November 2012

November 2012 posts

How to stay hydrated - and why we should drink more water

When people think of the Pacific Northwest, they often think of rain. Especially during non-summer months, water never seems to be in short supply in our region. So it seems strange that many of us aren’t getting as much water as our bodies need.

Every cell and tissue in your body needs water to survive and without it, you could be left high and dry. Thirst is the first sign that your body is dehydrated which means we should be drinking water even before we think we need it.

What are other signs of dehydration?

Patients who inspire

We are living and working in a dynamic time for healthcare. New and exciting therapies are being developed and technology allows us to successfully, safely and effectively treat patients who previously would have died. However, we also face many challenges – such as a significant number of our patients who remain uninsured or underinsured.

And yet, there are a lot of things about the delivery of healthcare that separate it from being just a job, a source of income or a place to which to go every day. We assist, treat and care for patients and often times, become inspired by the people with whom we have regular contact. The sources of that inspiration are many and often include colleagues, ancillary staff and our patients.

The source of inspiration can be subtle and come unexpectedly. Such an instance happened to me just last week. I was asked to see a gentleman to evaluate an arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) on his left arm which he uses four or five times a week for hemodialysis.

For those who don’t know, kidney failure is a very difficult problem to manage. When one gets to end stage kidney failure, dialysis treatment is necessary to stay alive.. One of the more common forms of access to the bloodstream for hemodialysis is to surgically connect a patient’s artery to a vein. This connection is usually done in the arm, and, when it functions properly, provides a high flow, superficial access site for fairly large needles which allow for blood to be taken out of the body and then, once cleansed, returned safely back into the body.

As I frequently try to do, I scanned the patient’s problem list in his electronic medical record so I would have at least some idea about his overall medical condition before the appointment. With a mental picture of a chronically ill and obese patient in mind, I entered the exam room to find a very fit looking gentleman waiting for me. I thought I had the wrong room...

Swedish Issaquah ER Receives National Recognition for Patient Satisfaction

ISSAQUAH, WASH., Nov. 21, 2012 – When people think of an emergency room (ER) the words ‘patient satisfaction’ are probably not the first that come to mind. However, at the Swedish Issaquah ER patient satisfaction is a top priority – and now the facility has been nationally recognized for its work in this area.

Swedish Administrator Marcel Loh Receives 2012 Regent's Award from Washington State Hospital Association

SEATTLE, Nov. 20, 2012 - At the recently completed Washington State Hospital Association Annual meeting, Marcel Loh, chief executive, Swedish Suburban Hospitals and Affiliates, received the 2012 Senior Level American College of Healthcare Executives Regent's Award.

Swedish Pediatrics to Host Annual Holidays at The Hospital Community Event Dec. 2

SEATTLE, Nov. 20, 2012 - Swedish Pediatrics is hosting its third-annual Holidays at The Hospital event for their patients, families, friends and the community at large. This free and festive holiday celebration will be held Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1-4 p.m. in the 1101 Madison Medical Tower lobby on the Swedish/First Hill campus in Seattle.

Help! My lung cancer is progressing after a great response on targeted therapy. Now what?





GERD: Something not to be thankful for at Thanksgiving

It is that time of the year when we get together with family and friends at Thanksgiving to eat heaping platefulls of turkey with greasy gravy, green bean casserole and rich pumpkin pie with whipped cream. How about seconds! This can be a difficult scenario for someone with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People with GERD may be bothered with very troublesome symptoms after ingesting large amounts of rich food.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, as it is commonly called, is a condition where you are bothered by burning chest pain behind their breast bone. This commonly occurs after meals or during the night. You also may experience regurgitation of gastric contents up into the throat, causing coughing and difficulty breathing. It may be common for many people who usually do not have GERD problems to have some GERD symptoms following a large Thanksgiving meal. Other people, however, may have these symptoms on a much more frequent basis.

What causes GERD?

With the swallowing process, food ...

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