Health Matters Blog

The Arthritic Knee

Published July 27, 2012

Jon C. Thatcher, MD The Arthritic Knee By Dr. Jon Thatcher Osteoarthritis, better known as degenerative arthritis, is the second leading cause of disability in the U.S. behind heart disease. The knee is the most common joint to be affected largely due to our recent surge in excess body weight, the high frequency of knee injuries and our extended longevity. These factors often lead to wear and deterioration of the articular cartilage, that smooth coconut-like, slippery surface that caps the end of bones at joints. An old or unbalanced tire that loses its tread is a useful analogy. [caption id="attachment_550" align="alignright" width="200"] Jon C. Thatche...

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New Initiatives at BMH

Published July 20, 2012

New Initiatives at BMH By Michele Rowland Although modest in size, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital has always endeavored to keep pace with recent research findings, implement evidence-based treatment interventions and improve the scope and complexity of services offered to our patients. Two programs recently implemented at BMH best capture these efforts: the Multi-drug Resistant Organisms Prevention Program and the Sepsis Prevention Program. [caption id="attachment_5533" align="alignright" width="200"] Michele Rowland[/caption] Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) such as MRSA, VRE and C difficile have been the focus of media attent...

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Delirium Prevention A New Health Priority

Published July 11, 2012

Delirium Prevention A New Health Priority By Michele Rowland On June 19 the Brattleboro Reformer published an Associated Press article citing recent research showing that patients who experience a delirium during a hospital stay have an increased risk of mortality. At the very least, delirium prolongs the hospital stay, resulting in increased healthcare costs. It also increases the likelihood of functional decline and loss of independence. Patients experiencing a delirium while in the hospital also have a higher likelihood of nursing home placement within a year. [caption id="attachment_5533" align="alignright" width="200"] Michele Row...

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Hospitals Working To Reduce Readmission

Published July 5, 2012

Hospitals Working To Reduce Readmission By Michele Rowland Approximately 1 in 5 Medicare patients in the US are re-admitted within 30 days of their discharge from an acute care hospital. Approximately 1 in 3 is re-admitted within 90 dates. Reducing health care related costs, while improving the quality of patient care, is in everyone’s interest. It just makes good sense to do so. Many national organizations, such as AHRQ (American Healthcare Research and Quality), CMS (Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), actively support efforts that hospitals make to achieve that goal. [caption id="attac...

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Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Can Help You Live Longer

Published June 27, 2012

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Can Help You Live Longer By Jeff Harr Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs were originally developed to help people recover from major life altering health problems. Cardiac rehab was developed for those people who had heart attacks, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart valve surgery, or coronary artery stenting. Pulmonary rehab was developed to help those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis or lung cancer. [caption id="attachment_2198" align="alignright" width="225"] Jeff Harr, RCEP[/caption] Cardiac and pulmonary...

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Speech Therapy Makes for Lasting Memories

Published June 19, 2012

SPEECH THERAPY MAKES FOR LASTING MEMORIES By Claire Markey Much of a speech language pathologist’s work in a hospital setting is centered on language and cognition. In the past the population served was primarily geriatric patients who had strokes or brain injuries from illnesses such as brain cancer or dementia. Presently, the adult population includes more adults at a younger age who either have had accidents at work or have suffered a head injury doing some of the more adventurous activities that people like to do, such as snowmobiling, downhill skiing, horseback riding, etc. [caption id="attachment_5263" align="alignright" wid...

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What do you do when the world is spinning?

Published June 15, 2012

What do you do when the world is spinning? By Eileen Casey You roll over in bed or you bend over to tie your shoes and suddenly you feel like the whole room is spinning around you. You feel nauseous and unbalanced afterwards. [caption id="attachment_5233" align="alignright" width="233" caption="Eileen Casey"][/caption] You’re not alone. Every year millions of people in the U.S. develop vertigo, a spinning sensation in your head that can be very disturbing. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), or vertigo brought on by position changes, is the most common type of vertigo. It is estimated that 9 out of every 100 adults are af...

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Occupational Therapists on the Job to Help You Play

Published June 5, 2012

Chris Vitello Occupational Therapists on the Job to Help You Play By Chris Vitello I can’t tell you how frequently I explain that Occupational Therapy doesn’t apply solely to job-related injuries. In the rehabilitative services world, “occupation” is a synonym for everyday activities. A hobby like tending the garden is an occupation as is getting dressed or cooking a meal. The role of the occupational therapist is very much like a guidance counselor for an injury. We help the patient get back to doing what he or she likes to do or needs to do—not just get back to work. [caption id="attachment_5151" align="alignright" width="300"] Chris Vit...

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Aquatic Therapy Gives Some Patients a Leg Up in Rehab

Published May 31, 2012

Aquatic Therapy Gives Some Patients a Leg Up in Rehab By Carol Bailey Water has been used for healing purposes for centuries. Because the human body is primarily composed of water, it feels like a natural place for many people in need of rehabilitation from injury or to help manage chronic pain conditions. Aquatic therapy continues to evolve as an option within the world of physical therapy. It is important for people to understand whether or not it’s a viable treatment option for their particular condition. There are documented uses of water in medicine dating as far back at 1500 B.C., when it was used to combat fever. Prior to beco...

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No Soft Landing with P.A.D.

Published May 25, 2012

No Soft Landing with P.A.D. By Marcy Rushford Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.) is a condition that frequently goes undiagnosed until it is in the advanced stages of the illness. But there is a fairly simple test that can help detect P.A.D. during the early stages and hopefully prevent some of the potentially fatal consequences. [caption id="attachment_4905" align="alignright" width="300"] Marcy Rushford[/caption] P.A.D. stems from a build-up of plaque along the arterial walls of the body. The plaque reduces blood flow, especially when a person is exerting themselves physically. A person with P.A.D. may feel pain or numbness in her...

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