One Woman Starts Legislation Sweeping Nation To Inform Women Of Dense Breast Tissue

 

nancycappello1In 2004, Nancy Cappello, PhD from Connecticut, was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer.

She was shocked as she had no prior risk factors, and normal screenings for a decade.

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“I was shocked my cancer had metastasized to 13 lymph nodes and was the size of a quarter, I asked my team of doctors, with my latest ‘normal’ mammogram report in hand, how could this happen since I just had a normal mammogram.” -Nancy

Each physician told her that her cancer was hidden by the mammogram due to her dense breast tissue.

Dense breast tissue is comprised of less fat and more connective tissue which appears white on a mammogram. Cancer also appears white thus tumors are often hidden or masked by the dense tissue.

As a woman ages, her breasts usually become more fatty. However, 2/3 of pre-menopausal and 1/4 of post menopausal women (40%) have dense breast tissue. 

Additionally, as the density of the breast increases, the risk of breast  cancer also increases.

Radiologists have been reporting a woman’s dense breast tissue to her referring doctor for twenty years.   Most often, that information is not conveyed to the patient.

Displaying heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue on a mammogram is considered dense (BIRADS C, D). 

Learn More

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Amy Colton, Nancy Cappello

“After an extensive search of the literature, which existed for decades before my diagnosis, I learned that 40% of women have dense breast tissue, that mammograms are limited in ‘seeing’ cancer in dense breasts and that there are other technologies, such as ultrasound or MRI that can significantly ‘see’ cancers that are invisible by mammogram.”

When Nancy asked her doctors to report dense breast tissue to women in her community, each of them refused.  

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Nancy Cappello featured in the New York Times

“My Italian heritage with our tenets of truth and justice immediately kicked in.”

 

Her doctors’ rejection led to action when in 2009, Connecticut became the first state in America to report dense breast tissue to the patient through the mammography report.

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As of today, thanks to Nancy Cappello’s unplanned advocacy, thirty-one states have a density reporting law and more are pending.

 

Nancy Cappello: One of 8 ‘chemo’ infusions 3 months before 11th NORMAL mammogram

Nancy has since been honored by UNICO at its national convention with the 2017 Americanism Award for her breast health advocacy through the work of her two non- profit organizations, Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy Inc.

The Americanism award recognizes an Italian-American who has made an enduring impact on humanity which encompasses the cornerstone of UNICO’s foundation.

“When I received notice of this prestigious honor, I bowed to give thanks to my parents and my Italian ancestors, who paved the way for me to relentlessly pursue an early diagnosis for women with dense breast tissue, through the democratic process, turning an injustice to justice for women’s breast health.”

Unico National President Tom Vaughn, Nancy Cappello and her husband Joe, Francine Nido, Unico’s National Secretary

Check out the following map link to find out if your state has a law and updates:

http://www.areyoudense.org/news-events/density-reporting-bills-spread-across-country/

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For More Information on Nancy’s incredible advocacy work please visit: http://www.areyoudense.org

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So much valuable information for women on http://www.areyoudense.org

 

Thank you, Nancy!

 

UPDATE:

BREAKING HEALTH NEWS:  Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Dean Heller (NV) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) introduce a national bill requiring physicians to notify patients whether or not they have dense breast tissue.

On Twitter: Representative Mike Rohrkaste  and Senator Alberto Darling  introduce bill in Wisconsin to prompt patient notification if they have dense breasts, which increases cancer risk.

#NotifyMeNow

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Prevent Illness After Floods

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When returning to your home after a flooding emergency, be aware flood water may contain sewage. We’ve learned a lot from past floods. Please stay informed and healthy.

 

Health Risks and Hazards Caused by Floods by Naoki Minamiguchi

Introduction

A flood can devastate homes, commercial buildings, agricultural and pastoral lands, public goods, and other physical properties. However, during the flood and its aftermath, there are also threats to one’s health and safety.

In the flood occurred in Bangladesh in 1988, diarrhea was found to be most common illness and a major cause of death amongst the population affected by the flood that helped spread the disease (Siddique, et al 1991).

Prevalent respiratory infection induced by the flood was also blamed for the high morbidity and death toll – 46,740 patients and 154 deaths – in the devastated areas.

In developing regions of the world, acute sanitation problems and various water-borne diseases – such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid – threaten disaster affected populations, especially the poor and vulnerable, due to lack of access to safe drinking water, medicine and hygienic food.

While infection risks may be low in industrialized countries (Public Health Laboratory Service 2000), floodwater is generally contaminated by various pollutants: sewage, human and animal feces, pesticides and insecticides, fertilizers, oil, asbestos, rusting building materials, and so forth.

This was evidenced by the health and environmental tests carried out on the floodwaters in New Orleans where the unprecedented flooding and destruction was caused by Hurricane Katrina – one of the worst natural disasters ever occurred in the United States – and hundreds of thousands of residents lost homes and were displaced in temporary shelters.

The tests revealed a clear signal of bacteria and lead hazards to human health and warned the public to avoid exposure to the contaminated water accordingly (Gerencher 2005).

Sources of Health Risks and Hazards

Although the public attention is normally paid to the risk of physical property destruction caused by floods, it is strongly suggested that each of us remembers and practices some basic precautions to prevent possible diseases and injuries during and after flooding and to maintain good health during the repercussion of floods.

Amongst others, the following health risks and hazards are the common health threats.

Unsafe food

Floodwaters contain disease causing bacteria, dirt, oil, human and animal wastes, and farm and industrial chemicals.

They carry away whatever existing on the ground and upstream.

Their contact with food items including foodcrops in agricultural lands during flooding can make that food unsafe to eat and hazardous to human health.

Power failures caused by floods also damage stored food.

Refrigerated and frozen foods are affected during the outage periods, and thus must be carefully monitored and examined prior to consumption.

Foods kept inside cardboards, plastic bags, jars, bottles, and paper packaging are equally subject to disposal if contaminated by floodwaters.

Even though the packages do not appear to be wet, they may be unhygienic with mold contamination and deteriorate rapidly. (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 2 September 2005; Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 2005; NDSU various years)

Contaminated drinking and washing water and poor sanitation

 

Flooding impairs clean water sources with pollutants and devastates sanitary toilets.

Direct and indirect contact with the contaminants – whether through direct food intakes, vector insects such as flies, unclean hands, or dirty plates and utensils – result in waterborne illnesses and life- threatening infection diseases.

The pollutants also saturate into the ground water and/or can infiltrate into sanitary sewer lines through the ground. In addition, wastewater treatment plants, if flooded and malfunctioned, can be overloaded with polluted runoff waters and sewage beyond their disposal capacity, resulting into backflows of raw sewage to homes and low lying grounds.

Private wells can be also contaminated or damaged severely by floodwaters, while private sewage disposal systems also become a cause of infection and illnesses when they are broken or overflowed (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 10 September 2005).

In this manner, unclean drinking and washing water and sanitation, coupled with lack of adequate sewage treatment, can lead to disease outbreaks, e.g. life-threatening cholera, typhoid, dysentery and some forms of hepatitis as experienced in the floods in Bangladesh and New Orleans.

Indeed, many lives were claimed by the infectious diseases broken out during and after the wave surges of the Indian Ocean Tsunamis and resultant floods that devastated regions along the coasts in Southeast and South Asian countries (Government of Western Australia; Indonesia Relief 2005; Rose 2005; WHO).

The key to preventing a health catastrophe is therefore a basic hygiene: i.e. clean and safe water and toilets.

Mosquitoes and animals

Prolonged rainfall and floods provide new breeding grounds – wet areas and stagnant pools – for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the number of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and West Nile fevers (Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 2005).

It is also suggested to avoid contact with wild animals, rats and rodents that possibly carry viruses and diseases, and to get rid of dead animals in accordance with official guidelines issued by local animal control authorities if any (CDC Fact Sheet 10 September 2004).

Leptospirosis, or Weil’s disease – a zoonotic bacterial disease associated predominantly with rats – often accompanies floods in developing countries (Leptospirosis Information Center).

The leptospirosis risk is however very low in the industrialized regions unless any cuts or wounds have direct contact with the disease contaminated floodwaters or animals.

Molds and mildews

Excessive exposure to molds and mildews can cause flood victims – especially those with allergies and asthma – to contract upper respiratory diseases and to trigger cold-like symptoms, e.g. sore throat, watery eyes, wheezing and dizziness (CDC 2006; FEMA 2005; North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Molds grow in as short a period as 24 to 48 hours in wet and damp areas of the buildings and homes that have not been cleaned after flooding such as water infiltrated walls, floors, carpets, toilets and bathrooms.

Although molds exist naturally as well as in our normal life, very small mold’s spores can be easily inhaled by human bodies and cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, and other respiratory problems if a large amount of molds are inbreathed.

Amongst others, infants, children, elderly people, and pregnant women are considered most vulnerable to mold induced health problems.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Post-flood carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is reported to be a growing problem in many developed countries. CO can be found in combustion fumes, e.g. fumes generated by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoals and woods.

In the event of power outages following floods, the flood victims tend to use alternative sources of fuels or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking inside enclosed or partly enclosed houses, garages or buildings without an adequte level of air ventilation (Environmental Health Center

2001).

CO builds up from these sources and poisons the people and animals inside. CO poisoning therefore should be regarded as a potential hazard after major floods.

Other hazards when reentering and cleaning flooded homes and buildings

Besides the flood related health problems described above, flooded homes and buildings can pose other significant health hazards and risks after floodwaters recede.

First of all, electrical power systems including fallen power lines can become hazardous during cleanup activities (CDC Fact Sheets 11 September 2004 and 29 August 2005).

One should avoid turning on or off the main power while standing in the remaining floodwater.

Gas leaks that may be occurring from pipelines or propane tanks can trigger another disastrous outcome – e.g. fire and explosion – when entering and cleaning damaged buildings as well as endeavoring to restore utilities services (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 27 October 2004).

Flood debris – such as broken bottles, woods, stones and walls – may also cause fresh wounds and injuries when removing contaminated mud and cleaning damaged buildings.

Extreme caution must be used with possible chemical hazards during flood recovery.

Containers of hazardous chemicals including pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, car batteries, propane tanks, and other industrial chemicals may be hidden or buried under flood debris (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 6 April 2005).

Lastly, a health hazard can also occur when hazardous dusts and molds remaining in the ducts, fans and ventilators of air-conditioning and heating equipment are circulated throughout the building and inhaled by those engaged in cleanup and restoration unless it is properly cleaned after flooding (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Mental stress and fatigue

A flood can cause both emotional and physical stress. However, various reports attribute a major health hazard of floods to mental stress or psychological distress due to exposure to extreme disaster events (NDSU various years).

Having experienced a devastating flood, seen loved ones lost or injured, and homes damaged or destroyed, flooding poses a long-term psychological impact on the flood victims. In addition, the cost and labor required to repair flood-damaged homes places severe financial and psychological burdens on the people affected, in particular the unprepared and uninsured. Post-flood recovery – especially when it becomes prolonged – can commonly cause mental disorders, anxiety, anger, depression, lethargy, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, and in an extreme case, suicides amongst the flood victims.

Behavior changes may also occur in children such as an increase in bed-wetting and aggression. There is also a long- term concern amongst the affected that their homes would be flooded again in the future. Dr Noji argues that many reported morbidity problems caused by disasters including hypertension and cardiovascular disease – and even leukemia and lymphoma – may be stress-related (Noji 1997).

While more attention is usually paid to the cleanups and repairs of the damaged buildings and properties during the aftermath, it is also required for individual victims to look after him/herself and his/her family, and when appropriate to obtain proper emotional support from local authorities, relief agencies, psychological counselors, mentors, friends, relatives, etc.

Conclusions

Restoring flooded homes, buildings and properties is an overwhelming task both physically and emotionally. It is often not easy for the depressed flood victims to even identify where to start while avoiding potential health risks and hazards of devastating flooding.

A number of guidelines and detailed instructions for restoration have been already issued by local governments, health centers, research institutions, and international organizations involved with disaster relief and assistance in order to protect the flood victims and rescue and restoration workers from various health threats discussed in this report.

Flood Protection Handbook of the Boulder County, for instance, contains invaluable information on concrete actions to be taken before, during and after

a flood (Boulder County 2002).

All governmental bodies or public entities are strongly encouraged to follow suite if they have not implemented a similar course of actions.

They are also expected to address the health risks and hazards in national, regional and community flood management plans and programmes and to make appropriate effort to raise public awareness of such risks and hazards.

References

  • –  Boulder County (2002) Flood Protection Handbook. Boulder, Colorado
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Key Facts about Flood Recovery. Fact Sheet 10September 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Reentering Your Flooded Home. Fact Sheet 27 October 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly. Fact Sheet 11 September 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) After a Flood. Fact Sheet 6 April 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Detroit Health Department, et al. (2004) Imminent Health Hazard Emergency Response Reference forRegulators
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Disinfecting Wells Following an Emergency. FactSheet 10 September 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) How to Protect Yourself and Others from ElectricalHazards Following a Natural Disaster. Fact Sheet 29 August 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Keep Food and Water Safe After a Natural Disasteror Power Outage. Fact Sheet 2 September 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2006) Health Concerns Associated with Mold in Water- Damaged Homes After Hurricannes Katrina and Rita — New Orleans Area, Louisiana, October 2005. Morbidity and Mortarity Weekly Report 55(02); 41-44. 20 January 2006
  • –  Environmental Health Center (2001) Air Quality Problems Caused by Floods (http://www.nsc.org/ehc/indoor/floods.htm) Washington DC. National Safety Council
  • –  Federal Emergency Management Agency (2005) Storm Drenching May Foster Mold Growth and Become a Health Hazard. Release Number: 1612-014. 30 November 2005. Atlanta. FEMA
  • –  Government of Western Australia. Asia Tsunami (http://www.health.wa.gov.au/tsunami/professionals.cfm)
  • –  Indonesia Relief (2005) Rebuilding After the Tsunamis: Addressing Infectious Diseases in Indonesia. 12

April 2005 (http://www.indonesia- relief.org/mod.php?mod=publisher&op=viewarticle&cid=27&artid=654)

http://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-harvey-infectious-diseases-flood-water-bacteria-viruses-656093– Ross, E. (2005) No Major Disease Outbreaks Yet, But Health Officials Say Clean Water and Sanitation are Key to Preventing Life-threatening Cholera, Typhoid and Dysentery. AP Worldstream. Jakarta (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2005/01/01/international1508EST0500.DTL)

  • –  Siddique, A.K., et al (1991) 1988 Floods in Bangladesh: Pattern of Illness and Causes of Death. Journal of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research 1991 December; 9(4): 310-4.
  • –  Noji, E (1997) The Public Health Consequences of Disasters. New York. Oxford University Press–World Health Organization. Three Months after the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami. (http://www.who.int/hac/crises/international/asia_tsunami/3months/report/en/index.html

From Washington State Labor & Industry:

10 Most likely Hazards After a Flood

  1. Electrical and Gas Hazards
  • Take caution and treat all electrical lines, wires, equipment and fixtures as if they are energized until proven otherwise.
  • Immediately evacuate buildings if a gas leak or odor is detected, and notify the site supervisor or competent person.
  1. Motor Vehicles
  • Monitor local road conditions and obey closure signs. Don’t drive though flowing water. Six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle and two feet of water will carry most cars away.
  • Standing water may not carry you away, but you may not be able to tell how deep it is. Unless you know how deep it is, it’s best to not drive through standing water.
  • Be aware of seen and unseen road hazards such as building debris, tree limbs, and pot holes. Also floods bring mud and roads can become very slick.
  1. Respiratory Hazards
  • Gasoline, propane and diesel-powered equipment (such as portable generators, power washers, compressors and pumps) should only be operated in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
  • Stay upwind of or away from dust-generating activities, in particular involving crystalline silica-containing materials like concrete, brick, tile, drywall, mortar, sand, or stone.
  • Identify building materials such as painted surfaces and pipes that may contain lead.
  • If an area is known or suspected to contain asbestos, ensure that an assessment has been done by a competent individual before entering the area; if asbestos is present, wait until it is removed or contained.
  • Notify the supervisor immediately if asbestos is identified at the site and stop work until it has been removed or contained.
  • Refrain from entering areas with extensive mold buildup.
  1. Chemical Use/Exposure
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If there is evidence (sight or smell) of chemicals or their use, avoid that area and request an Industrial Hygienist accompany you.
  1. Sharp, jagged debris
  • Tree limbs.
  • Construction or demolition debris.
  • Broken glass.
  • Animal bites, both stray pets and wild animals.
  1. Roofing and Working from Heights
  • Ensure the use of fall protection systems: guardrails, safety nets or fall arrest systems.
  • Identify areas of structural weakness.
  • Identify ladder hazards and ensure their safe use.
  1. Power Tools
  • Ensure guarding on power tools is in good working order and always used.

 

  • Inspect all extension cords, remove from service those that are damaged, cut or have exposed wiring and inner insulation.

 

  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) or double-insulated power tools that are approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
  1. Flood Waters (Drowning/Walking)
  • Same as with driving, six inches of moving water may cause you to lose your footing and two feet of water will carry you away. Stay out of moving water.

 

  • Even standing water can present similar hazards. The water most likely will not be clear; therefore you won’t see how deep even a small puddle is. Avoid walking in standing water unless you know it is safe to do so.

 

  • Be aware of seen and unseen hazards such as building debris, tree limbs, and pot holes. Also floods bring mud and walkways can become very slick.
  1. Noise
  • Ensure the use of hearing protection when noise levels exceed 85 decibels. Generally, if you cannot hold a normal conversation at arm’s length due to noise, then hearing protection should be worn.
  1.  Personal Decontamination
  • Always wash hands with soap and water before eating, drinking, smoking, applying lip balm or cosmetics to prevent contamination of the mouth, nose or eyes with hazardous materials or infectious agents. Use a waterless alcohol-based hand cleaner if water is not available.

 

  • Decontaminate raingear and rubber boots that have been exposed to potentially hazardous materials.

 

 

For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit CDC’s Flood Water After a Disaster or Emergency.

 

Real Deal: No More Needles for Blood Draws

v12Velano Vascular is on a mission to bring compassion to healthcare and make painful blood draws more pleasant for patients.  So far, they’re succeeding. They’ve received their 3rd FDA-clearance to help children and adults who cringe at the sight of needles.

Needlephobia affects 24% of adults and 63% of children.

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf may come to mind when we talk about no more needles for blood draws because of ill-fated Theranos.  They’re the overly-hyped biotech start-up currently under federal investigation by the S.E.C. and U.S. Attorney’s office. Patients initially thrilled about no more needles got hoodwinked by fake news.

Meet the Real Deal.

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Velano Vascular creates a single-use, disposable device called PIVO.

 

It attaches to a peripheral IV line, in hospital inpatients, allowing for lab quality blood samples to be drawn back through the IV –without requiring venipuncture (needle sticks or drawing blood from central lines) .

 

Many of the questions Therano’s CEO never answered, avoided or even got asked by reporters is welcomed by Velano Vascular’s CEO, Eric Stone, who I interviewed.

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WHAT IS PIVO AN ACRONYM FOR?

ERIC STONE, CEO, VELANO VASCULAR:  PIVO derives from “peripheral intravenous catheter,” or PIV, which is a medical term for the standard IV most hospital patients are hooked up to in order to receive intravenous fluids..

WHAT IS PIVO?

STONE: PIVO is a single-use, disposable device that attaches temporarily to an IV line, allowing for needle-free blood draws from this existing line.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

STONE: It enables blood draws to be taken by clinicians from the same intravenous (IV) catheter most hospital patients already have inserted in their arms, instead of poking them again each time they need their blood drawn and instead of accessing larger catheters (Central Venous Catheters) which raise different challenges associated with each time they are accessed.

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WHO DOES THIS DEVICE HELP PEOPLE?

STONE:  The device works for any patient with an IV catheter. Of course, children tend to more commonly have an acute fear of needles, so it can make pediatric care less invasive and painful.

There are also an estimated 30% of our hospital inpatients that are classified as DVA (Difficult Venous Access) because of aging, obesity, disease and more.

PIVO helps practitioners capture critical labs from these growing populations of patients who otherwise may take significant time and expense.

STONE: Also, those in hospitals or other inpatient settings, where the average length of stay is almost 5 days in the U.S. require daily or more frequent blood draws. Many of these patients have problematic veins or skin, which requires a lot of poking and prodding to draw blood. PIVO tackles these issues head on.

According to the CDC, an estimated 35M inpatient stays occur in the U.S. alone each year.  So, PIVO is set to  help many millions of Americans, not to mention those inpatients around the world.

HOW IS PIVO MORE COMFORTABLE & LESS DANGEROUS FOR PATIENT?

STONE:  For patients who have their blood drawn for a check-up once a year in an outpatient setting, blood draws are not that disruptive.  For a “frequent flyer” in the hospital, or a DVA (difficult venous access) patient –noted as such upon admission or who has become DVA after 10 or 20 days in the hospital feeling like a pin cushion –removing the needle from the procedure can have a lifelong impact.

Enabling practitioners to avoid accessing central lines (large, surgically-placed catheters) for blood draws aims to reduce the risks of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection.

Further, removing the needle from blood draws helps avoid risk of injury and infection for our phlebotomists, nurses and physicians. Hospital leadership is recognizing that an important alternative to a prevalent practice is now available.

IF I GET BLOOD WORK FROM AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL WILL THEY USE PIVO?

STONE:  PIVO requires a Peripheral IV catheter in order to access the vein. The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line PIVO cannot access the vein.

The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line, PIVO cannot access a patient’s blood.  As such, this procedure is most appropriate for the hospital inpatient setting.

I do envision PIVO will adopted in other care settings, where patients possess an IV line and require frequent blood draws, but the annual physical unfortunately is not one of these.

WHY AREN’T IV’S GOOD FOR DRAWING BLOOD WITHOUT PIVO?

STONE:  IV’s are essentially plastic  tubes which overtime become soft, like a noodle. While a noodle is fine for injecting fluids and medications into a patient, its soft walls collapse under the negative pressure of suction when you try to take fluids out.

There are other reasons why IV’s are less-than-optimal for drawing blood back, but these are quite complex in nature and we’re only just now uncovering some of the novel reasons through our research with leading clinical collaborators.

PIVO simply inserts a small, stiffer tube inside the existing IV tube for the purpose of drawing blood.

It works by propping open and unkinking the IV tube temporarily while enabling lab quality blood be collected.

HOW WAS THE IDEA FOR PIVO ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED?

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STONE:   Velano’s co-founder and physician, Pitamber Devgon had an elderly patient with bruises up and down her arms from repeated needle sticks.  That patient asked him why he was continually sticking her with needles when she already had an IV catheter in her vein. He didn’t know, but began exploring if it was possible to draw lab quality samples out of the IV line using a separate device.

Stone, a Wharton MBA shares, “Most of my career has been in healthcare, plus I am a needle phobic following my childhood diagnosis with Crohn’s disease as a teenager. So, when I was looking for a company start and a product to bring to market and my former graduate school classmates introduced us, I was instantly engaged following years as a serial healthcare entrepreneur and patient advocate.  From that connection,  Velano was born. “

Velano first won FDA approval for PIVO in 2015, and has also obtained multiple U.S. and international patents for it, with additional applications outstanding in the U.S. & abroad.

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STONE: “Five years from now,” asserts Stone, “I believe, without a doubt that PIVO will be the standard of care for inpatient blood draws and vascular access.”

Thanks for a great interview and innovation for healthcare consumers! -Maria Dorfner

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO, Velano Vascular.

velano

____________________________________________________

RELATED NEWS:

 

A year ago, Forbes contributor Robert Reiss called Eric Stone “The Steve Jobs of Drawing Blood” and tested PIVO himself.  Reprint of article below courtesy of Reiss.

The Steve Jobs Of Drawing Blood

by Robert Reiss , FORBES CONTRIBUTOR (specializing in writing about CEOs)

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I was recently at a board meeting at Griffin Hospital and our CEO was telling us about a new product that could transform perhaps the most ubiquitous healthcare practice – drawing blood.

The concept from a company called Velano Vascular repurposes the IV most hospital patients already have in their arms so blood can be drawn without having their veins repeatedly stuck by needles.

It aims to eliminate the associated negatives of traditional blood drawing: the pain and anxiety, injuries, excessive time and cost.

It seemed like such a revolutionary solution to a broad issue – sort of like in 1892 when Keds invented sneakers – and I was curious to understand if this was truly an historic moment where the age old process of drawing blood could once and for all be revolutionized.

It reminded me of one of my first CEO interviews back in 2007 with Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline when he described the driving force behind one of his over 700 patents, “The key to successful innovation is having a better solution for something that’s used everywhere and every day.”

So I decided to experience this innovation firsthand and a few weeks later I intentionally became a patient and experienced this new needleless way to draw numerous samples of blood.

I was amazed, the nurses were able to draw blood easily, and to do so as many times as they wanted without ever having to stick a needle in me again.

I was next introduced to the founder of Velano Vascular, Eric Stone, who I now admiringly call the Steve Jobs of drawing blood, and below are a few insights from our conversation:

Robert Reiss: How much blood is currently being drawn and what are the problems with the current system?

Eric Stone: Blood draws are not fun – and they are overlooked and underappreciated…except by patients. They are likely the most common invasive medical procedure, with an estimated half a billion in U.S. hospitals alone conducted every year, and two to three times this number across all hospitals worldwide annually.

Recognizing that the U.S. represents nearly 40 million inpatient admissions annually, with an average length of stay of five days, and a conservative estimate of two blood draws per patient per day, we are easily conducting hundreds of millions of inpatient draws each year quite readily.

This does not even take into account other non-hospital settings where patients require regular blood draws, such as long-term care facilities, skilled nursing homes and more – all locations where patients may have a peripheral IV (PIV) catheter indwelling (a requirement for our innovation to be relevant).

For a procedure that informs nearly 70% of all clinical decisions, it is remarkable that the last major innovation was the abandonment of bloodletting centuries ago.

Whether you’re the parent of a sick child or the son or daughter of an elderly parent, repeat hospitalizations and frequent blood draws hit home for just about everyone. It’s scary, it hurts, and it’s critical that we begin to pay attention and stop taking the steely reserve of our patients for granted.

Herein lies the rub. People scared of needles (trypanophobia) avoid necessary tests and treatment, needles injure healthcare workers more than 2 million times a year in accidents that can lead to serious infection, and the list of dysfunction goes on.

The way we draw blood today has real emotional, clinical and financial consequences. We can, and we must, do better. We can start by paying attention.

Reiss: What specifically is different about the Velano Vascular product?

Stone: Velano’s FDA-approved PIVO™ is a disposable, needle free device that connects to a patient’s existing IV catheter, enabling blood draws during their entire hospital stay without requiring subsequent needle sticks.

It turns out that IVs are great at putting fluids into the body but unreliable at pulling them out – that’s why patients receive so many needle sticks while in the hospital.

PIVO turns the routine IV into a reliable conduit for drawing high quality blood samples. This is an elegant solution to a centuries-old problem.

Now, patients no longer need to feel like a “pin cushions” or experience abrupt awakenings between 2:00 am and 6:00 am for the nighttime needle stick – when 40% of blood draws occur.

The company was founded based on a simple idea back in 2012, and subsequently PIVO has been used in clinical pilots and trials at a number of leading U.S. hospitals since receiving regulatory clearance in early 2015.

It has won a number of awards, including the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Vascular Access in 2016 and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation competition at Children’s National Health in Washington, DC.

Reiss: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your methodology on quality outcomes?

Stone: Velano is most often measured by the clinical quality of blood samples drawn and its impact on both practitioner and patient experience.

In thousands of patients, the quality of our blood samples has been definitive and easy to measure, both through clinical studies and “real world,” commercial use.

Blood drawn from PIVO has similarly low hemolysis rates (blood cell shearing or tearing that can relegate a patient to a re-draw and delays in essential care) to needle draws.

Clinical study efforts and pilots with some of the country’s leading healthcare institutions such as University Hospitals Cleveland, Intermountain Healthcare, The University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital reflect clinically appropriate laboratory results – confirming that blood drawn with our compassionate technology can become a standard of care for clinical decision-making.

Practitioner and patient experience is harder to quantify, but our surveys and testimonials to-date are resoundingly positive. In fact, patients who receive PIVO draws are requesting PIVO when transferred to floors in the hospital that are not participating in our pilots or upon readmission to the hospital. They are actually asking for the product – it is remarkable.

The onus is on Velano to continue improving our quality measurements to undeniably prove this innovation is truly a win-win-win, as we seek to elevate the quality of care and outcomes for patients, practitioners and hospitals alike.

Reiss: What is the financial model for a user and what is the economic impact nationally?

Stone: The cost of a blood draw is not just the $1 or less spent for a needle. Instead, it is the many billions of dollars a year spent on wasted materials, rejected blood samples, patient and practitioner risks, delayed results, labor costs, central line escalations, and more resulting from this less-than-desirable and madly inefficient procedure.

Some of the financial downsides of traditional blood draw standards are somewhat obscure, however we’ve helped our hospital partners understand the current impact by simply asking sincere questions, seeking to learn, and paying a modicum of attention to the topic.

Think about the blood draw on an elderly or obese or diabetic patient that can take as long as an hour of a nurse’s time and 2-3 needles to find a vein and collect an adequate sample.

Consider that even one single case of an employee blood borne pathogen transmission from a needle stick can cost millions of dollars in exposure for a hospital.

For PIVO, we understand that in an environment of increasing health industry price transparency and pressures, when our entire healthcare system is experiencing economic upheaval, and cost neutrality is required for rolling out true innovation in hospitals.

 

Reiss: Why did you start Velano Vascular and what’s your vision?

Stone: The reason why is very simple – because I am first and foremost a patient, and I am a parent.   25 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, launching me on a lifelong journey as a healthcare entrepreneur, patient advocate, and National Trustee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Since a young age, I’ve been motivated by IMPACT.

I started Velano in partnership with an intellectually curious physician inventor intrigued by a seemingly simple question posed by his patient – “why are you repeatedly sticking me with needles [when I already have an IV line in my arm]?”

This simple, yet elegant idea resonated strongly with me, for I am needle-phobic myself, and I have been that “tough stick” patient during my hospital stays. Today, this brilliant idea has become reality.

My vision for Velano is to touch every human being on the planet; for we will all spend time in a hospital at some point in life, and we will certainly need our blood drawn when we do.

 

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO of Velano Vascular

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Maria Dorfner founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health

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NewsMD Communications was founded in 1998 to educate healthcare consumers by connecting medical + media to inspire and empower millions to want to live healthy.

In 1993, Maria created Healthcare Consumers, Healthy Living, Lifestyles & Longevity and Healthcare Practitioners. The shows aired on CNBC, which she helped launch in 1989.  She is the founder of Cleveland Clinic News Service, helped launch MedPage Today (sold to CNN) and wrote & produced 21st Century Medicine for Discovery Health.  Her awards include Freddie for Excellence in Medical Reporting, Outstanding Leadership Abilities, Media Recognition, Who’s Who, Medical Reporting Scholarship. She produced for Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Report, talk shows & reality programming.

She began as an intern at NBC todaylogo SHOW in NYC in 1983.

This is her blog.

Have an innovative solution healthcare consumers|media should know about?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com  

Response only if it’s a story of interest. Thank you.

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New Study Links Insomnia to Alzheimer’s

sleepingNew research now links sleep problems with Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s.
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Cleveland Clinic’s Stephen Rao (pronounced Ray-Oh) did not participate in the new study but says results suggest people who have trouble sleeping may be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
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CG: Stephen Rao, PhD /Cleveland Clinic:  “The basic finding is that the more disturbance of sleep that people reported, the more likely that they were going to have pathology in their spinal fluid that related to Alzheimer’s disease.” [:15]
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RESEARCHERS SURVEYED JUST OVER ONE-HUNDRED PEOPLE AT HIGH RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S WHO HAD NORMAL THINKING AND MEMORY ABILITIES.
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PARTICIPANTS WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR SLEEP QUALITY AND ALSO PROVIDED A
SPINAL FLUID SAMPLE.
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RESULTS SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO REPORTED HAVING SLEEP PROBLEMS HAD MORE
BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN THEIR SPINAL FLUID THAN FOLKS WHO DID NOT REPORT SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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DOCTOR RAO NOTES THAT WHILE THE STUDY SHOWS A LINK BETWEEN SLEEP
AND ALZHEIMER’S IT’S A BIT OF A CHICKEN AND EGG SCENARIO, IN THAT DOCTORS AREN’T SURE WHAT COMES FIRST.  THE ALZHEIMER’S OR THE SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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HE SAYS MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BE SURE.
CG: Stephen Rao, PhD/Cleveland Clinic:  “We don’t know what the chicken or egg cause is here, it may very well be that sleeping longer will help us to prevent us from developing or slow down the process of Alzheimer’s disease but we certainly  don’t have the definitive answer as yet.”
Complete results of this study can be found online in the Journal NEUROLOGY. [:10]
 newsmd1 Maria Dorfner

MY OPINION:  

“A multitude of factors may cause insomnia, but I bet the primary cause is your choice of food or beverage before turning in. Technology is a biggie, but if you’re sleepy you won’t want to look at your phone or computer.

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Your brain requires healthy food and beverages to stay sharp and sleep well.

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Numerous foods and beverages are already proven to disrupt sleep including high-fat foods, soda, chocolate, caffeine, heavy spicy foods, alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, meat and high protein intake. Even prescription and over-the-counter cold medications may contain caffeine.  Let’s also not rule out tobacco usage.

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Healthy foods that promote sleep include nuts, seeds, eggs, bananas and a few crackers & cheese.  Water no later than 8 p.m. is a healthy go-to beverage.

Daily exercise also helps you sleep well.

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I’d love to see “further studies” include two groups of people “at risk” for developing Alzheimer’s: 1. sedentary people who eat and drink disruptive foods and beverages, use tobacco and take prescription medications 2) compared to people that exercise daily, eat and drink healthy foods and beverages and do not take OTC or prescription medications or use tobacco.

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Then, compare how well these two different groups sleep, along with their biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bottom line:  Missing piece to this puzzle may be finding out what causes sleep problems.  I posit people more at risk have unhealthy habits leading to sleeplessness.

Remember, you have the power to change your daily habits and choices.

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It’s time to research and study causes, so people can practice prevention instead of seeking treatment for symptoms, or worse believing the symptom is a cause. ”

-Maria Dorfner

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NATIONAL MEDIA:   See Pathfire #: 10826 dated July 5, 2017 for soundbites/voiceover
contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Breakthrough: Mi-Eye2 Diagnoses Joint Injuries With Tiny Camera

TRICE MEDICAL closes $19.3M in Series C financing for their tiny needle-based camera to analyze joint injuries and expedite orthopedic diagnosis without the need for an MRI.

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Mi-Eye2 is a hand-held imaging scope which received FDA-clearance.  It enables doctors to diagnose a sports-related injury in the office, without an MRI.

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It consists of a hypodermic needle with a small camera tethered to a Microsoft surface tablet that shows high-definition pictures.

 

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Jeffrey O’Donnell, Sr. who is President and CEO of Trice Medical says this latest round of financing is a “significant milestone” and will help expand the company’s U.S. market.

Check out CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez report:

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CBS 2’s DR. MAX GOMEZ: If you’ve ever injured your knee it can be hard to tell exactly what’s causing the pain, so the doctor usually sends you for an expensive MRI and maybe an arthroscopy in the O.R. to take a look inside. But what if you could do a scope in the doctor’s office cheaper and safer.

Lemouchi Soufinae injured his knee in a car accident two years ago. Since then he hasn’t been able to play his beloved soccer, because of the pain in his knee.

“I can’t walk more than three blocks, have to lay down, have trouble sleeping at night, lot of strong pain,” he said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ: Two MRIs later, it still wasn’t completely clear what was causing his knee pain.

Lemouchi, Liz Meris has been having severe knee pain. “I couldn’t kneel or straighten without pain, can’t get out of car, swelling in back of knee, hurts to walk, feels unstable,” she said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ: Worse yet, Liz is claustrophobic in an MRI.

“I hate em, I’m claustrophobic. I’m out, I’m in, I’m out again,” she said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  The next is usually a trip into the operation room to look around by sticking a scope in the knee. It’s expensive and requires anesthesia. Why not do that in the office, under a local anesthesia?

Thanks to a tiny scope with a hi-def camera on the tip, doctors can do in the office what once took a trip to the O.R.

“It’s a huge game changer, been trying to do for 10 to 15 years, clarity and resolution are now tremendous,” Dr. James Gladstone, Mt. Sinai Health System said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  Using only a local anesthesia, Dr. Gladstone inserts the MI-Eye-2™ into Liz’s knee. She was actually watching the same thing Dr. Gladstone was seeing.

It allows him to check and see what and where there’s damage inside the knee.

“Almost as good as O.R. scope, and in many ways better than MRI because it can give you direct visualization,” Dr. Gladstone said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  Better yet, if the damage is minimal it saves the patient a trip to the O.R. for a conventional scope, and here’s the best part; it costs under $500 to do this in the doctor’s office as opposed to the $1,500 or $2,000 for an MRI and thousands more for an O.R. scope.

Almost any joint that you can scope can be done with the MI-Eye™: shoulder, wrist, ankle, elbow.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION on THE INNOVATIVE MI-EYE2 VISIT:

http://www.tricemedical.com

 

Also, check out Dr. Max Gomez’s new book available for preorder on Amazon:

“Cells Are the New Cure”

by Robin Smith, MD + Max Gomez, Ph,D; Foreword by Sanjay Gupta, MD of CNN

https://www.amazon.com/Cells-Are-New-Drugs-Bre…/…/1944648801

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Maria Dorfner, a 33 year veteran of broadcast news is the founder of this blog.

Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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GAME CHANGER: NEW SMART HEART MONITOR

 

Super excited to tell you about a new smart heart monitor you can use at home. It will help 28 million heart disease patients in the U.S. keep track of their heart.

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Keep track from the comfort of their home at any time. And it’s just been FDA approved.

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Meet Eko DUO.  The first handheld mobile, wireless, EHR-connected stethoscope, which connects to your smart phone.

It allows you to amplify, visualize and record crystal clear heart and lung sounds.

Imagine not needing to wait for your next followup appointment to transmit a concern to your physician. It works under the supervision or prescription from a physician.

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Eko Duo is set to help millions of heart disease patients who are often discharged with little more than an info packet and instructions to monitor their weight.

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Now patients can be sent home from the hospital with a direct link back to their physician, helping reduce readmissions and false alarms.

“The goal is to bring hospital-quality care to the home.”
Connor Landgraf, CEO and co-founder, Eko DUO

The device wirelessly pairs with Eko’s secure, HIPAA-compliant app, enabling remote monitoring and diagnosis by a clinician or specialist.

It works with the Eko app on any iPhone, iPad, Windows PC or Android device.

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Eko DUO can also be used by clinicians as an enhanced stethoscope for in-clinic cardiac screenings, enabling physicians to quickly diagnose and monitor patients.

Clinicians can use it bedside or remotely to quickly spot heart abnormalities including arrhythmias, heart murmurs, and valvular heart diseases.

I interviewed Ami Bhatt, M.D., a Cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of Outpatient Cardiology and the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and she believes Eko DUO will improve outcomes through early intervention.

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Dr. Bhatt says, “Cardiology programs are looking for ways to deliver hospital-quality healthcare at home.  The ability to capture digital heart sounds and an ECG expands our portfolio of mechanisms to remotely monitor the heart – and brings diagnosis and opportunities for early intervention even further upstream.” 

Heart disease can strike people of all ages.

I spoke with Stacy Bingham, a registered nurse from Oregon with 5 children, who knows this firsthand. She and her husband have no prior history of heart disease in their family, yet 3 of her 5 children end up needing heart transplants.

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When Stacy noticed her oldest child, Sierra acting tired with a loss of appetite for a few weeks, she never suspected the cause was an underlying heart condition.

“I noticed her face and eyes were swollen. She complained her stomach hurt.”

That’s when Stacy and her husband took her to a family practitioner.

“The doctor told us it’s probably a flu bug and sent us home. When her condition worsened she had an x-ray.”

X-ray results revealed Sierra’s heart was enlarged.  Dilated cardio myopathy. She later learned two of her other children also had heart problems.

“If they had not finally found Sierra’s heart condition, she may not have survived. We live in a really rural part of Eastern Oregon and we now have three kids with heart transplants that need to be monitored for life.”

Today, Stacy’s family takes nothing for granted, especially innovations that help.

“If this device can be used at home and we can rule out scary things and know when it’s not something we need to rush to a hospital for that would be wonderful.” –Stacy Bingham

James Young also knows how life can change in a heartbeat.

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Young was just 40-years-old when he first experienced symptoms of heart failure. Symptoms he ignored until they were severe and his sister insisted on it.

“I was coughing in mornings and throughout the day. I thought it was simply allergies. I vomited phlegm some mornings and still didn’t see a doctor.”

But the coughing became more painful. While shoveling, it stopped him in his tracks.

“I was outside shoveling snow when I turn behind me and  see a trail of blood.”

His sister noticed he didn’t look well and insisted he go see a physician.

“That’s when I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was shocked.”

James felt anxiety, depression and uncertainty about his future at this time. Young believes Eko DUO will not only help alleviate false alarms and unnecessary hospital readmissions, but needless worrying as well.

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“Eko DUO would have given me assurance the doctor knew where I stood daily. If there were any issues outstanding needing to be addressed immediately. It gives the doctor an opportunity to respond expeditiously to those concerns.”

Today, James is doing great and is a national spokesperson and heart failure Ambassador for the American Heart Association.

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“I went from a 25% functioning heart to being an avid runner and cycler. I’ve taken on a new lease in life. As a community advocate I can help inspire others and give them hope.”

Ami Bhatt, M.D says that hope also translates to much needed continuous care rather than outpatient care.

“Robust toolkits for caring for patients in the community will hopefully lead to more appropriate healthcare utilization through continuous rather than episodic outpatient care.”

HERE’S HOW EKO WAS DEVELOPED:

Eko’s co-founder & CEO, Connor Landgraf, is also a heart disease patient.

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Connor navigated countless cardiology visits, screenings and referrals.

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In 2013, during his senior year as at the University of California at Berkeley, Connor attended a panel discussion at UC San Francisco on technological shortcomings facing modern medical practices.

One technical gap cardiologists claimed stood out beyond the rest: the stethoscope.

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So Conner and his co-founders welcomed the stethoscope, a two-century old tool, into the 21st-century.

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Photo: Connor and his co-founders, Jason Bellet and Tyler Crouch

 

The newly FDA approved Eko DUO brings that to the next level.
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To learn more about this remarkable 21st Century technology we love visit:  http://www.ekodevices.com

 

 

Factoids:

  • According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
    The American Heart Associations says the U.S. currently spends over $26 billion annually on heart failure hospitalization. 25% of heart failure patients are readmitted within 30 days — 50% are readmitted in 6 months with hospitals now being penalized for high readmission rates.
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  • Fact: 83% of parents experience anxiety surrounding their child’s referral to a pediatric cardiologist for an innocent murmur.
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  • Fact: Average cash price for an echocardiogram is $2,275 and even with insurance, patients can expect to pay 10 to 30% of this cost.
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  • Fact: For a pediatric subspecialist such as a pediatric cardiologist, patients must wait between 5 weeks and 3 months to get an appointment.
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  • Fact: Internal medicine residents misdiagnose more than 75% of cardiac events.
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  • Fact: 70% of all pediatric cardiac referrals for murmurs are unnecessary.
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  • Fact: Average PCP needs to coordinate care with 99 other physicians working across 53 practices.
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  • Fact: Only 50% of initial referrals are accompanied by information from the PCP.
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  • Fact: Patients in rural communities must travel an average of 56 miles to see a specialist.
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  • Fact: About 46.2 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population, reside in rural counties.

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Eko DUO.  A real game changer for heart patients worldwide.

http://www.ekodevices.com

 

 

Sleep Apnea Treatment Reduces Drowsy Driving

SLEEP APNEA AFFECTS AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE MILLION ADULTS IN THE U-S.

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THE CONDITION CAUSES THE UPPER AIRWAY TO COLLAPSE FREQUENTLY WHILE SLEEPING, ROBBING SUFFERERS OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP AND LEADING TO DAYTIME SLEEPINESS AND DROWSY DRIVING.
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NOW, NEW CLEVELAND CLINIC RESEARCH SUPPORTS A GROWING BODY OF EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS TREATING SLEEP APNEA WITH A C-PAP (SEE-PAP) MACHINE REDUCES SLEEPINESS BEHIND THE WHEEL.

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CG: Dr. Harneet Walia /Cleveland Clinic “There was a significant reduction in the drowsy driving episodes and this reduction was more pronounced in patients who were CPAP adherent. This is a very important finding because drowsy driving poses a very important public health risk.” [:14]

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RESEARCHERS ANALYZED SELF-REPORTED QUESTIONNAIRES FROM NEARLY TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE WITH SLEEP APNEA. THEY ASSESSED DROWSY DRIVING INCIDENTS BEFORE AND AFTER PARTICIPANTS USED A C-PAP MACHINE.

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C-PAP STANDS FOR CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE AND IS WORN AT NIGHT WHEN SOMEONE IS SLEEPING.

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IT’S DESIGNED TO INCREASE AIR PRESSURE IN THE THROAT TO PREVENT THE AIRWAY FROM COLLAPSING AND THEREFORE RESULT IN A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP.

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RESULTS SHOW A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT IN REPORTED ACCIDENTS AND NEAR-MISS-ACCIDENTS AFTER USING A C-PAP MACHINE.  FOLKS WHO USED IT REGULARLY AND COMPLIED WITH TREATMENT GUIDELINES SAW THE GREATEST IMPROVEMENT.

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IN ADDITION TO DROWSY DRIVING AND DAYTIME SLEEPINESS, DOCTOR WALIA (WALL-EE-UH) SAYS SLEEP APNEA CAN ALSO HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR CONSEQUENCES, SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE PROPERLY DIAGNOSED AND TREATED.

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CG: Dr. Harneed Walia /Cleveland Clinic “If you think you have obstructive sleep apnea, or you have signs of obstructive sleep apnea such as loud snoring, having pauses in breathing, or you feel excessively tired throughout the day please seek medical attention.” [:14]

DOCTOR WALIA SAYS SLEEP APNEA CAN BE EASILY DETECTED DURING AN OVERNIGHT SLEEP STUDY AND THAT USING A C-PAP MACHINE IS OFTEN THE FIRST LINE OF TREATMENT. COMPLETE RESULTS WERE PRESENTED AT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE IN BOSTON.

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For more information please visit: ccnewsservice@ccf.org

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Media:  

See June 6, 2017 Sound Bites/Voice Over Pathfire#: 10803

 

Health Benefits of Drinking Water

 

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Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of drinking plenty of water.

By Dr. Nina Radcliff

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You may know that water makes up about two-thirds of who we are – but did you know it influences 100 percent of the processes in our body?

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Yes, we are made of about 70 percent water!

But did you know that our muscles and kidneys are about 75 percent water?

Lungs about 83 percent.

Brain cells about 85 percent?

And even our bones are approximately 30 percent.

That probably explains why we feel better when we drink enough of it, everyday.

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Because of water’s abundant and varied functions in our body, it is a vital nutrient. Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions.

It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and assist the passage of food through the intestines.

The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.

In fact, to function properly, all the cells and organs of our body need water.

Every day, on an average, our body loses about 2 quarts of water through breathing, sweating, digestion – and it’s E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L that we rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain high water content (soups, tomatoes, oranges).

Keeping hydrated has a huge impact on our overall health.

However, despite how crucial water is, a significant number of people fail to consume recommended levels of fluids each day.

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To understand how water is helping us – here are some great reasons why we should be hydrating with clean, natural water right now:

Your Kidneys. Water is essential for the kidneys to function. Every day, the kidneys filter around 120-150 quarts of fluid. Of these, approximately 1-2 quarts are excreted in the form of urine, and 198 are recovered by the bloodstream. When dehydrated, our kidneys resort to desperate measures in order to conserve water—meaning, decreasing urine output. However, this can also result in the buildup of waste products, electrolyte imbalances, and, if severe, acute kidney failure. And, as we start seeing temperatures rise, so too the incidence of miserable kidney stones. When properly hydrated, we maintain good urine flow and this prevents the build-up of minerals within our kidneys that can form stones.

 

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Calories. Water is void of calories, the original and healthiest zero-calorie drink. As we know, our weight is dependent on the balance of calories consumed versus burned. And, when we take in more than we use as fuel, we gain weight. Too many drinks that we commonly reach for are laden with calories (and added sugar). The average can of soda contains approximately 140 calories; a glass of wine 140 calories; and 12-ounces of unsweetened apple juice 170 calories. And, if you think you are safe with a “diet” drink that gets its sweetness from artificial sweeteners and lacks calories, think again. Research shows that they are linked to weight gain. So, the next time we want to quench our thirst, consider reaching for a glass of no-calorie water.

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Combats Dehydration-Driven Sugar Cravings. H2O is essential to a number of our body’s chemical processes, including the ability to release and tap into energy stores. Glycogen is primarily found in the liver and is our main storage form of glucose. However, when we are dehydrated, our liver cannot release glycogen into the blood stream where it can be utilized as fuel. Consequently, our body sends signals to our brain that it needs to consume something sweet—STAT! So the next time you are craving for a cookie, pastry, or something with sugar, it may not be your sweet tooth you are trying to satisfy, but, instead, your thirst.

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Combat Headaches. Headaches are one of the first signs of dehydration and there are two possible theories for this. First, is that when we do not have enough water, our blood volume decreases, and in order to prevent inadequate blood and oxygen flow to our brain, the brain’s blood vessels compensate by dilating. This causes “crowding” and pain. The other theory is that dehydration results in electrolyte imbalance and stimulates the nerves in our brain to send pain signals.

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Keeps us looking young. Our skin cells can either maintain the form of a grape or a raisin, depending on our hydration. When we are properly hydrated, they are like a grape. And, when dehydrated, our cells are shriveled up and can make wrinkles we have appear more prominent. Drinking water can keep our fountain of youth from drying up.

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Healthy Digestion. When dehydrated, our body resorts to extreme measures to conserve water. This includes “pulling” or “absorbing” water from stool before it exits our digestive tract. The result is hardening and decreased transit time of “poop”—also known as constipation.

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Stroke and Survival After Stroke. In studies by leading centers including one out of Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that nearly half of patients who presented with a stroke due to a clot were dehydrated. And, too, they did worse in the long run.

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Concentration and Energy. Approximately 80 percent to 85 percent of our brain’s weight comes from water. So it is no surprise that when our water levels are low, our brain function is affected—chemical production that signals between brain cells and nerve transmission that is responsible for thinking, movement, and memory. And when you are feeling sluggish, like your energy has been zapped or tired – this, too, is a sign of dehydration and time to reach for some clean, natural water.

Too many are living in a mildly dehydrated state—impacting their health with various irritations like headaches, joint pain, low energy, digestive issues…the list goes on. I consider H20 one of the essential building blocks of good health. Clean, natural water is important for all of us, every day!

And do check the source of your water. One of the best waters you can drink is filtered water. And don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water as that generally means you have waited too long and are probably already dehydrated.

An age-old question is how much water is enough? The answer is not as simple as we often hear. The recommended amount of water that should be drunk everyday varies from person to person depending on factors such as level of activity, weight, diet and surrounding temperature.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an estimated adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups a day. For women, an adequate intake is around 9 cups.

And while we have often heard the directive: “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” (and it is close to the IOM’s recommendation for women), drinking “8 by 8” is an easy-to-remember amount that can help people on the right track in terms of water consumption.

Take time – and take note – to ensure you are getting enough. One guideline is to drink water in the morning, when you wake and too, 30 minutes before meals and about an hour or two after meals (aim not to drink excessive amounts after 7 p.m. as it may interfere with your sleep).

If you find in your day you have had very little water, I encourage you to set a timer or a smartphone reminder. The goal is to be properly hydrated, everyday – it can make a world of difference in your overall health.

Make a commitment today!!

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Today’s Fitness Tip from Mayo Clinic:

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The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups of water two to three hours before your workout, and and at least 1/2 to 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout.  Continue to hydrate after your workout to replenish lost fluid.

Remember, balance is key:

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Happy Hydrated Mother’s Day weekend everyone!

 

Expert Newborn Screenings A Heartbeat Away!

jimmy-kimmel-baby-billy2-1This week, Jimmy Kimmel shared the emotional story of his beautiful newborn son’s heart surgery.  He and his wife Molly welcomed their second child, William “Billy” Kimmel.

At three days old, Billy had successful open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is now home with his family.  On his show, Jimmy opened up about his son’s birth and health complications. He also underscored the need for the accurate and timely screening of congenital heart disease (CHD).

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Essential to early CHD diagnosis is the detection of a murmur using a stethoscope during a newborn’s first physical exam.

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But routine neonatal examination without specialist consults fail to detect more than half of babies with heart disease.

Approximately 160 infants pass away from undetected Congenital Heart Defects each year in the United States.

William “Billy” Kimmel, who is absolutely adorable below is one of the lucky ones; looks like he’s already laughing at Dad’s jokes too.

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Billy thankfully had the condition detected early, but many children with CHD get discharged with undetected or misdiagnosed conditions.

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After the events of this week, expecting parents have every right to question if their child is being screened appropriately or if clinicians known to misinterpret heart sounds are interpreting their child’s heart sounds accurately.

Kimmel’s story is really a wake-up call that we need more nurses like the wonderful ones who treated his baby boy.

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Now, there’s a device that will make sure congenital heart screenings more effective for infants.

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And it’s not just infants. Over 1.3 million adults live with congenital heart disease in the U.S, which now surpasses the number of children with congenital heart disease.

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Three entrepreneurs are well on their way to making sure accurate screenings are a heartbeat away. Their innovation paves the way for a new era of cardiac screenings.

They want to do what Shazam did for music, only for heartbeats.

Their new device called Eko [pronounced like Echo, as in a heart echo] offers the potential to dramatically improve the efficacy of newborn screenings, especially for newborns far from a pediatric cardiology center.

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The San Francisco based digital medical device company, launched Eko, an FDA-cleared digital stethoscope that enables ANY clinician, regardless of their training level, to secure a virtual pediatric cardiology opinion on heart sounds recorded with their FDA-cleared digital stethoscope.

It was a pleasure interviewing one of the founders, Jason Bellet.

Bellet says, “The silver lining in Jimmy Kimmel’s story is that the congenital heart failure was detected early through a murmur using a stethoscope and could be treated, but very often these murmurs go undiagnosed and undetected and infants leave the hospital with potentially life threatening situations.” [:27]

“Eko Devices would enable nurses and clinicians to get Cardiologist’s second opinion to immediately decrease the number of missed cases.” [:12]

Bellet is the co-founder and a brilliant former student from the University of Berkley.  He graduated in 2014 and founded Eko Devices with two fellow students, Connor Landgraf and Tyler Crouch out of the Start-up accelerator at Berkley.

The three founders successfully pitched their idea and raised $5M to bring it to market quickly and bring it to as many clinicians as they can.  It received FDA approval in September of 2015.

QUESTION: WHAT IS EKO?

ANSWER:  It’s basically a Smart Stethoscope that can bring the sounds to a trained ear immediately.

The vision is to bring machine learning and physician support tools to every clinicians stethoscope to make their screening process as easy as Shazaming a song.

QUESTION:  HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR EKO?

ANSWER:  The idea stemmed from the fact that we realized the stethoscope is used as the primary screening tool for cardiac health, including for newborn babies.

But, it’s extremely outdated and ultimately leading to misdiagnosis and lack of cardiac conditions because you hear the heart sounds, but don’t understand what you’re hearing.

Cardiologists are the ones who can differentiate what is normal and what is not.

So, what we wanted to do was make it easy for clinicians to modernize their own stethoscopes to bring it into the modern era and send concerning or confusing heart sounds immediately to cardiologists in real time using this platform or capture it to send it to a specialist.

QUESTION:  There are other digital stethoscopes out there. Why is this one unique?

Bellet says, “Our digital stethoscope is the first to allow clinicians to stream sounds wirelessly from the stethoscope to a smartphone and to a cardiologist anywhere in the world.”  [:15]

QUESTION: Is it HIPPA compliant?

ANSWER:  It’s the ONLY digital stethoscope on the market that has built a HIPPA compliant software platform to stream heart sounds from any clinician to any specialist anywhere in the world.

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QUESTION: THAT’S GROUNDBREAKING. WHERE IS IT CURRENTLY BEING USED?

ANSWER:  Eko is now used at over 700 institutions across the country and has been adopted by pediatric cardiology programs.

QUESTION: WHO NEEDS EKO?

The technology is applicable in many aspects of patient care, but especially in newborns.

QUESTION:  WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL WITH EKO?

ANSWER: The ultimate goal is bringing it even one step further.  Our idea is have machine learning tied directly into the stethoscope itself, so one day clinicians can be as accurate as cardiologists in their initial interpretation of what they hear.

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Next, I spoke with renown adult congenital heart disease specialist Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C. who says identifying congenital heart disease in the community can be challenging at any age whether we are trying to identify a high risk newborn like Jimmy Kimmel’s or catching congenital heart disease in a school age student or adulthood.

Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C.  is director of outpatient cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as well as a renown adult congenital heart disease specialist.  She innovates with the Healthcare Transformation Lab, serves as a scientific advisor for Eko Devises and runs a telemedicine practice.  She can be reached at mghachd@partners.org

Bhatt says,  “Because congenital heart disease is relatively rare it’s difficult for clinicians to identify it. The use of digital stethoscopes and other telemedicine technology which can connect the patient and caregiver in the community with experts at academic centers can improve initial diagnosis AND longterm followup.”

QUESTION:  WHAT HAPPENS WHEN KIDS WITH CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE AGE?

ANSWER:   Two things. One, as kids with congenital heart disease age, we know there are complications that may arise. Technologies like digital stethoscopes and the use of algorithms can help monitor their progression and track changes in disease BEFORE they progress too far.

And two, lack of follow-up is a persistent problem with children with congenital heart disease become adults. One of the main drivers is the challenge of access to subspecialty care.

Additionally, distance from medical centers, along with the time it takes and sometimes the cost of being away from work and family drives young adults to ignore their own healthcare needs.

The advent of digital health in congenital heart disease care empowers the patient to engage in a partnership to their health without taking away from their ability to live a full and active life.

QUESTION:  DO YOU THINK TECHNOLOGY HELPS OR HINDERS DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONS?

ANSWER: As the delivery of healthcare changes, caregivers are desperate to return to the ideal  doctor patient relationship, which is based on a human connection. As we build digital technology, and use machine learning to support our physicians at at time when there are so many diagnosis to be made, it allows us to concentrate on a shared patient and provider centered experience.

QUESTION:  HOW DOES AN ADULT KNOW WHEN TO GET THEIR HEART CHECKED?

ANSWER: If they had heart disease or heart surgery as a child, they should check in with their cardiologist to find out if they need any longterm care.

QUESTION: HOW DO THEY FIND A SPECIALIST?

There are advocacy websites, such http://www.ACHAheart.org which report self-identified Specialists in congenital heart disease or they can call a major center like Massachusetts General who can find a local center that can partner in their care.

QUESTION: HOW CAN THEY FIND OUT WHO USES THE EKO DEVICE?

ANSWER: If they want to find a specialist using the Eko Device people can contact Massachusetts General http://www.massgeneral.org\adultcongenitalheart for more information and ask about centers near them. They can also contact any hospital and ask for their telemedicine department and inquire if they use Eko.

QUESTION: HOW DO CLINICANS FIND EKO IF THEY’RE INTERESTED IN USING IT?

ANSWER:  Clinicians are able to access the device by going to the Eko Devices website at http://www.ekodevices.com and then if they’re interested in testing it they can purchase a unit directly from the website and send it back if they don’t like it. But that’s a rarity as the success rate has been high with over 5,000 clinicians across the country using it.

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This truly is a hot technology that will save kids like Jimmy’s, as well as those who aren’t at top hospitals in the country.

Billy will have another open-heart surgery within six months to repair the hole, and Our thoughts, well wishes and prayers are with him and his family.

“As a cardiologist, we sometimes worry about technology interfering with the doctor patient relationship. However, in these cases, it is technology that brings us to meet the patient where they live. Technology is finally bringing us home.” 

-Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C.

If you haven’t seen Jimmy Kimmel’s story see it on Emmy-award-winning @GMA:

WATCH: @jimmykimmel shares emotional news about newborn son’s emergency heart surgery; son now at home recovering. http://abcn.ws/2pSPakE

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QUICK FACTS:

According to the CDC, 40,000 babies in the U.S. are born each year with congenital heart disease.

Recent studies estimate approximately 160 infants or 1 in 25,000 live births die per year from unrecognized CHD.

The reported sensitivity for detection of a pathologic heart murmur in newborns ranges from 80.5 to 94.9 percent among pediatric cardiologists, with specificity ranging from 25 to 92 percent.

A study in the American Journal of Medicine discovered internal medicine residents misdiagnose as many as 75% of murmurs with a stethoscope.

Routine neonatal examination fails to detect more than half of babies with heart disease; examination at 6 weeks misses one third.

A normal examination does not exclude heart disease.

Babies with murmurs at neonatal or 6 week examinations should be referred for early pediatric cardiological evaluation which will result either in a definitive diagnosis of congenital heart disease or in authoritative reassurance of normal cardiac anatomy and function.

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Take care of your heart everyone!

 

For more on Eko visit: http://www.ekodevices.com

UPDATES:

Good Morning America
ABC NEWS
May 9, 2017
Jimmy Kimmel returns to TV with update on his son’s health, defends his call for children’s health care coverage

One week after Jimmy Kimmel revealed that his son, Billy, had been born with a heart defect, the comedian returned to host his late night show with an emotional update on his son’s health and a defense of his foray into the country’s heated debate on health care.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” also thanked his fans for their “humbling outpouring of support” and said that he and his wire “very grateful” for the multitude of donations made to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where his son was treated.

“First I want to tell you because so many people have asked: Our son Billy is doing very well,” Kimmel said. “He’s eating. He is getting bigger. He is sleeping well. He can read now — which they say is unusual [for a child his age].”

Kimmel, 49, revealed last Monday that his son underwent surgery on his heart three days after he was born, and will require another procedure when he’s a little bigger in three to six months.

During his monologue, Kimmel asked all politicians to come together to ensure healthcare for all Americans, especially those who have pre-existing health conditions.

Though there were many who supported Kimmel’s point of view, he noted that there were many others who called him an “out of touch Hollywood elitist.” To those critics, the late night host offered a sarcastic apology.

“I’d like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care,” he joked. “It was insensitive – it was offensive – and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”

To further the conversation, he interviewed Bill Cassidy, a Republican senator from Louisiana who last week tweeted that there should be a “Kimmel Test” for any healthcare bill passed.

The Jimmy Kimmel Test, he noted, would be in place to ensure that any healthcare plan would adequately cover pre-existing conditions “but in a fiscally conservative way that lowers cost.”

“I happen to like [it] a lot,” Kimmel said. “He is a doctor – a gastroenterologist. He is married to a retired doctor — his wife Laura, was a surgeon. And he co-founded the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, which provides free dental care and health care to the working uninsured. So obviously – this is someone who cares about people’s health.”

 

 

Startup Reduces Needles for Blood Draws

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FDA-cleared to improve patient and practitioner experience in healthcare settings.

Full Story:  http://fortune.com/2016/05/20/startup-blood-draws/

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Or visit:  http://velanovascular.com/in-the-news/velano-vascular-needleless-blood-draw-technology-relieves-anxiety-for-patients-practitioners-and-hospitals/