Too many medications—it’s a common but serious problem. Among the elderly, more than one in four emergency hospital visits are related to a medication mistake. Two-thirds of those cases could be prevented.
Why does this happen? Well, the average senior takes around nine medications a day. “Seniors often work with several different doctors for multiple ailments, with each physician prescribing one or more drugs. This can become extremely dangerous,” warns family doctor, Todd Blackner, M.D., of the Physicians and Surgeons Clinic of Shelley.
Additionally, patients of all ages are supplementing more pills to the mix. They might use over-the-counter medications (like aspirin, diet pills or cold tablets). They also may take vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal remedies. Without a physician overseeing their medication menu, certain combinations can clash, causing dangerous side effects or drug interactions.
Dr. Blackner suggests these six tips to help avoid any potential problems with medications:
- Be sure medications are taken as directed. Follow all label instructions.
- Keep a list of all current medications, including vitamins and over the counter drugs, to discuss with the doctor at your next visit.
- When a new medication is prescribed, notify your doctor immediately if you notice any problems.
- Stay on top of refills and prescription renewals, preventing lapses in medication.
- Throw away expired or discontinued meds. Ask the doctor how to dispose of old pills (do not flush them down the toilet or drain).
- When new prescriptions or refills are ready, check the labels to make sure the drug and dosage are correct and call your doctor with any questions.
If you have questions about medications you’re currently taking, contact Dr. Blackner at 357-3960. He is currently offering free “Get Acquainted Visits” in his Shelley office for first time patients.
Just like your required physical before starting a sports season, a cardiac catheterization gives your heart a thorough looking at to insure everything is performing as it should. Dr. Shields Stutts, a cardiologists at Bingham Memorial can place a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart to:
- Confirm the presence of a suspected heart ailment.
- Identify the severity of existing heart disease and its effect on the heart.
- Seek out the cause of symptoms, such as shortness of breath.
- Check performance and sufficiency of heart function.
- Make a patient assessment prior to or after heart surgery.
Used as an effective diagnostic heart tool, cardiac catheterization is performed on young children to aging seniors. Babies born with heart defects will later undergo this procedure to check the current condition of the heart and determine if further treatment is necessary.
Cardiac catheterization helps Dr. Stutts fully understand if surgery is required or if a simple medication can remedy a heart problem. Dr. Stutts is very familiar with the different forms of heart disease people face. He will be offering a free seminar on heart disease February 27, at Bingham Memorial’s Medical Office Building. Beginning at 6:30 PM on the first floor, attendees will learn tips on smart practices for consistent heart health now and in the future.
To attend this seminar, register at www.MyFreeSeminar.org or join our event on our Facebook page.
Last week, hearts were a flutter as flowers and chocolates were exchanged between Valentines. It seems fitting that February shares St. Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month.
According to the World Health Organization, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the world, accounting for over 26 percent of all mortalities. Heart disease is a term that covers several types of diseases affecting the heart, blood, arteries, and veins. The various forms of heart disease can result in heart failure, heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease.
Age, gender, family history, diet, blood pressure, level of cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and stress are all factors that increase your likelihood of having heart disease. Fortunately, we have choices that can help us combat heart disease.
Dr. Shields Stutts, a cardiologist at Bingham Memorial Hospital, suggests three simple things you can do to help your heart out:
Eat Healthy. A heart healthy diet avoids foods and drinks that are high in calories, sugar, salt, and alcohol.
Be Active. Strive for 30 minutes of daily activity that safely increases your heart rate, breathing and muscle strength.
Get Tested. With your physician, you will be able to monitor risks and take the necessary steps to reduce heart disease.
If you are at risk or concerned about heart disease, Bingham Memorial Hospital has multiple solutions to help. One is to attend a free seminar on February 27, by our cardiologist Dr. Stutts. The seminar will be held in the Medical Office Building, on the first floor, beginning at 6:30PM.
Dr. Stutts will discuss some of the issues we face now and in the future, regarding heart disease. Register now for this seminar by calling 782-2886 or you can signup online at www.MyFreeSeminar.org.
We are a civilization of convenience. We love things on our terms and on our time schedule. From the food we eat to the healthcare we seek, we require the best and we want it readily available at our fingertips.
Starting this Friday, Kenneth Newhouse, MD will now see patients in Blackfoot. Dr. Newhouse is double-board certified in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. He completed his medical schooling at Yale, followed by a fellowship in Salt Lake City’s Orthopedic Specialty Hospital.
Dr. Newhouse has spent the past 20 years in Pocatello as the head team physician for Idaho State University. His experience with collegiate athletes has given him extensive knowledge in dealing with all types of injuries. As an orthopedic surgeon, he specializes in advanced arthroscopic surgeries of the ACL, knee, shoulder, and rotator cuff.
“I am excited to expand my practice to Blackfoot with the Orthopedic Institute,” says Dr. Newhouse. “Bingham Memorial Hospital has assembled a great team of doctors to take care of the Blackfoot Community.”
Dr. Newhouse joins five additional Orthopedic Physicians in Blackfoot, Doctors Gail Fields, David Peterson, Dan Robinson, Hugh Selznick, and Tim Woods. With such a qualified orthopedic team in town, there really is no need to travel anywhere else for injuries of the bones, joints, and associated muscles. As a collective team of highly specialized doctors, there is no injury too small or surgery too big the Orthopedic Institute cannot accomplish.
At your earliest convenience, or when you find yourself in severe pain, schedule your appointment with Dr. Newhouse in Blackfoot by calling 239-8010.
BMH Clinics Offer Free Flu Shots
This winter, the physician offices at Bingham Memorial Hospital have had a very busy flu season. In order to help the communities we serve remain healthy and well, Bingham Memorial Hospital and its affiliated clinics will be offering free flu shots to the general public.
Free flu shots can be obtained at any one of the following locations:
Portneuf Family Medicine, 1595 Bannock Highway
Jared Kam, M.D. - 478-7900
Portneuf Family Medicine, 353 N. 4th Ave. #102
Brad Walker, N.P. - 478-7900
BMH Medical Office Building, 98 Poplar Street
Thomas Call, D.O. - 782-3700
Brian Carrigan, M.D. - 782-2980
Ricky Gardner, M.D. - 785-3834
Toro Family Medicine, 315 W. Idaho Street
Peggy Toro, M.D. - 782-3990
1st Choice Urgent Care, 1350 Parkway Drive
Ron Ellsworth, M.D. - 782-2410
Physicians and Surgeons Clinic, 275 West Locust
Todd Blackner, M.D. - 357-3960
Anyone interested in a free flu shot can go to one of the above providers or call the office to schedule. Flu shots will be given by physicians and health and wellness information will be discussed.
Wishing upon a star has a completely new meaning for those suffering from ankle pain. Dr. Dan Robinson of Bingham Memorial Hospital is making the Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement (S.T.A.R.), readily available to residents of Southeast Idaho.
Dan Robinson, DPM is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, and is certified in foot and ankle surgery. Last November, he completed the first ankle replacement procedure in Southeast Idaho, achieving excellent results. The patient sought out Dr. Robinson for help in eliminating their chronic ankle pain. Two months after surgery, the patient is virtually pain free and walking normally with their new ankle.
Previously, patients considering total ankle replacement traveled to Boise or Salt Lake City for the surgery and all appointments. “Instead of traveling repeatedly for pre and post operation appointments to unfamiliar hospitals, patients can save travel and hotel expenses, and most importantly – time,” says Dr. Robinson. “Patients can have all the work done at Bingham Memorial Hospital. This includes all follow-up care and rehabilitation, all in a community where they feel comfortable.”
The new ankle replacement treatment is ideal for those who suffer from ankle pain, traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, or deformities of the ankle. Following a new ankle replacement, patients should expect a decrease in pain and an increase in mobility. The S.T.A.R. ankle replacement is the only procedure that replicates the three natural ways an ankle moves.
Recovery time for the new ankle replacement includes six weeks of no weight on the ankle, followed by two to four weeks in a protective boot with limited weight exposure. Full recovery is expected within two months, with two to three months of rehab for increased ankle strength and mobility. “This is a great opportunity for patients suffering with ankle pain to finally have relief,” says Dr. Robinson.
Ankle pain should not keep you from enjoying life. If you are ready to end the pain in your ankle, give Dr. Robinson a call at 782-2490. He sees patients in Blackfoot, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and Soda Springs.
Wells Fargo Bank has teamed with the Bingham Health Care Foundation to lighten the load for Blackfoot community member and Bingham Memorial Hospital employee, Anna Blonquist.
Anna’s 3 year-old daughter, Acacia, was diagnosed with a rare trigeminal cancer at nine months of age. It is a cancer that spreads in the eyes and brain through a large nerve system located behind the face. At diagnosis, one of Acacia’s eyes had to be removed and was replaced with a prosthetic. The emotional, physical, and monetary strains have been intense for Anna and her family. They have endured long, extended stays in Philadelphia to obtain the required specialty care for Acacia.
To further its mission of serving the community, The Bingham Health Care Foundation is partnering with Wells Fargo to raffle a large stuffed pony, to raise money for the Blonquist family. The pony will be located in the front entrance of Bingham Memorial Hospital. All monies received will go directly to the Blonquist family to offset the medical expenses that have been incurred.
“It’s amazing and wonderful the level of concern and support from Wells Fargo and the Bingham Memorial Family, that they want to reach out and give to support to someone who’s completely innocent,” says Anna, referencing her daughter Acacia. “The impact it makes to receive the proper care really does change somebody’s life.”
Let’s show Anna and her family the level of generosity that we know exists in our community. Tickets can be purchased by cash or check. Raffle tickets are five dollars, and will be available through the Bingham Memorial Hospital Admissions Department until February 10th.
It’s always exciting at Bingham Memorial Hospital when we are the first to perform a procedure in the state. Dr. David Shelley, an Interventional Radiologist at Bingham Memorial is bringing the latest in technology to Idaho with a state-of-the-art stent that has a special coating of medicine, designed to keep blocked arteries in the legs open.
Last week, Dr. Shelley installed the first medicine-coated stent in a patient’s leg for the first time in Idaho. The new stent, called Zilver Paclitaxel-Elating Stent, is coated with a medication that is designed to stop the body’s natural defense system from stepping in and re-narrowing the artery.
“With the new medicine-coated stent, I can unblock a patient’s artery in the leg and achieve a long-lasting result with minimal invasiveness,” says Dr. Shelley. “This is a great product that will lead to improved patient outcomes, and it is very exciting to be the first in Idaho to perform a procedure using this new technology.”
Dr. Shelley often places stents in patients with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). PAD is a common and serious form of vascular disease caused by a buildup of plaque in the major arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your legs, feet, arms, and pelvis. Over time, this plaque can harden and narrow the arteries (called atherosclerosis), restricting blood flow to affected areas.
Individuals often refer to the reduced blood flow in the lower extremities as “poor circulation.” Those with PAD are at a higher risk for having hardened arteries that lead to the heart and brain, increasing their chances for having a heart attack or stroke.
The classic symptoms of PAD are cramp-like leg muscle fatigue or heaviness, discomfort or pain that occurs in the buttocks, thigh, or calf muscles when walking or even while resting in bed. Other symptoms include coldness, numbness and tingling in the lower legs and feet, and ulcers or sores on the legs or feet that don’t heal.
If you’re ready to end the discomfort in your legs, allow Dr. Shelley to discuss all your options with you. He can treat PAD with a new medicine-coated stent and help your legs look and feel great again. Call his office in Blackfoot for more information at 785-3800.
We’ve all had mornings where you literally drag yourself out of bed and can’t seem to shake the fog that has rested upon you. It’s okay if this happens occasionally, but what options do you have if this is an everyday occurrence?
Fatigue is only one of the conditions you can experience from improperly balanced hormones. Other symptoms include aches and pains, aggressiveness or loss of drive, anxiety, loss of bone strength, insulin resistance, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, heart disease, memory problems, loss of muscle mass and strength, obesity, or even unexpected weight loss. Quite an extensive list, right? This list emphasizes how crucial well-regulated hormone levels are to your body.
Hormones are the chemical “messengers” carried by our blood to the organs and tissues of the body. They help control and maintain our physical and emotional functions. Tiny fluctuations in the amount of hormones created and delivered can have dramatic effects on how we think, feel, and act. Many Americans are discovering that Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is the solution to stabilizing their hormones to proper levels.
Bingham Memorial has partnered with Dr. Warren Willey to create a new Hormone and Sexual Health Clinic. Dr. Willey is a renowned author and specialist in the area of BHRT. He is the first doctor in the region to offer hormone therapy to patients wanting to improve their overall health and lifestyle.
A visit with Dr. Willey begins with a detailed discussion regarding your health concerns. If BHRT is right for you, Dr. Willey may order lab work to help identify any hormonal imbalances. Because everyone is unique, there is not a one-size fits all solution.
Dr. Willey is ready to help you get to the bottom of your hormone related issues. If you’re interested in testing your hormone levels give his office a call at 785-3800. He sees patients inside the Idaho Physicians Clinic in Blackfoot
Halloween is short for All Hallows’ Evening, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, and started as a Celtic tradition. According to “Halloween History,” they believed that on October 31st, the worlds of the living and of the dead overlapped and the deceased would cause havoc among the living. Bonfires were used for protection, masks and costumes were worn to mimic the deceased, and tricks were played if treats weren’t give.
This Halloween, we want to make sure your little monsters, witches, and superheroes are safe during their trick-or-treating. Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics that can help make your Halloween a safe one:
Pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween. Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Add reflective tape if needed. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, you should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items
Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
Unfortunately, even when all attempts for safety are made, accidents happen. If you need emergency care during your Halloween festivities, remember that Bingham Memorial Hospital offers 24 hour emergency care. All of us at Bingham Memorial Hospital wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Halloween.
Click HERE for more Halloween Safety tips!