Flag-raising ceremony marks National Donate Life Month

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Organ, tissue and eye donations provide renewed hope to thousands of people waiting for transplants each year.  Through the remarkable process of donation, it is possible for a single donor to save or enhance the lives of up to 60 people. Such hope is truly a gift – one made possible by the generosity of individuals who said “yes” to donation and made the decision to give life or sight to those in need.

On Wednesday, April 5, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) continues its annual tradition of celebrating those who have given and received the gift of life and sight through organ donation. The annual flag-raising ceremony will take place in front of its 717 S. Sixth St. entrance at 9:40am.
DONATE LIFESince completing the upper Midwest’s first kidney transplant in 1963, HCMC’s transplant program has performed over 2,700 kidney transplants, with an increasing percentage involving living donors. In 2010 the first paired exchange transplant in the upper Midwest was completed at HCMC, adding to its 54-year history of “firsts” in transplant care.

HCMC is a Level I Adult and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and public teaching hospital. The centerpiece of Hennepin County’s clinical health services, HCMC offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including its Transplant Program, which recently marked its 54th year of providing state-of-the-art transplant services.

For more information about organ donation or to register to be a donor, go to http://www.donatelifemidwest.org/mn/.

 

 

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Minnesota Poison Control System: Educate Before You Medicate

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National Poison Prevention Week is March 19-25, 2017

The Minnesota Poison Control System and Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Dr. Edward Ehlinger, are reminding all Minnesotans that medications can be helpful but must be used and handled with care.

“Poisonings can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone,” said Dr. Jon Cole, Medical Director of the Poison Center, “and over half of the poison exposures recorded in Minnesota last year were related to medications.”

The Commissioner has noted that drug-related overdoses have been an issue over the past several years, with 572 deaths occurring in Minnesota in 2015. “Many of these deaths were due to prescription medications rather than illegal street drugs. The fact that this epidemic is not slowing down shows just how important it is to increase awareness of this problem during National Poison Prevention Week,” Dr. Ehlinger stated.

“Health care providers have a responsibility to educate patients about the benefits and risks of any medications. This is especially important in light of rising opioid overdose deaths.”

Man taking prescription pills out of medicine cabinet

While much needs to be done to stop this epidemic, individuals can still make some simple changes. The Minnesota Poison Control System offers these tips for safe medication use, storage, and disposal:

  • Take medications carefully by following label instructions and having your pharmacist or doctor check for potential interactions between prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines.
  • Keep all medications up high and out of sight, preferably locked up.
  • Do not share medications with friends or family members, even if they have been prescribed the same type of medication.
  • Never take your medication in front of children, as they are likely to mimic.
  • Properly dispose of medications. Contact your county government for disposal options.
  • Educate yourself: Learn about poison prevention and Poison Center services. Take the new online training course available at training.mnpoison.org.

At 2:30 PM on Monday, March 20, 2017 the Minnesota Poison Control System is hosting a press conference at Hennepin County Medical Center to address medication safety.

Who:  Minnesota Poison Control System and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger
What: “Educate Before You Medicate” Press Conference
When:  2:30 PM, Monday, March 20, 2017
Where: Hennepin County Medical Center, Lower Level, Red Building  (enter at 730 S. 8th Street, Minneapolis)

For questions or concerns about medications, please contact the Minnesota Poison Control System immediately at 1-800-222-1222. Services are free, confidential, and available 24/7. For general prevention tips and materials, follow them on Twitter @MNpoisoncenter or Facebook.

Posted in HCMC News

HCMC’s transplant program marks World Kidney Day

 

On Thursday, March 9, 2017 Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) will partner with the National Kidney Foundation to raise awareness about kidney transplant as part of World Kidney Day. The event is one of many taking place during March, which is National Kidney Month.

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Jenny Bodner, RN

“Chronic kidney disease is described as diminishing kidney function that can be from mild to severe.” explains Jenny Bodner, RN, Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator at HCMC. “It’s so important to keep these organs healthy. That’s why we’re happy for the opportunity to partner with the National Kidney Foundation to focus on kidney disease prevention as well as providing information about transplant.”

Bodner will answer questions about kidney disease and transplant at the skyway level of AT&T Tower in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Who:   Hennepin County Medical Center’s Kidney Transplant Program

What: Kidney transplant awareness activities, Bernie the Rescue Dog

Where: AT&T Tower, 901 Marquette Ave. Minneapolis, Skyway Level

When: 11AM – 1 PM

Why:   World Kidney Day events sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation

“Kidneys are busy organs, performing many functions that are essential to life- from cleaning out the toxins that build up in our bodies, regulating electrolytes and playing a role in stabilizing blood pressure,” said Bodner.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, in Minnesota alone there are an estimated 400,000 people living with kidney disease, and nearly 9,000 of these are on either dialysis or on the transplant wait list.

HCMC was the first transplant program in the Upper Midwest. Established in 1963, the transplant program has played a vital role in the treatment of chronic kidney disease with kidney transplantation. For more information, go to www.hcmc.org/transplant.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.

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NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD to discuss safety in space, applications on Earth

16101545838_76bedf4c47_zNASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD is returning to Minnesota to discuss safety in space and applications on Earth at the 15th Annual Preparedness Practicum on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. Dr. Lindgren completed his medical training at Hennepin County Medical Center and was a member of NASA’s Expedition 44/45, serving as flight engineer aboard the International Space Station from July-December 2015.

Who: NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD
What: Astronaut gives presentation on safety in space and its applications on Earth at 15th Annual Preparedness Practicum
Where: Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center, MN
When: Wednesday, February 22; presentation begins at 11 AM

Photography is not allowed during presentation. Photos and interview opportunities with Dr. Lindgren are available immediately following his presentation.

The Annual Preparedness Practicum is presented by the Metro Health & Medical Preparedness Coalition is conducted to enhance and improve the preparedness of Minnesota hospitals and healthcare facilities by providing education from lessons learned to providers and other members of the preparedness team. The educational experience includes review of didactic information relevant to the planning and care practices of all involved in preparedness planning.

 

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Smallest premature infant from 1942 celebrates 75th birthday

Caring for premature and low birth weight infants has significantly changed over the past 75 years. When a nurse practitioner from Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) recently met a patient from 1942, these amazing details were brought to life – and are a reminder of the remarkable advances that have been made in premature infant care.

Calvin Lepp was born on January 5, 1942 weighing one and three-quarter pounds. At the time, he was Minneapolis General Hospital’s smallest surviving premature infant. A local newspaper learned of Lepp, covered his progress while he was hospitalized, and then ran a feature story about him when he was finally discharged in May of that year.

“I don’t remember much of it,” jokes Lepp, “but they tell me it was a miracle surviving as img_0796small as I was. The odds were against me, but I turned out just fine. Got over that weight problem real quick.”

Lepp is a regular at Eden Prairie’s Tavern 4&5, where he met HCMC Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Kolleen Amon, who works in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).

“Cal is such a character at the tavern – he even has his own spot with his ‘Cal’s Corner’ street sign,” Amon explains. One evening, Lepp was talking to Amon about his wife who passed away from breast cancer. He mentioned how amazing the nurses were who took care of her.

“I told him I was a Nurse Practitioner in HCMC’s NICU, and to my surprise he shared that he was the smallest baby ever saved by HCMC, which of course was Minneapolis General Hospital back in 1942.”

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Original newspaper clipping of “Medicine Dropper Baby” from 1942 (Photo courtesy of Star Tribune)

Lepp brought in a copy of the newspaper article from that year which included a photo of him with his nurse on the day he was discharged. The article summarized some of the unique aspects of his care.  Amon and her NICU colleagues were intrigued to learn about the standard interventions used to save Lepp’s life – even though they are no longer used today. At the time they were considered “best practices,” and Minneapolis General Hospital already had a reputation for having one of the lowest newborn mortality rates in the country.

Some examples include of Lepp’s care included:

Formula feedings via a medicine dropper
For weeks, Lepp was given formula feedings from a medicine dropper. Today, preterm babies are fed breast milk through an indwelling tube inserted in the mouth or nose down to the stomach. In addition, the article states that “Lepp received only one-sixth of an ounce of breast milk for weeks.” HCMC strongly supports the use of breast milk for preterm infants with lactation services for all mothers to provide breast milk and to breast feed at discharge. With what we know today, receiving mother’s milk may have been the most important factor in Cal’s survival.

Life in an oxygen tent
Studies now show that oxygen in high doses can be harmful to babies. Lepp had vision issues from receiving too much oxygen – but that was the standard of care for premature infants in 1942. We now have state-of-the-art isolettes that allow ambient oxygen to flow through the isolette.  We have the ability to give oxygen directly to the baby through respiratory support devices and protocols in place to determine the correct amount of oxygen to deliver to a baby based on their needs.

Frequent administration of respiratory and cardiac stimulants
A “dozen times” General Hospital physicians all but gave (Lepp) up. His tiny body actually “turned black” on these occasions. Now, with artificial surfactant to prepare lungs for the world, we are able to prevent many of respiratory problems that are caused from prematurity and ventilation support. Now we use caffeine – the same thing in coffee – to help prevent preterm babies from stopping breathing.

“It is amazing he survived,” explains Dr. Connie Adkisson, medical director of HCMC’s NICU. “But 75 years from now someone may read an article about our standards of care and wonder the same thing.”

So what about the future of premature infant care?

“Antibiotic stewardship comes to mind,” says Dr. Adkisson. “At HCMC, we are already implementing procedures to reduce the amount of antibiotics given to premature and term babies because research has shown that excessive use of antibiotics can increase childhood asthma, lead to antibiotic resistance, and allows growth of less healthy bacteria in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract.”

HCMC NICU “graduates” of all ages and their families are invited to a 75th birthday party for Cal Lepp at HCMC on Wednesday, January 25 from 2-4 PM. A historical look at the advances in premature care, as well as activities and refreshments will also mark the occasion.

Strategically located next to HCMC’s Birth Center, our 21-bed Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has a comprehensive team of specialists available around the clock to care for infants who need intensive care.

 

Read the Star Tribune article from January 25, 2017.

 

 

 

 

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HCMC launches clinical trial to treat brain injury using vagus nerve stimulation

“Electroceutical” Treatment Hopes to Stimulate Brain Healing Without Medications

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Dr. Molly Hubbard, lead investigator of the VANISH TBI study examines a 3D hologram of the injured patient’s brain. The image was generated by Dr. Abdullah Bin Zahid in the HCMC Brain Injury Research Laboratory.

A simple slip on the ice while crossing a parking lot in downtown Minneapolis triggered the problem for 47-year-old John Doe (not his real name). By the time emergency medical personnel arrived he knew his own name, but did not remember falling, the date, or even where he was.  “I didn’t even know what had happened until I had been in the hospital for three days,” he said.

Brought into Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), John had classic brain injury, with tiny amounts of blood on the surface of his brain and interspersed into its folds. Radiology studies were consistent with brain trauma, but the injury was not severe enough to require surgery. Several days after the accident he moved into the brain injury rehabilitation unit at HCMC.

“I’m still trying to figure out how to get back to my normal life. It’s … hard to believe that this is my life. A lot of symptoms are starting to get better but they’re still there. I have problems remembering words,” said John, who works as a professional writer.

Luckily for John, HCMC, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, has just launched a new clinical trial to treat brain injury, and he was the second patient to be enrolled.  He remarked, “I really like the idea of being able to help others with brain injury; maybe even help people who have it worse off than me.” Continue reading

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Comprehensive Cancer Center receives national accreditation for breast cancer care

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HCMC’s Comprehensive Cancer Center was recently fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). This means they meet the highest standards of care for patients with diseases of the breast.

“Without everyone working to provide quality care to our patients we would not have been able to attain this accreditation,” said Practice Manager Kelly Ann Porter RN, BS, OCN, CHPN.

To achieve NAPBC accreditation, the Comprehensive Cancer Center underwent a rigorous evaluation and review of performance and compliance with the NAPBC standards. To maintain accreditation, an on-site review must be repeated every three years.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center is committed to providing the finest in cancer-related services through an integrated system of health and social services. The continuum of care extends from prevention, diagnosis, treatment, symptom control, and cure, through all related aspects of adjustment to relapse, survivorship, and bereavement counseling.

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