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Tag Archives: Health Beat

RSV Confirmed at PMH

RSV Confirmed at PMH

Four cases of Respiratory syncytial virus, more commonly just known as RSV, were confirmed at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital in the month of December, according to Lori Riggsby, RN and Director of Service Excellence.  RSV can cause upper respiratory infections (such as colds) and lower respiratory infections (such as bronchitis and pneumonia) in both children and adults.

RSV is more typically heard of occurring in children because it will manifest in most adults just as a bad cold and they do not realize they even have the virus. However, it is highly contagious through respiratory droplets to children, who have a much more serious reaction.  In small children, RSV can cause bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung, as well as pneumonia.  Hospitalization is often required for children under six months of age.  Almost all children will have an RSV infection by their second birthday.

Illness usually begins four to six days after exposure with a runny nose and decrease in appetite. Coughing, sneezing, and fever typically develop one to three days later.  Full recovery normally takes one to two weeks.  People with RSV are usually contagious for three to eight days.  However, some infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for up to four weeks.

There is no specific treatment for RSV, nor any available vaccines. However, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent the spread of RSV.  Anyone with cold-like symptoms should always:

  1. Cover coughs and sneezes
  2. Wash hands frequently and correctly
  3. Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils
  4. Refrain from kissing others

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital asks that all visitors and patients who have cold-like symptoms to please wear a face mask, located at all entrances of the hospital. If you need to make an appointment to see a provider at our Rural Health Clinic, please call 304-799-6200.

To hear Allegheny Mountain Radio’s interview with Dr. Julie Hare, MD in the Rural Health Clinic, click here.

Diabetes Awareness Event Held

National Diabetes Awareness Day was Monday, November 14th.  Diabetes causes more deaths in a single year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Because diabetes is related to so many health problems, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.  It is the leading cause of kidney failure and also the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.  The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

To raise awareness of this disease, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital offered free glucose checks at Pocahontas IGA Monday afternoon for shoppers and employees. Anyone getting their glucose checked was entered in a drawing for a $50.00 gift certificate for groceries.  Bill McMann, of Marlinton, was the winner.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Pocahontas County has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the state with almost 11% of our population aged 20 or older being told by a doctor that they have diabetes. Not included in this are the many folks who are at risk for diabetes or have pre diabetes or simply do not know that they have diabetes.  Almost 26 million people in the United States have diabetes and it is estimated that as many as one in every three adults will have the disease by the year 2050.

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital wants to help all those affected by diabetes or prediabetes. Terry Wagner serves not only as the Chief Operating Officer, but also as a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Nurse.  Terry is eager to help anyone in any stages of this disease learn more about diabetes and their treatment and management options.  You may reach Terry by calling the hospital at 304-799-7400 ext. 1032.  Please visit our website at www.pmhwv.org/pmhdiabetes to learn more about the many opportunities we offer for education and support.

Diabetes Awareness Event Held
Antibiotics: Not always the best medicine

Antibiotics: Not always the best medicine

It’s that time of year again! It seems like everyone we know is coming down with an illness. Whether it is influenza, pneumonia, an upper respiratory infection, the common cold, or a stomach bug; we all know someone who has something.

The first step for many people fighting one of these illnesses is to head to their healthcare provider for an antibiotic. Antibiotics are strong medications that are used to kill bacteria. There are numerous choices and formulations available. We are now learning that antibiotics have been overprescribed for many years and as a result of this overuse, we have new bacteria that can resist our antibiotics. These resistant bacteria are causing infections that are much more difficult – and costly – to treat.  Antibiotic-resistant infections can be contagious and can affect anyone.

Antibiotic misuse is causing an influx of “super bugs” in our communities. MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is the super bug getting the most publicity in the last ten years. This bacteria most often causes skin and soft tissue infections but can also cause life-threatening bloodstream infections or pneumonia. MSSA (methicillin-susceptible staphylococcus aureus) can be treated easily with safe, cheap, and common antibiotics. MRSA, on the contrary, often requires hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics that are costly, have increased toxicities and more side effects.

So what does this mean for our community? First, remember that antibiotics have no effect on viruses like common colds and influenza.  It is currently estimated that half of the prescribed antibiotics in the US are not needed.  Next, don’t request or even demand antibiotics from your prescriber. Let the healthcare provider appropriately assess you and your symptoms.  Lastly, understand that antibiotics do have a very important place in community health. When bacteria are the cause of an infection (strep throat, urinary tract infection, wound infections); antibiotics are incredibly useful.

This winter, take extra care to reduce your chances of getting sick. Wash hands often and with soap and water. Don’t share personal items like towels or razors. Get up to date on your vaccinations and get plenty of rest. If you do receive a prescription for an antibiotic, take it as prescribed. Don’t skip doses or stop the medicine early. Do not share antibiotics or use leftover antibiotics.

If you have questions or concerns regarding antibiotics or antibiotic-resistance, reach out to your pharmacist or your health care provider.

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital wants to wish everyone a Healthy and Happy Holiday!

Free Dining with Diabetes Classes to Begin in Hillsboro

Diabetes is a common, serious, and costly disease. Luckily, many complications of diabetes can be controlled and even prevented by making lifestyles changes. The Dining with Diabetes program helps people make these lifestyle changes through clinical testing, nutrition information, recipe demonstrations, exercise, and group support.

A new year of Dining with Diabetes classes will begin in October sponsored by Pocahontas County WVU Extension and Pocahontas Memorial Hospital with financial assistance from the Snowshoe Foundation. The classes will be held on Mondays, October 12, 19, 26 and November 2 at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

The classes are free and open to people with diabetes and their family members or those interested in learning how to cook in a diabetes-friendly manner. Participants will learn how to cut fat, sodium, and sugar from their diets without sacrificing taste! Attendance at all four classes is required, as well as a Reunion Session to be held in January. Please register by calling the Extension Office 304-799-4852. Registration deadline is October 5.

Try this diabetes-friendly recipe!

Apple Spice Cake

cake: 1/4 cup canola oil 3/4 cup Splenda Granular 1 Tbs. molasses or brown sugar 1 large egg 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. allspice

Topping: 1 Tbs. Splenda Granular 1/2 tsp. cinnamon Nonstick spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8 X 8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, Splenda, and molasses or brown sugar, egg, applesauce, and vanilla.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, mixing just until blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine Splenda and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake for 20 minutes until the center of the cake springs back lightly when touched.

Yield: 12

1 serving = 130 calories, 18g carb, 2g sugar, 5 g total fat

Free Dining with Diabetes Classes to Begin in Hillsboro
Free Derma Facial Views Available through PMH Health Fairs

Free Derma Facial Views Available through PMH Health Fairs

As the weather warms up, we are spending more and more time outdoors, but how many of us remember to put sun screen on before working in the yard or garden? Pocahontas Memorial Hospital wants to remind people of the importance of protecting themselves from skin cancer – a disease that affects people from every walk of life including young women, older men, and everyone in between. Skin cancer is on the rise in our country and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer.

The Radiology Department is providing free Derma Facial Views at Health Fairs around the county this month. With a quick, painless scan, one of our qualified staff can point out trouble spots and provide tips on where you might need to be extra protective of your skin. A full schedule of Health Fairs is printed in a separate ad in this week’s Times or you may visit us online at www.pmhwv.org.

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable and curable diseases. Here’s how we can all protect our skin:

  1. Stay in the shade, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  2. Do not burn. Your risk for developing melanoma doubles if you have been burnt five or more times over your life.
  3. Avoid tanning and tanning booths. Just making four trips to a tanning bed in one year can increase your risk for melanoma by 11%. There is no safe way to tan. Tanned skin from a tanning booth or the sun is damaged skin.
  4. Cover up with clothing. Don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses!
  5. Use a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen. Don’t just wear sunscreen when you go the lake or the beach – wear it every day. You can get sun damage by just driving to work every day with the sun coming through the window. The rule of thumb is to use two tablespoons of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors. You should reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.
  6. See your healthcare provider every year for a professional skin exam.
  7. Examine your skin head-to-toe once a month.

100 Miles in 100 Days Returning!

Don’t forget to register for Pocahontas County’s Third Annual “Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days” challenge. This popular program from the West Virginia University Healthcare and Health Sciences Center had over 6,000 people from across the state logging miles in 2014. The program encourages participants to walk at least a mile a day for better health.

Registration is open now with the challenge beginning March 23 and running through June 30. Please register by calling the Extension Office by March 23 at 304-799-4852.Everyone completing the challenge will receive a free commemorative t-shirt and will be entered for a chance to win a 6 month fitness membership to the Marlinton or Green Bank Wellness Center.

Join us in our walk for a healthier Pocahontas County!!

“Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days” is a registered trademark of the Wellness Program at WVU Healthcare and Health Sciences Center.

100 Miles in 100 Days Returning!
Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

National Heart Month was designated to raise awareness of the seriousness of heart disease and heart health. Heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in West Virginia and it can affect all ages, even young children. Untreated heart disease can lead to heart attacks. It is important for everyone to be able to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack.

Many people delay seeking help for a possible heart attack because they don’t realize what is happening or don’t want to be a bother to others. A heart attack is not always characterized by the “movie heart attack.” While the number one sign of heart attack is chest pain, symptoms can actually vary greatly in intensity and variety. According to the American Heart Association, signs that can alert you to a heart attack happening include:

  • Chest discomfort or pain. This discomfort can go away and come back or last several minutes. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or even stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
  • Cold sweat.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Anxiety.
  • Indigestion.
  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue.

Women are much more likely to experience unusual symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

If you suspect a heart attack is happening in yourself or another person, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not delay seeking help. The American Heart Association reports that half of all people having a heart attack wait more than two hours before getting help. Delaying seeking help is dangerous and can result in lasting damage to your heart or even death.

Show your heart some love – if you suspect you are having a heart attack, don’t “wait it out.” Seek medical attention immediately.

Nutrition Counseling Now Available as Outpatient Service

Good nutrition is a key factor for the health and well-being of all of us. If we want our bodies to feel better, look better, and perform better, we need to feed them properly. As such, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is very pleased to announce its newest service for both inpatients and outpatients – Nutrition Counseling with Registered Dietitian Katie Brown. Nutrition counseling can help people make personalized, positive lifestyle changes leading to better health outcomes. Education, support, and follow-up are all part of this process.

Nutrition counseling has been proven to help people with: diabetes, high cholesterol, weigh management, gastrointestinal issues, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. Services for qualified patients are covered by Medicare, as well as most insurances.

A referral from your healthcare provider is required. If you think you might benefit from nutrition counseling, speak to your provider about it at your next appointment. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Katie Brown at 304-799-7400 ext 1023.

Nutrition Counseling Now Available as Outpatient Service
Retinal Eye Exams Now Available at PMH

Retinal Eye Exams Now Available at PMH

Through a special telemedicine partnership with Charleston Area Medical Center, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is now very pleased to offer retinal eye exams for people with diabetes or hypertension. Appointments are available on Tuesdays, beginning in February and will be conducted at the PMH Rural Health Clinic.

Pictures of the patient’s eyes will be taken at PMH and the patient will immediately video-conference with a board-certified ophthalmologist from CAMC Physicians Group. A healthcare provider referral is required to make an appointment. To request more information or make an appointment, contact Ashley Pritt at 304-799-7400 ext 1112.

Women’s Health Services Available at PMH Rural Health Clinic

During National Cervical Health Awareness Month, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital urges women to make cervical health a priority in the New Year. The importance of regular lifesaving screenings and vaccines cannot be stressed enough.

Each year in the United States approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer; and even though cervical cancer is highly preventable, about 4,000 women die from the disease. Cervical cancer tends to occur more among women under the age of 50.

The most common cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease. Most people with HPV do not even know they have it, because they never have symptoms or problems. Usually the body’s immune system will fight off the infection and it will go away on its own. However, if the HPV infection does not go away and it is left untreated, cervical cancer may develop. Women who smoke, have HIV or other autoimmune deficiencies, have used birth control pills for five or more years, or have given birth to three or more children are at a higher risk for cervical cancer.

Fortunately, cervical cancer is easy to prevent and detect. Regular Pap tests can identify any abnormalities before cancer develops and are the best means of detecting cervical cancer at an early stage. Experts recommend that all women begin having Pap tests at age 21. Many women only begin seeing a gynecologist regularly after they become pregnant. It is then that they may discover they have cervical cancer, which can be dangerous to both the mother and the baby.

Early detection and preventative actions are crucial in saving lives. If you do not have a regular healthcare provider, we encourage you to call the Rural Health Clinic today to make an appointment. The Rural Health Clinic, located at PMH, provides a full range of women’s health services. You may contact the clinic by calling 304-799-6200.

Women’s Health Services Available at PMH Rural Health Clinic