See how Alta Bates Summit partners with skilled nursing facilities to improve patient care.Read More about The Right Care in the Right Place: Partnership Reduces Hospital Readmission for Most Vulnerable Patients
Robotic exoskeleton therapy helps survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other forms of lower extremity weakness to walk again.Read More about East Bay’s First Robotic Exoskeleton Helps Rehab Patients
By Jeffrey Silvers, M.D.
Medical Director, Quality and Infectious Disease
Good news for those who have been vaccinated for flu this season and for those who have been procrastinating: This flu season’s vaccine is a good match to the virus circulating in the U.S.
That means the vaccine reduces your chance of getting influenza by 50 to 60 percent. So what are you waiting for? It’s not too late – flu season peaks in February or March each year.
Anyone who develops influenza and contacts a healthcare provider within 48 hours can be treated with the antiviral medication Tamiflu.
Those with a high risk of developing complications from flu should begin treatment with Tamiflu as soon as flu is identified – even if it has been longer than 48 hours.
Tamiflu can be very effective for high-risk patients, including pregnant women, women who’ve given birth within two weeks, those 65 or older, kids under the age of 2, people in chronic care facilities, people with diabetes or heart, lung, kidney or liver disease.
Still, prevention is the best approach to self care. Do what you can do to fight the flu and stay healthy:
A flu shot is your first step in fighting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control recommend vaccination for everyone six months of age or older, all healthcare workers and any person at high risk for severe illness.
Practice good health habits like washing your hands regularly, covering your cough and staying home when you are sick:
If you have the flu you may feel very sick and tired as well as achy, feverish and dehydrated. Sore throat, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, headache and diarrhea are common symptoms.
If you have severe illness or are at high risk for flu complications, please contact your doctor or seek medical care.
A: Too often, women are unaware that coronary artery disease is a serious health risk and don’t get evaluated for heart disease, even though it could save their lives. Chest pain is a common symptom in men and women, but they often experience it differently.
Men tend to feel sharp chest pain during physical exertion, while in women, chest pain may occur with exertion or with emotional stress alone. Women also may experience unexplained fatigue or shortness of breath.
On average, women develop coronary artery disease 10 years later than men. This may be due to the protective role estrogen is thought to play in preventing heart disease. With menopause, estrogen levels drop, which may place women at greater risk for the disease.
Although men and women can have high LDL cholesterol, women naturally have higher levels of the “good” HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol than men, which helps remove the “bad” LDL cholesterol from arteries. So, low HDL levels in women are a serious risk factor for heart disease.
African-American and Latina/Hispanic women have a greater prevalence of certain risk factors.
The Basics of Coronary Artery Disease
This type of heart disease occurs when fat and cholesterol, known as plaque, build up in the vessels that supply blood to the heart. The plaque narrows the blood vessels, which reduces the flow of blood. Most heart attacks occur when a blood clot forms on the plaque and cuts off the blood supply to the heart.
What’s Your Risk?
Common risk factors include:
Stress Test Often Used to Diagnose
A cardiac stress test is often used to diagnose coronary artery disease by monitoring the heart’s electrical activity and pumping performance. However, even when their hearts are healthy, women are more likely than men to show irregularities during cardiac stress tests. This can create a false positive for heart disease, so doctors also use an imaging test to confirm the results of stress tests in women.
If you are diagnosed with the disease, many effective medications and interventions are equally successful in men and women.
How to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Prevent a heart attack by catching heart disease before symptoms begin. Have your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked regularly beginning at age 45. You can also reduce your risk for coronary artery disease by
February is American Heart Month. Take the opportunity to talk with your doctor about your heart health. Find exceptional cardiovascular care in the East Bay.
Tune in to KQED Forum Dec. 28, 10 to 11 a.m., to hear Sutter Health pulmonologist Andrew McClintock Greenberg M.D., Ph.D., talk about the latest in asthma research and treatment. Call in: 866-733-6786 (866-SF-Forum) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allergies and asthma often coexist as responses to the same triggers. See your doctor if you have even mild discomfort. You’ll feel better quickly and prevent more serious illness.
Asthma is a chronic condition in which inflammation in the lungs causes:
When the passageways clamp shut they produce wheezing and make breathing more difficult.
The inflammation can be caused (triggered) by:
Allergies are milder reactions to triggers (allergens). Symptoms include:
Severe allergies can trigger an asthma attack.
Proactive care is key to preventing symptoms and managing the ailments. The earlier in life a person develops symptoms and the longer they go without treatment, the more likely they are to have severe symptoms.
Long-term inflammation can cause permanent damage such as lung scarring.
Added expectations, additional pressures at home, demands on time and anxiety about world events take a toll on our psyches this time of year. Are you suffering from holiday depression? Read More about Happier Holidays: Reduce Stress to Find Joy of the Season
Delivering high-quality, patient-centered care doesn’t end when patients leave the hospital. Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center collaborates with skilled nursing facilities in Oakland and Berkeley to help patients continue healing and return home.
Repeated hospitalizations are stressful — physically and emotionally — for patients and their families. Nationally, about one in five Medicare patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are readmitted to a hospital within 30 days. SNFs provide round the clock nursing care and rehabilitation services. Read More about The Right Care in the Right Place: Partnership Reduces Hospital Readmission for Most Vulnerable Patients
Alameda County Food Bank
Food Bank of Contra Costa
Food Pantry of Davis Street Family Resource Center
This year, Sutter Health donated a quarter-million-dollar-plus to 27 food banks across Northern California, Oregon and Hawaii. The donation enables local food banks to serve nutritious meals to those in need this holiday season.
“Our care teams play a special part in creating healthier communities,” says CEO Pat Fry. “Partnering with local food banks is another way we give back and help families stay well-nourished.”
In the past seven years, Sutter Health’s donations to community food banks total more than $1.6 million. On average, every dollar donated to food banks translates to more than four meals served.
The acute rehabilitation program at Alta Bates Summit now offers robotic exoskeleton therapy to help survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other forms of lower extremity weakness to walk again.
Patented by Ekso Bionics – based in Richmond – the Ekso GT body suit adjusts continuously to support a patient’s every step. It offers new hope for greater independence and a better quality of life for a broad range of people with limited mobility due to injuries or illnesses. Read More about East Bay’s First Robotic Exoskeleton Helps Rehab Patients