News & Events
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Published on February 23, 2015
Written by Mary Rich
Carri Watson, of Cambridge, was a smoker for almost eight years. She began the habit in middle school and before she knew it, she was hooked. "I always knew smoking was bad for me, but for a while, I didn't really care," Carri explained. In 2011, she became pregnant with her son, Cooper. Throughout her pregnancy, Carri continued to smoke cigarettes. To help protect Cooper from some of the smoke after he was born, Carrie made it a priority to not smoke in her house or vehicle. Initially, she felt that if she avoided smoking in certain places, it (the smoke) wouldn't affect Cooper. However, as Cooper began to grow into a vibrant toddler, Carri noticed that he was frequently sick. It seemed like he constantly had an ear infection or a cough that wouldn't go away. This bothered Carri and she often wondered if her smoking had anything to do with Cooper's health problems. 'Thirdhand smoke' is the invisible remains from tobacco and tobacco smoke and often includes lead, carbon monoxide, and arsenic. This is what you smell on things like clothes, carpeting, hair, and walls, and is why simply opening a window is not enough to shield others around you. According to The March of Dimes, "Babies who breathe in thirdhand smoke may have serious health problems, like asthma and other breathing problems, learning disorders and cancer. " Carri did her research and determined that thirdhand smoke was probably negatively affecting Cooper.
Carri tried to stop smoking several times before, but couldn't kick the habit. Before she knew it, she was picking up a cigarette again. At one point, Cooper found Carri's cigarettes in her purse, picked one up, and pretended to smoke, saying "'mokin'(smokin'), mommy, 'mokin' (smokin')". Cooper looks up to Carri and obviously thought that smoking was something worth imitating. This was another wake-up call for Carri. She knew smoking was unhealthy and the thought of her young son developing the habit was absolutely devastating. Soon after, Carri found out that she and her boyfriend, Alex, were expecting another baby. It was then that Carri made the commitment to stop smoking for good. Deep down, she knew that part of Cooper's health problems had to do with secondhand smoke, and she wanted good health for him and the baby she was carrying. "I knew I couldn't quit smoking for me, I'd tried that a million times before. But, I knew that I could quit smoking for my kids," noted Carri.
In order to make this lifelong change, Carri realized she would have to take drastic steps. She chose to stay home whenever she thought she might be tempted by friends or put in situations that promoted smoking. It was really hard at first, but Carri is glad she decided to make this change and stick to it. After about a month, Carri and Alex began to notice improvements in Cooper's health. He is no longer coughing frequently, and his ear infections have decreased over time. There are still days when Carri is tempted and admits, "It's hard to not pick up a pack of cigarettes." However, the satisfaction she feels from seeing her children healthy has made all the difference! "I'm just so thankful I have quit smoking," Carrie beamed.
If you are a smoker and pregnant or plan to become pregnant, Carri urges you to find support to quit. Babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are three times as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than those whose mothers didn't smoke during pregnancy. But, a woman who quits within the first three or four months of pregnancy can lower the chances of her baby being born premature or with health problems related to smoking (lung.org).
The earlier you quit smoking, the healthier both you and your baby may be! You should quit smoking before you become pregnant, but stopping at any time will benefit your baby. Southeastern Med offers support for those who wish to kick the habit for good. Kathy Fetzer, RN, has designed a smoking cessation class specifically for expectant mothers. You do not need a doctor's referral to take part in this life-changing course, but registration is required. Classes are free and will begin in March.
To learn more or to sign up, please call Kathy at 740-439-8187.
Published on February 18, 2015
Written by Mary Rich
On Thursday, February 26th, 2015, Southeastern Med will be offering a CT lung cancer screening from 6pm-9pm. CT screenings are quick, painless, and provide better detection of lung cancer than a chest x-ray. Individual results will be interpreted by a board certified radiologist and will be given at the time of the screening. Dr. Eyad Mahayri, MD, FCCP, pulmonologist and Chief of Staff at Southeastern Med, will also be donating his time to meet with every patient to discuss and explain the results of their individual CT scan.
In order to participate in the screening you must be a current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the past 15 years (age 55-74 years), have a history of smoking at least a pack a day for 30 years, or have no history of lung cancer and must be symptom free.
The screening costs $95 and appointments may be made by calling (740)439-8930.
Published on February 18, 2015
Written by Jessica Miller
The Emergency Department at Southeastern Med is the only emergency medical facility within 25 miles of Cambridge, Ohio, so if you need immediate medical care in an emergency, this is where you'll come.
Here's how we stack up against the Emergency Departments of other hospitals in this region.
Published on February 17, 2015
Written by Jessica Miller
Hospitals nationwide are constantly struggling to balance short ER wait times with quality patient care. How long you'll actually have to wait can depend on a few factors:
- How sick you are
- If other people are sicker
- How many nurses and physicians are on staff during your visit
- If there are critical patients who come in while you're waiting
The Emergency Department at Southeastern Med is the only emergency facility within 50 miles, so our wait times are slightly higher than the national and state average. Because of our location near Interstates 70 and 77, we frequently see patients involved in serious motor vehicle accidents, which can also extend wait times. On average, patients who visit our Emergency Department wait about 26 minutes before they see a doctor. During that time, they're evaluated by a nurse who reports symptoms to the attending physician.
Before you decide to visit the emergency room, ask yourself if you truly need immediate medical care.
The most common reasons people give for visiting the Emergency Room are:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Sprains / Broken Bones
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Cold / Flu symptoms, including respiratory infections
Of these common conditions, several won't normally require emergency medical care, such as coughs, sprains, and cold or flu symptoms.
Sprains will be treated in the ER the same way you would treat them at home – anti-inflammatory medication, rest, ice and elevation. If you have a sprain, your best bet is to follow that treatment and make an appointment with your primary care physician.
Cold and flu symptoms are not normally cause for emergency care, either, unless you have a high fever (104+) that doesn't come down with medication or persistent vomiting over several hours with the inability to keep down food or water.
When possible, contact your primary care physician to see if emergency treatment is warranted. But if you're alarmed by unusually severe symptoms, such as chest pain, abdominal pain, or a sudden, intense headache, err on the side of caution and head to the Emergency Department or call 911.
If you decide to go to the emergency room, keep in mind that we see patients in order of the severity of their condition, not in the order of arrival. Our average wait time before you'll see a doctor is about 26 minutes, but it could be longer if we have more critical patients ahead of you.
If you've been waiting for more than half an hour, check with the desk attendant to see how much longer your wait might be, and advise us immediately if your condition worsens.
Published on February 12, 2015
Written by Jessica Miller
You know you need to take better care of your heart, but how can you get started?
It's simple really. Just make one healthy lifestyle choice at a time.
Create time in your day for exercise. Aim for a 50/50 mix of cardiovascular exercise and strength training throughout the week.
Cardiovascular exercise is anything that puts your heart rate in the right target zone for your age. Aim for 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio activity three to four times a week. You don't have to do it all at once, either. If you can only manage 10 minutes at a time, make time for a brisk walk several times throughout the day.
Examples of cardiovascular exercises include:
- Brisk walking
Strength training exercises help build muscle.
- Weight lifting
- Resistance band training
- Body weight training
A heart healthy diet includes lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains. You can still have the occasional sweet treat, but limit your refined carbohydrate and sugar intake.
You have to read your food packaging carefully, too. You'll be surprised how many added sugars and fats are lurking in processed foods. When in doubt, choose whole foods over pre-packaged goods.
Check out these heart healthy nutrition resources for more information, or consult with the nutritionists in our wellness center about building a customized meal plan to help you reach your heart health goals.
Control Your Vices
The adverse effects of tobacco use and alcohol consumption on your heart health are well-documented.
If you use tobacco and want to quit, we have a several cessation programs that can help you kick the habit for good.
Enjoying an adult beverage now and again is ok, but if you're consuming more than one to two drinks a day, your heart could be suffering. Excess alcohol consumptions can lead to high blood pressure and a host of other health problems.
Get a Cardiac Health Assessment
What you don't know about your heart health could kill you. Talk with your physician about a cardiac health exam to determine your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. If your numbers are within a normal range, positive lifestyle choices will only make them better. And if your numbers are high, these lifestyle changes can help get them under control.
The American Heart Association recommends regular cardiovascular screening beginning at age 20. Your doctor will determine how often these tests should be repeated based on the results of your initial exams.
Conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be genetic, so if you have a family history of these conditions, you may require pharmaceutical intervention in addition to healthy lifestyle choices. Your doctor may make recommendations for blood pressure or cholesterol medication for short-term therapy or long-term heart health maintenance.