Condoms

(The reader will understand if we don’t readily illustrate this one.)

Many people know Usagi Medical Group for the great work we do helping people with first aid needs or emergency medical response in more serious circumstances. We also do a lot to address larger public health issues like avoiding con-crud, personal safety, and sexual health. That’s why you can always come by the UsagiMed station and grab a condom (male or female).

You already know that condoms are a great way to help protect against pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, for a condom to be effective at all, one must know how to use them properly, and they must be used every time.

Proper storage of condoms is also important to keep them from breaking while in use. Condoms should not undergo long-term storage in a high-temperature area (such as six months in your wallet). Anyone who tells you that size is an issue is lying. You can fit a condom over your entire hand (go ahead, we’ll wait while you try this out for yourself). You can even stretch a standard condom along the entire length of a broom handle.

You have tons of choices in the world of prophylactics. Do you need spermicide? Texture? Extra lubrication? It is generally advised that you DO NOT add anything to a condom before putting it on. Some lubes dissolve condoms. Oh, it is also generally advised that you determine if you have an allergy to your condoms before you actually use them.

Need a condom while you’re at con? Come see us.

Thank you, AkaiCon!

At 1,500 attendees, AkaiCon may be a young con, but it has a lot of heart. We were excited to work with them at their new venue, and look forward to teaming up with them next year.  A special thanks to Mark Blalock, and Devin Adkins for bringing us on board. And to Corey Finney, for making sure we had everything we needed. Thank you! See you in 2019!

Pineapple Belongs On Pizza

We in Usagi Medical Group are generally very open minded people. Still the issue of whether or not pineapple belongs on a pizza has come to our table. We did a little research:

Pineapple provides vitamins A and C, and fiber. As well as having high amounts of manganese, which is important for antioxidant defenses, pineapples also contain high amounts of thiamin, a B vitamin that is involved in energy production. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple juice, is an anti-inflammatory, and it aids with digestion. So eating pineapple is a good way to treat your immune system right, and fight off con crud.

We therefore embrace the notion that pineapple belongs on a pizza. Besides, it tastes good. For those of you who are somehow hurt by this declaration, we are reserving a band-aid for you in our UsagiMed offices. Thank you.

Service Animals

By now you’ve seen the image floating around social media about what to do if a Service Animal wearing its vest approaches you without its human. Some service animals are trained to go find someone if their human has a medical emergency.

So yes, knowing this is important.  But please, if a Service Animal comes to you while you’re at a convention (or anywhere, really), before you follow the animal anywhere, make sure you ask another human to find UsagiMed, a Public Safety person with a radio, or even call 911 if necessary.  This will allow the person needing assistance to get the right medical attention as quickly as possible.

There’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared if someone is having an emergency. Even if it turns out to be something minor, you will have done the right thing by requesting help.

But this only applies if the service animal approaches you and its human is not around.  If the animal is working, and its human is present, it’s usually best to leave them alone. If you’re interested in learning more about how to interact with service animals, here’s an excellent writeup on the do’s and don’ts for behavior around a service dog team (team = a dog plus its human).

Hydrate!

Our friends at Anime Weekend Atlanta made a small handful of UsagiMed video PSAs for use during the con last year.  We want to take a moment to share them with you.  Personally, this one makes me thirsty:

Huge Thanks To Operation Hammond

Our friends at Operation Hammond graciously presented the gift of a very cool Medtronic LifePak AED to Usagi Medical Group.  James Fedora, founder of Operation Hammond, announced the gift of an AED to UsagiMed’s own Laura Block.  All of us at Usagi Medical group are grateful, and it certainly means a great deal to us.

Prior to this generosity, AED rental was one of UsagiMed’s largest expenses. Having our own AED in our inventory means we can more easily serve smaller conventions across the southeast.

Operation Hammond, THANK YOU!  We look forward to a future of cooperation between both our organizations.

Thank You, MTAC!

Usagimed’s Raymond Files said it perfectly: “For our first field deployment as Usagi Medical Group, I don’t think we could have had a better event.” MTAC 2018 was our first trip away from Anime Weekend Atlanta. Things went fantastically, and all of us at Usagi Medical Group (UMG) want to extend our appreciation to MTAC for the warm welcome and an overall excellent convention experience. We want to give a special shout out to Cassidy Runge, Spencer Rabon, and Corey Finney. They made the on-boarding process easy, and working with them and their staff was a seamless process.

UMG’s CEO John Plaxco says: “We really enjoyed working with them, and we’re especially pleased with the number of patients we were able to treat. Our goal is to help keep folks healthy and happy and AT the convention, and I think we definitely succeeded there. Multiple con-goers made use of our first-aid capabilities, and there was no need for anyone to go out by ambulance.”

Thank you, MTAC for an excellent event. We’re looking forward to working with you again in 2019!

Remembering MTAC

We’re friends, right? Bear with me, here. I’m not going to tell you not to drink. If you’re 21 or over, partying sometimes means the consumption of deleterious substances. And that’s fine. Just one quick question: How do you set your limits?

“We don’t need no stinkin’ limits!” you exclaim, muttering something about your plans for MTAC. Let me tell you a story. It’s not the story about the people who left the convention and died in a drunk-driving accident. It’s not the story about the cosplayer who was sexually assaulted while drunk. No, my story for you is not even about a convention. It is about a guy I saw at a very expensive concert. I was working security in the pit. Sitting right in front of me, this dude’s seat must have cost over $800. You read that right. Eight hundred dollars. The thing is, that guy was drunk when he showed up, and he passed out during the opening act. He spent all that money and he won’t remember a thing.

UMG wants this MTAC to be one you remember. You’re among friends, and you deserve to have a ton of solidly wonderful memories with them. My UMG compatriots don’t want you to be one of the many folks that we have to pick up (often from puddles of their own filth) and have transported to the hospital. You don’t want that. And we don’t want that.

MTAC 2016

MTAC is our favorite time of the year. In some ways, it’s almost like Christmas! We wait for it all year, like excited grade-school kids, counting down the days and hours, looking forward to the fun and the parties. We want to pack the maximum into every minute we have, making memories and telling stories for the rest of the year, until MTAC comes around again.

Honor yourself. Make this MTAC one you will remember. Set your limits. Honor your limits. Take tons of pictures, and share them with us. Drink responsibly. Have fun with your friends. Enjoy the con! And then go safely home to remember it.

Should You Go Alone?

There are plenty of ongoing, online conversations questioning whether or not you should attend a convention alone. We say YES! Go and enjoy yourself. There is no denying there is safety in numbers, but there is nothing wrong with going to a convention alone. You should absolutely talk to strangers! Have fun! Make some new friends!

Road trippin’.

First of all, remember: If this is a “road trip” for you, know that your vehicle will make it there (and back). You know how we always say to break in your shoes before coming to con? You should also give your car, cat-bus, hovercraft, or Go-Go-Gadget copter the once-over about a week before the convention. Keep a break-down plan that doesn’t require you to have a charged phone battery.

But when you get there? You’re at con! Your job is to have fun, enjoy yourself, make new friends, and tell everyone you know about how awesome the con is. Generally speaking, conventions are very safe environments. They’re usually indoors, self-contained, with plenty of friendly staff and helpful folks.

If you’re part of a group but choose to split off and do your own thing, it does make some sense to have regular check-ins scheduled with your group. Maybe it’s a simple phone call. Maybe it’s an agreement to check in at midnight or something. But for safety’s sake, this small measure remains a good idea.

Similarly, if you’ve come to the con solo, it makes some sense to have a periodic check-in with someone back home. A family member or a friend. You don’t like your family and you have no friends? Okay, how about a neighbor? Your neighbors are jerks? Alright then, a co-worker. You don’t work? Then how about your third grade math teacher?

Seriously, there’s an app for that.

At the con, a little situational awareness certainly helps. This can be hard at conventions, because as the Cheshire Cat once said, “We’re all a little bit mad here.” Each Fandom has its own quirks, so how do you know who is trouble? Trust your instincts. Exercise the same caution that you would if you were out at a bar. If a situation doesn’t feel right to you, politely excuse yourself and get to a safer place. Know how to recognize con staffers and where to get help. The UsagiMed station is always a “safe space” for everyone.