Health Matters Blog

Associate Providers Keep Emergency Departments in Flow

Published June 28, 2013

By Linda Rice There are numerous factors contributing to the rising number of emergency room visits at hospitals across America, including in our community. Everything from an aging population managing chronic illnesses to issues of access to healthcare plays a role. But no matter whether patients are brought in by an ambulance or walk in the door, an immediate concern for their health is what brings them to us. We see many patients in the BMH Emergency Department who may not be having the textbook definition of a medical emergency, but it is certainly an urgent matter for the individual. Once the episode has passed, some people actuall...

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Emergency Medicine Grows More Specialized

Published June 19, 2013

George Pierce Terwilliger, MD By George Terwilliger, MD Not too many years ago, Emergency Departments (ED) were staffed by part-time doctors. These providers might have been physicians-in-training or established local doctors with regular practices in general surgery or primary care. However, as the complexity of patients in the Emergency Department has grown, Emergency Medicine has become a medical specialty in and of itself. These medical practitioners are trained with a skill set that ensures patients receive the care they need in the safest, quickest and most efficient manner possible. [caption id="attachment_8254" align="alignright" width="199"] George Pierce T...

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As Hospital Services Evolve, Staff Works Hard to Stay Green

Published June 7, 2013

Rob Prohaska By Rob Prohaska Well before the Richards Building was constructed, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital had in many ways been concerned about minimizing the environmental impact of our facility and its day-to-day operations. [caption id="attachment_8544" align="alignright" width="219"] Rob Prohaska[/caption] We were an early recipient of the “Making Medicine Mercury Free” award. In doing so we went beyond the exemptions allowed to claim this recognition. BMH has installed mercury-free boiler switches, for example—a measure that was not part of the requirements. Let us also not forget that for a number of years BMH has been using en...

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Genetic Risk Assessment

Published May 31, 2013

Agnes Mikijaniec By Agnes Mikijaniec, ARNP Last Wednesday morning, I was performing my daily routine of packing the kids’ lunches and getting them to school. The morning news was on the TV as usual. My husband then asks me “What is wrong with Angelina Jolie? Does she have breast cancer?” Every news service in the country that morning was reporting on Angelina’s announcement in the New York Times Op Ed section. In her article she states that she has the BRCA 1 gene and elected to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction. She talks about her mother’s decade long struggle with ovarian cancer, her surgery and her motivations for undergoing such a...

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Joint Replacement – A Total Hospital Effort

Published May 24, 2013

[caption id="attachment_653" align="alignright" width="205"] Christine Gooley, APRN, BC[/caption] Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a talk about Total Knee Replacement surgery given by Dr. Elizabeth McLarney of Southern Vermont Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Dr. McLarney and her colleagues, Dr. William Vranos and Dr. Jon Thatcher, perform approximately 350 Total Joint Replacement surgeries per year. On the evening of Dr. McLarney’s educational session, the room was full of people who came to hear her discuss surgical and non-surgical options as well as hear from a patient who had undergone a Total Knee Replacement. The large t...

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Cancer Rehab Brings Relief from Lymphedema

Published May 17, 2013

By Jeri-Lynn Atwood

Lymphedema is one fairly common side effect of cancer treatment where a rehabilitation program can be particularly beneficial for the patient. It’s a condition that arises when structural damage to the lymphatic system occurs following treatments for breast cancer, although it can be associated with other cancers as well. While there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment improves both the prognosis and the condition. The lymphatic system is comprised of a series of tiny vessels and nodes throughout the body which transports fluid collected in the spaces be...

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Rehab Creates New Normal for Breast Cancer Patients

Published May 10, 2013

Kelly McCue, RN, MSN, CNS, OCN, CHPN by Kelly McCue [caption id="attachment_685" align="alignright" width="225"] Kelly McCue, RN, MSN, CNS, OCN, CHPN[/caption] Breast cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the world and is the most common cancer seen in women. It’s not surprising then that many of the patients seen at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Oncology department are breast cancer patients. The treatment approach for breast cancer is varied and may include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Many times a woman may receive a combination of these treatments. The oncology team, along with the patient, determines the best treatment approach based upon a number of fa...

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Rehab Plays a STARring Role in Surviving Cancer

Published May 3, 2013

Eileen Casey by Eileen Casey In 1929 an article in the Journal of Medicine offered this advice about how to help patients who have suffered a heart attack: [caption id="attachment_8424" align="alignright" width="195"] Eileen Casey[/caption] “The nurse should be carefully instructed to do everything in her power to aid the patient in any physical activity so that all possible movements such as feeding himself or lifting himself in bed are spared…Finally the patient should be urged to spend at least 6 weeks and preferably 8 weeks or more absolutely in bed.” This outlook had significant consequences and by the late 1930s many people were ou...

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HBOT Brings New Hope for Healing Chronic Wounds

Published April 26, 2013

Lynne Vantassel By Lynne Vantassel [caption id="attachment_8378" align="alignright" width="184"] Lynne Vantassel[/caption] While most of us are familiar with the use of hyperbaric oxygen chambers for scuba divers with decompression sickness, the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in wound care is an effective and FDA approved treatment for non-healing ulcers and wounds. HBOT is an adjunctive medical treatment in which the patient is entirely enclosed in a pressure chamber breathing 100% oxygen at greater than one atmospheric pressure. Treatment is determined by a specially trained physician who, after determining if the patient meets the criteria ...

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Hospital Volunteers Help Find A Way

Published April 19, 2013

Ina Feidelseit

By Ina Feidelseit

[caption id="attachment_8353" align="alignright" width="200"] Ina Feidelseit[/caption] In observance of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), BMH has asked one of its volunteers to contribute a column about her experiences at the hospital. If you’ve driven past the main entrance of the hospital this year, you’ve caught a glimpse of the Emergency Department construction project taking place. Sometime in the summer of 2013, the hospital will have a new front door in which to welcome the community. What won’t be changing, however, is that the person gre...

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