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Livingwell A SPECIAL PUBLICATION CREATED BY REPUBLIC MEDIA CUSTOM PUBLISHING a-z HEALTHCARE NEWS YOU CAN USE FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY APRIL 2014 IN THIS ISSUE | 2 Donate Life Month | 3 Health camps for kids | 4-5 Seniors: falls & caregiving | 6-7 Events & support groups Buttonbatteries The tiny batteries can be dangerous — or even deadly T New hope for children with heart failure | 8 By Meghann Finn Sepulveda echnology today has become more compact than in the past, requiring smaller batteries to operate items like remote controls, hearing aids, car-key fobs, toys and even some greeting cards. Coin-shaped lithium button-batteries, when swallowed by a young child (or anyone else, for that matter…), pose a true medical emergency if the battery gets lodged in the esophagus. Burning can occur, causing severe and possibly permanent damage. Two-hour window The National Capital Poison Center estimates more than 3,500 people swallow button-batteries each year in the United States. While the majority of these batteries pass through the body and are harmless, they can sometimes get stuck in the esophagus, especially in children age 6 and younger. If a child swallows a button-battery, “the clock is ticking. The quicker we can get the battery out, the less extensive the damage.” — Gary Silber, M.D., division chief, pediatric gastroenterology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital “The flat shape and size of a button-battery, when lodged in the esophagus or the nose, creates a circuit between the tissue and causes burning,” said James Reingold, M.D., medical director, pediatric emergency department, Banner Children’s at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa. “There is a two-hour window of time for treatment before permanent damage and scarring occurs.” Possible symptoms Among other issues, possible symptoms of battery-swallowing include nausea, chest pain and gastrointestinal inflammation. “If the battery is stuck high in the esophagus, we sometimes see drooling and vomiting,” Reingold said. “When a child doesn’t respond to treatment or seems to be getting progressively worse, we order an X-ray.” Emergency treatment Medical attention should not be delayed if there is even a remote possibility that a child swallowed a button-battery. “The clock is ticking,” said Gary Silber, M.D., division chief, pediatric gastroenterology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, “The quicker we can get the battery out, the less extensive the damage.” Silber added that children may have complications for weeks or months after surgery and will most likely require dietary restrictions and additional procedures to remove scar tissue. Resources Banner Good Samaritan Poison Center:; 800-222-1222 National Capital Poison Center:; 202-625-3333 Emmett’s story In 2010, a button-battery nearly took the life of a 1-year-old Arizona boy named Emmett when he swallowed a button-battery that burned through his esophagus. To help educate parents, grandparents and others about the danger of button-batteries, the young boy’s family launched Emmett’s Fight ( The website contains not only Emmett’s story, but also information and resources related to button-battery ingestion. New hope for hhelping your Thinkstock heart Updates and advances in heart-related medications and technology | Story by Debra Gelbart • Photos by Rick D’Elia Here’s a startling statistic: an estimated 80 million Americans (one in three adults) have one or more types of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To find out what’s new in heart disease-related medications and technology, we spoke with several local experts; here’s what they had to say. New cholesterol guidelines "The leads may allow the introduction of infection into the heart, settling on and destroying the heart valves,” said Andrew Kaplan, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist with Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, adding that the leads may break, requiring replacement or removal. A new subcutaneous (below the skin) implantable defibrillator system is now available. The S-ICD™ System eliminates transvenous leads (those that go through a blood vessel into the heart), “so we can avoid potential complications,” Kaplan said. The CDC says up to 40 million Americans have high cholesterol, and last November, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association revised their guidelines for cholesterol management. “We’re no longer looking only at total cholesterol levels,” said Suzanne Sorof, M.D., a cardiologist in Mesa. “We’re taking a broader approach to who should be treated. It’s now recommended that all people with diabetes and everyone with any cardiovascular disease — regardless of their cholesterol levels — be prescribed a statin medication,” she said. She recommends that if your total fasting cholesterol is above 199, discuss with your doctor whether taking a statin medication is right for you. Medications and medical devices For the estimated 6 million Americans who suffer from heart failure (when the heart muscle can’t pump enough blood to the body to meet the body’s needs), “three or four common, affordable prescription medications taken daily can let most patients live with a high quality of life for another 20 to 30 years,” said Nancy Sweitzer, M.D., Ph.D., chief of cardiology and director at the Sarver Heart Center at The University of Arizona in Tucson. The medications include an ACE inhibitor, a beta blocker, an aldosterone blocking agent that blocks the effects of the steroid hormone aldosterone, and a diuretic such as Lasix. Heart failure can result from other forms of heart disease, Sweitzer said, including blockages of the arteries that can cause heart attacks, valvular disease or a serious virus that affects the heart. Symptoms of heart failure may include shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness, and swelling of the legs, ankles and feet, she said. Many heart failure patients may also need one of two medical devices to alleviate their symptoms, Sweitzer said. One is an implantable defibrillator that restarts the heart if it stops beating effectively; the other is a special cardiac resynchronization pacemaker that can “correct disordered contraction of an enlarged heart,” she said. Subcutaneous defibrillators Traditional implantable defibrillators for the prevention of cardiac death require the placement of ‘transvenous leads’ which are soft wires that carry signals from the heart and deliver shock energy to the heart. AcardiacelectrophysiologistwithBannerHeartHospitalinMesa, Dr.AndrewKaplanrecentlyimplantedanewMRI-compatiblepacemakerin patientShirleyFleet.Here,heshowsherwhatthepacemakerlookslike.Kaplanisa principalinvestigator inaclinicaltrialevaluatingthepacemaker. MRI-compatible pacemakers Kaplan is also a principal investigator in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of a new MRI-compatible pacemaker. Conventional pacemakers aren’t compatible with MRI scanners because they’re made out of metal that interferes with the way magnetic resonance imaging operates. “Elderly patients are twice as likely to need MRIs as younger patients. This is also the population most likely to have a condition requiring pacemaker implantation,” he said. Data from the clinical trial is expected to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for consideration within a year. “We hope to move toward replacing traditional pacemakers with this one if it receives FDA approval,” he said. „ continues on page 8 a-z H E A LT H C A R E N E W S B R I E F S Banner MD Anderson opens outpatient addition Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center recently opened the second phase of its outpatient facility, a major addition that expands specialty cancer treatment services and prevention programs in Arizona. The three-story addition includes The James M. Cox Center for Cancer Prevention and Integrative Oncology, additional clinic and infusion space, a separate hematology/stem cell transplant clinic and expanded radiation oncology space. More info: Chandler Regional named Level 1Trauma Center Chandler Regional Medical Center has been designated as a provisional Level I Trauma Center by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Trauma System. Previously, critically injured patients in the East Valley were transported to Phoenix or Scottsdale for treatment. The trauma team includes specialists such as anesthesiologists, emergency physicians, hand surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, trauma critical care surgeons, nurses and ancillary services. Chandler Regional Medical Center More info:

Livingwell AZ April 2014

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