Health Matters Blog

Over 65? Here’s why you should get a flu shot.

Published December 25, 2014

Dr. Sarah Fulham By Sarah Fulham, MD The holiday season is supposed to be full of comfort and joy. It coincides with the peak flu season however, which tends to be full of ache and misery. Common flu symptoms include sore throats, congestion, coughing, body aches, chills and fever. Some people may experience diarrhea or vomiting. While these effects are at best irritating and at worst incapacitating for the average adult, the flu can be especially hard on older people who tend to have weaker immune systems. [caption id="attachment_11986" align="alignright" width="200"] Dr. Sarah Fulham[/caption] According to the Centers for Disease Control, more t...

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Don’t Get Trapped by Your Depression

Published December 18, 2014

Paul Stanchfield, PA-C By Paul Stanchfield, PA-C Many people who are diagnosed with depression encounter the very real issue of stigma and misunderstanding about mental illness that exists in our society. Depression can still be seen by some as weakness, self-pity, or a character flaw. When patients experience this kind of stigma they can become fearful about speaking about their depression, avoid seeking help, or become isolated. This can create a barrier to people getting the help they need. [caption id="attachment_10949" align="alignright" width="199"] Paul Stanchfield, PA-C[/caption] Locally, the Brattleboro Retreat, and we here at Brattleboro Internal...

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Think Beyond The Pill When Planning Your Pregnancy

Published December 11, 2014

Roxanne S. Karter By Roxanne Karter, APRN The New York Times recently published an op-ed piece about the rising rate of unplanned births outside of marriage. The author, Isabel Sawhill, has been researching causes for why this is happening. A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Sawhill has also written a book called, Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage and says one reason for the increase is a lack of awareness about options for contraception that help women better plan for when they want to get pregnant. Some options, known as long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs, are proven to be more effective at ...

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OUCH! (Falls)

Published December 4, 2014

Richard Burtis, MD By Richard Burtis, MD It is well known that as the population is aging, there are many older Americans suffering serious injuries due to falls. Available data indicate that in 2012 alone, 2.4 million Americans over age 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls. During the 10-year period ending in 2012, there were 201,000 fall-related deaths. There are many contributing factors that account for this, including problems associated with aging. Lack of physical exercise and conditioning causes muscles to weaken, interfering with recovery from missteps and with the ability to rehabilitate after injury. Decreased balanc...

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Life Expectancy and Men’s Health

Published November 20, 2014

Craig Rinder, MD By Craig Rinder, MD It has been well known for years that the life expectancy of men is less than that of women. According to a 2013 report from the Nation Center for Health Statistics, the life expectancy for males born in 2011 is 76.3 years versus 81.1 years for females. In fact, in every country in every region of the world for which statistics are available (with the sole expectation of the tiny state of Qatar). Men have shorter life expectancies than women. And yet, there has been little understanding of why this should be so. The Assumption in the past was that biological differences between men and women were sufficient to accoun...

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Another Year, Another Beard

Published November 13, 2014

Chris Lenois Here we are again. A bunch of freshly-shaved guys ready to talk to you about men’s health! Now in its third year, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s “BEARDS for BMH” campaign has approximately 35 “growers”, who will be retiring their razors for the month of November. The goal is to use the scruffy state of their faces as means spark conversation about men’s health issues, while raising funds for BMH. This time around some of the fundraisers have formed teams. You’ve got hospital employees, bankers, Rotarians, and others pooling their fundraising efforts and dispensing advice about why it’s important for men to have a better ...

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New Places Also Welcoming New Faces

Published November 6, 2014

Bonnie McKellar by Bonnie McKellar It’s amazing to look back and realize how much Brattleboro Memorial Hospital has grown since I came on board in October of 2012. In the past two years, the hospital has opened the Center for Wound Healing and the Center for Cardiovascular Health. The Radiology Department has a new, state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging suite. Rehabilitation Services and Oncology have teamed up to provide the Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation (STAR) program to patients getting cancer treatment. BMH Physician Group has added an orthopaedic and sports medicine practice to its multi-specialty offerings. If you have been ...

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Breast Cancer Prevention Begins With You: The Self-Exam

Published October 30, 2014

by Sue Gautot Mammography is often called the first line of defense against breast cancer. That’s why every October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women over the age of 40 are urged to schedule their annual mammogram. But women of all ages have another set of tools that can help with detection and prevention in between screenings: your hands. [caption id="attachment_8338" align="alignright" width="198"] l. to r. - Ellen Wapner and Susan Gautot[/caption] A few years ago, the U.S. Preventive Task Force actually recommended against Breast Self-Exams. Research showed that women didn’t understand what they were suppos...

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Ebola and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

Published October 24, 2014

By: Dr. Kathleen McGraw, CMO With so many stories in the news about Ebola, you may be understandably concerned about the extremely unlikely possibility of a case of Ebola presenting in our community. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital is prepared for such an event and we’d like to share some important information about the disease and our planned response. [caption id="attachment_8101" align="alignright" width="226"] Kathleen McGraw, MD[/caption] What is Ebola?: Ebola, which has an extremely high fatality rate, is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, naus...

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The Basics of Breast Disease

Published October 16, 2014

Joseph Rosen, MD by Joseph Rosen, MD In the United States, almost 200,000 women each year will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Approximately another 60,000 are diagnosed with non-invasive duct carcinoma in situ. For the 1 in 9 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, the single biggest risk factor is simply getting older. Five percent of breast cancers are diagnosed under the age of 40, 25 percent under the age of 50, and 75 percent will occur after age 50. Almost 70 percent of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors. For the 30 percent of women identified as being at increased risk of ...

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