Posted on: February 20, 2014
Why Will My Newborn Get a PKU Screening?
By Martha Zavras, RN III, Northern Westchester Hospital
If you, a family member, or close friend is pregnant, it is important to know that your newborn will be screened for several serious medical conditions, as mandated by New York State. Among the conditions screened is PKU. What is this blood test for, and what do the results mean for your new baby and your family?
As a Nursery nurse, I often administer the PKU test to newborns, also explaining to parents why it must be given so early in life. PKU is the abbreviation for phenylketonuria, a metabolic disorder. In New York State, the PKU screen, which is a simple blood test, also screens for many other disorders, including thyroid problems and some types of anemia.
Posted on: February 11, 2014
Understanding Your Cholesterol Numbers (post 2 of 3)
By Robert Pilchik, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Northern Westchester Hospital
First, a short review of cholesterol basics: The two types of cholesterol in your body – low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – behave totally differently. Over time, excess LDL in your body, largely from fatty foods you eat, builds up in your artery walls as hard plaque, narrowing these vessels and restricting blood flow to your heart and brain. This condition, atherosclerosis, is THE leading cause of heart attack and stroke. By contrast, HDL acts as a vacuum, ridding the arterial walls of cholesterol and flushing it from the body. Continue reading
Posted on: November 1, 2013
Preventing a Precancerous Polyp from Becoming Colon Cancer
150,000 new cases of colon & rectal cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. Screening to identify early stage tumors or precancerous polyps is critical to optimize the chance to cure this otherwise fatal disease. Colonoscopy is the optimal way to facilitate this. Despite its excellent record for safety and detection of disease, most studies show only 50% of Americans are screened appropriately. Common reasons for lack of screening are fear of the procedure, fear of the prep, embarrassment and lack of information about the safety, need and timing of screening.
Posted on: September 16, 2013
by Dr. Harlan Weinberg, Medical Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at NWH
Medical knowledge and information management is crucial to the delivery of health care.
“But nothing has changed clinical practice more fundamentally than one recent innovation: the Internet…Falsehoods are easily and rapidly propagated on the Internet: once you land on a site that asserts a false rumor as truth, hyperlinks direct you to further sites that reinforce the falsehood…1
As physicians, we are struggling to figure out how best to use this technology in the interests of our patients and ourselves. Although the Internet is reshaping the content of the conversation between doctor and patient, we believe the core relationship should not change…Physicians are in the best position to weigh information and advise patients, drawing on their understanding of available evidence as well as their training and experience.” (NEJM 2010; 362:1063-66; Untangling the Web — Patients, Doctors and the Internet; P. Hartzband, MD et al).
So, let’s look at some helpful suggestions that will unburden our medical internet searches: Continue reading
Posted on: September 16, 2013
Whooping Cough: Are You Vaccinated?
by Dr. Navid Mootabar, Co-Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northern Westchester Hospital. & Dr. Peter Richel, Chief of Pediatrics, Northern Westchester Hospital
Pertussis — more commonly known as whooping cough — might seem like an outdated concern. However, cases have been on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The thought had been that there was lifelong immunity from the vaccine. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Immunity lasts about five to ten years. In 2010 there were 27,550 cases of pertussis in the United States, and 3,350 were in infants less than six months of age; the infection was fatal for 25 of those infants. That’s why the CDC now recommends that all pregnant women be immunized. Continue reading