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Storm Chaser Medical Advisory Hotline and Acute Care Service--A FREE Service

I'm pleased to announce a FREE service for those out on the Plains...The Storm Chaser Medical Advisory Hotline and Acute Care Service. The reason I created the hotline is because a lot of chasers run into medical bumps and mishaps while out chasing including problems with running out of prescription medications, minor injuries due to debris or cattle (well, cattle injuries would be more a veterinary thing...), etc. The chaser community has taught me so much and so many chasers give a lot of their time and assistance to the each other and the public at large. This is the best way I have to help give back to this community. Full details on the hotline can be found by surfing over to this address:


The service is active year-round. In previous years I have had several people call with excellent questions and concerns. I have a lot of services I can provide in the field (from suturing wounds to coordination of medical care with your physicians), and if nothing else I can help allay concerns or listen to what's going on. Just wanted to announce that we're up and running...be safe out there!
Since Jason is continuing this program for a second season, I will be giving Jason free Chase Hotline access once again in recognition for this outstanding service to the community.


Lori Meyer

What a wonderful person you are! I don't even chase much because I know if I tried given the knowledge I currently have... I would need a LOT of assistance from you. :) I think it is fantastic that you are willing to offer your services to chasers who would otherwise probably go untreated while out on the plains. You are an inspiration.
Lori Meyer
In light of the severe weather over the past few days, this is a friendly reminder to everyone that this service is up and running. While I won't be out on the Plains until 5/25, I am still available for any and all medical questions. Please be safe out there and have a great chase season!
In light of the severe weather over the past few days, this is a friendly reminder to everyone that this service is up and running. While I won't be out on the Plains until 5/25, I am still available for any and all medical questions. Please be safe out there and have a great chase season!

Hey! cool service, Jason! I just added you to the contact list in my phone:) I will definently feel a whole lot safer, knowing that help is just a phone call away. Hey, what do ya know? Iv had your website on smugmug bookmarked for at least a month now. I L-O-V-E your work.
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Severe storm season has begun in a big way (having just seen the first HIGH RISK issued (to my knowledge ever) in the area EAST of Atlanta). That said, it's time just to remind everyone to be safe, stay courteous, and remember that the medical hotline is available 24/7/365. All services are FREE and confidential. If I am close to your location I can provide services ranging from field stitching of wounds, antibiotic and glucose administration, and assistance if needed for victims of storms.

I have been very excited and pleased to have been able to provide a number of phone consultations, coordination with other people's physicians, and advice on a variety of medical topics. I have helped spouses and even acquaintances of chasers.

I look forward to being out there with you all in May. Until then :)...


Jason Boggs

Jason, this free service that you give is really appreciated by the whole chase community. Thank you for being available if someone is in need of help.
Dr. Persoff SAVES The Day!!!!!......

I want to offer a huge word of THANKSGIVING to Dr. Jason Persoff for his professional consultation with me over the Thanksgiving Holidays this past November. I had a serious medical condition, could not get in to see a doctor, and by the grace of God was reminded that Jason's Hotline was available. So I called (paged) and he called me back right before kickoff of the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Game. We spend about 15 minutes talking and then Dr. Persoff laid down the law and told me to hot-foot it over to the emergency room immediately for a medical evaluation. It was do not pass go, do not watch the Cowboys game, do not eat Thanksgiving Dinner dessert---get to the ER NOW!!! :)

Glad that I did because I was eventually admitted to the hospital and spent the next four nights and five days there getting well. [I had a very serious drug-resistant staph infection (not MRSA though.)]

I am so grateful to Dr. Persoff for making himself available and returning my calls. If it had not been for him, it might had been too late by the time I would have gotten around to getting to the hospital. Turns out, almost all doctors and clinics were also closed that following Friday. I would have then attempted to wait until the following Monday to go see my primary care physician. Might not had made it until then or had a situation that would be so far advanced that recovery would have been very difficult and/or full of life-long complications.

So the Storm-Chaser Medical Hotline is FOR REAL and it really does WORK!!!!! We are all indebted to Dr. Jason for his humble and generous spirit. Thank you Jason and may God's grace be with you throughout this year on the Plains and in your work.

Tom Tackett
Ft. Worth, Texas
Be Safe and Healthy

Sorry for the necropost, but I wanted to be sure that everyone be reminded that I'm here for you...There are numerous situations while chasers are in the field where medical information or help could be needed. I offer my professional services for free to all chasers--even those on commercial tornado tours. This is the least I can do to help out a community that helped me learn to be a chaser and continues to support me with intellectual contributions, technology recommendations, and friendly camraderie always.

In the past 5 years I've offered this service, I've seen the number of calls increase, and likewise the amount of medical information, advice, and guidance has seemed to make a meaningful impact in others' lives. The service is always confidential, but I appreciate Tom Tackett's very nice post above. I will never discuss your care with anyone unless requested to do so.

I am a Mayo Clinic hospital internist board-certified in internal medicine; I am a Fellow of Hospital Medicine and have a strong background in EMS. The website says the rest.

And just to re-emphasize--there is no cost ever. You can call anytime. You can leave a message if I can't answer right away, and I'll call you back on my dime. Why do I do this? Because people who chase take care of their own. And to-date it's been a gratifying endeavor worthy of continuing.

If any of the mods want to resticky this, I'd be happy to have it up there. Otherwise, just bookmark the website.

Jason Boggs

Jason, again thank you for this great service your're giving to us. This really shows what a great person you are. THANK YOU SIR!
Dr. Persoff,
Thank you very much for your support and assistance to any of us out there in the field.
Hopefully, I will not need the professional services, but it is great to know there is someone to call in case of an emeregency.

Darren Stephens


Will Dr. Robert Balogh be assisting you again here in Oklahoma?
Just noticed this thread -- definitely programming this number into my cell phone. Doubt I'll ever need to ring it, but it's very kind of Jason to offer.
Thank you Jason for providing an awesome service once again to the community this year. I am definitely stickying this.


Will Dr. Robert Balogh be assisting you again here in Oklahoma?

Indeed :)! He has a shortened hiatus actually chasing since his clinical acumen is needed in the hospital in Lawton. But I told him I'd help poison his liver if we get lucky enough to chase his way.

For the record, Bill Hark and Robert make up our little mini-AMA (the medical one, not the radar designation) and happen to be chase partners too. :)

terra seright

Wow, this is impressive. What a wonderful thing to do, Jason! Kudos and thank you!!

I've added you to my phone contact list, just in case! :)
This service will continue unabated. It's been great connecting with others in the chase community through the hotline and the feedback has been so positive, I will continue to offer this. Don't feel worried about calling too late or that you'll be bothering me. If I can't answer, I won't, but I can get back to you quickly...

Here's to hoping for another (hopefully BUSIER) chase season in 2010. :)
I want to express my thanks to Dr. Persoff as well, I contacted him in the off season when I was moving around back and forth between California and the plains and he helped me out. I find it very refreshing that there is a chaser out there who is willing to provide a service at large 'for the chase community'. I highly reccomend Jason and the Storm Chaser Medical Advisory Hotline.

/Whispers to the Wind/
Scott Olson
I was recently asked by a chaser about H1N1. I'll offer this extensively wordy response I offered to this individual here in the hopes it will provide people the most up-to-date information...

There's been a lot of misinformation about H1N1 in part because the media failed big time at the onset of the pandemic, and causing "media fatigue" that occurred in the initial panic in the spring last year. The biggest issue we in healthcare braced for was the "re-emergence" of H1N1 during the winter months when seasonal flu peaks. Our fears were definitely confirmed in spades. Flu was rampant this year and patients died (I personally lost about 40 patients with this virus, and saw an unbelievably high case fatality rate in young patients similar to what the CDC has published). I take this flu very seriously.

I was asked recently about the question of whether someone is immune to H1N1 virus due to possible prior infection and therefore doesn't need the H1N1 vaccine due to "acquired immunity" from prior infection. The answer regarding this comes from hard data, actually: your friend is UNLIKELY to have prior immunity to H1N1. My reference is: Hancock, K, Veguilla, V, Lu, X, et al. Cross-reactive antibody responses to the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. N Engl J Med 2009; 361:1945. This paricular study is published free on the NEJM website (direct link here: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/361/20/1945.pdf).
Using historical serological specimens, researchers looked at what we call "cross reacting antibodies" (antibodies people form against one virus that just so happen to react against a different virus--think of this as getting a discount on subsequent infection--you have bad case of a virus, but on the upside, you get a fair amount of immunity to an unrelated virus. This concept is in fact how most flu vaccines work--you develop antibodies to a vaccine in the hopes that the seasonal flu "looks" similar enough to your immune system that it will attack the actual virus when it crops up).

The sign that people are likely to be able to withstand attack by a micro-organism is predicated on how vigorously their immune systems react to that virus. Since prior infection with an organism leads to (mostly) lifelong immunity to that organism (and ones that "look similar" to it at least as far as your immune system is concerned), researchers can measure antibodies that are likely to "neutralize" the threat. These cross reacting, neutralizing antibodies successfully predict how well you'll fight the virus off. If you have a lot of 'em, you will be unlikely to develop clinical signs or symptoms of infection. However, if you don't have any cross reacting neutralizing antibodies, you're going to have to mount an immune response to fight off the infection (something that generally takes 48-96 hours) and hopefully during that time the virus doesn't kill you first.

Measuring serum samples, researchers found 0% of those under 30 had any immunity to the H1N1 flu. Zero percent. For those born in the 1960-1970 range, antibodies were scarce or undetectable for almost all of individuals in that range. These low antibody titers mean high risk for infection.
So, bringing this full circle...Anyone younger than 60 is almost entirely unlikely to carry any immunity to H1N1. This likely stems from the viruses 4-point mutation that makes it dissimilar in shape to ANY virus previously encountered by humanity. Yup: that reads like a doomsday comment for a reason. This is the dreaded conformational ("shape") change a plague looks like. That the mortality rate hasn't been higher than it is is pure happenstance. The H1N1 influenza, like all influenza viruses, cause severe illness, but typically _not_ fatal illness. Good thing for humanity too. A more virulent ("powerful") virus mutation could kill off millions easily if it also led to more severe illness. As it turns out, H1N1 _probably_ is not more powerful than typical, seasonal flu. It's the fact that people don't have immunity that has led to the high fatality rate.

As such, it is critical to immunize to prevent widespread illness. While most people will miss only a few days' work and feel like dung having the virus doesn't mean complacency is in order. 100% of my patients who died were young and most were healthy by all measures prior to infection. Ironically, older patients are LESS likely to die from H1N1 due to the increased likelihood of cross reacting neutralizing antibodies from other older flu strains (in fact, cross reactive immunity was seen highest in those born from 1900-1930).

The takehome: if you're young and healthy, you're exactly the profile of someone who is at risk for death from H1N1. And don't think antiviral medications will save you. Antiviral medications only shave maybe 12 hours off of symptoms. Most of the reason to treat patients is to prevent THEM from infecting OTHERS (though it may help some--it's not nearly as good as your own body's immune response).

Get vaccinated. It does work. Fears about Guillaume-Barre syndrome (a neurologic illness of unknown cause that itself is pretty nasty) are overblown based on very tight post-vaccine surveillance programs. It seems more likely that you could get GBS from the virus rather than the vaccine.
The only reason that the recommendation for mandatory vaccinations has not occurred is: 1) limited supply of vaccine compared to the world population, 2) fatality rate of H1N1 is still low enough not to justify a "small pox" vaccine protocol, and 3) the ever changing face of influenza.
Regarding that last comment...flu does change yearly. In fact, vaccines againast flu are typically based on speculation based on phenotypes of ANTICIPATED virus changes. It's highly difficult to know exactly what mutations are mostly likely to occur (thus why H1N1 caught us all off-guard). By next year, the generic influenza vaccine will incorporate vaccination against H1N1 so you'll be able to get one shot (as opposed to the 2 needed this year to allow most likely immunity).

Shy of living the life of a recluse, if you live life, you'll get exposed to all kinds of nastiness. The best statistical analogy I can offer is the following: as many people will die this year in the US from seasonal flu as from motor vehicle accidents (roughly 40,000). An additional 50,000 deaths are possible after this outbreak (though current figures are less robust). That's a lot of people. And, like death from motor vehicle accidents, most are probably preventable.

Wash your hands, wear sunscreen, and live life. After you get vaccinated, that is.

Feel free to contact me as always via the medical hotline (my phone: 904-343-4325) if ever you have any question about this or other medical issues. Hope this helps :).

Jason Foster

I guess we can't "thank" in this subforum, so I'm just posting it here. This is of particular interest to me since I am on immuno-suppressant drugs to insure my transplanted kidneys stay put. I would be in the 'high risk' category of the overall population.
Dr. Persoff, thanks for that posting. My wife and I will be getting the H1N1 vaccination based on what you took the time to write. The media botched this one, and our doctor was too busy to take the time to explain it in that detail. Thanks a million.
Jason, the service and care you're providing to the chaser community is fantastic. Thanks for your highly informative post on H1N1, and thanks for continuing to offer medical service gratis to chasers. Your contribution is invaluable, and while I hope I'll never need to make use of it, it's reassuring to know you're out there.

Shane Marshall

This is an amazing service and im glad someone is willing to put in the time and effort to do it. Being an EMS professional for many years I give Jason a big thumbs up for providing this.

Elinor McLennon

Hi there everyone. I have contacted Jason several times but so far he has not needed any help in this area. I have my first responder license which I am in the process of renewing and have had paramedic training. My knowledge is not even close to being equivalent to Jason's and the service he offers is amazing. Like i have mentioned to him in the past, I chase in the Oklahoma area and always have my medical kit with me. I keep the basic first aid supply kit with me, including blood sugar kit, various splints, etc. If you can't get hold of Jason or if he is too far away and you need a quick patch to hold you over feel free to contact me if you are in this area. My name is Elinor McLennon and the phone number is 405-990-4833.