Health Matters Blog

Good PreOp Assessment for Surgical Success

Published December 9, 2011

By Christine Gooley, APRN, BC [caption id="attachment_653" align="alignright" width="205" caption="Christine Gooley, APRN, BC"][/caption] Would you ever guess a hospital the size of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital performs around four thousand surgical procedures in a year? It’s true. During the twelve months from October 2010 to September 2011, 2,389 surgeries and 1,612 minor procedures took place in our facility. That figure includes a broad range of surgeries in several specialties, in addition to colonoscopies and upper endoscopies. That’s a lot of patients coming and going on a daily basis. Evidently, we are not the only hospi...

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Midwives in the Mainstream

Published December 2, 2011

Lois Trezise, RN, CNM, MSN, CLC by Lois Trezise [caption id="attachment_552" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Lois Trezise, RN, CNM, MSN, CLC"][/caption] It’s natural in the course of human affairs for the pendulum to swing in one direction or another. Advances in scientific knowledge and medical technology during the 20th century spurred a trend toward treating births as a medical situation. This was understandable given the excitement over the improvements in anesthesiology, surgery, and antibiotics, among other improvements that definitely saved the lives of mothers and newborns. But as it reached a point where the labor and delivery process came to fe...

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Doulas Do It Out of Love for Labor Process

Published November 28, 2011

by Debbie Partrick [caption id="attachment_3213" align="alignright" width="172" caption="Debbie Partrick"][/caption] I had been a nurse in obstetrics for 30 years, and I had never heard of doulas until I moved to Brattleboro five years ago. At first I thought it doesn’t make any sense. In Lamaze classes, you’re taught that you have a labor support person, which is usually your partner. But the doula is more. They are a breath of fresh air not only to the mom that is laboring, but to the family and to the staff. What really opened my eyes was witnessing a birth with one of BMH’s midwives where a doula was present. It was so diff...

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Eat, Drink and Be Merry Without Adding Those Holiday Pounds

Published November 18, 2011

By Carrie Quimby [caption id="attachment_2202" align="alignright" width="178" caption="Carrie Quimby, RD, CD"][/caption] The holiday season has arrived and for many of us that means FOOD and lots of it! The average American gains 1-2 pounds over the holidays and those of us with overweight issues tend to gain more, around 8 pounds, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This small amount of weight gain doesn’t sound like a serious issue, except that despite our best intentions and New Year’s resolutions, we don’t lose it after the festivities are over. Year after year, these few pounds do add up significantly to increase your ...

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What Midlevel Care Means For You

Published November 11, 2011

Richard A. Fletcher, RN, MSN, FNP by Richard Fletcher I get called ‘doc’ by a lot of my patients even though they know I’m a nurse practitioner and not a physician. Part of the reason I guess is because I’ve been treating the Putney community for so long that some families have only received primary care from a midlevel provider like me. “I know you’re a nurse practitioner, but you’re my doctor,” I’ve been told. The term midlevel doesn’t exactly describe what a nurse practitioner is, but it’s the one most commonly used when referring to this growing field of health care professionals. Advanced Practice Nursing is the overarching name because we are...

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Imaging is Everything

Published November 7, 2011

Marcy Rushford by Marcy Rushford Radiologic technologists celebrate their profession each year during the week that includes November 8, the day that German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the x-ray in 1895. While 116 years may seem like a long time, radiologic medicine is still a very young field. Even the most venerable members of our radiology department have been eyewitnesses to its most dramatic innovations and how it has advanced care both in general and at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. The radiologic technology field has evolved into a lot of different sub-specialties. At the same time it has increased its role in health care beyo...

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MRI Attractive For High Risk Breast Cancer Patients

Published October 28, 2011

Marcy Rushford By Marcy Rushford Earlier in October, I wrote about how the primary goal of National Breast Cancer Awareness month is to emphasize the need for women over age 40 to get a mammogram every year and how digital mammography remains the gold standard for detecting breast cancer. Last week, Dr. Rosen wrote about advances in biopsy procedures that make them quicker and less invasive. But the latest innovation in breast cancer detection has been the adaptation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology, which we will start offering at BMH early next month. Most people associate a MRI, as it is commonly known, with ligament or muscles injuries. A ...

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The Modern Breast Biopsy

Published October 21, 2011

Joseph Rosen, MD A February 18, 2011 New York Times article entitled “Study of Breast Biopsies Finds Surgery Used Too Extensively” refers to a review of breast biopsies done in Florida from 2003-2008, noting that 30% were done with a scalpel, usually in the operating room. This number is too high. [caption id="attachment_543" align="alignright" width="140" caption="Joseph Rosen, MD"][/caption] In the modern era, most breast biopsies should be done with a minimally invasive needle sampling and not as a more invasive, open surgical procedure. This is a trend that has been steadily evolving over my 30 year history caring for women with breast disease. ...

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Regular Screening Still the Priority

Published October 14, 2011

Marcy Rushford by Marcy Rushford National Breast Cancer Awareness Month observes its 25th anniversary this year. While we haven’t eradicated breast cancer (it is still the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for American women), real strides have been made in the area of earlier detection, leading to more effective treatments and longer, more productive, lifetimes for breast cancer survivors. Until recently, different medical associations were recommending different time frames for when women should start getting screened for breast cancer on a yearly basis. Some were recommending age 40 while others suggested 50. Now the American College ...

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The Nuclear Option

Published October 11, 2011

Marcy Rushford By Marcy Rushford [caption id="attachment_2271" align="alignright" width="205" caption="Marcy Rushford"][/caption] Last month, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital invited the public to learn about the technology we use to evaluate the coronary arteries of the heart and their function, specifically in relation to nuclear cardiac stress tests. Most of the people who participated in the tour were pretty surprised to learn that, by and large, the same technology utilized by large hospitals is available to them right here in town. This includes a hybrid gamma SPECT/CT scanner to perform nuclear medicine tests, which BMH has had for a couple of yea...

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