Browse Category: Wellness

heart

February Is American Heart Month

American Heart Month, which is celebrated each February, is a good time to remind both men and women about the dangers of coronary heart disease and ways people can reduce their risks.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

What puts someone at risk for heart disease?

High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and obesity are some of the risk factors for heart disease, according to Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Cardiologist Thomas Martin, MD, FACC. The more risk factors people have, the more likely they are to develop heart disease.

The risk factors listed above account for about two-thirds of the total number of heart disease cases, while the remaining causes of heart disease are still unknown, Dr. Martin says.

Men are at a higher risk for heart disease than women. However, the risk rises in women over age 55, provided they do not have the risks previously mentioned.

Men and women who have a family history of coronary heart disease are at a higher risk, as well.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

In 50% of the population, the first symptom of heart disease can be, unfortunately, sudden death.

That percentage is higher when it comes to smokers, Dr. Martin says. The good news is that by quitting smoking, people can quickly reverse their additional risk factors. After two weeks, the immediate risk goes away. Although the residual effects of smoking last for a much longer time, according to Dr. Martin.

The most common symptom of coronary heart disease is discomfort in the chest — pain, pressure or a burning sensation. Sometimes the discomfort will radiate to people’s backs, shoulders and jaws.

This pain can be associated with shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and if severe enough, vomiting. About one-third of all heart attacks present with classic symptoms, Dr. Martin says.

Women present with different symptoms than men. Heart disease is missed more in women because they present with unusual symptoms that not everyone is aware of as being heart-related, Dr. Martin says.

Atypical symptoms for heart disease in men and women (though more common in women) are back pain and an unexpected shortness of breath that presents suddenly.

Diabetics are especially at risk for heart disease, Dr. Martin warns. They can have a heart attack and not even know they are having symptoms.

How do you know if you should seek medical attention?

People who have an onset of chest discomfort they cannot explain should see a provider immediately, Dr. Martin advises.

If people are not sure about their symptoms, they should go to the hospital or see their doctor. Do not dismiss symptoms as nothing, like heartburn or acid reflux. Be safe and seek medical attention.

To schedule an appointment with the PCRMC Medical Group Heart & Vascular Center, please call 573-308-1301.

CRNA Week

PCRMC Recognizes Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Anesthesiologists

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is celebrating National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Week, which runs January 22-28, this year, and National Anesthesiologists Week, which takes place from January 29 through February 4, 2017.

Both CRNAs and anesthesiologists are trained to give patients anesthesia during certain procedures to allow them to be free of pain. All anesthesia care is provided with the highest degree of professionalism.

The most substantial difference between CRNAs and anesthesiologists is that before being trained in anesthesia, anesthesiologists receive medical education while CRNAs get nursing education. However, they are both taught to use the same anesthesia process.

This year’s CRNA Week marks the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ 18th annual celebration of anesthesia patient safety and the nation’s 50,000-plus CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists who safely and cost-effectively provide approximately 43 million anesthetics each year.

CRNA Week was initially known as National Nurse Anesthetists Week, but this new name helps patients, hospital administrators, healthcare professionals and others become more familiar with the CRNA credential and the exceptional advanced practice registered nurses who have earned it.

Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. The CRNA credential came into existence in 1956.

These two weeks allow CRNAs and anesthesiologists across the country the chance to educate the public about advancements in anesthesia patient safety and the role and value of CRNAs and anesthesiologists in delivering anesthesia care.

CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified healthcare professionals. CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural healthcare settings in America.

There are three basic types of anesthesia. General anesthesia produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body. Regional anesthesia creates a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body. Local anesthesia causes a loss of sensation to a small, specific area of the body.

The anesthesia chosen for patients is based on factors such as their physical condition, the nature of the surgery and their reactions to medications.

CRNAs stay with their patients for the entire procedure, constantly monitoring every important function of their body and individually modifying their anesthetic to ensure their maximum safety and comfort. 

DDCI Photo

PCRMC Delbert Day Cancer Institute to See First Patients January 9

The Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Del­bert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) is scheduled to open and start seeing its first patients this Monday, January 9, 2017.

The $43 million, four-story, 100,000-square-foot cancer center represents a major investment in Rolla, Missouri, and surrounding communities. The opening of the DDCI is an historic event that will forever change the face of cancer care in south-central Missouri.

Six years ago, PCRMC first announced the creation of the cancer institute named after Dr. Delbert Day, curators’ professor emeritus of ceramic engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri.

Dr. Day’s son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Kim Day, provided the “seed gift” for the cancer institute.

Additionally, the community raised $7 million during a successful capital campaign to help construct the DDCI. A total of 1,170 businesses, organizations and individuals contributed to the cancer treatment facility.

“Ted and Kim Day lit the fuse,” Dr. Day said but added that the community “provided the fuel to get us where we are today.”

“When a community gets behind a project such as this, great things are bound to happen,” said PCRMC CEO Ed Clayton. “The Delbert Day Cancer Institute is something that we hope you, our community, are very proud of.”

PCRMC has been offering cancer care services for over three decades, but what makes the DDCI so special is that “we can integrate the care that we currently offer in several places under one roof,” said PCRMC Director of Radiation Oncology Christopher Spencer, MD. “These services will all be streamlined in a central, convenient location.”

An additional 520 patients can be treated each year at the DDCI.

This cancer institute features modern, state-of-the-art equipment and uses the latest in cancer treatment technology to help people living with cancer.

PCRMC purchased a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, which can deliver radiation with speed and accuracy to treat cancer.

The DDCI also has a new Siemens PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) scanner, which uses small amounts of radioactive material and X-rays to scan the body to obtain information about cells and tissues that may be cancerous.

In addition, the DDCI offers chemotherapy services, radiation oncology, medical oncology and hematology care, imaging services, an infusion center, a new pharmacy, cancer rehabilitation, genetic counseling, nurse navigator services, social services, a cancer resource center, dietary support, spiritual support, a wig and bra fitting boutique and more.

While the cancer center is an architectural masterpiece as seen from the outside, it is the care providers, staff, employees and volunteers who will bring the true, exceptional care to cancer patients inside the building.

At the DDCI, patients will receive world-class cancer care, close to home, so they do not have to travel far for their treatments and therapies.

Cancer patients will be served by a team of radiologists, medical and radiation oncologists, general surgeons, pathologists, urologists, pulmonologists, palliative and supportive care physicians, gynecologists, otolaryngologists as well as nursing staff, social workers, dietitians and many others.

The DDCI is nationally accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

To learn more about the DDCI, visit the cancer center located at 1060 West 10th Street, Rolla, Missouri, call 573-458-3324 (DDCI) or go online to pcrmc.com.

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PCRMC Now Offering Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections

Patients who suffer from various joint injuries now have a new treatment option available to them at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC). The low-risk medical procedure, which only takes about a half hour, may postpone the need for surgery, according to the PCRMC Orthopedics Group.

A platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a treatment used for a variety of common orthopedic conditions. PRP injections offer an alternative to surgical interventions.

“It may help avoid surgery down the road,” says PCRMC Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Potter, MD. “It may put off a knee replacement surgery.”

The injections can be used for patients with conditions including tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, sprained knees, chronic tendon injuries and acute sports injuries, such as ligament and muscle injuries.

Additionally, PRP has been used in outpatient settings to treat common overuse conditions including Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis and patellar tendonitis.

This service is being offered to patients at PCRMC on a cash-only basis for $375. This procedure is not covered by most insurance companies or Medicare.

The entire process takes about 20 to 30 minutes and can be done in the PCRMC Orthopedics office located in the PCRMC Medical Office Building, 1050 West 10th Street, Rolla, MO.

In November 2015, PCRMC Orthopedics care providers performed the first PRP injection on a patient at PCRMC.

PRP is obtained from the patient who is being treated. During the procedure, about 15 mL of the patient’s blood is drawn from a vein in his or her arm.

The patient’s blood is then placed in a specialized centrifuge, a machine that spins at a high speed to separate the different types of blood cells. The care provider then extracts the platelet-rich portion of the blood and injects this into the area of the patient’s injury.

The main benefits of PRP are thought to be caused by growth factors released from the patient’s blood platelets. Growth factors are chemicals that signal the body to initiate a response to remedy the injury.

“There’s minimal risk,” Dr. Potter says about PRP injections. Dr. Potter notes that whenever a needle is inserted through a patient’s skin, infection can occur.

PRP injections are not recommended in individuals with bleeding disorders, those taking anti-coagulation (blood-thinner) medications or people who have cancer, active infections or are pregnant.

For more information about PRP or to schedule an appointment, call the PCRMC Orthopedics Group at 573-364-5633 (KNEE).

Living History

PCRMC’s Living History Program Helps Tell Patients’ Stories

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is looking for patients to write stories about for the Living History Program©.

If you are a patient who receives treatment while at PCRMC and participate in the program, a life story will be written about you. It will be a history of who you are and what you have done.

All parts of your life play a role in your well-being. By knowing your story, PCRMC can better treat and encourage you as a patient.

Through the program, a storywriter will come and talk with you about your life, including where you were born, where you have lived, what you do (or did) for a living, what hobbies and interests you have and things about your family. You should feel free to share whatever information you want and none that you feel uncomfortable telling.

The PCRMC storywriter will write your story and let you read it to make sure it is accurate. When the story is written, it becomes a gift to the patient and his or her family, but the story also becomes a useful tool for the healthcare team.

The Living History Program© provides a document that brings to life the history of PCRMC’s patients and allows healthcare workers to provide care to the heart and soul of the patient, not just the diagnosis or condition.

The benefits of giving care with a personalized life story available are tremendous. Nurses and physicians use the information in the story to increase their connectivity with the patient. PCRMC staff learns to understand and appreciate patients better through the use of their personal stories.

In addition, the story is used by social workers and case managers in the discharge planning process. A Living History increases satisfaction of the patient, family and members of the healthcare team.

If you come back to PCRMC as a patient, your story can be updated, if necessary.

You have the option of keeping your story confidential, but many of the patients like to share their story. So if you are comfortable with your history, you can sign a release form and PCRMC may include your story in hardbound books that will include the histories of many others. These books will be available at PCRMC.

For more information about the Living History Program©, contact PCRMC Guest Relations at 573-458-7878.