Health Matters Blog

Top Questions about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Published May 21, 2015

By Jim Fleury, RN, CEN What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) allows patients to breathe pure oxygen while lying comfortably inside a pressurized chamber. Breathing 100 percent oxygen delivered at increased pressure increases the amount of oxygen available to organs and tissues in the body. This improves the effects of certain antibiotics, activates white blood cells to fight infection and promotes the healing of chronic wounds. Why are nautical/diving terms used in this form of therapy? Much of the technology and information that we currently use in clinical hyperbaric oxygen therapy was developed by ...

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BMH’s Center for Wound Healing: Treating the Whole Patient

Published May 14, 2015

Gregory R. Gadowski, MD, FACS By Greg Gadowski, MD Every day at BMH a dozen or so people make their way down a hospital corridor to the light-filled and welcoming Center for Wound Healing. Some walk slowly, assisted by canes or walkers, some use wheelchairs, and some rely on assistance from others to make the trek. Center staff members greet most of them by name; they know them well as regular participants in an intensive program to regain mobility and independence from chronic wounds. These types of wounds are associated with a number of underlying causes including diabetes, poor circulation, infections, or damage to tissue from radiation therapy. What all these patie...

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Don’t Ignore Non-Healing Wounds

Published May 11, 2015

By: Jim Fleury, RN, CEN and Fred Harrison Chronic wounds (defined as wounds that won’t heal within 30 days using conventional treatments) are becoming more prevalent in our aging society. In the Brattleboro/Southern Vermont service area, and particularly in Windham County, our nation’s most rapidly aging county, it is estimated that over 1,200 people have a chronic wound of some type. A wound is a breach of a person’s skin, the human body’s largest and most important barrier to infection, and needs to be repaired as quickly as possible. It is imperative that a person go to their primary care provider to determine exactly why a w...

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Watch out for Little League Elbow!

Published April 23, 2015

Maureen Mohaney, PA-C, ATC By Maureen Mahoney PA-C, ATC It’s that time of year again; when the snow is melting and the grass is getting green. Kids are starting their spring sports, including one of my all-time favorites: baseball. One common over use injury in kids who play baseball is called Little League elbow which presents itself as pain in the inside aspect of the elbow, caused by repetitive throwing. Most commonly seen in pitchers, it can also be seen in any player. Little League elbow, also known as medial epicondylar apophysis, is the result of repetitive stress to the growth plate of the bone on the inside of the elbow. It occurs when the ligament tha...

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Wear and Tear Arthritis

Published April 16, 2015

Wayne Temmen, PA-C By Wayne Temmen, PAC Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as “wear and tear arthritis” is the most common form of arthritis. Approximately 46 million people in the United States have symptomatic osteoarthritis, 64% of whom are of working age. The exact cause of OA is unknown but it results in a breakdown in the articular cartilage of joints. The articular cartilage is on the surface of all synovial joints and allows for the joint surfaces to glide together with minimal friction, also acting as a “shock absorber.” The joint is then lubricated with synovial fluid which also helps to maintain the proper viscosity. In OA the articular cartil...

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Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Published April 9, 2015

By Jon Thatcher, MD There are approximately 300,000 total hip replacement surgeries performed annually in the United States with a 98% success rate with satisfied patients. Osteoarthritis (wearing out of the joint surface in this ball and socket articulation) which can cause groin, buttock, and thigh pain is the indication for hip replacement surgery in 85% of patients. The other 15% of hip surgeries performed are in response to less common conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and bone necrosis (death) of the femoral head. Because implant designs have improved, replacement of the diseased hip joints in patients 50 years and older is no...

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How Did I Decide on a Career in Orthopaedics?

Published April 2, 2015

Dr. William Vranos By William Vranos, MD After “Why does my (insert body part) hurt?” the next most frequently asked question I get is “How did you end up in orthopaedics?” When I tell the story, I realize that a lot of people don’t know how medical training is structured and what medical students go through to arrive at the biggest decision of their career -- which specialty to pursue. Hopefully the story of my “AHA! Moment” -- the one that set my course for a specialty in orthopaedics -- will be of interest to you. [caption id="attachment_14193" align="alignright" width="300"] Dr. William Vranos[/caption] I am second generation Greek. A...

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How Self-Hypnosis Can Help With Childhood’s Challenges

Published March 26, 2015

Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP by Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP We think of childhood as that special time in life where everything should be simple, happy, and carefree. In reality, the period between birth through adolescence is filled with challenges.. There are many developmental milestones children must master to advance to the next phase in their lives. Sometimes, life’s challenges get in the way. A child’s well-being includes maintaining a healthy body through good nutrition, adequate activity, and sufficient sleep. Nurturing a child’s mental health as well as social well-being is equally as important. This is accomplished through creating and maintaining a sa...

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You are what you eat?

Published March 19, 2015

Heather Lesage-Horton, MD by Heather Lesage-Horton, MD As a pediatrician, one of my goals at every patient’s yearly physical is to ask about activity and nutrition. As part of measuring growth we get a height and weight on each patient. We use this to calculate the child’s body mass index (BMI). With a growing number of American children falling into the category of overweight (BMI at 85-94th percentile, 5-10 in 100 same age and sex kids are larger) or obese (BMI ≥95th percentile 5 or less in 100 kids of the same sex and age are larger), providing advice on diet, nutrition and physical activity is becoming a more important part of our job. It is estimated tha...

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What to Do About Tick Bites in Children

Published March 12, 2015

Valerie Rooney, MD by Valerie Rooney, MD Every spring Just So Pediatrics receives many phone calls from parents who have found a tick on their child. They worry that their child will get Lyme disease, and about what they can do to prevent it. Yet, most children who we see in the office with Lyme disease never knew that they had a tick bite! What is a caring parent to do? Here are a couple helpful hints. First: Prevention. Wearing light colored clothing, long pants and long sleeved shirts and using insect repellent that has DEET (I like to put it on clothing if possible) helps prevent ticks from getting onto your child’s skin. Do daily tick checks aft...

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