Entries in Sick (3)


Study: Employees More Likely to Call Out Sick on Slow Work Days

Pixland/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM, Sweden) -- Workers are more inclined to call out sick when they know it’s going to be a slow, boring day rather than when things are normal or busier than usual, a new study of six Swedish workplaces suggests.

Overall, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm say workers are two-and-a-half times more likely to stay home with an illness if they know there’s not that much to do.

There are a couple of theories as to why this happens. One is that people just don’t feel particularly motivated to fight through an illness at work if it means they’ll spend most of their time doing nothing.

The second reason has more to do with bosses not wanting someone spreading their germs around, particularly if they know the office can manage fine without them for a day or two.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hurricane Caregiving: What's Best for Frail, Elderly?

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Hurricane Irene threatened the East Coast this past weekend, many sick, elderly residents were left debating whether to evacuate from their homes or ride out the storm.  Staying put could have put them in direct danger and hitting the road could result in added stress.

So where's the best place for frail patients to go during natural disasters such as Irene?

The American Red Cross says some fare better in shelters, which evaluate their medical needs and have nurses and emergency medical technicians available to address urgent issues.

However, going to a shelter "is always going to be the last thing you want to do," said Jim Judge, executive director of Lake-Sumter EMS Inc., in Mount Dora, Florida.  "If you're in a good, solid home're going to be far better long as you're not in a flood-prone area."

Judge, a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, advises families worried about an elderly parent or grandparent to ask local emergency management offices if they have plans to shelter "the elderly, the frail, individuals that might have medical conditions such as oxygen dependence."  Aides or caregivers can accompany them during shelter stays, he said.

Caregivers and families should make sure to ready emergency kits well in advance of disasters.  These can be assembled in a duffle bag, backpack or suitcase -- preferably on wheels, which are easier to maneuver -- and stored under the bed, so they can be rolled out for use at home, or taken to a shelter during an evacuation.

Although disaster preparation focuses on food, water, and medications, "the biggest problem we run into is oxygen for oxygen-dependent patients," Judge said.  Because power failures cut off the flow of life-saving oxygen through electric-powered devices, patients may want to consider portable machines that can be plugged into a car's DC adapter and run off the car battery, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Teacher Defies Odds, Hasn't Called in Sick in 40 Years

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Alphonse Dattolo, a language teacher at Glen Rock High School in New Jersey, says he has worked more than 7,000 days in a row without one single day off. For those trying to do the math, that's more than 40 school years without an absence from the daily school grind.

Dattolo, 62, says he has been sick here and there in the past 40 years, but nothing that warranted a missed day of school. His students keep him going, Dattolo said, and he has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Some doctors say Dattolo was probably blessed with a great immune system, but it is unlikely that Dattolo has never had the flu or another contagious illness in the past four decades.

"He may not have perceived himself to be ill, but it's not possible that he hasn't had multiple infections with common gastrointestinal and respiratory problems in that long of time," said Dr. Susan Coffin, medical director of infection and prevention and control department at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

But Dr. Paul Glezen, professor of molecular virology, microbiology and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, said that some bodies are better at fighting illness than others.

"Some people are just genetically programmed to have a better innate immunity, and they have a natural ability to respond to viruses," said Glezen. "[Dattolo] is in contact with students regularly, so he may be fortunate in that he can overcome those infections more rapidly and with fewer consequences than others."

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' chief health and medical editor, agreed that it is quite possible a person can avoid severe illness for most of their lifetime. Getting a flu shot, washing your hands, eating right, and getting plenty of rest can keep a person healthy and robust.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio