Verna Akina lived with obstructive sleep apnea for more than 20 years. She had tried everything, including the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine—a mask you wear while you sleep that forces air through the nose or mouth.
“I used to dread going to bed,” says Verna. “I got so sick of trying to make the CPAP work for me that I finally decided to stop using it and let ‘whatever happens happen.’”
So why does Verna now look forward to going to bed? She was one of the first recipients in southern Nevada to receive the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation implant.
Like night and day
“Inspire therapy is designed specifically for those who can’t tolerate CPAPs,” says Frederick Goll, III, MD, board-certified otolaryngologist, who implanted Verna’s device. “It addresses the root of the problem by delivering mild stimulation to the muscles and soft tissues that relax and block the airway.”
The system is placed under the skin of the neck and chest through three small incisions during an outpatient procedure. It then syncs with breathing patterns. If needed, it delivers mild stimulation throughout the night to keep breathing passages open.
Verna’s thrilled with the results, saying that since her implant was activated in early October 2016, it’s been like night and day. “I use a remote control to turn the implant on when I go to bed, then turn it off when I wake up.” Now, she doesn’t nod off while reading, and she can drive without fear of falling asleep.
A danger zone
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects 15 million Americans and causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start while you sleep. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can result in:
- Poor memory and concentration
- High risk for work or traffic accidents
- Higher risk for stroke or heart attack.
Know the signs of sleep apnea—and find relief
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up.
- Headaches in the morning.
- Sleepiness or fatigue during the day.
- Snoring and restlessness during sleep.
- Waking up suddenly and feeling like you’re gasping or choking.
- Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or irritability.
Benefits of Inspire Stimulation Therapy:
- Significant reduction in snoring and apnea episodes.
- Improvement in quality of life.
Find a St. Rose physician who can tell you if the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation implant is right for you. Call 702.616.4900.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican’s Siena Campus was named a 2016/2017 Consumer Choice Award by National Research Corporation. The annual award identifies hospitals across the United States that healthcare consumers choose as having the highest quality and image. The Siena facility is the only hospital in the Las Vegas market to receive this award.
Winners are determined by consumer perceptions on multiple quality and image ratings collected in the company’s Market Insights survey, the largest online consumer healthcare survey in the country. National Research surveys more than 300,000 households in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia. Hospitals named by consumers are analyzed and ranked based on Core Based Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, with Consumer Choice-winning facilities being ranked the highest.
“We applaud the efforts of our medical staff and employees,” said Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations, Dignity Health Nevada. “They work in partnership with our patients, visitors and community, to consistently and constantly improve the safety and quality of the care we provide.”
This year marks the 21th anniversary of the Consumer Choice Award celebrating the power of a strong brand image in healthcare.
“For each of the past 21 years, winning hospitals have provided outstanding experiences that have transcended their four walls to build consumer preference, loyalty, and trust in their markets. We are honored to congratulate this year’s winners on a job well done,” said Brian Wynne, Vice President of Business Development at National Research.
A complete list of winners can be found at http://www.nationalresearch.com/ConsumerChoice.
We’re proud to announce that our Siena Campus has recently been recognized as one of the best regional hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The Siena Campus received the Best Regional Hospitals ranking for 2016-17 for southern Nevada, the only hospital in the Las Vegas valley to receive the award. This is the first time Siena has received the award, which was based on receiving high-performing hospital designations for four indicators: COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart failure, hip replacement and knee replacement.
Other high-performing designations received by our facilities are:
- Rose de Lima Campus: COPD
- San Martin Campus: COPD and heart failure
The U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 27th year, help guide patients to hospitals that deliver outstanding care across 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. The Best Hospitals methodologies include objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and more.
For 2016-17, 1,628 hospitals received a high performing rating in one or more specialties, procedures or conditions. In rankings by state and metro areas, such as Las Vegas, U.S. News also recognized hospitals that were high-performing across multiple areas of care with the Best Regional Hospitals designation. In 2016-17, 505 hospitals were recognized as Best Regional Hospitals.
“We applaud the efforts of our medical staff and employees,” said Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations, Dignity Health Nevada. “They work in partnership with our patients, visitors and community, to consistently and constantly improve the safety and quality of the care we provide. St. Rose is proud of this recognition.”
“U.S. News evaluates nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “A hospital that emerged from our analysis as one of the best has much to be proud of.”
Best Hospitals was produced by U.S. News with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The rankings were published in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2017” guidebook. For more information, visit Best Hospitals and use #BestHospitals on Facebook and Twitter.
Brilliant blue skies, a refreshing dip in the pool, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. These are images of summer at its best. Unfortunately, they’re not all the season has to offer. Summer can also present its hazards, making this a good time for a quick safety review from St. Rose Dominican experts.
Tips from an emergency room doctor – Lance Allgower, DO, Emergency Medicine Physician
Alcohol. Remember, it doesn’t mix with driving, boating, or swimming.
Bites and stings. To help keep bees and other stinging insects away, avoid wearing brightly colored clothing and don’t use perfume or scented soaps. Cover food and drinks at outdoor events. To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use an insect repellent containing DEET, especially at night. Follow the instructions on the label. If using an insect repellent on kids, keep in mind that it should only contain 30 percent DEET, and never use it on babies.
Dehydration. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluid, and avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks that can act as diuretics.
Heat illness. For prevention, dress in lightweight clothes and do strenuous activities when it’s coolest (early morning and after sunset). Seek out air conditioning when you can. Consider postponing or canceling outdoor activities in extreme heat.
Life jackets. They are smart attire for all boaters, even those who know how to swim.
Swimming. Always swim with a buddy. Avoid swimming in canals or fast-moving water.
Tips from a nutrition expert – Sherry Poinier, Registered Dietitian
Grilling. Barbecue meat to an appropriate minimum internal temperature to kill bacteria (steak to 145 degrees; hamburger, 160 degrees; and chicken, 165 degrees).
Foodborne illness. Harmful bacteria can quickly multiply on food in summer’s heat. At picnics, keep foods you’d normally refrigerate on plenty of ice.
If possible, chill or freeze foods before packing them in a cooler. Be sure to pack cold and hot foods separately. And chill perishable food that’s been sitting out for more than one hour.
Tips from a pediatrician – Emily Peterson, DO, Dignity Health Medical Group
Water safety. Extra vigilance—it’s what’s required of adults when children are in or near water. Don’t take your eyes off them, even for a moment. Practice touch supervision with young kids—keep no more than an arm’s length away when they’re in the water.
Dehydration. It’s a particular concern for active kids. Make sure they drink between 5 and 9 ounces (about 10 to 20 gulps) of fluid every 20 minutes during vigorous activity.
Yard work. When mowing, keep children indoors to prevent injuries from flying debris. Never allow kids to ride as passengers on lawn mowers or garden tractors. Only kids 12 and older should use a walk-behind power mower or hand mower—for riding mowers, make that 16 or older.
Itchy skin. It’s a problem that can affect swimmers in parasite infested waters. Known as swimmer’s itch, it usually can be treated with corticosteroid cream, cool compresses, or anti-itch lotions.
Ticks. In some areas of southern Nevada, you may encounter ticks that can spread Lyme disease. If you find a tick on your body, remove it right away. Tweezers work best. You want to take care not to leave tick mouth parts in the skin.
After injuring her right knee, Linda Faiss tried everything her physicians initially suggested to relieve the pain in her knee. But nothing seemed to help.
“I was still basically hobbling around,” she says. “I couldn’t do many of the things I love, including walking my very large dogs—Kodiak, a 90-pound Malamute mix, and Riley, a 55-pound Australian Shepherd.”
Linda consulted board-certified orthopedic surgeon Roger Fontes, MD, to learn more about her options. Dr. Fontes recommended a partial knee replacement. He felt Linda was a very good candidate for the procedure because the iUni® unicompartmental knee implant he uses is custom fit to each patient’s exact bone structure.
“The iUni® implant allows us to preserve the parts of the knee that are not damaged,” he says. “It actually mimics the natural shape of the knee, which gives your knee the potential to feel and move more naturally.”
Giving it her all
Linda was determined to “do everything right,” she says. So she did what’s called “prehabilitation” to strengthen the muscles around her knee before her surgery.
Afterward, she was all in, too. She rode a stationary bike and swam every day. “The first time I tried the bike, I could barely make one rotation,” she says. “But I would crank up Donna Summer’s song ‘She Works Hard for the Money’ and pump away.”
Linda’s drive—and her new custom knee—have given her back her active life. It was just over five months after her surgery that Linda was able to take a 5-mile hike up to
A custom fit for success
Linda and Dr. Fontes aren’t alone in their appreciation of partial knee replacement. Robert Tait, MD, another board-certified orthopedic surgeon at St. Rose Dominican, agrees that not everyone needs their entire knee replaced. “If you only have damage to one compartment of the knee, a total knee replacement may not be the best option,” he says. “As patients are becoming and staying more active, the interest in the bone- and tissue-sparing partial knee replacements has increased dramatically.”
When Dr. Tait first saw the design features of the implant, he said, “this was the first thing I had seen in 20 years that held out the hope that we could improve long-term patient satisfaction.”
And he’s been pleased with the results. With the iUni® implant, it’s now routine to have patients come back after six weeks with full range of motion in their knees and off any pain medication, he says.
Robert Grondel, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, also performs partial knee replacements at St. Rose Dominican and recommends the procedure when he knows it will benefit his patients. “Since the iUni® implant is custom-made for each of my patients, it reduces the amount of bone preparation I need to do to make the implant fit. This preserves more of the patient’s natural knee and results in more natural function.”
To find an orthopedic surgeon who performs the Conformis iUni® procedure at St. Rose Dominican, call 702.616.4900.
The nose knows when seasonal allergies—or allergic rhinitis—come to call in southern Nevada. This very common condition affects 40 percent of U.S. kids and 30 percent of adults, causing inflammation inside the nose—and those telltale signs of sneezing, itching, dripping, and congestion.
It all starts with the body’s immune response to an allergen, such as pollen. The immune system tries to fight the foreign invader. Part of that reaction is the release of a substance called histamine—the trigger of those pesky (and often persistent) nasal symptoms, such as sneezing and nasal congestion. Other symptoms can crop up, too, such as:
- Itchy, watery, red, or swollen eyes.
- Sinus pressure and headaches
- Scratchy throat.
“Many residents here in the desert are surprised when they get seasonal allergies,” says Sean McKnight, MD, a board-certified Sean McKnight, MD, a Board-certified allergist and
clinical immunologist who specializes in treating allergies, asthma, and immunology conditions. “But we actually have long allergy seasons because of our warm climate. Spring allergies run rampant in the Las Vegas valley from March through June, with the main culprits being pollen from mulberry and olive trees. Then once the heat of the summer is over, we get another round when we experience our second allergy season in September and October.”
“Interestingly,” Dr. McKnight continues, “many of the allergen producing plants in Las Vegas are not native to the area. Rather, they are plants and trees brought in from other areas by our residents.”
Treat the sneeze
Several methods can help combat allergic rhinitis—and it often takes a combination to get symptoms under control. The first step is to figure out what allergen is causing the problem (your doctor can help with that) and then do your best to avoid it. You can also:
- Rinse your nasal passages with saline solution or use a saline spray to help rid your nose of allergens.
- Try over-the-counter or prescription medications.
- Consider allergy shots (immunotherapy). Given over a period of time (usually 3 to 5 years), immunotherapy actually modifies the immune system, helping reduce sensitivity to an allergen. Effective in 85 percent of patients, it reduces or even eliminates symptoms and can be a good option when medications aren’t providing relief.
Learn more about allergies at StRoseReach.org.
Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; National Institutes of Health
If you or a loved one is in need of health insurance, contact one of our Exchange Navigators … representatives are available at any of our three WomensCare/Outreach Center locations. St. Rose was one of only two organizations awarded a grant from Nevada Health Link to provide Navigators in our community! Help us enroll the uninsured we serve in Medicaid, Nevada Check-up (for children), or a Qualified Health Plan. We even have a health plan available for our undocumented clients. Contact one of our Health Navigators for assistance.
Jennifer Findlay, EEF
WomensCare/Outreach Center – Henderson
98 E. Lake Mead Pkwy., Suite 301
Henderson, NV 89015
Aneel Flores, EEF (bilingual)
San Martín Campus
8280 W. Warm Springs Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Celyse Nsubuga, EEF
WomensCare/Outreach Center – Green Valley
2651 Paseo Verde Pkwy., Suite 180
Henderson, NV 89074
Jessica Pimentel, EEF (bilingual)
WomensCare/Outreach Center – West
7220 S. Cimarron Rd.,
Las Vegas, NV 89113