Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Organ Donation: And Life Goes On

     Meritus Medical Center takes organ donation seriously. It’s the only Maryland hospital to receive the National Organ Donation Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services six years in a row. The award recognizes hospitals that achieve a 75-percent conversion rate of eligible patients donating organ and tissue. 

     Meritus Medical Center works with the Living Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit organ procurement system, to encourage family members to donate the organs of their loved ones. Organ donation includes kidneys, heart, lungs and liver, in addition to tissue donation, which includes skin, bone, cardiovascular tissue and corneas.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reassuring Your Frightened Child in Times of Crisis

     The television images appear again and again: an explosion in Texas, people running from the finish line of a marathon or a school shooting. Even as adults we find ourselves seeking ways to cope with the violent events that occur in our world, and how to avoid seeing the disturbing images.

     As parents, you want to protect the innocence of your children. Yet there is a careful balancing act that needs to be achieved when it comes to providing basic and realistic information to ground our kids when they hear about things at school, the playground or their day care provider’s.

     “Parents need to be aware that children may react strongly to those events and should be prepared to discuss their child's thoughts and feelings,” said Julie Kugler-Bentley, coordinator of the Employee Assistance Program for Meritus Health’s Behavioral Health Services.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Pinwheels at the entrance of
Meritus Medical Center
     It’s a topic that hits the pit of your stomach. It’s tragic, horrifying and unthinkable. But we must think about child abuse and its presence in our community. “By raising awareness of the plight of child abuse and its effects, people will have the education to know how to respond to the signs of child abuse,” says Pam Holtzinger, coordinator for the forensic nursing program at Meritus Medical Center. Pam’s job is to evaluate child maltreatment patients at the hospital and train other healthcare providers to know the signs and report suspected child abuse cases. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Babies Born Too Soon

     A routine pregnancy can become a high-risk pregnancy without notice. One out of every nine babies is born premature each year, yet the cause of pre-term labor is not fully understood. “There are many known factors related to preterm labor, but it’s sometimes difficult to identify the exact cause of it,” said obstetrician/gynecologist Gary Smith, MD of Women’s Health Center at Robinwood. 

     Babies are considered preterm when born at 37 weeks or earlier. The less time a baby spends in the mother’s womb, the greater the chances of the baby having severe health problems—like lung, liver, digestive, brain and immune system complications. While many women never dream they will have a baby born too early, preterm births can occur in women who have no known risk factors.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Performance Enhancing Drugs: What Parents Need to Know

Special guest post by Dr. Daniel Warner of Robinwood Orthopaedic Specialty Center.

Dr. Daniel Warner

     In a frequently referenced 1997 Sports Illustrated article, aspiring Olympians were asked two questions; “If you were offered a banned performance-enhancing substance that guaranteed that you would win an Olympic medal and you could not be caught, would you take it?” Remarkably, 195 of 198 athletes said yes. The second question was: “Would you take banned performance-enhancing drugs with a guarantee that you will not be caught, you will win every competition for the next five years, but then will die from adverse effects of the substance?” More than 50 percent of the athletes said yes to this question as well.