595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Doylestown Hospital

Doylestown Hospital Patient Services and Finance teams took the #icebucketchallenge to #strikeoutALS. They challenge their patients to participate, share your posts with us so we can post on Facebook, and remember to donate to ALS to support their research!

Every time someone joins us by taking the challenge and making a donation, they are making a difference in getting one day closer to finding a cure.

Patient Services team not only took the challenge, but they opted to use bedpans instead of buckets to douse themselves with ice water!

Patient Services Team Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The Finance team also rose to the challenge to continue raising awareness for ALS. Take the challenge, and make a donation today!

Finance Team Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Remember, you don’t have to dump water on your head to make a difference! Visit the ALS Association website to make a donation to support research in finding a cure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This List That Could Help Save Your Life

Keeping an accurate list of medications you take at home is good for you and for your doctors.

Just how important is it to keep an accurate list of home medications? According to Robert Linkenheimer, DO, medical director of the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Department, "It's really, really, really important."

"That list of medications is as important as the patient's past medical history and is also as important as the reason why they came to the hospital," says Dr. Linkenheimer.

Importance of Keeping a Medication List

  • Helps you and your family remember all the medicines you are currently taking, the dosages and frequency
  • Helps physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers make sure that the medicines can be taken safely together
  • Helps your doctor determine if illness or symptoms are related to medicine you are taking
  • If you need to be admitted to a hospital, the list helps ensure you'll be given the medicines you take regularly at home (if appropriate for treatment). The list also provides hospital pharmacists the information they need to determine possible drug interactions with any new prescriptions you may be prescribed.

Managing Your Medication List

There are a few key points to remember about keeping and using the home medications list.
  • Include all prescription medications, over–the-counter (OTC) products, herbals, vitamins and dietary supplements. Also include topical creams, ointments, medication pens, patches, as well as eye and ear drops and include medicines you take on occasion (like a rescue inhaler).
  • Keep the list of medications with you at all times, and give a copy to a loved one or let a loved one know where to find the list. Dr. Linkenheimer suggests keeping a copy of the list wherever you keep your insurance cards. It's also a good idea to keep a copy at home.
  • Make sure the list is accurate and up to date. Remember to adjust your list when you start or stop taking medications.
  • Include the dose, when (what time of day) and how you take each medicine (with water, etc.).
  • Parents of young children: Keep an accurate list of medications that your children are taking. Note any allergies your child has.
  • Children of aging parents: Make sure you have a copy of your parent's home medication list, or know where to find it.
In the U.S., more than 60% of adults age 65 and older take at least five medications each week, and 15% take at least 10, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

If you find yourself needing to go to the ER and don't have a list on hand, place all your medications in a bag and bring them with you.

Many doctor's offices will have a list of your medications on file, and can print this for you. But many people see more than one physician. And it might be a long time between doctor's visits. So it's important to keep an accurate, up-to-date list for yourself.

You are an important member of your healthcare team. Keeping a good home medication list and sharing it with your team is just one way to help ensure you receive the best care possible. There are several online resources where you can download a medication record to fill out and copy.

Online Resources for Medication List

Pharmacy Services at Doylestown Hospital

Need a prescription filled as the result of a hospital stay? The ShopRite Pharmacy located in the North Lobby of Doylestown Hospital can help. Visit pharmacy services or call 215-348-1503 for more information.

myHealthDoylestown Personal Medical Record

For convenient online access of your Doylestown Hospital medical records, visit myHealthDoylestown, which includes a list of medications prescribed during your Doylestown Hospital stay.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Support Pediatric Care at the Boardwalk Bash

Let’s begin with a spin . . . come celebrate and support the new Carol & Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center of Doylestown Hospital! Set to open Fall 2014, the Della Penna Pediatric Center provides family-focused inpatient care for infants, children and teens.

You’re invited to bring your family and friends to an afternoon of fun, food and fashion – all in support of Pediatric Care at Doylestown Hospital.
Boardwalk Bash | Doylestown Hospital
Sunday, September 7, 2014 
Children's Fashion Show: 5pm 
Keenan Mercedes
4311 West Swamp Road, Doylestown, PA 18902 
$50 For Adults
$25 For Children (Ages 6 to 17) Free for kids 5 and under
A portion of payment is tax-deductible.
To RSVP for the Boardwalk Bash, please call 215-345-2802 by September 4, 2014.

Activities Include:

  • Face painting
  • Latex Balloon Animals
  • Caricatures
  • Photo booth
  • Lego Building
  • Cookie decorating
  • Raffle and Auction Prizes
  • Music and Dancing
  • Great Boardwalk-Themed food -popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy and much more

Children's Fashion Show

The highlight of the day will be a children’s fashion show which will begin at 5pm and feature outfits and accessories from some of Buck County's favorite shops.

Giving Opportunities

Proceeds from the Boardwalk Bash benefit the Della Penna Pediatric Center. If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities at Doylestown Hospital or to speak with a Development Associate please call 215-345-2802.

Dedicated Pediatric Care. Close to Home.

Committed to providing family-focused healthcare to the community we serve, the Della Penna Pediatric Center offers private rooms designed especially for kids and round-the-clock care from board-certified pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners and pediatric nurses. When in need of compassionate, quality pediatric care close to home, look no further than Doylestown Hospital.

For health tips and information, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tips for Boomers: Be Kind to Your Bones

Are you a Boomer? If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you're part of a generation that has defied stereotypes at every stage of life. But as you march through your fifth or sixth decade, you may find that your joints are finally showing their age. Since staying active is critical to maintaining health and happiness, what happens when you're sidelined by common orthopedic issues like joint pain and osteoarthritis?

When faced with joint pain, your tendency may be to cut down on physical activity, but that's not necessarily the answer.  When osteoarthritis affects the hips, knees, hands, neck and lower back joints, exercise can actually help reduce joint pain and stiffness.

According to the experts, moderate physical activity may also prevent the decline or even restore the health and function of bones and joints. "I always encourage my patients to exercise and stay active," says Kieran Cody, MD, orthopedic surgeon. "Exercise can ease arthritis and treat osteoarthritis as well as decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes and depression. In people with arthritis, exercise will decrease the pain caused by joint stiffness and help maintain range-of-motion and strength." Dr. Cody recommends low-impact exercise like walking, swimming or biking for 30 minutes a day. And it's important to choose an exercise that you enjoy, because the more fun and rewarding it is, the more likely you are to continue exercising.

Weight-bearing exercises such as lifting light weights also works to prevent osteoporosis. "This kind of exercise increases the compressive forces across the bone, which helps to retain the bone's calcium and strength," explains Susan Griffith, DO, orthopedic surgeon. "People who can't exercise, such as people in wheelchairs or children with neuromuscular diseases, have very fragile bones because they aren't putting stress on them."

Keep Moving, But Don't Overdo It.

Maintaining a healthy weight is another very important (and in Boomer-hood, very difficult) thing you can do to prevent joint pain, as it keeps unnecessary pressure off the joints, especially the hips, knees and the balls of the feet. So exercising to keep the weight off and to keep joints and bones strong will go a long way toward helping you maintain the level of activity you enjoy.

However, you can run the risk of overdoing it. According to Dr. Cody, overuse injuries are often caused by increasing activity too quickly. "Normal exercise causes microscopic damage to muscles and bones, which your body then heals to make you stronger," he says. "When the damage piles up faster than your body can heal, overuse injuries occur." A sensible approach to avoiding overuse injuries is to adopt good exercise techniques like warming up and stretching, gradually increasing duration and intensity, and mixing up the routine to spread the stress and benefit around.

And don't forget to get enough calcium and vitamin D. "Calcium helps keep bones from fracturing and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium," Dr. Griffith says. "That, coupled with reducing weight and maintaining a lower body mass index to decrease the degradation of cartilage, can help you keep your native joints as long as possible without needing replacement or other surgeries." And that's good advice for any age.

Orthopedic Institute of Doylestown Hospital

The Orthopedic Institute of Doylestown Hospital is a collaborative program between the hospital and our affiliated orthopedic doctors, orthopedic surgeons and orthopedic rehabilitation specialists. The Institute offers a full range of advanced medical services to treat problems of the bones, joints and muscles. Visit the Orthopedic Institute of Doylestown Hospital for more helpful tips and information on treatment options.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Top Questions About Ultrasounds During Pregnancy

Having an ultrasound while pregnant is important in not only providing the anxious awaiting parents the first picture of their baby, but more importantly to check to see your baby is growing and developing normally.

Ultrasound technology has been around for years and when performed correctly, is safe for both baby and mother. Expectant moms may have some concerns or questions before their first ultrasound. Below we help to try and answer those frequently asked questions.

Are They Safe For My Baby?

When used properly, ultrasounds are not hazardous and have not shown harmful side effects to expectant mothers or their babies. Ultrasounds do not use radiation, which X-rays use to produce images. Still, long-term effects of repeat ultrasound exposure to the fetus is not fully known therefor it is recommended to be used only when medically needed.

What Is The Purpose Of An Ultrasound During Pregnancy?

Based on the stage of pregnancy, there are a number of reasons to receive an ultrasound:
  • Monitor the baby's heart rate
  • Accurately date pregnancy or determine due date
  • Determine whether pregnancy includes one or multiple babies
  • Check to see if baby is growing and developing normally
  • Check the location of the placenta
  • Assess the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus
  • Try to determine the baby's sex

When Is An Ultrasound First Performed During Pregnancy?

The first ultrasound typically is performed between 18-20 weeks and helps in determining due date and helps the physician have a beginning measurement to closely monitor growth. Moms at high risk may have one sooner.

How Many Do I Receive?

You may have at least one standard ultrasound during your pregnancy. This ultrasound usually is performed at about 16-20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women my have an ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy to confirm the baby's due date.

What is a Level II Ultrasound?

A level II ultrasound is similar to a standard ultrasound. The difference is that your doctor will get more detailed information. Your doctor may focus on specific parts of your baby's body, such as his or her brain, heart, or other organs.

What is a Sonogram?

A sonogram is the black and white image generated by an ultrasound that shows your growing baby.

A Special Thanks!

Thanks to funding from the Foundations Community Partnership (FCP), a philanthropic foundation supporting the behavioral health and human service needs of children and young adults in Bucks County, Doylestown Hospital will be able to purchase a new handheld ultrasound machine called Vscan.Presenting check for purchase of Vscan Handheld Ultrasound The device is pocket-sized and is able to conveniently monitor the wellbeing of mother and child prior to birth by identifying fetal position, amniotic fluid levels as well as cervical progression. By gathering this information during labor, physicians can develop the safest and healthiest delivery plan possible.

Giving Opportunities

Every gift, large or small, symbolizes a commitment to the health and well-being of our patients. For more information or to pledge your support, please contact campaign manager, Garrett Owen, at 215-345-2802 or make a donation online.

About the VIA Maternity Center at Doylestown Hospital

VIA Maternity Center of Doylestown Hospital is rated among the best in the region for maternity care with services available for every stage of pregnancy through the birth experience. The V.I.A. Maternity Center features a 32-bed maternity unit that includes 9 labor, delivery & recovery rooms, 22 private post-partum rooms, and a Level II NICU staffed by CHOP neonatologists. Visit the VIA Maternity Center of Doylestown Hospital for more helpful tips and information or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wood You Believe? This Surgeon Is an Expert Craftsman

Building a ukulele from scratch "seems pretty cool" to Douglas Nadel, MD. It’s going to be a challenge, but this physician craftsman is up for it. 

There are definite similarities between Douglas Nadel, MD's profession and his hobby. The surgeon enjoys woodworking for many of the same reasons he got into medicine.

"I like the challenges and learning new skills and, of course, seeing the finished project," says Dr. Nadel.

Dr. Nadel always wanted to be a surgeon. He eventually found otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat or ENT) to be the most interesting. For more than 15 years he's been performing tonsillectomies and ear tube and sinus surgeries on adults and children at Doylestown Hospital.

As a child, Dr. Nadel built model planes and dioramas. More recently, his wife, Fran Nadel, a Pediatric Emergency Physician at CHOP, bought him a table saw when they moved into their new home. At first Dr. Nadel tackled bookcases, armed with knowledge about woodworking he had learned from magazines and books and by watching You Tube videos.

When his wife wanted a secretary desk, Dr. Nadel ordered plans from famed American woodworker Al Hudson. A bit daunted, he thought, "there was no way I could possibly build this." Dr. Nadel filled an entire notebook with plans and drawings. It took him a year and a half to complete. "It's the kind of thing where you learn from your mistakes," he says. The end result is an exquisite mahogany desk that boasts a French polish finish.

The next big project was building a harpsichord, yes, from scratch. It took him about a year and a half to build and about a year after that to tune and adjust. The harpsichord is a plywood case, veneered with tiger-stripe maple, walnut, and padauk. The keys are maple and ebony. Dr. Nadel shot a video of his daughter Charlotte's piano teacher playing the instrument for the first time. He sometimes "fools around on it" with improvisations of "Light My Fire" by the Doors.

Between big projects, Dr. Nadel creates pieces of "Tramp Art," a style that originated in the 1800’s when tramps and hobos used discarded wood from cigar boxes or crates to carve ornate layered pieces into frames, jewelry boxes, etc. At first, he tried to whittle the boxes by hand, but realized, "Tramps and hobos must have had a lot more free time than I do." So he experimented using a router and different woods like cedar, cherry, rosewood and maple. Each box is different. He "now has the technique down," so much so that he's written a book about how to make Tramp Art with a router.

These days, Dr. Nadel is getting a head start on some holiday projects. "The most fun is to make something and give it away." He's turned a bowl from the wood of a fallen cherry tree and is working on a walnut tea chest for his mother's 75th birthday. He gets most of his wood from a local supplier, but sometimes uses wood from his own backyard. This winter he lost a pear tree and an ash that he's drying out for future use.

For the planned ukulele, Dr. Nadel is considering using African Limba for the body and Port Orford cedar for the soundboard. He'll probably get a book on how to play the instrument. Chances are he'll pick up on it quickly, as he has before, building upon his knowledge and skills. "It's nice having figured something out, then you can use it for the next time," he says.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Detecting Lung Cancer with Screenings

Doylestown Hospital is making low-dose CT scans available for those who fit the criteria for screening, aimed at detecting cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection means a better chance for a cure.

The biggest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers (colon, breast and pancreatic) combined. Estimates indicate that active smoking is responsible for about 90% of lung cancer cases.

The link between lung cancer and smoking is widely known, says James McClurken, MD. He is helping to lead the charge along with pulmonary specialist Pinak Acharya, MD at Doylestown Hospital to get heavy smokers screened in order to detect cancer before it is too late.

Screening saves lives

The National Lung Screening Trial, one of the largest and most expensive trials (funded by the National Institutes of Health) ever conducted in the U.S., found that low-dose CT scans reduced cancer deaths by 20%.

"The perception that lung cancer is not curable is wrong," says Dr. McClurken. There is a good cure rate with early detection."

That rate can be over 60-65% for early, small, confined tumors with favorable features on pathology analysis.

However, based on current evidence, lung cancer screening is not for everyone. It is important to understand that the survival benefit is seen in patients who are considered high risk only. Before deciding whether lung cancer screening is appropriate, patients should discuss the potential risks and benefits of lung cancer screening with their primary physician and/or pulmonologist.

Screening recommendations

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issued guidelines recommending low-dose CT scans for the following individuals:
  • Current or former smoker (quit within the last 15 years)
  • AND aged 55-74 years
  • AND with a smoking history of at least 30 pack years (one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
A low-dose CT (computed tomography) scan shows a picture inside the lungs using less radiation than a traditional chest CT scan.

If you meet the criteria and are interested in getting the scan, Dr. McClurken suggests contacting your primary doctor or a pulmonologist. Patients can get a low-dose CT scan of the chest at Doylestown Hospital or the Health & Wellness Center in Warrington.

Watch Dr. James McClurken, cardiothoracic surgeon at Doylestown Hospital, discuss lung cancer treatment at Doylestown Hospital.

Lung cancer screening and insurance

More than two-thirds of lung cancer cases occur in the Medicare population (65+). [1] Despite the guidelines recommending screening, Medicare has not yet started to pay for lung cancer screening.

Under the Affordable Care Act, private insurers – but not Medicare – are required to pay for screening for people at high risk for lung cancer who meet the criteria. Medicare is said to be mulling the issue over.

Recognizing the importance of early detection, Doylestown Hospital has begun offering low-dose CT scans of the chest for a self-pay cost of $200. Backed by solid research, lung cancer screening can help save lives in our community.

A word about screening

A low-dose CT scan of the chest can detect nodules in the lungs with the least amount of radiation exposure. Some findings may warrant additional evaluation. Not all nodules that are found are cancerous, notes Dr. McClurken.

Since lung cancer symptoms usually appear only when the cancer is advanced, screening can represent an important opportunity for those at high risk for the disease.

"The greatest chance for a cure is when cancer is found in its earliest stages before symptoms appear," says Dr. McClurken. "It’s better knowing than not knowing until it’s too late."

Early success at Doylestown Hospital

Dr. McClurken says there has already been a small number of patients at Doylestown Hospital whose lung cancer was detected at the earliest stages by the low-dose CT screening. "We’ve already seen success here with early detection. We’ve seen it work."

These patients were treated with surgery. Treatment depends on the cell type of the cancer. Doylestown Hospital experts do genetic testing of the tumor to individualize care for each patient.

A group of physicians discusses each case and considers the best options for each patient, including clinical trials. A dedicated nurse navigator with The Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital educates and assists patients faced with important decisions.

"We offer customized cancer care for each patient," says Dr. McClurken. "The ultimate goal is to offer patient-centric care close to home."

To ensure patients receive the most comprehensive care available, The Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital's Lung Cancer Program brings together top doctors from several disciplines to collaborate on personalized treatment plans for patients. This multidisciplinary approach includes experts from medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery, pulmonary medicine and other specialties who meet regularly to collaborate on personalized treatment plans for each lung cancer patient.

Learn more about the lung cancer screening and treatment available at the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital's Lung Cancer Program or contact our Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator at 267-884-5588.

About the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital

Accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital offers patients the quality care they expect from a leader in cancer diagnosis and treatment — close to home. Comprehensive services include oncology-certified patient navigators, a state-of-the art infusion suite, Penn Radiation Oncology on site, and access to cutting-edge therapies and innovative clinical trials through the Penn Cancer Network. Visit the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

1. [1] Douglas E. Wood and Ella A. Kazerooni, New York Times, June 17, 2014.