Monthly Archives: November 2010

Lipstick in Afghanistan Book Signing





On Thursday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m.- 2p.m. Roberta Gately, RN, author of “Lipstick in Afghanistan”, will be signing copies of her book in the Menino Pavilion Lobby. Roberta has worked in BMC’s Emergency Department and has traveled as a nurse and aid worker through third-world war zones. Her novel, based on her personal experiences, tells the story of a nurse working in Afghanistan in the midst of conflict. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during the signing. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Women’s Programs at BMC.

Need Emergency Surgery? Take a Number

A study being published in the December edition of Academic Emergency Medicine, “The Shortage of On-Call Surgical Specialist Coverage: A National Survey of Emergency Department Directors”, shows many emergency department directors are reporting inadequate on-call trauma coverage, as well as a downgrade of their trauma center designations.

This study highlights a growing problem in the lack of round-the-clock specialty care available to patients in need presenting to emergency departments across the country.

An important distinguishing characteristic of Boston Medical Center’s Trauma and Emergency Services is not only the experience and expertise of the many subspecialty services that are available, but the fact that they are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week to any ill or injured patient in need.

Read more about the study here.

Coming Soon – 24 Hours In An ER: Inside The City’s Busiest Trauma Center


Keep a look out for Boston Magazine’s annual compilation of Boston’s Top Doctors hitting newsstands soon. Boston Medical Center’s Trauma Services and Emergency Department are highlighted in a photo essay!

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Turkey Safety

Get the thermometers ready: Buy a food thermometer if you don’t already have one. A cooked whole turkey is safe at a minimum internal temperature of 165 F throughout the bird and stuffing. If you’re thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, we also recommend using a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the temperature is no higher than 40 F.

Answers to Your Turkey Questions 

Q. How long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey? 
A. The safest way to thaw a turkey is to put it in the refrigerator at a safe temperature (40 F) during thawing. Allow one day for each 5 lbs of weight to thaw the turkey, plus an extra day or two. A twenty pound turkey will take about 4 days to thaw. After it has thawed, it is safe for another two days.

Q. How can I tell when the turkey is done?
A. Whether you roast, brine, deep fry or smoke your turkey, always use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. You won’t overcook your turkey, and you can ensure it has been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F to destroy bacteria and prevent foodborne illness. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. If the turkey is stuffed, the stuffing must also reach 165 °F.

Q. How long does it take to cook a turkey?
A. Use the turkey roasting chart to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate and based on fresh or thawed birds at a refrigerator temperature of 40 °F or below.

Q. Is it safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state?
A. Yes, the cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet package during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

For more information on turkeys, check out these resources:


Courtesy of FoodSafety.Gov


Injury Prevention Program Spotlight – Child Passenger Safety

Trauma centers have an obligation to participate in injury prevention efforts in an attempt to identify community patterns of injury and risk and formulate programs to reduce injury occurrence.  Here at Boston Medical Center, the Trauma Service is dedicated to preventing injuries through research, education, and innovative programs. Our Injury Prevention Coordinator, Lisa Allee, MSW, LICSW conducts multidisciplinary work to care for and protect our patients. This month we wanted to highlight one of the many Injury Prevention Programs at Boston Medical Center – Child Passenger Safety.

The Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma has partnered with the Public Safety Office in developing a Child Passenger Safety Program at Boston Medical Center.

This program includes:

  • CPS Inspection Station: Car Seat Inspection and fitting events during good weather months or by appointment through the Injury Prevention Coordinator.
  • Car Seat Installations: For patients, families, staff and community members by appointment through the Injury Prevention Coordinator.
  • Assistance with newborn car seat fit and installation upon discharge: To be arranged through Injury Prevention Coordinator or Public Safety: 617-414-4444.  
  • Educational in-services on car seat safety: For hospital groups.
  • Education for Families: We have developed informational brochures which parents are provided on car seat safety and where to obtain a car seat at their 28 week appointment in the Women’s Center. 

For more information, please contact the Injury Prevention Coordinator at: 617-414-8007.

    Emergent Cardiac Cath Lab Opens on Menino Campus at Boston Medical Center


    BMC announces the opening of the Emergent Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory on the Menino Campus. This life-saving service, which is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will enhance the ability of the hospital to continue its mission of providing exceptional care to some of its most vulnerable patients – those in need of cardiac intervention.

    This service is offered in conjunction with the Emergency Department team and the BMC Cardiovascular Center (CVC). The CVC is a regional referral center that uses state-of-the-art technology to provide high-quality, cost-effective cardiac and vascular care. BMC has been recognized for its responsiveness to patient needs, as well as its partnerships with referring physicians from throughout the state.

    Thanksgiving & Cooking Safety


    • Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States.
    • There is almost three times the daily average number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.
    • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires.
    • Thanksgiving Day fires in residential structures cause more property damage and claim more lives than residential structure fires on other days.

    Preventing cooking fires

    • Never leave hot food or appliances unattended while cooking.
    • Always be alert when you are cooking.  If you are under the influence of medication or alcohol, avoid using the stove. 
    • Keep anything that can catch on fire at least 3 feet from the stove, toaster oven, or other heat source.
    • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
    • Do not wear loose fitting clothes when you are cooking as they may catch fire from the stove top burner.
    • If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen.  If you are baking, boiling, or simmering food, check the food frequently, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

    Preventing burns and scalds

    • To prevent hot food or liquid spills, use the stove’s back burner and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
    • Keep all appliance cords coiled, away from the counter edges and out of children’s reach, especially if the appliances contain hot foods or liquids.
    • Use oven mitts or potholders when carrying hot food.
    • Open hot containers from the microwave slowly and away from the face.
    • Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.

    Keeping Kids Safe

    • Create a 3 foot Kid Free Zone around the stove.  Young children should be more than 3 feet from any place where there is hot food, drinks, pans or trays.
    • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, carrying or drinking hot foods or liquids.
    • Hot food and items should be kept from the edge of counters and tables.
    • Do not use a tablecloth or placemat if very young children are in the home as they can very easily pull the tablecloth or placemat and get burned if hot food or liquids are on the table. 
    • When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely and always with help from an adult.