December 2011
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December 2011 posts

Whooping cough and the TdaP vaccine

There has been a recent outbreak of pertussis, a disease also commonly known as whooping cough, around the country. In the state of WA there have been 58 infants less than 1 year of age diagnosed with whooping cough; among these cases, 22 were hospitalized and 2 have died.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is particularly severe in infants. . It is an infection of the airways caused by bacteria. More than half of infants younger than 1 year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized

In infants and children, the disease usually begins with runny nose, low grade fever, and mild cough that last for about 7-10 days. The cough usually worsens and infants may develop bursts of numerous rapid coughs. These bursts of cough are accompanied by sweating, facial flushing, and sometimes vomiting. With this disease, about 1 in 5 infants may develop pneumonia, about 1 in 100 will have seizures, and in rare cases whooping cough can lead to death.

Adults and adolescents also acquire this infection but do not have as a prolonged course as infants.
They usually have a prolonged, persistent cough that is often confused with acute bronchitis.

Whooping cough is most contagious before the coughing starts. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent the disease. 2 vaccines are available – the childhood vaccine is called DTaP vaccine and the booster vaccine for adolescent and adults is called the TdaP vaccine. Although both these vaccines protect against Pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria, the immune response can fade with time.

It is important as parents and caregivers that we are all immunized in order to prevent the spread of the disease to infants and children, who are most vulnerable. The vaccine recommendations are as follows:

Four Nurses from Swedish Earn The DAISY Foundation Award for Extraordinary Patient Care

It's Snow Laughing Matter

Winter’s here and just a little more than a week away will be winter break for most of our kids. If we’re lucky enough we’ll get a chance to get out and play in the snow.

Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or a good old-fashioned snowball fight sound like a family memory waiting to happen. Let’s make sure it’s happy memories we’re creating not a regretful ones.

Most parents these days grew up in the time where we didn’t wear helmets when riding bikes much less on the slopes, but what we know now about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) will make you think twice about sliding off the ski lift without one on.

Lickety-Split Pea Soup

Take the chill off with this great cold-weather recipe. It’s a good use for the frozen peas—and any other veggies—in your freezer. Make a batch on the weekend to have ready for simple week-night meals. Serve with a wedge of hard cheese and slice of dark bread—or a simple green salad. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 10 ounce packages frozen (no salt added) peas
  • 3 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • Optional garnish: dollop of nonfat yogurt or sour cream with a sprinkle of dill weed

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil. Sauté onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and rosemary until tender.
  2. Add broth, Worcestershire, peas, and potatoes. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  3. Puree the soup in a blender.
  4. Reheat and serve.

Per serving: 306 calories, 15 gm protein, 52 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 gm fiber, 313 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Instead of dill, you can use chopped mint, parsley, or other herbs. For meat lovers, add diced ham as a topping. Peas are a very good source of dietary fiber. Potatoes are high in vitamins A, B, C, and potassium. One ounce of reduced fat cheddar cheese adds only 48 calories and 2 grams of fat.

Lemon-Mint Tabouli with Pan-Seared Salmon

A great dish in hot and cold weather, the flavors are warm and the mint is cooling. It’s easy to make extra tabouli for lunches later in the week. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups mint, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ripe tomato, ¼ inch diced
  • 1 pound salmon filets, skin-on, cut into 4 portions
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Place bulgur in a small bowl and add ¾ cup boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Fluff up with a fork after the water is completely absorbed.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, and black pepper. Stir in garlic, parsley, mint, onion and tomato. Add bulgur and mix well.
  3. Season flesh side of salmon filet with a sprinkle of pepper. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add fillets flesh side down and sear for 4 minutes and then turn over and cook another 4 minutes until fish is barely translucent in the center. Serve over the top of the tabouli.

Per serving: 393 calories, 31g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 18g fat, 3g sat fat, 10g mono fat, 51mg cholesterol, 11g fiber, 253mg sodium

The Seasoned Cook Chicken and pork partner well with this fiber-rich whole grain. It’s easy to overcook fish: Plan on just 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness, or when the middle is still a bit shiny. It will continue to cook off the heat.

It's always a season of caring

Talking about end of life is never easy and usually occurs when everything else has been tried. When making the shift from cure to comfort you want people who know how to make this part of life’s journey as supportive as possible. The compassionate care team at Swedish Hospice can help make the remaining time of a loved one’s life rich with dignity and compassion.

There can be a misperception that being on hospice means giving up. However, hospice care can actually improve the quality of life and perhaps even prolong the lives of some people receiving hospice care.

The care team works with doctors and hospitals, assesses care needs and coordinates insurance coverage – all in addition to addressing patient and family needs. They help the patient understand their illness and what care options might be available. The care team also makes the patient’s wishes a priority and assures they get the care they want and deserve.

Swedish provides services in pain management, symptom control, psycho-social support, home health aides for personal care, comfort therapies such as music and massage, volunteer support for caregivers and spiritual care to patients and families. All the necessary medicines and equipment needed to keep a patient comfortable can be brought right to the home, adult family home or skilled nursing facility.

What families say about hospice at Swedish:

“I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to witness your personal relationship with and interest in both of us.”

“I cannot thank you enough for the care and compassion you provided to my wife. Your staff brought her comfort and peace in the final days of her life.”

What people should know about hospice at Swedish:

Italian White Beans and Garlicky Swiss Chard

A lush combination of flavors teams with great nutrition for a double bonus dish. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Swiss chard or kale (about 1 bunch) rinsed and chopped
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in chard, broth and pepper flakes.
  4. Cover and cook over medium heat about 4 minutes or until chard is wilted and crisp-tender. Add beans and heat through.
  5. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar, if desired.

Per serving: 189 calories, 11g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 6g total fat, 2g sat fat, 3g mono fat, 6mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 182mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK If choosing low-fat sausage (shown here), pick one with no more than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories—or try a vegetarian version.

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