June 2017

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Pet therapy for kids in the hospital at Swedish

June 30, 2014
During most hospital stays, a patient can expect to be visited and cared for by doctors, nurses, therapists and even social workers.  But did you know that at Swedish, we not only have a wonderful team of caregivers to provide the most optimal health care and we also have additional beneficial services like pet therapy?

Pet therapy is a wonderful service that Swedish provides to all pediatric patients and families who are not on isolation precautions.  A trained handler escorts a certified pet therapy dog room to room, visiting patients and their families at the bedside, taking the time to provide therapeutic services to all who would like it. 

Spending time with an animal has been proven to improve patient’s emotional status and ability to cope with their hospital stay.  Each pet therapy partner ...

Swedish Cherry Hill named top hospital for heart surgery

June 27, 2014

In its first ever rating of hospitals for heart surgery, a leading consumer affairs magazine has identified Swedish/Cherry Hill as one of the top hospitals in the country for heart surgery. 

Swedish physicians recognized as 'Top Docs' in Seattle magazine

June 26, 2014

Seattle magazine has named 52 Swedish employed or credentialed physicians as ‘Top Docs’ in its July issue available now on newsstands. 

Reducing fear for kids who need blood tests or shots

June 25, 2014

Imagine the following scenario:  for several weeks, your daughter has been complaining of a tummy ache.  You find yourself sitting in her doctor’s office hoping to uncover what’s wrong.  Your daughter is nervous, but you’re doing your best to assure her that the doctor will come in soon, ask a few questions and make the pain go away. 
 
Just as the visit comes to a close, the doctor mentions that he’d like to “run some tests”.  Immediately, the looks on your daughter’s face changes, and you know she’s scared.   Tears well-up in her eyes as she whispers in your ear, “What tests, mommy?  What does he mean….Are they going to poke me?”  Whispers soon escalate into screams, “How big is the needle?  Does this mean I’m getting shots? NO!  No shots! Please mommy, no shots!”
 
Being a phlebotomist, this is a common scenario that I know al...

Deep brain stimulation for dystonia

June 24, 2014

Swedish DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) patient Ian Curtis shares his story with the community in a segment that aired on KUOW last week.  He was interviewed with internationally recognized neurosurgeon Andres Lozano who was visiting Seattle. Click here to read or hear the story from KUOW.

Kids and lactose intolerance

June 23, 2014

Do you wonder if your child might have “lactose intolerance”?    Have you ever thought of removing dairy from your child’s diet?  If the answer to either of these questions is yes, here are a few things to remember when it comes to lactose intolerance in kids:

  • Lactose is broken down by lactase.

While lactose is the carbohydrate (sugar) found in milk, lactase is the enzyme that digests the sugar. This enzyme is found in the lining of the small intestine, breaks down lactose into simpler molecules that are easier to absorb.  When there isn’t enough lactase, the sugar isn’t properly absorbed, which leads to the symptoms of “intolerance”, which include gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea.

  • True lactose intolerance is rare in young children.

Although children as young as infants can “transiently” have l...

Gluten intolerance or low FODMAPs?

June 18, 2014

Despite test results that show no evidence of their children having neither any detectable allergies to wheat nor any signs of celiac disease, many parents choose to have their children follow a gluten-free diet.  This is because of convincing stories of how gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) seems to cause their kids to have belly aches, nausea, bloating and a variety of other symptoms.  

For years, this was hard to explain without a scientific explanation.   Gastroenterologists like me had a hard time supporting families who wanted to follow gluten free diets, without a good “medical reason”.  Then, in 2011, researchers from Australia conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, rechallenge trial in nearly 3 dozen patients (none of whom had celiac disease or wheat allergy), all of whom described worsening symptoms when unkno...

Two Swedish emergency departments recognized with national nursing award

June 17, 2014

Emergency departments at Swedish Ballard and Swedish Edmonds hospitals are among only 17 hospitals nationwide to be honored with the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) 2014 Lantern Award. Swedish was the only hospital system in Washington State recognized with a 2014 Lantern Awards.

Statin Benefits Secondary Progressive MS

June 11, 2014

No treatments can currently abate the advanced stage of the disease, known as secondary progressive MS, which gradually causes patients to become more disabled. Statins are postulated to have immunomodulatory effects that appear to be independent of their effect on cholesterol. A benefit has been suggested in early multiple sclerosis (MS) based on reduction of magnetic resonance imaging brain lesions.  However, following trials have had inconsistent results.

In this multicenter, double-blind study, investigators randomized 140 participants with secondary progressive (SP) MS to 80 mg of simvastatin or placebo daily for 2 years. Participants were 18 to 65 years old, had active progression over the preceding 2 years, and had difficulties ambulating but were not wheelchair bound.  Whole brain atrophy was 43% slower annually in simvastati...

Arm Lifts can Really Help after Major Weight Loss

June 10, 2014
Body contouring procedures, such as arm lifts, can really change patients' lives after major weight loss. 
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