Archive for the ‘Doctor Is In’ Category

DOCTOR IS IN: Mindfulness meditation helps cancer patients and caregivers

Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, is an associate professor at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and a faculty member of Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. She also is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar.

The words, “You have cancer,” forever change one’s life. Even when the chances of cure or long-term remission are high, there is often questioning that takes place. Why me? What caused the cancer? What could I have done to prevent it? Will it come back? Is this new ache the cancer coming back or getting worse? Will the tests come back normal? Will I live long enough to see my children or grandchildren graduate from school or get married?

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Family members of cancer patients may also wonder and worry: Will my loved one be okay and live a long time? Will we be able to handle challenges that we may face? This kind of wondering and questioning, for both cancer patients and family members, is normal. However it may be overwhelming and …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Treating broken bones in children

By Michael Schmitz, M.D., Chief of Orthopaedics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
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Most broken bones (fractures) in children occur in the fall, when school and community sports are in full swing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 3.5 million sports-related injuries occur each year in the United States to children younger than age 14, with fractures among the most common. Fractures are the most common sports-related injury seen in the Emergency Departments at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The bones of children are different than those of adults and benefit from specialized pediatric care to promote proper healing and future growth. Some of the more common sports fractures are growth-plate, greenstick and torus fractures. A growth-plate fracture involves damage to a portion of the bone that contributes to its length and shape. In greenstick fractures, the bone bends like green wood and breaks on only one side. The bone is buckled and weakened but not …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Mindfulness with medications

By Sylvia E. Morris, MD, MPH

Clinical Instructor, Hospital Medicine Section, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Healthcare

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When it comes to taking medications for illnesses or chronic health conditions, communicating with your doctor is key for safe and appropriate medication use, and better health. Whether it is taking medication once or twice a year for a sinus infection or a common cold, or taking daily medication for high blood pressure or heart disease, talking with your doctor about the benefits and risks of these drugs is very important.

Taking medications accurately can help prevent or delay more costly medical problems. It can also improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

When your doctor prescribes medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, ask questions about taking the medication, including: How long must the medication be taken? Which other medications and foods should be avoided when taking a prescribed medication? What are possible side …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Keep kids safe during radiation procedures

By Kimberly Applegate, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.R.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta radiologist and Vice Chair of Quality and Safety, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine.

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When faced with the need for medical imaging tests in their children, many parents are afraid as they may not understand the technology or the reasons why a test is being performed. Parents also do not often understand the risks and benefits for their child. The diagnostic radiologist is a physician imaging expert. Most radiologists receive 13 years of extensive training (medical school, residency, subspecialty). Radiologists often also endure additional training in how to perform and interpret imaging in children safety.

Pediatric radiologists are careful with the risks that tests pose for children. One particularly important risk is from ionizing radiation. Pediatric radiology facilities use low radiation dosages that are tailored for the size of each child to minimize the radiation the …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Domestic violence — stopping abuse and bringing awareness

BY MELISSA KOTTKE, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine, Director of the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health, Practicing OBGYN at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

KottkeOne in four women will experience some kind of domestic violence during her lifetime. Each year, intimate partner violence results in an estimated 2 million injuries and 1,200 deaths among women. These statistics may be shocking, but sadly, they are very real.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a month to focus on ending the violence that affects so many lives and to increase awareness that there is help for those suffering. It is a time to remember those who have lost their lives because of an abusive relationship. And it is also a time to work towards the prevention of intimate partner violence.

Intimate partner violence can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, sexual preference, economic background …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Know your child’s medicine

BY GARY FRANK, M.D.

Medical Director, Quality and Medical Management, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

G_FrankDrug reactions in children may be more common than you think. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that more than half a million U.S. children see a doctor each year after experiencing a reaction to a medicine. While some of these reactions are severe enough to require medical treatment and hospitalization, the most common types of reactions are rashes and stomach upset. The study also showed that antibiotics are the most common type of medicine to cause a reaction resulting in a doctor visit.

Allergic reactions

If your child has known allergies it is especially important to read the label or ask your pharmacist about the medicine’s ingredients.

Allergic reactions can be serious, even life threatening. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away if your child shows any of these signs:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the mouth, eyes or …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Understanding risks and symptoms in ovarian cancer

BY SHARMILA MAKHIJA, MD

Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar and Associate Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of Gynecologic Oncology for Emory Healthcare and Emory Winship Cancer Institute

S-MarkhijaOvarian cancer may not be the most common cancer in women, but it may be the most feared by women. Each year in the United States, about 21,550 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is the eighth most common cancer among women, and one for which there is no known cause. The estimate for new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States in 2009 is 21,550 and estimated deaths are14,600, according to the American Cancer Society.

Ovarian cancer forms in tissues of the ovary (one of a pair of female reproductive glands in which the ova, or eggs, are formed). Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell …

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DOCTOR IS IN: All sports and energy drinks are not created equal

BY ROSHNI PATEL, M.D.

Associate Medical Director of Urgent Care Services at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and Hughes Spalding.  She is also the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine within the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

patelDoes it feel like you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the latest fad in sports or energy drinks? Some claim to give you more energy throughout the day, lose weight or even prepare you to train for the Olympics.

Several of these types of beverages are strategically marketed toward youth as well, promising extra nutrition, concentration, energy and performance enhancers, to name a few.

But, after glancing over the fancy packaging, you learn that most contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine or ingredients that are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some of these ingredients include:

Guarana—a source of caffeine thought to aid in weight loss

Taurine—an amino acid …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Nation moves quickly toward H1N1 vaccine

BY SRILATHA EDUPUGANTI, MD, MPH

Assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine; Medical director of the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center; investigator in the adult H1N1 influenza clinical trials.

With the arrival of fall, and schools and colleges well under way, Georgia already has seen a substantial number of cases of novel H1N1 flu. Although it appears that most cases have been mild, there have been more serious cases, just as there are every year with seasonal flu.

Doctors in the region have noted serious illness not only among individuals with underlying medical conditions but also among young, previously healthy individuals.

The U.S. government declared the H1N1 outbreak a public health emergency in April 2009, and two months later the World Health Organization classified the outbreak a pandemic, reflecting its widespread nature. To minimize the impact of H1N1 flu in our …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Common injuries in young lacrosse players

BY DAVID MARSHALL, M.D.

Medical Director, Sports Medicine Program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Clinical Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

DavidMarshallAlmost 300,000 children play lacrosse, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. While both boys and girls participate in the sport, the style of play for each gender is different.

Overall, participation in lacrosse is safe and the injury rate among young athletes is actually very low. Because of rules differences for the boys and girls games, some injury patterns in male and female players differ as well.

In the boys game, body checking is allowed. Male lacrosse players wear protective equipment—helmets, facemasks, mouthguards, padded gloves and pads on their shoulders, ribs, arms and elbows.  The goalkeeper is also required to wear a throat protector and chest protector.

Conversely, female lacrosse players wear only mouthguards and eye goggles, as body checking is not allowed. Goaltenders must …

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