Coming soon to your checkup: A check for depression

U-M Depression Center Executive Director Supports New Recommendation for Screening in the General Adult Population

stethbrainsmToday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) put out a recommendation suggesting expanded screenings for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women.

It stated that “screenings should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.”  This was an update of the 2009 USPSTF recommendation on screening for depression in adults.

John Greden, M.D., executive director of the U-M Depression Center, strongly endorses these recommendations. Read on for his thoughts:

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Assisted Ventilation Clinic offers patients outside the box care

Becky

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

Three ways to fight the flu

Flu season is starting to hit hard, but it's not too late to prevent infection

2016fluseasonEven as this year’s influenza (flu) virus reaches its peak, there are still ways to lessen your chances of getting sick and — if you’ve already got it — reduces chances of spreading the flu to someone else. Here are three easy tips for fighting the flu:

Get a flu shot

It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Scheduling an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu and prevent spreading the infection. The CDC suggests everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year.

Protect yourself and prevent the spread of flu

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and cover your mouth for coughs and sneezes. It’s also wise to avoid contact with sick people, as well as avoid sharing food, drink or utensils with anyone.

If you’re sick, avoid close contact with people

If you become sick with a flu-like illness, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. The CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol.

Children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 and older and people with certain medical conditions can be at higher risk for complications due to flu and should seek medical attention. Prompt treatment can mean the difference between having a mild illness versus something more serious.

Good to know

What is the Zika virus?

What pregnant women need to know

mosquito

News about a mysterious, tropical virus called Zika and its link to severe birth defects and newborn deaths abroad may be worrisome for many – especially pregnant women or those who are thinking about getting pregnant. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a first-of-its-kind travel alert recommending that pregnant women avoid countries where Zika has spread, and world health officials have declared a global emergency to control the Zika virus.

A small number of cases have recently been reported in the U.S.  If you’re pregnant or have a loved one who is, you may understandably be concerned.
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Paging Dr. Violin?

Free Jan. 24 concert will bring out the musical talents of U-M medical and science community

devare violin 2 blog

Dr. Jenna Devare, an ear, nose & throat surgeon in training, “scopes” her violin

If you could see Dr. Ellen Janke or Dr. Jenna Devare in action in a U-M operating room, you’d probably notice how confidently they handle the complex equipment of 21st Century surgery.

You’d see how every operation is a team effort, with surgeons, anesthesiologists, residents, nurses and technicians each playing their part to help every patient.

But if you come to Hill Auditorium this Sunday afternoon, you can see Dr. Janke and Dr. Devare engaged in another kind of teamwork: the kind it takes to play in a 70-member symphony orchestra.

 

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Guard your heart when shoveling snow

Tips to make shoveling a winter event, not a cardiac event

Shoveling image

When the snow starts piling up, many who pick up their shovels and head for their driveways and walkways are putting themselves at risk for an adverse cardiac event. These include heart attacks, where a blockage cuts off the heart’s blood supply leading to tissue damage, and cardiac arrest, when the heart beats irregularly and then stops. But for those at risk, there are ways to guard your heart when shoveling show.

Who’s at risk?

Men are more at risk than women, but certain people with health problems have higher risk than others for a cardiac event. These include anyone who:

  • is in poor physical condition
  • has a history of heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke
  • has hypertension or diabetes

The greatest risk is with people who are still recovering from a heart attack, or who are being treated for heart failure. People in these groups should avoid snow shoveling entirely. Continue reading