November 2013
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November 2013 posts

Inspiration in medical missions in Vietnam

I recently returned to volunteer in Vietnam for the first time in 13 years. On my first mission with One World Pediatric Care, I was still in nursing school, so I had limited clinical expertise, but being a native of Vietnam I was able to provide language skills and cultural knowledge to the team. I have fond memories of our team intro-ducing the Vietnamese doctors to Laparoscopy equipment and training them on its use. When we deprted, we left behind the Laparoscopy equipment. It was gratifying to return to Vietnam and find that Laparoscopy equipment is now readily available and in common use at Vietnamese hospitals and clinics.

This year, I joined a mission trip with Vietnam Health Clinic (VHC) from August 23-September 6. VHC is a student-led organization at the University of Washington dedicated to improving access to healthcare for underprivileged people in Vietnam, and recruits medical professionals to volunteer their services.  I joined ten medical physicians, two doctors of dentistry, one ophthalmologist and two optometrists to accompany the approximately 40 student organizers visiting small villages in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

In Vietnam, we traveled 2-3 hours by bus from Can Tho city to remote villages to provide care. Once in the villages, the student volunteers from VHC set up the mobile clinics; our mobile clinic was usually up and functioning an hour after we arrived.  We set up different stations such as vital signs area, triage area, vision check, pharmacy, public health area and doctors’ offices.

We often served well over 300 poor and uneducated villagers in some six-plus hours of clinic work. To qualify for care at our clinics, a person’s income had to be below 400.000 dong, or about $18 a month. Many took the day off to access free health care but worried that without pay that day their family would not be able to buy food.

Upon ...

Services Restored after Fire at Swedish/Edmonds

Rapid round-the-clock efforts allow Swedish/Edmonds to restore all services after a fire in electrical room knocked out power to some parts of the hospital

 

Edmonds, Wash. — November 27, 2013 — Swedish Edmonds today restored the last of services that were knocked out due to a fire in the hospital’s electrical room on November 21. The fire was under control within 30 minutes from when firefighters arrived and none of them were injured. One employee and two contractors were evaluated and treated for smoke inhalation that evening.

The fire damaged the main electrical lines preventing back-up power from reaching parts of the hospital. Immediately after the fire was extinguished, 40 percent of the facility had power. Today, 95 percent of the hospital has electricity. Swedish Edmonds continues to run 14 commercial generators.

“We are very fortunate that the response was swift and organized which allowed services to be restored safely and so quickly,” said David Jaffe, chief executive at Swedish Edmonds. “Fortunately, we only needed to move 35-40 patients to other parts of the hospital at the time of the fire. The entire Edmonds team did a remarkable job. During the incident, 11 emergency room patients were transferred to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and one OB patient in labor was transported to Swedish Ballard.”

The emergency department never closed but patients transported by ambulance were diverted to other facilities through Saturday evening.

Swedish, Project Access Northwest and Local Physicians Partner to Deliver Life-Changing Orthopedic Surgeries

Eleven uninsured patients receive knee, hip replacements from Swedish Orthopedic Institute and case management services from Project Access Northwest

SEATTLE — A first-time partnership between Swedish Orthopedic Institute, nonprofit Project Access Northwest and local physicians is giving 11 local patients life-changing orthopedic care as part of a nationwide campaign known as Operation Walk USA during the week of Dec. 2-7, 2013.

Painful joints, whether caused by chronic conditions such as arthritis, an injury, or a lifetime of wear and tear, can be a significant barrier to living a healthy and productive life. For many uninsured or underinsured patients, these conditions are a sentence to a lifetime of pain, frustration and dependency.

“The hip is so bad now that it’s difficult to walk, difficult to sleep,” said Gregory Arnold, Seattle resident and recipient of a right hip replacement. “I can hardly imagine what it will be like to be able to walk again. It will extend my life by years.”

How to treat PFS runner's knee

Patellofemoral pain constitutes a quarter of the injuries to the knee.  Kneecap pain can be both debilitating and frustrating; prolonged pain can limit physical activity and cause those suffering from it to abandon their recreational and sporting activities. 

Patellofemoral pain usually manifests as a gradual onset of pain around the edge or underneath the kneecap during physical activities.  Common activities such as descending hills or stairs, squatting, running, or sitting for long periods of time can all aggravate the pain and cause soreness. 

How your knee works

patellofemoral pain image from http://www.moveforwardpt.com/The knee joint is made up of three bones: the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), and the patella (kneecap).  The patellofemoral joint refers to the kneecap and the groove (trochlea) in the femur in which the patella sits.  The four muscles of the quadriceps all attach to the patella.  The patella is a sesamoid bone (the bone is embedded within the tendon) and it plays a crucial role in the function of the leg by lengthening the lever arm of the muscles and tendons of the quad to maximize power and function and by acting as a shield to protect the knee from direct trauma.  The cartilage covering the kneecap within the knee joint acts as a shock absorber, protecting the underlying bone from stress.  With running and jumping, the knee (and its overlying cartilage) can experience forces up to 8 times bodyweight.  The cartilage itself does not have a nerve supply, but the bone underneath has an extensive nerve supply and these nerves become painful when the cartilage is not functioning properly to pad and protect the bone.

In patellofemoral syndrome, or PFS (also known as runner’s knee), the cartilage undersurface of the patella become angry, inflamed, irritated, and the kneecap hurts.

How to treat PFS or runner’s knee

  1. Loosen things up.  Use a foam roller to roll out the quad muscle and the illiotibial (IT) band.  These tissues all hook into the kneecap and can contribute to pain when they are tight.
     
  2. Make things stronger.   In the early recovery period (the first several weeks when you are just starting out on your recovery journey) ....

Resources and social support for dealing with cancer

Here at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI), we understand that individuals cope in their own unique ways, and that receiving personalized education and support is important in the healing process. For this reason, the SCI is devoted to providing complementary supportive services for newly diagnosed patients, those undergoing treatment, and those who have completed treatment, as well as their caregivers.

The SCI offers programs that promote education, hope, and healing. Many of these programs are offered free of charge, while others are offered on a sliding scale. These integrated care programs include:

  • American Cancer Society Patient Navigation: The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator helps patients find resources related to financial assistance, transportation, access to wigs and prosthetics, and much more.
  • Art Therapy: Art therapy is a confidential, supportive, and individualized experience for examining health issues through visual and verbal self-exploration.
  • Cancer Rehabilitation: Cancer rehabilitation integrates medical management of cancer treatment-related side effects with a variety of exercise therapies.
  • Health Education: The Swedish Cancer Education Centers offer complementary educational materials, innovative learning opportunities, and patient education classes.
  • Genetic Counseling and Testing: Genetic testing is available for individuals to determine their risk for developing certain cancers.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy may help with cancer-related pain, fatigue and nausea.
  • Naturopathic Medicine: Combining modern science with natural remedies, naturopathic doctors are available for consultation and treat¬ment through coordination with the patient’s oncologist.
  • Nutrition Care Services: Nutritionists are available to help patients and caregivers make healthy dietary choices during cancer treatment.
  • Psychiatry: Psychiatrists help patients and caregivers maintain the emotional and mental well-being needed to cope with stresses of cancer.
  • Oncology Social Work: Licensed oncology social workers provide patients and caregivers ongoing counseling and assistance.
  • Support Groups: Support groups for patients and caregivers are offered weekly, creating an environment for people to share their feelings with others going through similar experiences. 

Patients often hear that it’s important to find a strong support system during and after treatment; this may include a partner, sibling, parent, child or close friend. These are ...

KOMO News reports on new FDA-approved device tested at Swedish

KOMO News has posted a story on the recent premarket approval by the Food & Drug Administration of a device designed to detect and treat epilepsy.

The story quotes Ryder Gwinn, M.D., medical director of the Swedish Neurosciences Institute Center for Neuromodulation and Functional Restoration

Testing on the NeuroPace device began in 2004 and was conducted throughout the United States, including the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. Today, Swedish is the only center in the Pacific Northwest approved to implant the device.

Read the full story on KOMOnews.com.

Media Alert: Thanksgiving Celebration for Local Families in the Hospital

The March of Dimes, Swedish Medical Center Foundation and Sorrento Hotel team up to deliver Thanksgiving meals to the NICU

 

WHAT: While most Seattle families spend this time of year preparing their annual Thanksgiving feast, for parents of premature babies still in the hospital, a holiday dinner is an afterthought. Tomorrow, November 26, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Sorrento Hotel will bring a delicious Thanksgiving meal to families spending the holiday with their babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Swedish/First Hill.

WHY: Families spending Thanksgiving in the hospital have babies born too soon or too ill to go home. A Thanksgiving meal gives them a moment to relax and enjoy the holiday during this stressful time. The event was made possible thanks to generous donations from former NICU Graduate Families and Sorrento Hotel in collaboration with the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program and the Swedish Foundation.

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