September 2011

September 2011 posts

David Newell, M.D., co-authors cover article in Journal of Neurosurgery

David Newell, M.D., neurosurgeon and co-executive director of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI), co-authored the cover article in the September Journal of Neurosurgery on the results of a study using ultrasound for the treatment of brain hemorrhage. The study involved 33 patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage who were screened for inclusion in a SNI clinical study known as “SLEUTH” (Safety of Lysis with Ultrasound in the Treatment of Intracerebral and Intraventricular Hemorrhage). Read the abstract and full text of the article. Read background information on the study. Watch a related video on WebMD.

You deserve 30 a day

Our lives are full. In the new era of having our smart phones with us 24/7, increased work demands due to the economy, competitive parenting and little free time, how are we expected to find 30 minutes a day to get exercise? It’s not easy, but our bodies are craving it.

The American Heart Association reports that getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week prevents the development of coronary artery disease. There is also evidence that exercise reduces the risk of other chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, breast cancer and colon cancer.

So, we know we SHOULD get physical activity, and it is justifiable to feel as though we are too busy due to so many demands. It’s not easy to find 30 minutes, but think of it as YOUR 30 minutes every day. Movement allows you to clear your head, getting outside gives your perspective and you’ll not only feel better, you will sleep better and be able to enjoy your retirement that much more.

Let’s take the working mom:

Your Multidisciplinary Surgical Care Team

It can be overwhelming and confusing to have numerous professionals involved in your care when you undergo surgery. Your surgeon, also known as the “attending” surgeon, oversees your total care when you have surgery. In addition to your attending surgeon you will encounter many different people during your hospitalization who are invested in your care. The following is meant to familiarize you with professionals you may encounter during your hospital experience.

Your Surgical Team

Thoracic Surgeons, Fellows, and Residents

We take pride and are highly invested in teaching at Swedish. As part of this dedication to teaching we (the Thoracic Surgery team at Swedish) participate in an accredited training program for thoracic and esophageal “fellows”. Our fellows are surgeons seeking additional advanced surgical instruction in this specialized field of thoracic and esophageal surgery.

Swedish has a robust surgical residency training program which includes time spent on our service. There is always a senior surgical resident assigned to our team involved in the daily care of our patients.

During your hospitalization and follow-up care you will routinely encounter the attending surgeon, fellow, and resident daily. In the event that your attending surgeon is away, your care will be directed by one of our other thoracic surgical attending physicians.

Interventional Pulmonologist

Our Thoracic Surgery team also includes an airway specialist (Interventional Pulmonologist) who understands complex airway problems and specializes in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat patients with cancer, airway disorders, and pleural disease. This specialist collaborates closely with our Thoracic Surgery team, a team of medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists to improve the care of our patients.

Thoracic Surgery Nurses

Nurses at the bedside are integral in our care delivery during your hospitalization. We value the twenty-four hour expert care that our specially trained nurses offer and work closely with them to provide you a positive experience.

Thoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioners

Our team also includes two expert nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners are nurses who have graduate level training in specific areas of adult and acute care medicine. These nurse practitioners work closely with the surgeons and nursing staff in your overall care management, educate you about your health condition(s), and work with you in managing health concerns following surgery. They facilitate your transition of care to home and support you in the early post-operative period.

Additional Support Professionals

We commonly call on the expertise and help of other health care professionals while you are in the hospital, such as:


Many of our patients come to us in a compromised health state. We will often consult with our nutritionists for their recommendations and approaches to provide you with the nutritional support required to improve your nutritional state and support your recovery.

Physical and Occupational Therapists

Physical and occupational therapists are vital in the care of our patients. They provide assessments and recommendations for rehabilitation and work with us to restore your physical and functional capacity following surgery.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists are also extraordinarily vital in the care of our patients. They work hard to assess and maintain pulmonary hygiene and optimize your breathing status following surgery.

We believe that by incorporating a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals into your surgical care we can offer you the continuity and quality of care that you deserve.

Do you have questions about multidisciplinary health care teams? Or, have you ever experienced multidisciplinary care teams? Please share your experiences and questions with us.


 The 10th Anniversary of 9/11 happens on Sunday. There will be much coverage in the news and online. As parents, we need to be prepared for questions and we might need to censor how much exposure our children receive about the events on 9/11/01.

How do you find health information online?

Some people prefer to read. Some prefer to listen. And some watch videos.

Based on our YouTube channel, we know that many people find videos to be a helpful resource to learn more about their health, diseases, conditions, treatments, meet their physicians and more.

For example, Dr. Ludlam’s videos on the pituitary gland and some related diseases and conditions are some of our most viewed videos (after the flash mob and robotic videos):





We'd love to hear from you. How do you prefer to get your health information online?


Happy Labor Day (and thank you to our employees)

For those who have the day off today, we hope you enjoy it! While Labor Day is traditionally celebrated as a day off of work for many people, remember that it shouldn’t be a day to forget your health:

Labor Day is also a great day to acknowledge and thank our employees for their tireless work year-round on behalf of our patients. To all of our employees - thank you for all that you do!

Lunchbox Battles

In order to be successful in school, our children need fuel. School lunches can be tough. We have to balance what is healthy and what our child will eat. There’s also the distraction factor.  They have 20 minutes and a cafeteria or gym full of other kids who are all talking and eating.  The distraction is enough to delay nutritional intake past the time when lunch is over. (To see what I'm talking about, Try to fit in a lunchtime visit to your child’s school sometime. Prearranged with your child and the office. You'll be amazed.)

So, we need something tasty and quick and easy to prepare, but nutritionally sound and easy for our kids to eat quickly.

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