ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Millions of her TV fans watch her solve forensic mysteries on Dr. G: Medical Examiner. More than 7,000 autopsies have taught her that many deaths don't need to happen and there are things you can do to avoid going to the morgue early.
She's America's best known medical examiner: Dr. G. Each week she brings stories from the morgue to viewers on her hit show Dr. G: Medical Examiner. She said a lot of people argue that when death comes it's your time to die, but Dr. G. believes something else.
"Our choices really help determine our luck in living a long life," Dr. Jan Garavaglia, Dr. G: Medical Examiner, told Ivanhoe.
First up, where's the most common place to get sick?
"Unbelievably the most common place to get sick is in the hospital," Dr. G explained.
In fact 1.7 million people contract infections in hospitals each year and 300,000 of those come from a deadly diarrhea germ you've probably never heard of, C. diff. It kills 14,000 Americans each year and you can pick it up on surfaces like hand railings, pens, and even your doctor's clothes!
"You know doctors go from patient to patient, they wear the white coat, and they wear their tie. That can pick up germs that can pick up those spores" Dr. G. said.
Your best defense is as simple as hand washing, and not just yours but doctors and nurses as well.
"You can be obnoxious and ask them or make sure you see them. You got to try to make it out alive from the hospital. You don't want one of these infections to do you in," Dr. G. explained.
Next up, what is the number one thing you can do to cause your early death? It's smoking! Lighting up kills just under half a million people in the U.S. every year.
"That's more than auto accidents, that's more than HIV, that's more than all the murders combined," Dr. G. said.
Number three, what's the number one cause of death for vacationers? Is it drowning, accidental falls or heart attack?
"The number one cause of death for vacationers is going to be a heart attack," Dr. G. explained.
The reason is that you may do things out of the ordinary and stress yourself a little more.
"You don't want to spoil everybody's fun by complaining that you have a little bit of chest tightness or a little bit of shortness of breath," Dr. G. explained.
But ignoring your symptoms could be fatal.
"Thirty percent of people who die from heart disease don't know they have heart disease. Death is sometimes the very first symptom," Dr. G. said.
Number four, true or false: neat freaks live longer. The answer is true! Keeping your home clean could save your life. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of death so watch out for messes.
"Clutter, little toys from their dogs, area rugs, all of those things are a danger," Dr. G. said.
Finally, what's your best strategy for staying out of the morgue? The answer is pay attention to your body.
"We see a lot of silent killers in the morgue. And these are not criminals, these are things that are going on inside of you," Dr. G. concluded.
They are things like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. By knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose, Dr. G. insists you're well on your way to staying vertical.
Dr. G. said there are five ways to certify a death at the morgue. They are accident, suicide, natural and undetermined, but she believes we need one more: stupidity. With just a little extra thought, she says more people would stay out of the morgue and live longer lives.
DR. G: Jan Garavaglia, or Dr. G, is America's best-known medical examiner. Dr. G has been solving real cases for years on the popular Discovery Health series DR. G: MEDICAL EXAMINER. As chief medical examiner for the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office in Florida, Dr. G has performed thousands of autopsies ranging from the routine to the extraordinary. Her years on the job have taught her that many deaths don't need to happen; with just a bit of prevention, many trips to the morgue could be avoided.
HOW NOT TO DIE: Dr. G wrote How Not to Die because she realized that just as other doctors see ways to prevent illness, her forensic experience has made her able to see ways to prevent death. So she has turned "the table" by using death as a starting point to identify the ways we harm our bodies and to illustrate how the everyday choices we make are at the very root of how we live or die.
LESSON ONE: Know your numbers. You'll live longer and healthier when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is under 25.
LESSON TWO: Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, pay attention to it. See a doctor right away.
LESSON THREE: Use as directed. To increase your odds of living a long life, take your medicine as directed and follow your doctor's orders.
LESSON FOUR: Practice good hygiene. The more often you wash your hands, the less likely you are to get sick.
LESSON FIVE: Drive Carefully. Wear a seatbelt when driving and a helmet when riding a bike.
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