May 2012

May 2012 posts

Risk-y Business

Risk is not a four letter word. Well, technically it is. But the point being “risk” does not have to be scary or taboo. Regardless of your age or how healthy you look or feel, we all have “risk factors” and they are as unique as our fingerprints. It’s what we do about our risk factors that matters most.

“Risk” is one way to measure how likely it is that you will experience a heart attack, cancer, stroke, diabetes or any number of things. But what are risk factors, you might wonder?

  • Demographics: Age, for instance, can put you at a higher risk for some diseases.
  • Behavior: Some habits can increase your risk. Are you a smoker? Smoking ups your risk for just about every nasty disease you’d ever want to avoid.

  • History: Your family history (genetics) sometimes plays a role in your risk for disease. Also, if you have a history of high blood pressure, for example, you are at a higher risk for stroke.

  • Body changes: Certain changes in our bodies make us more prone to disease. For example, during menopause when the chemicals in women’s bodies change, they are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones).

The first step to managing risk is knowing your own risk factors—how your personal demographics, behavior, history and body changes can affect your health. Take a quick, free quiz to figure out your risk for:

What’s So Primary about Primary Care?

With medicine divided into so many specialties nowadays, it may seem like the era of family medicine and the yearly doctor’s visit are long gone. Now we have the internet to diagnose us so we can just go straight to the specialist that can fix us, right? But there is still value in the annual doctor’s visit besides just the lollipop you might get on your way out the door.

The doctor’s office is no longer just the place to go when you’re sick. In fact, people who go for regular check-ups are less likely to get sick! Our bodies are like cars and primary care doctors are our own personal mechanics. Your car’s engine will run better and you’ll likely experience fewer nasty surprises if you get your oil checked regularly and the same goes for your body.

Primary care providers come in many shapes and sizes—family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine, etc.—and each one is a gatekeeper to your optimum health and wellbeing. Like a mechanic, during your yearly check-up, your primary care provider can:

When to get a second opinion

Dr. Carl Janzen and Dr. Mark Kasper discuss the importance of seeking a second opinion as well as when and why they can be most valuable:

Swedish Set to Open Comprehensive True Family Women’s Cancer Center

SEATTLE – May 29, 2012 – Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) is set to open its new True Family Women’s Cancer Center to patients on Tuesday, June 5. Carefully designed with the female cancer patient in mind, the new 23,600-square-foot women’s cancer center gives Swedish Cancer Institute the ability to consolidate most of its services for treating women’s cancers into one facility. The new center acts as a treatment hub where women are guided through personalized and coordinated multidisciplinary treatment of their cancer, including disease-specific education and holistic support activities.

June 1 CME: Acute Care Neurology and Neurosurgery

Join us this Friday for the Acute Care Neurology and Neurosurgery: From the ER to the OR to the NCCU course at Swedish Cherry Hill. After completion of this course, participants will be better able to evaluate and manage acute care issues in hospitalized neurological and neurosurgical patients. This course will provide a framework for recognition and management of commonly encountered problems in acute care neurology and neurosurgery.

This course is intended for any clinician caring for acutely ill neurological and neurosurgical patients and will be particularly beneficial to adult hospitalists, nocturnists, pulmonologists, emergency medicine physicians and advanced practice clinicians.


Hospitalist medicine is a rapidly growing discipline. Hospital-based specialists have emerged in a number of disciplines, including neuroscience. However, there remain a limited number of specialty providers available for 24-hour hospital coverage of neurological and neurosurgical patients. Night and weekend care of these patients is often provided by internists or hospitalists. Hence, there is a need to train internists and hospitalists in the recognition and management of commonly-encountered issues in acute-care neurology and neurosurgery.

How to avoid and care for cuts

It happens so quickly. You’re innocently chopping up vegetables for dinner when you find yourself on the receiving end of a cut — ouch! “Cuts are very common,” says Steven Rittenberg, M.D., who specializes in Internal Medicine at the Swedish Issaquah Primary Care Clinic. “However, there are some practical ways to prevent them, and some specific steps for treating them that can save you a trip to the doctor.”

Avoiding The “Ouch!”

Preventing cuts in the home is largely common sense, but life gets busy and we get careless, so here are a few reminders:

  • Keep knives sharp. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, a sharp knife slides more easily through an item avoiding a slip that may cut something you didn’t intend to cut, like your finger.
  • Pay attention. Resist the temptation to become distracted while using a knife.
  • Cut away from, not toward, yourself.
  • Don’t hold food that you are cutting; use a cutting board.
  • Don’t leave knives in dangerous places — loose in a drawer, in the sink, on the counter or facing up in the dishwasher — especially if you have children.
  • When handing someone a knife or sharp scissors, hold the flat part of the knife blade or closed blades of the scissors so they can grasp the handle.
  • Don’t pick up broken glass; sweep or vacuum it up thoroughly.

Treating It Right

When a cut does occur, the proper treatment will help to avoid infection or other complications:

Swedish to Host OB Speed Dating Session at Edmonds Campus June 7


EDMONDS, WASH., May 25, 2012 -- If you’re pregnant or thinking about having a baby, finding the right doctor is a pretty good place to start this incredible journey. When you come to OB Speed Dating, you’ll get the chance to meet six different doctors who deliver at Swedish Edmonds and get to know them in a fun, low-key environment.

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