December 03, 2012
Thanksgiving has passed but the power of gratitude is timeless. As a Health Education Specialist for Swedish, I get the pleasure of working with wonderful patients, clinicians and staff every day. For this I am endlessly thankful. But how often do I express that? How often do you express thanks to those in your life (coworkers, family, friends, random strangers?) who get you through bad moments,
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November 30, 2012
A lot of parents have questions about the flu vaccine and many parents refuse the vaccine as they feel it does not very effective. Some parents are concerned about vaccines in general and refuse vaccinating their child as they don’t want to administer “another vaccine” to their child. The best way to prevent getting flu is by vaccination. What is flu (Influenza)? Flu (influenza) is not just a common cold or a stomach virus as most people think. Influenza usually occurs during the winter in our region although it can occur all year around in other parts of the world. It can be a serious respiratory illness that can lead to complications especially in children and older adults. Symptoms are generally similar to any other common cold infections and can vary from fever, runny nose, nose congestion, cough, body aches and headaches. The body aches and headaches are mostly reported by older children and adults. Children may not be able to explain their sym...
July 30, 2012
We’ve all had our issues with healthcare—from trying to read through your bill to understanding the instructions your doctor is telling you to navigating through automated phone trees finding someone who can answer your health questions. There are many frustrations that we as patients deal with. Now imagine you’re missing one of your five senses, such as hearing. All of a sudden, those challenges seem much bigger. A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal suggests that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have worse healthcare and less access to health services. And it makes sense when you...
June 26, 2012
Summer is almost here, so this is a good time to talk about sunscreens. We all get excited when the sun comes out in our area, but it is always important to remember that everyone should avoid direct sun exposure when it is the harshest -between 10am and 4pm during the summer months,. Everyone should wear sunscreen, hats and covered clothing when exposed to the sun. Cloudy days do not offer too much protection as the UV rays can penetrate through the clouds and affect the skin the same way. Children and adolescents in particular should avoid tanning beds. What you should know about different types of sunscreen:
May 11, 2012
Happy National Nurses Week. On behalf of all of those who you have provided pain relief and comfort for, thank you. Being in the hospital has many negative connotations and can be an incredibly humbling experience. Nurses have the ability to magically bring warmth and tenderness at a time when we are vulnerable. It takes a special person to do all the little things that make a hospital feel less scary and somehow manage to create a serene environment. Simply put, nurses make hospitals less intimidating. You care for us when we are at our lowest points and ‘nurse us back to health.’ From all the minor things that we can’t do for ourselves during our hospital stay to all the major things like keeping our hearts beating so that we can get back to a normal life, you go the extra mile because you have a special gift. Thank you this week, and every week, for all that you do!
May 09, 2012
The Merrill P. Spencer, M.D. Endowed Lectureship was established in 2006 to honor the memory of Dr. Spencer who enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a physician, professor, researcher and innovator. Dr. Spencer earned an international reputation for his groundbreaking work with Doppler ultrasound technology and was a pioneer in stroke prevention. This lectureship, established by an initial gift from The Institute of Applied Physiology and Medicine, founded by Dr. Spencer in 1972, honors his belief in the importance of always searching for new answers and sharing those answers with others through continuing programs of medical education. Merrill P. Spencer, M.D. (1922-2006)
May 06, 2012
Everyone is talking about their allergies at this time of the year, so I thought it would be a good time to write about seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies occur only at certain times of the year and are usually caused by exposure to pollens from plants, trees and grass. They affect a large number of people of all ages and are seen mostly in urban areas. They are uncommon in children less than 2 years of age. Some patients may have similar symptoms year around and this is usually due to exposure to insects (cockroach), dust mites and animal dander (dogs and cats). Most people do not react on exposure to these substances, but people with allergies hyperreact to these substances when exposed, and they subsequently develop these symptoms. What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies? Usual symptoms in children include runny nose, nasal congestion, itching of the eyes, nose and throat and occasionally cough. Sometimes these symptoms may interfere with s...
March 11, 2012
A lot of children are now enrolled in organized sports activities, and more and more children are starting at a younger age. Children are enticed by successful professional sports players and strive to be like them. Many parents enroll their children in organized sports activities with the hope that their child would get an athletic scholarship for college and go on to become a professional player. However, parents must realize that only a few children end up becoming successful professional players. It is important for children to be physically active, and organized sports can be a part of this healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that children and adolescents who are physically active do well academically in school, have greater self-esteem, sleep well and have less behavioral/emotional problems. Children and adolescents who are active every day tend to develop less health problems like hypertension, obesity and hyperlipidemia , and grow to become healthy adults.
February 13, 2012
Thousands of Americans are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. Motor vehicle crashes kill more people ages 5 to 34 than any other cause of death. We, as parents and caregivers, can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries due to motor vehicle accidents by making sure children are restrained in their seats, car seats, or booster seats appropriately every time they ride in a motor vehicle. Here are a few recommendations regarding appropriate use of restraints in different age groups:
January 11, 2012
Eating healthy and being physically active are important things to keep in mind during and especially after the holidays when an abundance of food is present. Parents often have questions about their child’s weight such as: Is my child’s weight appropriate? Is there a difference between being overweight and being obese? When should we be worried about his or her weight? If I am overweight, what is the risk that my child may become overweight? Physicians often use the term BMI (body mass index) to define the terms overweight and obese, and this provides physicians and parents with a guide to monitor weight in children. BMI can be calculated using the weight and height (weight in kilo divided by square of height in meters; this can also be calculated using the BMI calculator. A child is considered overweight if the BMI is greater than the 85th percentile and obese if greater than 95th per...
December 11, 2011
There has been a recent outbreak of pertussis, a disease also commonly known as whooping cough, around the country. In the state of WA there have been 58 infants less than 1 year of age diagnosed with whooping cough; among these cases, 22 were hospitalized and 2 have died. What is pertussis? Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is particularly severe in infants. . It is an infection of the airways caused by bacteria. More than half of infants younger than 1 year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized In infants and children, the disease usually begins with runny nose, low grade fever, and mild cough that last for about 7-10 days. The cough usually worsens and infants may develop bursts of numerous rapid coughs. These bursts of cough are accompanied by sweating, facial flushing, and sometimes vomiting. With this disease, about 1 in 5 infants may develop pneumonia, about 1 in 100 will have seizures, and in rare cases whooping cough can lead to death. <...
November 06, 2011
This is a question that parents typically ask during this time of the year. Common cold or upper respiratory infections are common in children during the first few years of their life. Some children may have about 8-10 colds by the time they are two, and may experience many more if they are in daycare or if they have older siblings attending school. Children generally show symptoms that differ from that of adults. Usually, parents notice that their child has runny nose, cough, sneezing and nasal stuffiness. The nasal discharge is clear at first, but may become yellowish-green in color. A low grade fever may also be present the first few days. These symptoms usually last for about 10 days and then improve. However, complications sometimes occur, including bronchiolitis, croup, ear infections, sinusitis and pneumonia. Unfortunately, there are no medications that can cure the common cold. These colds are caused by viruses, and antibiotics have no role in their treatment .The best thing t...