National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 30

Get rid of those unwanted medications cluttering your cabinet!

Several containers of over the counter and prescription medications on the shelves of a 1960's medicine cabinet.

Many years ago, a new father was inspired by the birth of his first child to improve his health. He used a prescription medication to stop smoking and when he had some medication left over, he placed it in a drawer. When his child grew to be an inquisitive toddler, the child found the medication and before the parents were aware had ingested enough of these pills to be at risk for seizures and other life-threatening complications.

Fortunately, this story ended well.  Managed quickly in the hospital, the child suffered no complications and after observation was sent home.

Tragically, this is not an isolated incident.

Prescription drugs are an important part of modern healthcare.  When taken as prescribed, pharmaceuticals have great potential to help with a wide variety of ailments and conditions.  When misuse occurs, however, great problems can also result. Continue reading

UMHS teams up with students to teach hands-only CPR

Do you know what to do if a friend or family member suddenly went into cardiac arrest?

Start hands-only CPR!

Hands-only CPR is CPR without any mouth-to-mouth contact. If you witness someone suddenly collapse, it’s important to call 9-1-1 and then begin pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest of the collapsed person.

Thanks to the U-M Club Sports Teams, more than 350 U-M students were trained in hands-only CPR over the course of two days last week. Continue reading

Lipodystrophy: When fat loss isn’t a good thing

“My mom knew since my birth that something wrong was going on, but didn’t know what exactly,” says Daizha Hill, now 16 years old. “She kept a book where she would write down every symptom I was having when I didn’t feel good. Then she would try to look them up online to see what she could find out.”

Daizha and her mother, Juanita Brooks-Hill, went to several doctors in the Metro Detroit area looking for answers to her symptoms. Meanwhile, Juanita kept searching online for experts that helped patients with symptoms that matched what Daizha was experiencing.

That’s when she stumbled across Dr. Elif Oral, an endocrinologist, on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) website. After further searching, she found that Dr. Oral had recently moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which meant she was not too far away from them.

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Daizha and Dr. Oral

After a few appointments with Dr. Oral, Daizha was officially diagnosed with lipodystrophy. Continue reading

Genetic testing leads to diagnosis for rare Von Hippel Lindau disease

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Haley Miller and her daughter, Layla

 

Haley Miller, now a wife and mother of two, went to her first genetic testing appointment at age 20.

“It was around 1999 and genetic testing had just been developed. As soon as it had, the doctor recommended our whole family go, so we did,” Miller says.

Most families don’t just think of setting up genetic testing, but when Miller’s father was diagnosed and eventually passed away from complications of Von Hippel Lindau, their family knew it could only help.

Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) is an inherited disorder where those affected experience abnormal growth of tumors and cysts throughout the body. The tumors can be both benign and cancerous and many of them can be found in the adrenal glands, kidneys, pancreas and central nervous system. Those affected by VHL undergo body scans each year to check for progression and changes in the disorder. Continue reading

Scalds, burns and fires, oh my! Easy tips to keep your family safe from burn injuries

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According to the American Burn Association, a burn injury serious enough to require treatment happens every minute in the U.S.

It doesn’t stop there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that each day over 300 children are seen in an emergency room for burn injuries.

The University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected centers for treating patients who have suffered from burn injuries, admits an average of 1,400 multiple-trauma and burn patients each year in the hospital.

While most people would assume those burn injuries result from fires or flames, hot liquids and steam can burn the skin just as easily! In fact, the leading cause of burn injuries in children less than 5 years old is scalding from hot liquids. Moreover, 95 percent of these injuries occur in the home!

This week (the first week of February) is observed as National Burn Awareness Week. The week serves as a great reminder to local communities to become more aware of burn injuries and learn how to prevent them in their own homes. Continue reading

Assisted Ventilation Clinic offers patients outside the box care

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Becky and Emily Houser

 

“When you’re in the hospital, you lie in a bed and everyone comes to you. Why can’t we do the same thing with our outpatient visits?”

Dr. Robert Sitrin was toying with this question for months when he finally decided he should bring the idea to Galen Toews, his division chief at the time.

“I went to Galen and explained the need for a clinic that could service some of our most complex patients and make their visits easier for them,” says Sitrin. “This would have never happened if the chief hadn’t supported me.”

The clinic Sitrin is referring to is the Assisted Ventilation Clinic run by the Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine team, a division of Internal Medicine at U-M.

The clinic is specifically designed for patients with severe chronic pulmonary (respiratory and lung disorders) that leave a patient needing a machine called a ventilator for assistance in breathing.

The clinic may be the first of its kind in the country for adults.  Similar clinics had been operating for several years in pediatric settings, but not specifically for adults. Continue reading