See how a dedicated Sutter Health nurse is helping to make a difference in a remote part of Africa.Read More about Nurse’s Inspiration Leads to a Permanent Health Clinic in Uganda
Family picked the Alta Bates campus in Berkeley for its “top-level” newborn intensive care unit.Read More about Grateful Parents Talk About Their Leap Day Twins
Ryan and Summer Erickson, of Oakland, are proud parents of premature twins Miles, born Feb. 28; and Walter, born Leap Day, Feb. 29; at Alta Bates Summit.
“We are so very grateful to the entire care team that has taken such great care of us,” Summer says. “As scary and overwhelming as the whole experience has been, we’ve had a lot of calming moments because we know Walter and Miles are in the best of hands.” Read More about Grateful Parents Talk About Their Leap Day Twins
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Provides Award-Winning Emergency Care for Heart Attack
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The same is true for Alameda County. Receiving high-quality, effective care for the body’s hardest working muscle can mean the difference between life and death.
For more than 10 years, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has been a designated “cardiac receiving center” for Alameda County. Hospitals with these designations must have demonstrated that they have the facilities, physicians and cardiac team needed to provide immediate diagnostic tests and the interventions necessary to save lives. Read More about When Seconds Count: Life-Saving Care Is Close to Home
By Mitul Kadakia, M.D.
There’s new hope for patients with aortic stenosis who are at high or extreme risk for open heart surgery.
Severe aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve, causes fainting, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath and heart failure. Without treatment, many patients with severe aortic stenosis ultimately die of this condition.
A new treatment option, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), can be beneficial for patients at high risk for open heart surgery. This minimally invasive procedure allows replacing the aortic valve without open heart surgery.
A catheter is placed through a small incision in the groin or in the arteries in the upper left side of the chest. This catheter is used to deliver a new aortic valve to the heart.
The procedure is generally done with conscious sedation, which is easier on the patient and shortens recovery time. Many patients go home on the second day after surgery. There are no scars on the chest.
TAVR has been studied in large numbers of high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis, showing excellent results and favorable outcomes. It is supported by major medical society guidelines. (2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease http://circ.ahajournals.org/ content/129/23/e521.full)
If you have been diagnosed with aortic stenosis, talk to your cardiologist to find out whether TAVR is appropriate for you.
Mitul Kadakia, M.D., is a Sutter Health affiliated cardiologist at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and part of the Alta Bates Summit Heart Team along with Drs. David Daniels and Russell Stanten. Together, they have performed more than 140 TAVR procedures with outcomes that have exceeded national benchmarks. To learn more, visit altabatessummit.org/heart or contact us at 510-869-6700.
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