May 2011
Blog

May 2011 posts

Questionable Hope for CCSVI in Multiple Sclerosis

Once again, multiple sclerosis patients’ area buzz over a new theory and treatment for the disease. The theory is called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI); and, this time, social media is driving the patient excitement.

CCSVI is based on a controversial idea that impaired venous drainage of the brain due to blockage in venous structures causes MS. Increase in venous pressure promotes leakage of blood across capillaries, with inflammation resulting from the iron deposition into the brain. In 2009 Paolo Zamboni, M.D., reported that virtually all MS patients in a study had abnormalities in the jugular or azygous veins, whereas no control patients had such findings. The Zamboni, or Liberation, procedure involves either angioplasty or stenting of the abnormal vein. Many MS patients are understandably enthusiastic about this theory and treatment.

There are, however, a number of problems with the CCSVI theory that patients and MS neurologists should consider.

 

Swedish Robotic-Assisted Surgical Program Grows, Continues to Gain Momentum

 

Specialty Dental Services now available for the uninsured at Swedish

What do you do if you don’t have insurance and need healthcare? The Swedish Community Specialty Clinic is here to help – and it is designed exclusively to treat low-income uninsured or underinsured patients.  We provide advanced medical care at no cost by volunteer specialists from Swedish and several other physician groups.

At Swedish Community Specialty Clinic, we:

  • Provide another resource for those who have no other options for specialized care.
  • Combine several existing and new services under one roof and improve care through innovations such as electronic health records.
  • Server as a dedicated space for volunteer physicians to meet with patients.
  • Include a support staff to help maintain physician schedules and set initial visits and follow-ups.

“The Specialty Clinic is a testament to Swedish’s commitment to serve the entire community,” says Swedish CEO  Dr. Rod Hochman. “We want to set a new standard in community health and clearly demonstrate that charity care is a core part of our non-profit mission, which continues even in a down economy.”

The clinic, which cares for patients with appointments on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., is located near advanced medical imaging facilities and other specialty-care professionals. We estimate more than 2,000 patients will be seen at the facility each year for dermatology, general surgery, hand surgery, orthopedics and podiatric surgery services.

Patients likely to use the new clinic:

Swedish Begins Patient Enrollment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Clinical Trial

 

A cyberbully is not a mean robot

Technology can be amazing, astounding and wonderful, but just as fantastic as it can be in the right hands, in the wrong hands it can be devastating, demoralizing, even destructive.

When our children are young, we teach them how to wield a fork safely at the dinner table and to not hit other kids during play-dates. We must also teach them how to harness the power of the internet for good. Learn to knit or tie knots; speak Spanish or play the guitar. Keeping up with friends and distant family on Facebook can be a lifesaver for the homesick. There are so many amazingly wonderful experiences that can be had on the internet.

Unfortunately, the dangerous sense of anonymity online can lead some to cruel and horrific activities resulting in unimaginable suffering for all involved. Children need guidance. Their brain is not as developed as an adult’s brain and we can’t expect them to think like an adult.

So, at what point have you taught, or will teach, your kids about cyberbullying?

Issaquah Links & Resources

 Here are some links and related resources for Swedish Issaquah:

Making a difference, one nurse at a time

I recently had the opportunity to 'meet' one of the many great nurses at Swedish, Sue Averill. I say 'meet' because while I'm currently blogging from Seattle, she's volunteering her time in Guatemala and serving as a medical coordinator for a Doctors Without Borders project. Sue and another great nurse, Staci Kelley, are both ER nurses at Swedish Cherry Hill, Ballard, and Mill Creek. They started a non-profit organization three years ago to help nurses become involved in volunteer work at home and abroad. They offer a free directory of organizations using nurse volunteers that can be sorted to match nursing interests and skills to the needs. They also offer scholarships to help offset trip costs for nurses volunteering on international missions. 

I had the opportunity to chat online with Sue while she was in Guatemala to learn more about "One Nurse At A Time" and her passion for volunteer nursing:

You work as a nurse in Seattle, caring for patients in Swedish's emergency departments. What made you think about volunteering your extra time as a nurse?

Sue: In 1999 a friend of mine was volunteering for Healing the Children and needed a Spanish speaking nurse to work recovery on a facial surgery team in Guatemala. I went and in one week, was hooked! I loved the work, the people, the process, the culture, the kids. I learned so much and gained far more than I gave. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done and by far, the most rewarding.



Sue Averill in Manila.

What sparked your interest in volunteering abroad? How did you find out about opportunities for nurses?

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