Health Matters Blog

Pertussis in the Community

Published July 25, 2014

By Dr. Kathleen McGraw, CMO Summer is here in full force, and with that comes more outdoor activities, scraped knees, and the occasional summer cold. However this past month we also had a more unwelcome guest in our community – Pertussis. The Vermont Department of Public Health has reported 11 cases of Pertussis in Windham County during the month of June, most of which were children ages 3-17. While none of these cases have been seen in at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, we do see the need to do all that we can to prevent its further spread. Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough, can be a very serious illness which is easily spread t...

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Door to Doc

Published July 24, 2014

George Pierce Terwilliger, MD By George Terwilliger, MD Anybody, Anything, Anytime: Emergency Departments have a tall order: provide excellent care to anybody, all age groups, regardless of ability to pay. An ED (Emergency Department) must be able to handle any type of medical illness or trauma, no matter how severe. And this must be done anytime: days, nights and holidays. We are very good at this, as you would expect. Now, we are trying very hard to deliver that care more efficiently with some innovative and effective improvements. [caption id="attachment_8254" align="alignright" width="199"] George Pierce Terwilliger, MD[/caption] When you go to the ED, what y...

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Registration is a Critical Part of Patient Care

Published July 10, 2014

By Deborah Lemnah You’ve probably read and heard a lot over the past year about how Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) expansion and renovation project improves patient care. While the Patient Registration staff does not provide medical services, we do play an important role in helping patients have a good ED experience. Before the renovation, ED staff registered their own patients. When you consider 14,000 people visit our emergency department every year, this becomes a difficult task to perform thoroughly while simultaneously providing emergency medical care. To register a patient our registration staff has ...

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Redesigning the Flow of the Emergency Department

Published July 3, 2014

Brian Richardson By: Brian Richardson Emergency medicine has been plagued for decades by two significant issues: first, the issue of Emergency Department overcrowding and second, extended periods of time waiting to be seen by the physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. [caption id="attachment_8127" align="alignright" width="233"] Brian Richardson[/caption] Since the late 1990s and early 2000s to the present day, emergency departments have seen a significant increase in utilization. Some of this increase can be explained by limited access to primary care physicians and some by changes in the healthcare system. Regardless of the cause...

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Anxiety in the Primary Care Setting

Published June 26, 2014

John Todd, APRN By John Todd, APRN, FNP Anxiety is an emotional and physical health problem. It is marked by feelings of fear, unease, and worry that can sometimes be so severe as to make us feel physically unwell. The source of these feelings is not always known. Sometimes it involves past trauma or injury; sometimes it involves fear about something uncertain in the future. A patient might say to me, “I need something for my anxiety.” They might have had prescriptions in the past for quick-acting medicines such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, or Klonopin. Those are benzodiazepines, medicines that should only be prescribed with great caution and awarenes...

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Medication Safety – Avoid Being Hurt by Your Medications

Published June 19, 2014

Paul Stanchfield, PA-C By Paul Stanchfield, PA-C Modern medicine has produced an astonishing array of medication to cure infections, prevent life threatening complications of chronic disease and alleviate pain and suffering. Unfortunately medication can also cause harm. When this happens it is called an adverse drug reaction or event. We at Brattleboro Internal Medicine want to keep you safe and maximize the beneficial effect of your medications. You can help us by keeping an updated list of your medication, following instructions, asking questions, getting necessary blood work and taking antibiotics and pain medication only as prescribed. Our commitment to you ...

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Why Women Need to Watch Their Blood Pressure

Published June 12, 2014

Roxanne S. Karter by Roxanne Karter There has been an increased focus on heart disease awareness and prevention for women within the medical community of late. While it remains the number one killer of both sexes, recent data shows that a male’s risk of dying from heart disease has declined over the past few decades, yet the same is not true for females. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, continues to be one of the leading causes of heart disease in our country. There’s a misconception that hypertension is more common in men. The statistics are actually fairly even, with 1 in 3 of all U.S. adults having high blood pressure. Young men te...

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Treating Depression in Primary Care

Published June 5, 2014

Roxanne S. Karter By Roxanne Karter A wellness visit is an opportunity for your primary care provider to examine your health at regular intervals. In addition to the stethoscope, blood pressure gauge and tongue depressor, our ears are one of the most important tools we bring into the exam room. Because oftentimes what we hear from you, the patient, about how you’re feeling is as telling as any medical test. When we see a patient with a chronic complaint, like pain or fatigue, and can’t find any physical reason for an ailment, mood disorders become part of the discussion. It may be surprising to some to learn that depression is frequently first diagno...

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Pain in the Neck? PT May Help

Published May 29, 2014

By Kim Hawkins, DPT We hear a lot about back pain but neck pain is also very common. It is often the result of many everyday activities in which the neck muscles are strained or overworked. The human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds and the neck muscles are holding that weight up all day long. Add poor posture to the mix and then those muscles are working even harder. Most people with neck pain experience low to moderate pain, but some people have more persistent symptoms. Pain coming from the neck may be felt across the shoulders, between the shoulder blades or even down the arm. Some people experience headaches and others can have sympt...

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A Journey Toward Healing: Jim’s Story Part II

Published May 21, 2014

By James Leonard The following is part two of an interview given by patient James Leonard to help the BMH Center for Wound Healing observe its one-year anniversary.

The first day I went into the HBOT chamber I felt my elbows touching the sides. I’m very claustrophobic, and even though the chamber is clear whenever my elbows would touch, I’d think, “Wow, this is really close!” My head was positioned on an incline, so sometimes I would move it and hit my head on the top and realize how tight it was. It was really tough. The chambers have TVs. You can also listen to music. Most of the time I ke...

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