Interview with Dr. Matt Herber, Dell Rapids Avera Clinic
As the days get longer and the weather turns to summer, precautions and tips to stay healthy during this time of quarantine are important. Dr. Matt Herber from the Dell Rapids Avera Clinic took time to talk to Big Sioux Media on this topic to inform people what to do now that the clinics and hospitals are seeing fewer patients, plus he also gave an update on the Covid-19 virus situation.
Some of the biggest activities as the days get warmer are riding bikes or scooters, spending more time in the sun, and spending time at the lake. Dr. Herber mentioned that it’s very important for everyone to follow safety precautions when it comes to riding bikes by wearing all the protective equipment, lake safety with life jackets, making sure to wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when spending time outside, and the signs to look for when it comes to heat exhaustion versus heat stroke.
Dr. Herber also provided information on different injuries that are more common in the summer time. Some of the more common injuries include burns, strains and sprains, and cuts and scrapes.
When trying to determine if someone needs stitches for cuts, Dr. Herber said, “It depends a lot where on the body it is. If it’s a small cut on the forearm, or even on the face, if there’s not much tension on the wound that’s making it spread real easily, and if it’s not terribly long and it doesn’t spread very easily, usually you can just leave it be and cover it with a band-aid.” He mentioned that one of the biggest indications for needing stitches is how much tension there is pulling on the wound.
This information is important, especially now, because of the limited contact of people at the clinic in Dell Rapids. Dr. Herber mentioned that the clinic and hospital have been operating and about half staff for the past few weeks. Of the four providers at the clinic, only two are working each day. He mentioned that part of that is to prepare for the surge and also to limit patient contact. The clinic has a respiratory section that has a completely separate entrance along with the nurse and provider in full safety gear. That section is for anyone with any cough, any cold symptoms, or any fever. The other part of the building is for things such as urgent care and emergency, which also has its own entrance.
“The best practice would be to be to probably call in first. We know most of our patients pretty well. If we know something is out of character for a patient, we’ll know if they can just be treated over the phone or if we need to see them or if we need labs or x-rays. The best thing is to start with is just to call your provider,” said Dr. Herber. “We’d much prefer those calls rather than having you come to the clinic for something we could have taken care of over the phone. If it’s something minor we can check via video, we can do that too.” Dr. Herber mentioned that patients should do this to eliminate an increased risk of contracting any infection.
Dr. Herber also provided some information on Covid-19 and how to tell the difference between the virus and allergies for this time of year.
“The three big things right now we’re looking for are new development of a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Those seem to be the most common things that have been the trigger that tells us we have a concern,” he said. “Especially this time of year when there’s hay fever and allergies, it’s very difficult to know. Usually it’s fever, cough, and shortness of breath. And of course there could be the body aches and just not feeling well.”
He also mentioned that there still aren’t enough tests to test everyone yet, so they are still trying to save the tests for those that are older and have more health problems.