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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

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Best medications for Parkinson’s

Senior women exercisingAccording to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, approximately 7 to 10 million people live with Parkinson’s disease. Naturally, patients and families want to learn more about the best medications and treatments for this life-changing illness. This article concerns medications that may help or control the poor motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. These symptoms can include tremor, slow movement, stiffness, difficulty with gait and posture, and a feeling of weakness.

Best medicine: Exercise

It is a fact that the patients who exercise do so much better than those who don’t. Recent research has suggested that even simple daily activities, such as routine housework, can provide benefit in motor symptoms. This should be paired with exercise, as well.

I believe that all patients with Parkinson’s disease should be involved in scheduled, safe exercise. It’s as good as any medication we can provide.  Continue reading

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Paid sick leave: an important safety net for cancer patients

Sick leave eases financial burden, helps ensure job security

paid sick leaveSome patients with cancer experience a serious financial burden. A new study finds the burden is worse for patients without paid sick leave. In a survey of more than 1,300 patients with stage 3 colorectal cancer, researchers found that only 55% who were employed at the time of diagnosis retained their jobs after treatment. Patients who had paid sick leave were nearly twice as likely to retain their jobs as those without paid sick leave.

In the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers found that patients without paid sick leave were more likely to report higher personal financial burden. This includes borrowing money, difficulties making credit card payments, reduced spending for food or clothing, or reduced recreational spending. Continue reading

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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

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