Recent Posts

Highlights
Emory Healthcare Makes Strides in Going Green
Jul 30, 2014 By Emory Healthcare

sustainabilityAccording to Practice Greenhealth, the premier US organization for healthcare sustainability, hospitals in the US produce almost 6 billion tons of waste annually, or 33 pounds per bed per day. So, how does a large academic medical system like Emory Healthcare tackle the challenge of going green? Here are just a few ways we’re working toward our goal:

  • By 2015, Emory Healthcare and Emory University aim to divert landfill waste by 65 percent through sophisticated recycling and composting programs, starting in the operating rooms (ORs) and other patient care areas. Emory University Hospital Midtown kicked off the recycling program in May, with Emory University Hospital joining the program during the summer. Medical technology company Stryker has placed bins in every operating room to collect used medical equipment. Equipment being collected includes laparoscopic devices, arthroscopic/orthopaedic devices (at EUHM) and energy devices. Those devices will be taken to a facility in Florida for recycling. Stericycle, a medical and hazardous waste company, will collect all clean plastic containers, clean plastic wrap, and clean cardboard boxes, many of which package surgical and
[...]

Read More | (0)
Cancer
Caring for the Caregiver
Jul 29, 2014 By Joy McCall, LMSW

Cancer CaregiverCaring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer is such an important role. Most often it is a spouse, family member or close friend who becomes the primary caregiver for the patient. It’s a big responsibility that can, at times, be overwhelming. Sometimes we forget that caregivers need to be taken care of too. Here are some tips for caring for the caregiver:

  • Reach out to other friends and family members for assistance. Make a list of duties that need to be completed in order to care for the patient. Ask others to help complete those tasks. This can help alleviate some stress for the caregiver.
  • Sign up for a caregiver support group. This can introduce you to other caregivers who are in a similar situation. It is also a great way to share ideas and tips. Winship Cancer Institute has a Caregiver Support Group that meets on the third Wednesday of each month for caregivers of cancer patients. Caregivers may also be interested in reaching out to other caregivers for some one-on-one support.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep and rest. Seven to eight hours of sleep each night can help you recharge your body and mind and give you more energy.
  • Consider
[...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Has Your Heart Ever “Skipped a Beat”? It Was Probably a Premature Contraction
Jul 28, 2014 By Faisal Merchant, MD

Heart AtriumThe heart is made up of two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles). In a normal heartbeat, an electrical impulse originates from an area in the right atrium called the sinus node. This impulse travels first to the atria, causing them to contract and pump blood into the ventricles. The electrical impulse then continues along its circuit to the ventricles, signaling them to contract and pump blood out to the lungs and the body. Sometimes, abnormal electrical signals originate from areas of the heart other than the sinus node. These extra impulses may target the atria or the ventricles, causing them to contract out of rhythm with the regular heartbeat. This type of arrhythmia is called a premature contraction. Premature contractions are common and may even go unnoticed. However, some people report a feeling of the heart skipping a beat, often followed by a stronger-than-usual beat. The pause is actually the heart waiting for the regular rhythm to resume. Following the pause, the normal contraction is often stronger than usual due to the presence of a greater volume of blood in the chambers. Premature contractions may occur for a number of reasons, [...]

Read More | (0)
Cosmetic Medicine
New Uses for Facial Fillers
Jul 25, 2014 By Dr. Anita Sethna

AestheticsSure, we’ve all seen commercials featuring fillers for those smile lines, the “parentheses” of the face, and we’ve certainly all seen photos of Hollywood starlets who have added a little more volume to their lips. But can you do anything else with fillers? Before we get to the fun stuff, it’s important to say that much of what we discuss in the next few lines is known as “non-FDA-approved uses” for fillers. That is to say, when the FDA approved these fillers, they approved them for injection into only certain areas (lips, cheeks and smile lines for example) because those were the areas that have been tested. With time, those of us with significant experience in injectables have expanded their use to other areas that need a little volume. This experience is vital—as cosmetic surgeons, we know where the muscles and soft tissues lie, what injections would have higher risks of complications, and into what tissue plane the least likelihood of risk would be. Drooping brows: As we age, the tail of the eyebrow can start to droop towards the eyelid. This is in part because of bone loss to the rim of the eye socket, but also because of loss of collagen and [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
What Is Atrial Flutter?
Jul 24, 2014 By Faisal Merchant, MD

Atrial FlutterAtrial flutter, also called “heart flutter,” is a type of arrhythmia that occurs when the upper two chambers of the heart (the atria) contract too rapidly. The first contraction in a normal heartbeat occurs in the atria. This contraction pumps the blood into the lower chambers of the heart, called the ventricles. The second contraction occurs in the ventricles and serves to pump blood out of the heart. In atrial flutter, the atria contract at an abnormally fast rate, but only about half of these contractions are followed by the second ventricular contraction. This causes the heart to work inefficiently and may result in poor blood supply to the body, including the brain and the heart muscle itself. If the heart and brain do not receive enough blood, organ failure can occur in the form of congestive heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Atrial flutter can occur on its own, but often occurs in people with other conditions, including atrial fibrillation , heart failure, congenital heart defects, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid conditions, heart valve conditions and chronic lung disease. The risk of atrial flutter also increases following serious illness, an [...]

Read More | (0)
Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Rotator Cuff Surgery
Jul 22, 2014 By Dr. Karas

rotator cuffThe rotator cuff is a group of four tendons and their attached muscles that stabilize the shoulder and allow you to raise and rotate your arm. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), the collarbone (clavicle), and the shoulder blade (scapula). The rotator cuff helps keep the ball of the arm bone seated into the socket of the shoulder blade. When the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff are overly stretched or damaged, the shoulder may begin to hurt. Patients with a rotator cuff tear usually have a dull ache in their upper arm in the area of the deltoid muscle. Neck pain on the same side may develop over time, as well as dull headaches. Patients may experience weakness or “popping” in the shoulder. and have difficulty with over-head shoulder activities (tennis, swimming, getting dressed). Night pain is a common finding with rotator cuff injuries, and may result in the inability to sleep. If you’ve torn your rotator cuff, your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain does not improve with nonsurgical methods. These include exercises using light weights and rubber bands, anti-inflammatory medications and [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
What Causes Congenital Heart Disease?
Jul 21, 2014 By Fred H. (Rusty) Rodriguez III, MD

Congenital heartCongenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common type of birth defect, affecting about 1% of infants born in the United States. While doctors can sometimes pinpoint the likely cause of a particular defect, most of the time the cause is uncertain. Most CHDs are the isolated type, meaning that they occur alone without other birth defects. In most isolated CHDs, the cause cannot be determined and is generally assumed to be a combination of genetic (inherited) and environmental factors. There are a number of genetic birth defects that often occur together with CHDs, including Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, Marfan syndrome and Williams syndrome. In these cases, a defect in the infant’s DNA causes the heart to develop improperly. For instance, about half of babies born with Down syndrome also have a CHD, most often a defect in the wall between the left and right sides of the heart (atrioventricular septal defect). A mother’s exposure to certain substances during pregnancy can increase the risk for CHDs. Some medications increase risk, including certain acne and seizure medications. Environmental exposures can be more difficult to pinpoint but may contribute as [...]

Read More | (0)
Cosmetic Medicine
Improve and Diminish Scars with Scar Revision
Jul 18, 2014 By Erica D. Anderson, MD

Scar RevisionThe scar may be a result of trauma or a surgical incision…no matter the reason, the common theme among patients who present in my office with a scar is that they wish these marks to be removed. Scars, though, cannot be simply removed. They can however be improved and hidden. There are several options that exist that can make these scars less visible. Let’s review these options and help you decide if a consultation with one of the physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center is the right choice for you. A scar is the body’s natural response to injury. With favorable healing, a thin inconspicuous scar may result. If however, the injury is traumatic or the healing was delayed, a widened scar may result. Worse, the scar may even thicken and become rope-like, referred to as a hypertrophic scar. When the scar extends beyond the area of injury, they are classified as keloids. Darker skin types are more prone to keloid scarring, and genetics can also play a role in wound healing. No matter the cause, a scar will fade and improve with time. There are some commonly recommended therapies that can help the scarring process. Silicone gels, e.g. BioCorneum, can be used twice daily [...]

Read More | (0)
Weight Management
Understanding Nutrition Facts Labels
Jul 17, 2014 By Meagan Moyer, MPH, RD, LD

Nutrition LabelCalories? Fat? Sodium? Carbohydrates? What do you look for on a nutrition facts label? Food labels tell you a lot about what’s in the foods you choose to eat. But they can be hard to decipher. Follow these simple steps to help you make the best food choices for what your body needs. Step 1: What’s the serving size? One of the most important pieces of information is also the most ignored! How many times have you eaten an entire package, thinking it’s one serving, just to turn it around and see that it’s actually two servings! That means you have to double all the numbers on the label. Instead of 150 calories, you ate 300. Instead of 7 grams of fat, you ate 14, and so on. Always check the serving size before portioning out your food. Step 2: How many calories? This section is helpful to look at if you are working on losing, gaining or maintaining weight. “Calories” listed on the left side are the number of calories for one serving. “Calories from Fat” tell you how many calories come from the fat in the food for one serving. Balance how many calories you eat with how many calories your body uses to maintain weight. Eat more calories than you burn to gain [...]

Read More | (0)
Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Understanding Talar Fractures
Jul 17, 2014 By William Reisman, MD

talus fractureThe talus is a small bone that sits between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the two bones of the lower leg (tibia and fibula). Where the talus meets the bones of the foot, it forms the subtalar joint, which plays an important role in walking and stabilization. The talus is an important connector between the foot and the leg and body, helping to transfer weight and pressure forces across the ankle joint. The talus has no muscular attachments and is mostly covered with cartilage, which makes injuries difficult to heal. What causes a talus fracture? Talus fractures are often the result of high-energy injuries. Most injuries to the talus result from motor vehicle accidents, although falls from heights also can injure the talus. These fractures also may occur from twisting the ankle, particularly when significant weight bearing forces are involved, which can result in small chips or fragments that are broken off the edges of the talus. Talus fractures may occur in running and jumping sports involving change of direction such as soccer, football, basketball, etc. Signs and symptoms of a talus fracture Many patients with a talus fracture will experience a sudden onset of [...]

Read More | (0)