes the meat gamey; this is recognized as the sign that the meat is “potent.”  Unspeakable methods are used to torture dogs before they are killed, and often the treatment is intentionally prolonged to achieve the desired effect.  Also, because the industry is unregulated, many of the dogs slaughtered in this way have been reported to be stolen pets, still wearing their collars when they are butchered.

But it wasn’t always this way in China.  From 1644 to 1912, during the Qing Dynasty dogs were revered, and forbidden to be slaughtered for any reason.  According to legend, after the life of Nurhaci, the first leader of the Qing Dynasty, was saved by a dog, he ordained that no dog should be killed for its meat, fur, or any other purpose.  This ruling stood in place for nearly 300 years.  However, in 1912, the Kuomintang Nationalist Party assumed power, and committed widespread acts of cruelty to dogs in order to spite the Qing rulers, whom they despised.  This hatred toward dogs continued and intensified through the period when Chairman Mao led the country.  The Communist Party viewed dogs as filthy, and considered dog ownership to be a symbol of the bourgeois.  During this time many Chinese dog breeds faced extinction.

Today in China these views still prevail:  stories of police seizing and beating dogs in public are often reported on social media, grinning selfies of Chinese next to dogs being hung or beaten, and videos of dogs tied and dragged behind cars are easy to find online.  And, despite increasing protests to outlaw the dog meat trade, millions of dogs are still being killed each year with brutal cruelty.  But public outcry within China and from around the world is increasing.

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a House Resolution (HR 401) condemning the barbaric torture of dogs and cats for the dog meat trade in Asia.  And each year, Chinese activists stop some of the trucks illegally loaded with stolen dogs, often sick, dying and dead, on their way to Yulin.  Social attitudes towards dogs are slowly changing in China, but the dogs themselves still face a bleak future, far from the reverence bestowed upon them in the past.

Kathy Fleming



Illegals Must Go Home


It is time for the United States Senate to build the wall to keep the American people safe. Nobody knows how many illegals are here in the United States. We do know a lot of the illegals that were locked up were released by President Obama in 2015. We have the MS-13 gangs in the United States that are killing people. Also, we have a lot of people selling cocaine and heroin in the United States.

I believe the President of Mexico is taking money from the drug dealers to let the illegals come into the United States and that is why they don’t want to close the borders. Nobody in the United States Senate wants to do anything to help the American people. I think it is time for the U.S. Senate to send the illegals back where they came from.

Richard Ruzicka

Selbyville, Del.