Health Matters Blog

Heat Stress: What to look for, how to respond

Published July 23, 2015

By Jeff Meckling PA-C During the hottest days of summer the terms “Heat Stroke”, “Heat Exhaustion”, “Sunstroke”, “Heat Cramps” and others can get used interchangeably in an attempt to describe our bodies’ responses to extreme heat. But did you know that each of those terms describes a different medical condition, each with its own set of symptoms and requiring different First Aid responses? Here’s a guide to help you identify different types of heat related conditions and how to respond. Those particularly susceptible to heat stress are: Infants and young children Elderly people Individuals with heart or circ...

Read full post »

Summer Sun Safety

Published June 25, 2015

Kari Dickey, DO By Kari Dickey, DO Many of us welcome the arrival of summer with open arms, charging into the outdoors to soak up as much sun and fresh air as we possibly can before another New England winter rolls in. While all medical providers encourage our patients to be active outdoors, there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind if you’re going to be exposed to the sun. Sunlight consists of two types of ultra violet rays – UVA and UVB rays. Both can damage the skin and cause skin cancer with prolonged or cumulative exposure. UVA rays are the ones responsible for freckles, wrinkles and age spots and UVB rays are the primary ...

Read full post »

Seasonal Allergies

Published June 18, 2015

John Todd, APRN By John Todd, APRN It’s a beautiful time of year here in Vermont, yet some of us just can’t appreciate it because of our sneezing, stuffy noses, watery eyes, and our unending battle with mucous. Some of us have these same symptoms through the winter as well due to dust, dust mites or mold in our apartments or houses. The body’s response to allergens and irritants is a part of our immune system called the histamine response. It is supposed to protect us, but some of us with heavier allergy symptoms don’t experience this as protection; it can be a nuisance, make us feel unwell and impair our ability to work or enjoy the company of fa...

Read full post »

Lyme Disease: Reduce Your Exposure and Enjoy Your Summer

Published June 11, 2015

Richard A. Fletcher, RN, MSN, FNP By Richard Fletcher, APRN While at times during the long winter of 2015 it seemed like we might never see summer again, it has finally arrived, and with it a renewed concern about tick bites and Lyme Disease. The disease is concentrated heavily in the northeast and upper Midwest and we see cases in our practice every year. In 2013, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed 674 cases in the state of Vermont, and according to the VT Department of Health, the highest incidence of Lyme Disease occurs in Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties. What is Lyme Disease and how is it transmitted? Lyme Disease is caused by a bacterium called Bo...

Read full post »

Putney Family Healthcare Unveils Its New Space, Expanded Services

Published June 4, 2015

By Debbie Hebert On May 1, 2015 we were pleased to host an Open House, officially unveiling Putney Family Healthcare’s expanded and renovated facility to the community. The gathering celebrated the completion of a four-month-long project that added 680 square feet to the building’s footprint and upgraded our existing treatment facilities in order to serve our patients most effectively. We’ve always loved being located in Putney and accessible to the community, but we needed additional space to provide more clinician hours, improve patient privacy and comfort, and give our staff the room they need to work effectively. We also wante...

Read full post »

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 ...

Read full post »

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...

Read full post »

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...

Read full post »

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...

Read full post »

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...

Read full post »