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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

General Health

separator Pap Tests: How Often?
It's not always clear how often women should have a cervical Pap test to screen for cervical cancer. Experts have differing recommendations.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends annual screenings for most women.

  • The American Cancer Society says that Pap screenings every three years are okay for women who have had three consecutive normal screenings.
  • How often you should have a Pap smear is a decision you should make with your doctor. It should be based on your specific risk factors.

It's important not to decide on your own to have Pap tests less frequently.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American Cancer Society, December 2001

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poison
The best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure all your heating appliances are working well. This includes any appliance that burns gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal.

  • Have a professional check your appliances every year.
  • Use appliances that vent fumes to the outside.
  • Read and follow instructions that come with heating appliances.

Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

If you think you may have carbon monoxide poisoning, leave your house, go to an emergency department and tell them what you think might be wrong. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal if it's allowed to continue.

For more information about carbon monoxide, visit the Consumer Protection Agency Web site (

Source: The environmental Protection Agency, December 2001

Risk Factors for Glaucoma
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases with the following characteristics: high pressure, optic nerve damage and vision loss. Left untreated, glaucoma causes blindness. Risk factors include

  • Being over age 60
  • Being of African-American heritage and over age 40
  • Family history
  • Diabetes
  • Extreme nearsightedness

You should be checked for glaucoma

  • At ages 35 and 40
  • After 40, every 2 to 3 years
  • After 60, every 1 to 2 years

Source: The Glaucoma Foundation, December 2001

Nothing's Good on Ice
Four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicles can help you drive through snow, but they don't give you any added safety when it comes to driving on ice. Don't let your SUV give you a false sense of security. The best way to drive on ice, SUV or not, is to go so slowly that you don't even have to put your foot on the brake to stop.

Another hidden danger for winter drivers is "black" ice. It's on the road, but you can't see it. You can be driving without a problem and suddenly you've done a 180-degree turn into a tree.

Be especially cautious in the morning, when black ice is less likely to have been melted by the sun.

Car Checklist for Winter
A few reminders:

  • Keep the gas tank filled. If you get stranded, you'll need to run the engine for heat. (Don't forget to keep the window open a little if this happens.)
  • Keep the windshield wipers in good condition.
  • Make sure your wiper fluid is full.
  • Check the cooling system.
  • Check your battery.
  • If you drive around a lot in the snow, get snow tires, even if you have four-wheel or front-wheel drive. The added traction greatly improves the safety of your ride.
  • Clean snow off your whole car. Snow on the roof blows off when you drive. It blocks your vision or another driver's.

Source: The American Academy of Ophthalmology, December 2001

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