Public notification: Study using a medication to improve the mental status of people with traumatic brain injury

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is part of a multi-site study testing whether people who have life-threatening or life-altering traumatic brain injury do better when they receive a medication called Tranexamic Acid (TXA) that is used to stabilize bleeding in the body. Dr. Paul Nystrom is the principal investigator for this clinical study.

The study will be conducted at 12 Level 1 trauma centers in North America including HCMC. Dr. Nystrom and his team will look at the results to determine if the study medication, TXA, given as soon as possible after injury improves the mental recovery after traumatic brain injury. Continue reading

Posted in HCMC News

Good news for people living with Type 2 (adult) diabetes mellitus

Diagnosis diabetes  and pills.In the fight against type 2 (adult) diabetes, the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation recently announced their unanimous support of weight loss surgery as a vitally important treatment. They hope that this announcement will help to educate doctors, other medical providers, and the public about this under-utilized and very effective treatment for diabetes.

The entire June 2016 issue of the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care is devoted to a joint statement by these organizations and other articles that provide factual support for this recommendation.

“Weight loss surgeons have known for over 30 years that gastric bypass surgery is the safest and most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes,” explains Dr. Guilford Hartley, an internal medicine specialist and Medical Director for the Hennepin Bariatric Center. “This consensus has now been adopted by those who provide non-surgical treatment for diabetes as well, including endocrinologists and other medical specialists involved in the care of diabetes.”

Dr. Hartley won’t refer to the absence of diabetes symptoms as a “cure,” but it comes close.

“When weight loss surgery patients achieve normal blood glucose (sugar) and can go off their diabetes medications, it sure looks like we’ve found a cure for this deadly disease, but we prefer to say that their diabetes is in remission. No matter what you call it — the absence of having to manage diabetes and being able to avoid its life-threatening complications makes a tremendous difference in the lives of patients.”

When the surgery is done as soon as possible after a diabetes diagnosis, the likelihood of remission is greatest and is most likely to last many years. In most cases, weight loss surgery is appropriate in severely overweight people even before diabetes develops and can reduce the likelihood that a person will ever develop diabetes.

In addition to reducing or avoiding the complications associated with diabetes, studies show that severely overweight people who have weight loss surgery live longer and with better quality of life than they would if they did not have surgery.

Despite all this good news, many people are reluctant to consider weight loss surgery. If you would like to learn more about whether weight loss surgery is a good treatment for you or a loved one, please, call 612-873-5479 to schedule a consultation.

 

Posted in HCMC News

NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD to visit patients, colleagues at HCMC

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NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD

NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD returned from his mission to the International Space Station in December, and now he’s returning to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) for a visit – the Level I Trauma Center where he completed his emergency medicine residency. The NASA astronaut will meet with patients and staff on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

Dr. Lindgren is a member of Expedition 44/45 and served as flight engineer aboard the International Space Station from July-December 2015. He has many colleagues and fans at HCMC who felt immense pride at seeing their colleague and friend fulfill his dreams of space travel – many who watched the launch live at the hospital on NASA TV on July 22, 2015.

“It was truly amazing,” says Dr. Douglas Brunette, who supervised Dr. Lindgren’s medical training in the Emergency Department where Dr. Lindgren was also Chief Resident. “Words can’t even describe how exciting it was to watch the launch, and then to follow Kjell’s experience while he worked on the Space Station. He’s an inspiration to us all.”

Dr. Brunette was invited by Dr. Lindgren to be his guest to watch the launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and he chronicled the trip on hcmcnews.org.

“We are all eagerly anticipating his return ‘home’ to HCMC to tour his old stomping grounds and reconnect with friends,” Dr. Brunette explains. “Obviously we may think Minnesota is not as interesting as some of the other places he’s visited, but he’s so literally down-to-earth and appreciative of his training here at HCMC that he would probably disagree. We’re very proud of Kjell and look forward to the opportunity to see him again and learn about his experiences.”

He has a full schedule when he returns to Minnesota, but Dr. Lindgren will be available for photo opportunities and questions on Wednesday, May 25 from 2-3:30 PM while he visits areas in HCMC. Please contact Christine Hill, Sr. Media Relations Specialist at 612.873.5719 for more information.

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Teddy Bear Clinic invites children and their friends to explore HCMC’s pediatric emergency department

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Visiting an emergency department for the first time can be scary – but not on Saturday, May 21 from 8-10 AM when kids are invited to bring their Teddy Bears to Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Emergency Department for a special Teddy Bear Clinic.

“The goal of this free event is to expose children to the medical environment before a traumatic situation occurs,” explains HCMC emergency physician Dr. Ashley Strobel. “In addition to preventing trauma, we hope to help children feel more comfortable in this setting and with the procedures that occur during a typical emergency department visit. Allowing Teddy – or any other stuffed animal – to participate demonstrates the friendly nature and loving goal of a visit.”
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Teddy Bears visiting the emergency department on May 21 will be “admitted” and may have a variety of procedures performed including blood pressure and heart rate checks, injections, stitches, x-rays, or a splint or bandage placed on their paws.

The Teddy Bear Clinic may be a special occasion, but Teddy Bears are welcome in the emergency department anytime. In fact, parents are encouraged to have their child bring their Teddy Bear or any item that will add to their comfort (electronic games, favorite toys, blanket or doll). Continue reading

Posted in HCMC News

Keeping pounds off after weight loss win

Word Help written on a weight scale

How common is it to put the pounds back on after losing weight?
People with a significant weight problem who are highly motivated to lose weight using diet and exercise can almost always succeeded in losing some weight during the initial months of their attempt. If, however, you check with them again five years after starting the diet, about 95% of these people will have regained most or all of weight lost during the initial period.

Can our bodies actually resist losing weight?
Normally, a person’s body has a weight “set point,” that is, a weight at which the body prefers to stay. This set point is not set for all time and can change with life circumstances, including stress and age. At any given time, a person’s body resists change in weight, either gain or loss. When a person tries consciously to lose weight against the body’s desire to maintain its weight at that set point, the body slows its metabolism, so that the person has to reduce food intake much more than one would think in order to lose the desired amount of weight. Interestingly, the same thing occurs with weight gain. When people of healthy weight try, as part of an experiment, to gain weight by eating extra food, their bodies become very inefficient at using the extra food, and most of the additional calories are burned off as waste heat.

What is “resting metabolism”?
Resting metabolism is the rate at which the body uses energy (food calories) when not engaged in physical activity, for example in bed at night. The body reduces resting metabolism and makes more efficient use of food calories when a person diets to lose weight. There is no currently known safe and effective way to increase metabolic rate to help with weight loss. Some weight loss medications increase metabolism, but they only increase it a little, and their effects tend to wear off after about one year of use. In addition, for most weight loss medications, we do not have good evidence that they can be used safely beyond the first one or two years.

Do hormones play a role in weight gain and weight loss?ghrelin and leptin

There are a number of hormones that help the body communicate internally. Leptin helps body fat tissue communicate with the brain. When body fat tissue is excessive, leptin is relatively low. When body fat tissue is too low, leptin increases to tell the brain that the person needs to eat more. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) helps the intestine communicate with the pancreas about when and how much insulin to secrete. It also communicates with the brain about feelings of hunger and fullness. When the body’s ability to regulate these and other hormones is disturbed, it can result in obesity. There are currently some medications that can help to adjust levels of GLP-1 and reduce weight, but the amount of weight loss is fairly modest. There are currently no medications that help with the leptin system or other hormone systems involved in regulating weight. Weight loss surgery has profound beneficial effects on hormone systems that help the body regulate weight.

How can weight loss surgery help?
After gastric bypass surgery, the average patient loses about 60% of his or her starting excess weight. It is then common to regain a little weight and to settle in having kept off about 50% of initial excess weight. So, if a person needs to lose 100 pounds to achieve healthiest weight, gastric bypass surgery is likely to help her or him lose about 60 pounds over the first year or 2 with a slight regain of weight after that, so that, for the long term, that person’s weight is down about 50 pounds compared with prior to surgery.

Weight loss surgery is much more successful at combating the body’s resistance to weight change than dieting. You might consider weight loss surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is over 40 or if it is over 35 and you have other weight related health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea or serious arthritis in weight-bearing joints. A BMI over 40 amounts to about 100 pounds over healthy weight for men and about 80 pounds over healthy weight for women.

People who have weight loss surgery live longer, happier, healthier lives than people who meet the criteria and decide not to have weight loss surgery. People who have gastric bypass surgery are about 40% less likely to die over the next ten years than people who decide not to have surgery. Quality of life studies show that people who have had weight loss surgery are more satisfied with their lives than those who have not. Many health problems, like those listed above, go into remission or at least improve after weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is, therefore, much more effective in helping seriously overweight people lose a substantial amount of weight initially and much more effective in helping people keep the weight off year after year and decade after decade.

Dr. Guilford Hartley is an internal medicine specialist and Medical Director for the Hennepin Bariatric Center. He has worked in the area of adult and adolescent obesity since 1988, focusing on finding the best solutions suited to individual patients’ needs and with emphasis on weight loss surgery for severely obese people as the safest and most effective treatment now available. For more information, go to www.hcmc.org/weightloss.

 

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HCMC Clinic and pharmacy to open in North Loop area of downtown Minneapolis

North Loop Twitter graphicHennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) will open a new clinic and pharmacy to serve people living and working in the North Loop area and central business district in downtown Minneapolis.

“North Loop is the fastest growing residential neighborhood in Minneapolis and the people who live there have been asking for a local clinic and pharmacy to serve their health care needs,” said Jon L. Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO. “This new clinic will do that, and serve a broader need for several sought-after specialties for people who live and work in the area.”

The new clinic and full service pharmacy will open later this year on the first floor of the Tractor Works building at 800 Washington Avenue North.

“This is an active neighborhood and this clinic will provide convenient access to primary care, chiropractic care and acupuncture services that neighborhood residents told us they want,” said Scott Wordelman, FACHE, Sr. Vice President of Ambulatory Care & Support Services. “We will also offer allergy and dermatology specialty care by board-certified physicians, as well as additional specialties, such as women’s health and sports medicine.”

The clinic will blend high tech and high touch, with top medical care and conveniences like online scheduling, personal electronic medical records and wellness, nutrition, and fitness programming for the neighborhood.

“Our mission is to improve the health and wellness of the whole community and this clinic, along with the rest of our growing clinic system, supports that mission,” said Pryor.
HCMC recently announced the move and expansion of the Richfield Clinic, scheduled to open in a larger, more visible location in Richfield this fall. In downtown Minneapolis, HCMC operates an employer clinic and multiple primary care and specialty clinics on the main medical center campus. Construction also is underway on a new 377,000 square foot ambulatory clinic and surgery center that will open in early 2018.

“Between the new North Loop Clinic and our main campus we are able to meet every health care need of downtown residents, workers, and visitors,” said Wordelman. “People can stay in one system to get the full continuum of care, and it’s all located close to where they live or work.”

 About Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center is a health care system that includes a nationally recognized Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive health care system includes a 484-bed acute care hospital, primary care and specialty clinics located in Minneapolis in the Whittier, East Lake St., and Elliot Park neighborhoods and in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Anthony Village. HCMC also offers home care and hospice services. HCMC is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County.  More information at hcmc.org.

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Late business leader Pat Fallon supports brain injury research at HCMC

The late Twin Cities advertising executive Pat Fallon left a bequest supporting traumatic brain injury research at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). The Hennepin Health Foundation today announced a major gift from Pat to support the Rockswold Kaplan Chair for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at HCMC.

Fallon’s son, Duffy, was treated by HCMC in 2011 for a brain injury as a result of a hockey accident. At the time, Pat Fallon said they’d had a series of medical appointments elsewhere that brought little progress and a lot of frustration. “Our world changed once we got to HCMC’s Traumatic Brain Injury Center. Instead of telling him what he couldn’t do, the doctor said, ‘Duffy, I can help you.’’’ Today, Duffy has recovered fully and is a student at Boston College. Continue reading

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