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Living kidney donors greatly needed

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

The need for living kidney donors is growing, partly because people are living longer on dialysis, explains Vaughn Whittaker, MD, a transplant surgeon at Upstate. Everyone has two kidneys and can live with just one, and a kidney from a live donor tends to be of higher quality, he says. While some people fear live donation, Whittaker explains the safety factors and support system that let almost any healthy adult donate, as well as  breakthroughs like the ability to donate to someone with an incompatible blood type. Questions about kidney donation may be made to Upstate’s transplant clinic at 464-5413.

 

 

 

 

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Unique approach to opioid addiction treats the whole person

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Opioid addiction presents many challenges for the medical world, including how to get people off the drug successfully. Habitual use of these painkilling drugs can make people more sensitive to pain, notes Brian Johnson, MD, director of pain medicine and addiction medicine at Upstate. Johnson, who is also a professor of psychiatry and anesthesiology, explains how opioid use got out of control and how Upstate uses a unique, holistic system to detoxify addicts while dealing with their other medical and psychiatric problems as well.

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Ethics consultants help families navigate tough hospital choices

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Life-and-death decisions were once made exclusively by doctors, but nowadays those matters are largely in the hands of patients. This can create conflict as relatives disagree over how to treat a failing patient, for example, and that’s where ethics consultants can help. Two such consultants at Upstate University Hospital – neonatologist Thomas Curran, MD (at right in photo), and attorney Robert Olick, JD, PhD (at left), who are both bioethics and humanities faculty members at Upstate – explain how they try to clarify and resolve the issues and offer non-binding advice. Using a real-life case, they stress the importance of making one’s end-of-life wishes known, in advance, and choosing a health care proxy who will help carry out those wishes.

 

 

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Syndrome can attack polio survivors years later

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Polio epidemics are a thing of the past in the U.S., wiped out since the 1950s by vaccines. But some survivors of those epidemics are stricken decades later by post-polio syndrome, which brings back the weakness and pain they battled in their youth. There is no medication for this syndrome, but patients can be helped to manage and stabilize the condition, such as through carefully limited exercises, says neurologist Burk Jubelt, MD, who runs a post-polio syndrome clinic at Upstate. Jubelt, who is  a professor of neurology, microbiology and immunology and the neuroscience graduate program, also gives an overview of polio and describes recent developments in polio vaccines.

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E-cigarette dangers; how mother’s opiate use affects her baby; doctor, patient views on digestive disorder: Upstate Medical University’s HealthLink on Air for Sunday, July 24, 2016

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

July 24, 2016

Respiratory therapist Theresa Hankin goes over the dangers and new regulations of e-cigarettes. Neonatologist Michelle Bode, MD, explains the effect of a mother’s opiate use on her baby. Gastroenterologist Divey Manocha, MD, talks about digestive diseases with one of his patients.

 

 

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Mild cognitive impairment, Zika virus, pancreas transplant recipients: Upstate Medical University’s HealthLink on Air for July 17, 2016

Friday, July 15th, 2016

July 17, 2016

Neurologist Amy Sanders, MD, explains mild cognitive impairment. Infectious disease specialist Timothy Endy, MD, tells about the Zika virus. Two pancreas transplant recipients share their experiences with diabetes and kidney disease.

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E-cigarettes, now under FDA regulation, carry potential dangers

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Electronic cigarettes, promoted as producing water vapor instead of smoke, actually produce an aerosol with tiny particles that could cause lung problems, says Theresa Hankin, a respiratory therapist at the Upstate Cancer Center. The tobacco-derived liquid in e-cigarettes and related devices contains highly addictive nicotine and traces of elements including heavy metals, Hankin notes. Although some tout the devices as a way to quit smoking, many people end up using both kinds of cigarettes. She notes that much research needs to be done and that the Food and Drug Administration has just begun to regulate the e-cigarette or “vaping” industry, which has been marketing its products to young consumers.

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Prevent drownings through education, awareness of hazards

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Education and awareness underlie the best ways to prevent drowning, says Robert Newmyer, MD, a pediatric critical care physician at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Learning the basics of swimming and water safety is most important, and learning CPR too, if possible, explains Newmyer, who is a former lifeguard and swimming instructor. Other points he discusses include checking for potential hazards in a swimming area, the buddy system, the limits of lifeguards, the concept of “dry drowning” and how children perceive risk.

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Pancreas transplants, preventing drowning, breast cancer/prostate cancer link: Upstate Medical University’s HealthLink on Air for July 10, 2016

Friday, July 8th, 2016

July 10, 2016

Transplant surgeons Rainer Gruessner, MD, and Mark Laftavi, MD, discuss the pancreas transplant program. Pediatrician Robert Newmyer, MD, talks about drowning and water safety. Urologist Srinivas Vourganti, MD, tells how the “breast cancer gene” increases a man’s risk of prostate cancer.

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Transitional care, suicide prevention, lupus overview: Upstate Medical University’s HealthLink on Air for July 3, 2016

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

July 3, 2016

Geriatrician Sharon Brangman, MD, and nurse Amy Rottger explain the role of transitional care. Representatives from Contact Community Services Crisis Intervention Services discuss suicide prevention. Rheumatologist Hiroshi Kato, MD, provides an overview of lupus. Also, a Check Up From the Neck Up and a selection from The Healing Muse.

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Mothers’ opioid use can lead to withdrawal, neonatal abstinence syndrome in newborns

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

A growing number of babies are born to mothers who took a narcotic of some kind during pregnancy, and that puts the babies at risk for developing neonatal abstinence syndrome, says Michelle Bode, MD, an Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital assistant professor and Crouse Hospital neonatologist. Within the first week of life, a baby who was exposed to prescription or nonprescription opioids in the womb may become irritable, have trouble feeding and develop a shrill cry, she says. The baby is likely to have a longer-than-normal hospital stay, which impacts on bonding time with his or her mother. Bode points out that for mothers who watch their babies go through withdrawal, “the shame and guilt is immense.”

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Transitional care helps Medicare patients go from hospital to home

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Some may be completing a course of antibiotics. Some may have a new diagnosis of diabetes and need help learning to manage their disease. Others could be recovering from a fall that caused a broken bone. A variety of Medicare patients spend from five to 20 days in the Transitional Care Unit before they are discharged from Upstate University Hospital. What these older patients have in common is the goal to return to their homes. Medical director Sharon Brangman, MD (at left in photo), says patients on the Transitional Care Unit receive the same type of care they would receive as traditional hospital patients, “but with a different set of goals to help make sure they can get home and stay home.” Nurse Amy Rottger (at right), the unit manager, explains that patients get dressed each morning and share a common dining area as they work toward returning to their typical routine.

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