February 2014
Blog

February 2014 posts

Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Sign Up

Swedish/Issaquah is offering free, in-person assistance for anyone who wants to sign up for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act.  Those interested can attend the session between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday, February 24 on the Swedish/Issaquah campus in the Knowledge Room located on the 2nd Floor, 751 N.E. Blakely Dr. Issaquah, WA 98029.

In person assisters will be on hand to help guide people through the registration process.

If you are interested but cannot attend, schedule an individual appointment by calling (206) 386-6996.

What to do for a sudden change in your hearing

Sudden hearing loss is a condition that warrants you seeking medical management immediately.  If you notice a drastic change in your hearing, don’t assume its wax or fluid in your ear. It could be wax or fluid but it also may be a sudden hearing loss; either way you will likely benefit from medical treatment.

Sudden changes in hearing can happen overnight or over a few days and can be accompanied by loud ringing in the ear (tinnitus), dizziness/vertigo and/or fullness or pressure in the same ear.  They typically will occur in one ear and in very rare cases will occur on both sides.

The National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports the incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss at approximately 4,000 new cases a year.  Sensorineural is a term used to denote hearing loss that occurs at the cochlea, the organ for hearing.

There are many causes of sudden hearing loss but it is  ...

Are you at risk for heart disease?

About half of all Americans have at least one of the three main risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. Other risk factors include diabetes, overweight/obesity, poor diet, inactivity, alcohol use and family history.

More people die from heart disease than any other medical condition. Controlling these risk factors is the most effective method of prevention.

What is your risk for heart disease? Find out by taking a free online Heart Risk Test.

If you need care, we have a team of cardiologists who can evaluate your risk, show you how to reduce that risk, and help you take the first steps to a healthy future.

Five tips for finding a cardiologist:

  1. Convenience. Care close to home or work makes life easier. Swedish has more than 35 cardiologists in 20 locations throughout the Greater Puget Sound area.

  2. Credentials. Cardiologists at Swedish are board certified by their national professional organizations.

  3. Quality. The American College of Cardiology has recognized Swedish cardiologists for being leaders in safe, high-quality care that reduces the risk of death among heart patients. Find out more about our quality outcomes.

  4. Reputation ...

Parent's guide to newborn testing, screening, and prevention measures

When picturing the first days of an infant’s life, what we look forward to the most is love. We express our love in so many ways: skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, swaddling and snuggling. 
 
Love also means keeping them safe. 
 
Advances in maternal-infant health are one of the greatest success stories of the 20th century, with a drop in the death rate of 99%. But some of those dangers only stay in the past through constant vigilance. Behind every screening test and preventive measure is a careful, research-driven rationale. Here are seven newborn tests, screenings, and prevention measures you should know about:
 
Vitamin K injection 
Vitamin K is vital for blood to clot properly. Newborns cannot make Vitamin K and it is poorly transferred in breast milk. Without this injection, babies are at risk for spontaneous bleeding from the umbilical cord, mucus membranes, even in the brain. Giving Vitamin K has greatly reduced this "hemorrhagic disease of the newborn," but rates are increasing as more parents refuse it. Oral Vitamin K has not been shown to prevent this potentially devastating disease. 
 
Hepatitis B vaccine
This is an anti-cancer vaccine. Before this vaccine existed, approximately 10,000 kids under age 10 contracted hepatitis B each year. Most had no known exposure to it. Kids are more likely than adults to get very sick and to have complications. Vaccination at birth has greatly reduced rates of pediatric liver cancer due to hepatitis B. 
 
Antibiotic eye ointment
This prevents bacterial eye infections. Some of these infections are associated with sexually transmitted bacteria, but not all of them are. Negative testing or a monogamous relationship does not ...

When a mole is more than a mole

As a general surgeon, I am often asked to evaluate a patient with an abnormal mole (pigmented nevus) or one that has been biopsied, revealing a premalignant or malignant growth.  It is not uncommon for the patient to tell me they either were totally unaware of the lesion or dismissed changes in the lesion over time. 

All skin cancers are not alike, and melanoma, a malignant cancer of pigmented skin cells (melanocytes), is by far the most dangerous of the group, accounting for over 75% of skin cancer deaths in the United States.  This amounts to about 48,000 melanoma related deaths world wide per year. 

Found early, when the lesion is superficial and small, cure rates are high, but as the cancer progresses, it invades deeper into the skin, and becomes far more likely to spread far from where it started.  It is for this reason that  ...

Pivotal time for chronic hepatitis C treatment

An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the US are chronically infected with hepatitis C.*  Patients are often diagnosed incidentally, when they donate blood, get life insurance or get a routine physical exam with blood tests showing normal or abnormal liver enzymes.  They may have been diagnosed many years ago with non-A, non-B hepatitis, but forgot about it, never followed up, or did not mention it to their regular health care provider.  In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued additional recommendations to start screening “Baby Boomers,” those born between 1945-1965.  Though Baby Boomers account for 3.25% of the US population, they account for 3/4 of the hepatitis C infections.*

Patients may have seen a health care provider in the past and told that there is no treatment, that treatments were not effective, or not worthwhile due to side effects.  Patients have been reluctant to seek treatment because they have heard about the terrible side effects associated with treatment, including flu-like symptoms, fatigue, depression, muscle aches, rashes, etc, lasting up to a year. 

However, this is a pivotal time for hepatitis C patients because treatment has improved by leaps and bounds.  In late 2013, two ...

Dr. Rayburn Lewis Named Chief Executive of Swedish/Issaquah

News Release
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 10                                                            
 
Contacts: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org
 

SEATTLE – Swedish/Cherry Hill Chief Operating Officer Rayburn Lewis, M.D., has been named the new chief executive of Swedish/Issaquah. He will begin work in his new role on Feb. 10 and replaces retiring Swedish/Issaquah Chief Executive Chuck Salmon.
 
“I am honored to be charged with the responsibility of leading one of the newest and highest quality hospitals in the entire region,” Dr. Lewis said. “Our focus will continue to be on building the strongest, healthiest communities across Issaquah and East King County.”

Dr. Lewis, a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been a member of Swedish’s medical staff since 1984, brings to his new executive role a wealth of leadership experience from across the Swedish system.

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