2013

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Bellingham Herald Profiles Dr. Mark Reisman, First MitraClip Surgery in Washington

December 31, 2013

The Bellingham Herald recently published an interview with Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute’s Mark Reisman, M.D., as well as his patient Mavis Arfman, recipient of the first MitraClip heart valve device in Washington state. Arfman is a resident of Bellingham.

Happy Holidays - Not

December 28, 2013

I will never forget my first holiday season as an internal medicine resident in Spokane, WA. I learned that the holidays are a nightmare for the medicine service, especially the GI service. Many people don't take their medication during the holidays. The GI service is the worst in that patients with liver disease often drink more and develop major bleeding in their gut. People are depressed and the stress of the holidays puts them over the edge.

We had a resident’s clinic once a week. One of my favorite patients was an 80 year-old gentleman who was as nice of a person as you could meet. He had some moderate lung disease but otherwise was fairly healthy. He was admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve with respiratory failure. It did not make sense to any of us, as his lung disease was not that severe. We had a whole team working intensely to solve the puzzle. It did not matter. He died two days later. During the course of the hospitalization I found out that his son who lived in Seattle had not invited him over for Christmas and he had become despondent. I have since learned that the will to die is as strong as the will to live.

Swedish Notifies Patients of Omitted Step in Infection Control Process

December 21, 2013

On Dec. 20, Swedish notified 27 patients treated in the same day surgery unit of its First Hill hospital that one of the four steps in an infection prevention protocol for a piece of equipment used in a prostate-related procedure was omitted. Infection control has determined the omission occurred over a three-month period. Because the other steps in the protocol were properly followed, Swedish believes the risk of infection is extremely low. Out of an abundance of caution for our patients, we have directly notified each of them and recommended they receive appropriate testing and evaluation services.

New options for genetic testing in pregancy

December 18, 2013

Congratulations! You just found out you are pregnant and so many things start going through your mind. When you’re not dry heaving or completely exhausted you start planning for your exciting future but in the back of your mind you wonder… how do I know everything is okay with my baby?

We are entering an exciting time in the field of obstetrics that involves less invasive and more accurate options for genetic testing in pregnancy. ACOG, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommends that all women, regardless of maternal age, be offered prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities.

For quite sometime our options for this testing have been somewhat stagnant. We have offered noninvasive risk profiling that involves a mixture of blood tests and ultrasounds at various times in the first and second trimesters to help evaluate the baby’s risk for Down syndrome or other lethal chromosomal abnormalities. Depending on how these tests are processed, the sensitivity ranges from 80-95% with about a 5% false positive rate. They are fairly accurate at identifying babies at higher risk, but can have false positive results (meaning an abnormal result followed by more invasive testing that shows normal results but of course this causes a lot of worry for the patient).

Am I Operating on Your Pain or Anxiety?

December 17, 2013

I have noticed this year that many patients with significant structural anatomic problems will improve or resolve their symptoms without surgery after engaging in a self-directed structured approach. It appears that as the nervous system calms down that the pain threshold rises.

Surgical decision-making

The barometer I use before I help patients make the final decision about whether to have surgery is whether they are sleeping well and their anxiety levels have dropped under a 5 on a scale of 10. My experience with performing surgery on a patient with a “fired up” nervous system has consistently been less than satisfactory. Pain control is difficult and even the longer-term results are marginal. There is often still a significant amount of residual pain.

Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute Earns Highest National Ranking

December 16, 2013

Three-star rating awarded for exceptional cardiac surgery by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts

Clay Holtzman, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org

SEATTLE — Dec. 17, 2013 — Swedish announced today that its Cardiac Surgery Program has been awarded a “three-star” rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). A longstanding surgical leader in the Pacific Northwest, Swedish earned the top honor in coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), aortic valve replacement surgery (AVR), as well as simultaneous surgery involving both procedures (AVR/CABG). 

Swedish is among only 23 hospitals (or the top 2 percent of hospitals) across the country to achieve these quality metrics. Results are based on clinical outcomes of nearly 1,000 cardiac surgery programs, representing approximately 90 percent of all cardiac surgery centers in the United States.

Taking the Mystery Out of Robotic Surgery

December 12, 2013

Robots? Surgery?

The da Vinci® Surgical System is not an R2-D2™ or C-3PO™ robot. It is technology that helps surgeons perform delicate operations. Robotic surgery got its name because the surgeon does not directly hold the surgical instruments.

Robotic surgery is minimally invasive. It allows a surgeon to operate through several tiny incisions, rather than one large incision.

“Robotic surgery instruments are flexible. They mimic the surgeon’s hands and wrists,” says Julie LaCombe, M.D., a surgeon with Athena Urology and Urogynecology who performs robotic surgery at Swedish/Issaquah. “After we place the instruments in the body, we control their movements from the console. We can be very precise because we have a 3-D view inside the body.”

Swedish, Project Access Northwest collaboration featured on New Day Northwest

December 12, 2013

King 5’s New Day Northwest program yesterday profiled the collaboration between the Swedish Orthopedic Institute, Project Access Northwest and others to support the nationwide campaign Operation Walk.

Operation Walk provides uninsured or underinsured patients with access to free, life-changing orthopedic surgeries such as hip and knee replacements. The Operation Walk collaboration was the first of its kind in Seattle and provided services for 11 patients last week.

In the program, Swedish Orthopedic Institute Medical Director Dr. James Crutcher, and Project Access Northwest Executive Director Sallie Neillie, discuss the collaboration, surgical details and how much patients have benefited from their surgeries.

The segment also featured a health panel featuring Dr. Crutcher that took audience questions.

Swedish Medical Center Foundation Receives $10.1 Million Gift from The Robert and Jean Reid Family Foundation

December 11, 2013

With its largest gift, the Campaign for Swedish surpasses $128 million

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org

SEATTLE – Dec. 11, 2013 – The Swedish Medical Center Foundation announced today that it is receiving a gift of $10.1 million from the estate of Robert and Jean Reid that will support advanced cancer and cardiac care at Swedish. Funds from the gift will be distributed to the Swedish Foundation over many years through The Robert and Jean Reid Family Foundation.

The gift — the largest made during the $100 million Campaign for Swedish — will help to establish a core component of the Swedish Cancer Institute’s (SCI) Personalized Medicine Program: The Robert and Jean Reid Family Innovative Therapeutics & Research Unit. The Reid Family Innovative Therapeutics & Research Unit will aim to evolve cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment through advanced clinical research. For example, Swedish will test patient genes to better understand how a cancerous tumor might respond to a specific treatment. This is one step toward personalizing treatments and improving patients’ lives and outcomes.

PSBJ covers physician compensation shift

December 11, 2013

A recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal covers shifts in Swedish's physician compensation model. Click here to read the story.

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