November 2012
Blog

November 2012 posts

What is maintenance therapy in lung cancer and is it for everyone?

Is there benefit to give additional treatment beyond 4-6 cycles of first line therapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (85% of lung cancer in the US)? Watch the video below:

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Swedish’s First Hill and Ballard Campuses Awarded an ‘A’ for Patient Safety by Hospital Safety Score

SEATTLE, Nov. 28, 2012 – Swedish Medical Center’s First Hill and Ballard campuses were honored today with an ‘A’ Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. The A score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety Score – the A, B, C, D or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families.

Health Disparities and Breast Cancer

Just as all breast cancers are not alike, the impact of breast cancer is not the same for all women. African American women are less likely to get breast cancer than Caucasian women, but they are about 40% more likely to die of it when they do get it. African American women are also more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age than Caucasian women and to have more advanced cancers at diagnosis.

There appear to be multiple reasons for these disparities - including cultural beliefs / misperceptions about screening and cancer; lack of access to screening; inequities in healthcare delivery and treatment; concerns about being exposed to racism by healthcare institutions; and biological differences in the cancers themselves.

Let’s look at some of these more closely.

  • Cultural beliefs / misperceptions about ....

In-Room Massages for New Moms Come to Swedish/Issaquah

For many of us, a massage is a reward we give ourselves after a stressful week or while on a dream vacation. However, what about a massage after one of life’s most physical – and often painful – events: childbirth.

Childbirth is always unpredictable, but postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be. A postnatal massage service (Postnatal Body Therapy™ by Bavia™) is now available at the Swedish/Issaquah campus...

Holidays at the Hospital (Swedish Issaquah) December 1

Bring the family and get into the holiday spirit at the Swedish/Issaquah Holidays at the Hospital. There’s something for everyone: a pancake breakfast, pictures with Santa, and lots of kids’ activities. Holiday cheer awaits you at the hospital on December 1 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Event features:

  • Pancake Breakfast
    $5 per person, $20 per family of six (infants are free)
    A portion of the proceeds supports Pediatrics at Swedish
  • Visit with Santa & Free Photos
    Come get a free photo with St. Nick and decorate a keepsake frame.
  • Teddy Bear Clinic
    Have your kids bring their favorite teddy bear or doll to our "Teddy Bear Clinic" for a check-up.
  • Giant Gingerbread House
    Kids can help decorate our giant gingerbread house.
  • Ask-the-Doc
    Our experts will be here to answer any questions you have.
  • Face Painting
    Our face-painting elf offers some cool designs.
  • Book Drive
    We will be accepting new or used books for ages 0-18 years for our pediatric patients.

Saturday, Dec. 1
9 a.m.-noon
Swedish/Issaquah
751 N.E. Blakely Dr.
Issaquah, WA 98029

(Click here to download a PDF flyer.)

Vision Problems and Pituitary Tumors

Nearly everyone notices vision problems, especially as you get older. In the great majority of cases, this is simply due to changes in the focusing capacity of the lens, and the solution is wearing glasses. However, it isn’t safe to assume that this is always the case. It’s important to have your eyes examined by a trained professional to determine whether something more serious is affecting the eye or the vision nerve. 

In the video below you’ll learn about something I commonly see in my practice – vision loss from a tumor of the pituitary gland that is putting pressure on the vision nerves. This type of vision loss typically reduces the peripheral vision to either side. This can be diagnosed by a test at the eye doctor called Visual Fields. As in this case, a relatively simple operation can reverse the vision problem before it becomes permanent. The key is early diagnosis. If you notice that your peripheral vision is affected, ask your eye doctor to check visual fields.

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Sudden Hearing Loss - What causes it, and what you should know

Sudden hearing loss is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention. As the name suggests, there is typically no warning, nor is there any way to predict who is at risk. Sudden hearing loss affects about 4000 new cases per year in the United States. It can affect one or both ears. Tinnitus and a feeling of fullness in the ear(s) often accompany the hearing loss.

In all cases, each patient needs to be seen by both an Audiologist and an ENT/Otologist. After taking a history and looking in the patient’s ears to assure that there is no wax causing the problem; a battery of audiometric tests is performed. The purpose of the testing is to determine the degree of the hearing loss and also to determine whether the sudden loss is due to malfunction of the hearing nerve or a problem in the middle ear. Hearing loss due to a problem in the hearing nerve or cochlea is called “sensorineural” and a loss that is caused by a problem in the middle ear is called “conductive.” You can also have a combination of the two, which is called a “mixed loss”. Different medical treatments are used for each of these types of hearing loss.

(Click here for more about the anatomy of the ear.)

After the hearing testing is completed, and it is determined that the patient has sensorineural hearing loss, the patient is seen by the Physician for assessment and a treatment plan. Treatment often involves steroids, either taken orally or via an injection through the eardrum or both. This treatment is often repeated. During that time, it is important to have serial audiograms to follow any possible changes in hearing thresholds and/or speech discrimination ability.

What is the cause of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL)?

It can be caused ....

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