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13 things I learned from the fall issue of Upstate Health

magazine-fall16cvrThe pages of the fall 2016 Upstate Health magazine are loaded with important information and a few surprises. If you're not on our mailing list, you should be. Send an email with your name and mailing address to [email protected] with "Upstate Health" in the subject line, and we'll make sure you receive the next issue. Click on the picture of the magazine and you can read an electronic version of the fall issue. Meanwhile, I'll share what I learned in putting it together:

  1. You're probably familiar with the concept of kidney transplants. Did you know that pancreas transplants have the potential to dramatically improve lives? Some of the people who need kidney transplants may also benefit from pancreas transplants. Sometimes both organs are transplanted from the same donor. Upstate surgeons performed pancreas transplants this summer for the first time since Rainer Gruessner, MD, became chief of transplant services.

  2. Upstate opened a new pediatric emergency department, set apart from the main emergency department, with its own radiology unit just for kids from birth to age 19.

  3. Bezoar. This is a potentially dangerous ball of food that can cause problems for someone with a digestive disorder known as gastroparesis.

  4. Strokes are medical emergencies requiring swift response, but what happens if you're hours away from a comprehensive stroke center when a stroke occurs? Well, Upstate stroke specialists are using telemedicine to connect with hospitals in rural areas, to help assess and properly treat patients.

  5. Some people trying to kick an opioid addiction have turned to antidiarrheal medications to counter the symptoms of withdrawal -- but that's dangerous. Toxicologists at Upstate issued a precaution by publishing research on this practice.

  6. When people who suffer from chronic pain turn to heroin, they may experience hyperalgesia, the sensation of greater pain.

  7. The increased risk of sustaining another concussion is one of at least five good reasons that athletes who sustain concussions should not continue playing. Laws in all 50 states are prompting coaches and trainers to take these mild brain injuries more seriously.

  8.  Who knew that exposure to fumes from a clandestine meth lab could put someone at risk for lasting damage to memory? Upstate experts report on the case of a firefighter who was exposed in 2001.

  9. If you care for someone facing dementia, you'll want to read these four simple pieces of advice from Upstate geriatrician Andrea Berg, MD, starting with the axiom,  "Never correct; just redirect."

  10. More than two-thirds of the workers in five counties around Syracuse made less than $15 an hour in 2014, and many face health problems related to their jobs, too.

  11. You know that doctors working in the emergency department treat patients with all manner of injury and illness. Have you ever wondered what impact that has on their own lives? We asked a half dozen emergency physicians with young children to  share what things they generally forbid in their homes, and why. Foam dart guns, wading pools, hand sanitizers....the list goes on.

  12. One quarter of the babies born in Onondaga County have been exposed to an opioid drug of some sort in the womb. Yes, you read correctly: One quarter of the babies born in Onondaga County have been exposed to an opioid drug of some sort in the womb. It gives Onondaga County one of the highest rates of newborn drug exposure in New York State. Neonatologist Michelle Bode, MD, provides an overview of the problem.

  13. The fastest runner at this year's J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge was Upstate's Lee Berube, a doctor of physical therapy. He finished the 3 1/2-mile course in 17 minutes, 36 seconds.