Category Archives: HCMC News

HCMC first in the Twin Cities to offer new heart failure monitoring solution

Goldsmith and patientHennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is the first facility in the Twin Cities to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF).

The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians in conjunction with standard treatments to manage heart failure.

Heart failure has many causes, but always involves either an inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands, or of an inability of the heart to pump blood adequately without an excessive rise in intracardiac pressure. In either case, patients develop severe shortness of breath and accumulate fluid in their lungs and other body tissues when the condition progresses or becomes unstable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a tiny sensor that is permanently implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries.

Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to their medical team on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure before symptoms worsen and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized. In the pivotal study of this device (CHAMPION), active management based on the sensor readings reduced hospitalizations by nearly 37% over 15 months in patients with moderately severe HF who had been admitted to the hospital at least once in the preceding year.

Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have HF comparable in severity to those in the CHAMPION trial. Historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion, much of it for hospitalizations, and that number is expected to more than double by 2030. Any treatment or monitoring strategy which can reduce the burden of hospitalizations could have a significant impact on health care costs.

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Dr. Steven Goldsmith

“Heart failure causes enormous suffering and is responsible for tens of billions of dollars in health care costs,” explains HCMC cardiologist Dr. Steven Goldsmith, who is the Director of both the Heart Failure program at HCMC and the Minnesota Heart Failure Consortium. Dr. Goldsmith and his colleagues at HCMC and the University of Minnesota participated in the CHAMPION trial.

“Having a new tool to manage heart failure on an individual basis which prevents patients from developing severe shortness of breath and the need for hospitalization is very exciting, as it promises improved quality of life and as well potentially huge savings to the medical care system. We are delighted to be among the first centers nationally and the first in the Twin Cities to be able to now offer this technology to qualifying patients.”

The Hennepin Heart Center at Hennepin County Medical Center has a long tradition of delivering innovative, patient-centered, high-quality cardiovascular care. Using the latest interventions, cardiac specialists provide expertise in the care of patients with coronary disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and arrhythmias. Visit www.hcmc.org for more information about Hennepin Heart Center.

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.heartfailureanswers.com/.

 

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Helping kids learn the importance of brushing teeth

February is National Children’s Oral Health Month
The Dentistry clinic and Pediatric departments at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) will once again join together to help educate children and their parents about the importance of good oral health and its impact on systemic health. And this year they’re getting some help from HCMC’s bigger-than-life 2015-02-02 Bernie dentistry Evamascot, Bernie the Rescue Dog, who will visit with children in the Dentistry and Pediatric waiting rooms every Monday throughout the month of February to demonstrate good brushing habits.

Encouraging good home health habits is critical in breaking the oral disease chain in families. This includes teaching families how to properly feed their children; minimizing saliva transmission from parent to child; promoting good nutrition; and establishing strong tooth-brushing habits. It also involves working with families to help them establish a dental home and seek routine, preventive care.

According to Healthy People 2020, tooth decay (dental caries) affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems; such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

If your child has not had a dental examination, pediatric dentist Dr. Patricia Tarren and pediatrician Dr. Eileen Crespo recommend that you schedule a “well baby checkup” for his or her teeth. The American Dental Association says that it is beneficial for the first dental visit to occur within six months of the appearance of the first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday. To schedule an appointment, call 612.873.6963.

 

 

 

Dr. Keith Henry: 30 years of HIV/AIDS care

Dr. Keith Henry

Dr. Keith Henry

January 2015 marks the 30th year of caring for patients with HIV/AIDS for Dr. Keith Henry of HCMC’s Positive Care Clinic. Since those early days he’s seen a dramatic change in treatment options and survival, including the introduction of highly effective – and often simple HIV medications – that can control HIV growth and generally prevent AIDS-related disease and death.

“These new medications, along with effective prevention and the development of multidisciplinary outpatient care teams have made a tremendous difference in the management and survival of patients with HIV,” explains Dr. Henry. “As a physician and researcher, seeing how these advances in HIV treatment and prevention have changed the lives of my patients is very rewarding,” says Dr. Henry. “The early years were very tough with many young people suffering a series of devastating complications of AIDS generally ending in their death. At times it was almost overwhelming.” Continue reading

Dr. Rick Odland named Chief of Otolaryngology

Dr. Rick Odland

Dr. Rick Odland

Rick Odland, MD, PhD, FACS, was selected as the new Chief of Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Department of Otolaryngology. He replaces Dr. Robert Maisel, who is stepping down from this role.

Dr. Odland is an active clinician, teacher and researcher. He has been on the medical staff at HCMC since 1995, has served as medical director of the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic since 1997, and has been the assistant chief of the Department of Otolaryngology since 2013.  Dr. Odland has served on the Board of Governors of the Minnesota Academy of Otolaryngology since 2009 and has been on that organization’s board of directors since 2005.

 

 

Nobody plans to get frostbite

Last winter, HCMC’s Burn Center treated a record number of patients with frostbite injury. In an “average” year, the Burn Center cares for about 25 patients with frostbite requiring hospitalization. In 2014, more than 200 patients were admitted for care.

Dr. Ryan Fey

Dr. Ryan Fey

“It was one of the coldest winters in the past 30 years, so it’s no surprise that we saw an increase in frostbite injuries,” explains burn surgeon and critical care specialist Dr. Ryan Fey. “Obviously, the key is to avoid exposure to extreme cold temperatures. That means staying indoors when it’s cold, and if you have to be outdoors for any length of time, making sure you dress appropriately to stay warm – even if it’s just a run to the mailbox or from your house to your car.” Continue reading

Holidays, Kids, and Medicine: Safety tips

Medication Safety Tips From the Minnesota Poison Control System

Poison HelpAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, over 60,000 children are seen in emergency departments annually due to accessing and ingesting medication.

Continue reading

For your convenience – extended clinic hours

Just in time for the holidays!

Several of HCMC’s clinics are now offering extended hours of operation – so don’t let an illness or injury keep you away from loved ones this busy holiday season. Call 612.873.6963 to schedule an appointment.

cover_holidayHours_2014

Clinic Extended Hours of Operation
Brooklyn Park Clinic Monday/Wednesday, 8 am-7 pm
East Lake Clinic Monday/Wednesday, 8 am-7 pm
Internal Medicine at Parkside Monday/Wednesday , 8 am-6 pm & Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, 7 am-5 pm
OB/Gyn Clinic Thursday, 8 am-8 pm
Pediatric Clinic Monday-Thursday, 8 am-8 pm
Saturday, 8 am-Noon
Richfield Clinic Monday-Thursday, 8 am-8 pm
Whittier Clinic Monday-Thursday, 8 am-8:30 pm
Saturday, 8 am-Noon