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H&W News 12/28/12

Baptist Medical Group – Urology Offers Leading-Edge Procedure for Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder and incontinence affect millions of men and women each year, with most turning to medications and surgical procedures for treatments. Board-certified urologic surgeon, M. Elizabeth Cruit, M.D., of Baptist Medical Group – Urology now offers overactive bladder patients a non-surgical, non-invasive alternative to reducing their symptoms of urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence. This advanced, in-office treatment known as Urgent PC, utilizes a thin electrode inserted near the ankle that sends mild impulses to the pelvic nerves that control bladder functions. Patients receive weekly 30-minute treatments over the course of 12 weeks to improve bladder control. “This procedure is helpful for a variety of patients,” says Dr. Cruit. “It is a great alternative to surgical treatment and many patients see results within a matter of weeks.” Dr. Cruit is the only female urologists serving the greater Pensacola area and conveniently offers urology appointments in Pensacola, Atmore and Gulf Breeze. She welcomes new patients and offers care to men, women and children. Urgent PC is approved for patients using Medicare, but commercial insurance may vary. Please contact Baptist Medical Group – Urology for more details about Urgent PC and to learn if this procedure is right for you. To schedule an appointment visit BaptistMedicalGroup.org or call 437-8711.

Flu Comes Early This Year
Flu season is in full effect as we are seeing an earlier outbreak than usual. Flu season ranges from November through March, with activity normally peaking in February in the United States. The Sacred Heart Emergency Department began seeing a rising number of flu cases beginning in early November this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza activity reached the national baseline in November, the earliest since the 2003-2004 flu season. Flu is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs and is highly contagious. The main way that influenza is thought to spread is from person to person in the respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. Pregnant women, children younger than 5, people older than 65 and people with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease are at high-risk of developing serious flu-related complications. Adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than seven days. A few simple actions can help protect you, and others, from contracting the flu:  wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and get vaccinated. Flu vaccines offer the best protection we have against this disease. Flu vaccines are safe and cannot cause the flu. The vaccines work by priming your body’s defenses in case you are exposed to an actual flu virus. The most common side effect of a flu shot is soreness where the injection was given. This is generally mild and goes away after a day or two. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months. It takes about 2 weeks from vaccination for a full immune response. Sacred Heart is providing free flu shots at various locations in December. Visit Sacred-Heart.org for more information. Common symptoms of influenza include a high fever (102-104°F) lasting three to four days, prominent headache, muscle aches, fatigue, dry cough and chest discomfort. Stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat are sometimes present but are usually more indicative of a cold. The American Pharmaceutical Association offers the following suggestions for relief from flu symptoms:  increase fluids and rest, blow your nose gently, blowing both nostrils at the same time, elevate your head at night to help nasal passages drain, breathe in hot vapors from a shower. Use medication for specific symptoms when appropriate. Always discuss medications with your doctor. Prescription anti-viral medications may reduce the duration of your illness if taken soon after symptoms begin. Never give aspirin to a child or teenager with flu-like symptoms as this can cause Reye syndrome.

First Pacemaker Implant Performed at Gulf Breeze Hospital Cath Lab
The first pacemaker implant has been performed in Gulf Breeze Hospital’s new Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory, which opened in spring of this year. The procedure was done by Ian L. Weisberg, M.D., a board certified electrophysiologist with Cardiology Consultants of Baptist Health Care and one of the three heart rhythm specialists at Baptist’s Heart Rhythm Center revolutionizing heart rhythm care on the Gulf Coast. The newest generation of pacemakers are the size of two silver dollars, can be monitored by the doctor from the patient’s home and are used to help control the heart rate and even strengthen the heart muscle. Electrophysiologists are cardiologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rates and rhythms. The cath lab at Gulf Breeze Hospital has been providing convenient, accessible diagnostic testing since it opened earlier this year, including imaging for coronary heart disease, heart valve disease and blockages of the arteries in the legs. With the addition of device implants such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators (ICDs), the lab is now able to offer an additional location for rhythm management treatment and care to the residents of southern Santa Rosa County. “Our cath lab will continue to expand its capabilities to include therapies such as peripheral and coronary interventions to meet the growing needs of Gulf Breeze residents and surrounding communities, ” said Robert J. “Bob” Harriman, Ph.D., senior vice president of Baptist Health Care and administrator of Gulf Breeze Hospital. To learn more about heart and vascular services at Gulf Breeze Hospital, call 932-1775 or go online to ebaptisthealthcare.org/GulfBreezeHospital/.

Surgery Without A Scar – Yes!
Baptist Health Care is known for leading the area in surgical excellence and is proud to share another milestone. Not only is Baptist the only health care system in the area with two da Vinci S HD Surgical System robots, first in the region to perform robotic surgery and single-site robotic hysterectomy, but now Baptist is the first in Pensacola to bring single-site robotic surgery capabilities in gallbladder surgery. Baptist is the only health care provider in the region to perform over 1,500 robotic surgeries for urological, gynecological and thoracic lung procedures. This latest upgrade in robotic technology and surgeon training truly expands capabilities into the realm of general surgery. This innovative procedure allows patients to receive the care they need and return home sooner with a shorter recovery time. The best benefit is probably that it barely leaves a visible scar since the entry point is the patient’s belly button. Dr. Robert Rubey, M.D. with The Surgery Group will perform the first single-site robotic gallbladder surgery in the area at Baptist Hospital this month. “I’m excited about this new technology and thankful to Baptist for offering single-site robotic surgery to our community. Baptist is truly taking the next step with their robotic surgery program by providing the latest enhancements in patient care.” The culture of service excellence and a positive health care experience with the single-site surgical technique will be an asset to the community as Baptist leads the minimally invasive and robotic surgery technology in northwest Florida. Dr. Robert Rubey is a member of the Surgery Group and an independent member of the medical staff of Baptist Hospital, Inc. He is not an employee or agent of Baptist Hospital, Inc.

Sacred Heart Chest Pain Center Gains Accreditation
Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola has earned accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) as a Chest Pain Center. Sacred Heart was designated by SCPC as a Cycle 4 Chest Pain Center and one of only 52 centers nationwide to hold that highest level of accreditation. During an onsite review, Sacred Heart demonstrated a higher level of expertise and ability to quickly assess and treat patients who arrive with chest pain and other symptoms of heart attack. To the larger community, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:  reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment, treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when rapid treatment can prevent or minimize damage to the heart muscle, improving the monitoring of patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted. ”This achievement reflects the dedication and commitment of a skilled team of staff and physicians to provide the highest standards of care to our community,” said Susan Davis, president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. “The SCPC standards stress education, the use of protocols by providers and measurement of outcomes to insure the care and safety of people experiencing chest pain. ”The Chest Pain Center includes a newly renovated 10-bed observation unit located behind the hospital’s Emergency Department. The Chest Pain Center’s staff of doctors and nurses has skills in both emergency medicine and cardiac care.  The staff analyzes the early warning symptoms of heart attacks, monitors patients and if needed, provides the patient with immediate access to advanced procedures to treat blockages in the coronary arteries. ”People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Dr. Paul Tamburro, medical director of cardiovascular services at Sacred Heart. ”The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms. What they don’t realize is that every minute matters. The sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.” Most patients who come to the E.R. with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms are not actually having a heart attack, but the Chest Pain Center is able to quickly come up with an accurate diagnosis. The center provides its patients with a stress test to rule out a heart attack before the patient goes home. In cases where a patient is having a heart attack, Sacred Heart has been able to reduce the time interval between arrival at the Emergency Department and the time a cardiologist opens a patient’s blocked artery with a balloon angioplasty procedure. While the national standard is a 90-minute interval, Sacred Heart’s Chest Pain Center has reduced its average ”door-to-balloon” time to less than 60 minutes. The Chest Pain Center encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient. That includes integrating the Chest Pain Center with dispatch centers, Emergency Medical Systems, the emergency department, cath lab, and the community outreach efforts of Sacred Heart’s cardiac nurse navigators. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease.