Health Matters Blog

Celebrate American Heart Month

Published February 22, 2013

By Eileen Casey Right now as you are reading this article your heart is pumping away and you barely give it a thought. The average heart rate at rest is about 70 beats per minute. That's 4,200 beats an hour or 100,800 beats a day or 36,792,000 a year. If a person lives until they are 80, then their heart will beat about 2,943,360,000 times! Even though your heart does all of this work for you, how much do you do for your heart? Lifestyle factors like smoking, or eating a diet high in processed foods, or being a couch potato can all make your heart unhealthy. Much like performing normal maintenance on your car so you can drive it 100,000...

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Breast vs. Bottle? Nutrition and Nurturing Most Important

Published February 15, 2013

By Dawn Kersula Here in Vermont and New Hampshire, most babies begin their lives breastfeeding. According to the latest available data, 86 percent of Vermont babies began their lives breastfeeding, and at six months 58 percent were still breastfed. In New Hampshire, the numbers were 78 percent and 50 percent. [caption id="attachment_5693" align="alignright" width="180"] Dawn Kersula, RN[/caption] Several months ago, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Birthing Center participated in a Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care survey (mPINC) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control Nutrition Branch. The composite score of 88 ...

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Tonsil & Adenoid Surgery, and Why Sleep Apnea Matters in Kids

Published February 8, 2013

By William Wood, MD The most common reason for a child’s family to consider tonsil & adenoid surgery is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a guideline in 2002 stating that tonsil and adenoid surgery “is the first line of treatment for most children” who have been diagnosed with OSA. [caption id="attachment_5560" align="alignright" width="226"] Dr. Bill Wood[/caption] But just what is OSA, and why does it matter, in kids? If a child pauses for two full breathing cycles while asleep, that is abnormal, and should be discussed with the child’s physician. (Adults can pause for ...

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Wanna Get Away Safely? Visit a Travel Clinic First

Published January 30, 2013

Jean Bristol By Jean Bristol [caption id="attachment_8061" align="alignright" width="228"] Jean Bristol[/caption] We’re in the midst of another busy travel season here in New England. Starting with the holidays in December, through the cold depths of winter, and right on into spring break, we see more patients in the BMH Travel Clinic now than at any other time of year. But the urge to escape the snow isn’t the only reason people are planning trips at this time of year. A lot of companies in this community send workers abroad for business reasons. Printers maintain relationships in India, machine shops send people to China and makers of natural sup...

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Understanding Kidney Stones

Published January 25, 2013

Craig Rinder, MD By Craig Rinder Kidney stones are one of the most common problems seen by urologists. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of Americans have kidney stones. There are various causes for kidney stones as well as many different types. Most kidney stones contain calcium but some may be composed of other substances such as uric acid. [caption id="attachment_542" align="alignright" width="200"] Craig Rinder, MD[/caption] Many people first suspect they have a kidney stone because they feel pain in their lower back, abdomen or side, depending on where it’s located in either the kidney or ureter. But some stones will not cause any pain at ...

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Less is More with New CT Scan Technology

Published January 18, 2013

By Marcy Rushford I am pleased to announce that Brattleboro Memorial Hospital has completed installation of a new, technically advanced 64-multislice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner. The new technology ensures quality diagnostics, improved speed of delivery and optimized patient safety (less radiation) for our patients. [caption id="attachment_4905" align="alignright" width="300"] Marcy Rushford[/caption] CT scanning represented one of the biggest jumps forward in radiologic technology when it was developed some 40 years ago. The images are produced in slices, like a loaf of bread, to give medical providers a cross-section of the ar...

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MRI Suite

Published January 11, 2013

By Marcy Rushford The planned move of our Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment into its new home on the ground floor of the Richards Building presented the hospital with an opportunity to update to the latest available technology. It also enabled us to take advantage of what we, as well as the whole imaging industry, have learned about how we can make patients more comfortable with Magnetic Resonance Imaging. [caption id="attachment_4905" align="alignright" width="300"] Marcy Rushford[/caption] There’s a level of stress for any patient whenever he or she needs to have a diagnostic imaging test. While MRI isn’t frequently us...

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Group Support Works for Losing Weight

Published January 4, 2013

By Peg Canal-Wittler With the New Year, we think about ways to improve our lives by taking a class, starting a new hobby, maybe looking for a new job. Health-related resolutions are great, but often the hardest to keep: exercise more, quit smoking, and eat healthier. [caption id="attachment_245" align="alignright" width="115"] Peg Canal-Wittler[/caption] We hear how the support of friends helps a lot in keeping your New Year’s resolutions. That’s certainly true with the TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, where members say the group support makes all the difference. Members have lost from five ...

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Guidelines for Limiting Screen Time

Published December 28, 2012

Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP By Cynthia Howes Pediatric health practitioners have long cautioned parents about limiting the amount of television their children watch. Now, with the internet, smartphones, tablets, and portable gaming systems, screen time has increased dramatically. [caption id="attachment_6052" align="alignright" width="199"] Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP[/caption] In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised its recommendations about watching television to include these new media. The goal is not to label these devices or their contents as bad, but to give parents information to make informed decisions about how, when and where they are u...

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Strategies for Managing Family Stress During Holidays

Published December 21, 2012

Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP By Cynthia Howes Children’s health practitioners spend a great deal of time working with families on creating routines that ensure children and their families are getting enough rest, eating healthy foods and staying active. These patterns are the key elements for children of all ages, from infant to adolescent, to be physically and emotionally healthy. [caption id="attachment_6052" align="alignright" width="199"] Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP[/caption] Often, holidays are a time when regular patterns are disrupted. Family gatherings, Christmas concerts, and preparations for the holidays are just a few examples of seasonal events that th...

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