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Louisa, Ky -- Measles, a highly contagious virus, is making a comeback. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 102 cases of the measles in 14 states were diagnosed in January. The majority of these cases have been linked to a measles outbreak at an amusement park in California. 

Although measles were eliminated in the United States in 2000, the CDC said that in 2014 the US experienced the greatest number of measles cases since being declared eliminated, with 644 cases in 27 states. The majority of these cases were in people who were not vaccinated. 

“Vaccination is an important tool in preventing the spread of measles,” said Dr. Brandon Webb, an internal medicine physician. “CDC research shows that one dose of the measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if someone is exposed to the virus, and two doses are about 97% effective.”   

Measles is still common in other countries and travelers with measles continue to bring the virus in the US. An outbreak can occur with the disease reaches a community where groups of people are unvaccinated. To prevent the spread of measles, the CDC recommends that every child receive a first dose of the measles vaccination (MMR) after reaching the age of 12 months. A second dose is recommended for 4- to 6- year-olds. Vaccination is also recommended for adults who do not have evidence of immunity to the measles.

Three Rivers Medical Center has been awarded Joint Commission Top Performer distinction four years in a row.  The Emergency Department is an Accredited Chest Pain Center.  TRMC is a 90-bed, acute care facility.  It is accredited by The Joint Commission.  With over 80 medical staff members, TRMC offers cardiology, general surgery, nephrology, orthopedics, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, podiatry, 24-hour emergency care, diagnostic radiation, rehabilitative services and mental health.   

Threeriversmedicalcenter.com

By Angela Myhrwold

Louisa, Ky – Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States.  According to the American Heart association, more women die of heart disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. 

Eighty percent of cardiac events in the women could be prevented if women would make the right choice involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.  Make it your mission to learn all about you can about heart attacks and stroke. 

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot.  If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.  There are a variety of symptoms beyond chest pain or shortness of breath – many of which go unnoticed by women!  

Stroke

Stroke is the number 3 cause of death in America.  Stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack) happen when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts.  The signs of a stroke can include sudden confusion, numbness or severe headaches.  

Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appear.  With a stroke, minutes matter.  It’s very important to take immediate action.  Research from the American Heart Association has shown that if given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. 

Heart Care at Three Rivers 

Three Rivers Medical Center is recognized as an Accredited Chest Pain Center.  Chest Pain Center accreditation encompasses many facets of the hospital’s heart care program: direct patient care, clinical education and strategic planning for future program development. As an accredited Chest Pain Center, Three Rivers Medical Center regularly undergoes onsite review of its operations and patient care processes by a panel of SCPC experts. 

Join us on Friday, February 6th for National Wear Red Day by wearing red to raise awareness for heart disease.  

Three Rivers Medical Center has been awarded Joint Commission Top Performer distinction four years in a row.  The Emergency Department is an Accredited Chest Pain Center.  TRMC is a 90-bed, acute care facility.  It is accredited by The Joint Commission.  With over 80 medical staff members, TRMC offers cardiology, general surgery, nephrology, orthopedics, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, podiatry, 24-hour emergency care, diagnostic radiation, rehabilitative services and mental health.

To learn more about our Accredited Chest Pain Center, visit www.threeriversmedicalcenter.com.  

 

December 29, 2014;

Stem cell transplants may halt progression of multiple sclerosis;

NIH-funded study yields encouraging early results

Three-year outcomes from an ongoing clinical trial suggest that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells may induce sustained remission in some people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

RRMS is the most common form of MS, a progressive autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. The trial is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and conducted by the NIAID-funded Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) External Web Site Policy.

Three years after the treatment, called high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant or HDIT/HCT, nearly 80 percent of trial participants had survived without experiencing an increase in disability, a relapse of MS symptoms or new brain lesions. Investigators observed few serious early complications or unexpected side effects, although many participants experienced expected side effects of high-dose immunosuppression, including infections and gastrointestinal problems. The three-year findings are published in the Dec. 29, 2014, online issue of JAMA Neurology.

“These promising results support the need for future studies to further evaluate the benefits and risks of HDIT/HCT and directly compare this treatment strategy to current MS therapies,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “If the findings from this study are confirmed, HDIT/HCT may become a potential therapeutic option for people with this often-debilitating disease, particularly those who have not been helped by standard treatments.”

Scientists estimate that MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. Symptoms can vary widely and may include disturbances in speech, vision and movement. Most people with MS are diagnosed with RRMS, which is characterized by periods of relapse or flare up of symptoms followed by periods of recovery or remission. Over years, the disease can worsen and shift to a more progressive form.

In the study, researchers tested the effectiveness of HDIT/HCT in 25 volunteers with RRMS who had relapsed and experienced worsened neurological disability while taking standard medications. Doctors collected blood-forming stem cells from participants and then gave them high-dose chemotherapy to destroy their immune systems. The doctors returned the stem cells to the participants to rebuild and reset their immune systems.

“Notably, participants did not receive any MS drugs after transplant, yet most remained in remission after three years,” said Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., director of NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation. “In contrast, other studies have shown that the best alternative MS treatments induce much shorter remissions and require long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs that can cause serious side effects.”

The study researchers plan to follow participants for a total of five years, recording all side effects associated with the treatment. Final results from this and similar studies promise to help inform the design of larger trials to further evaluate HDIT/HCT in people with MS.

The work was sponsored by NIAID, NIH, and conducted by the ITN (contract number N01 AI015416) and NIAID-funded statistical and clinical coordinating centers (contract numbers HHSN272200800029C and HHSN272200900057C). The ClinicalTrials.gov identifier for the study High-Dose Immunosuppression and Autologous Transplantation for Multiple Sclerosis (HALT-MS) is NCT00288626.

NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site athttp://www.niaid.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

 

Date: 01-08-2015;

Funding to provide heroin overdose kits to Ky. hospitals

Kentucky Press News Service

Heroin overdose reversal kits will be purchased for Kentucky hospitals with the highest rates of heroin overdose deaths, the state announced Wednesday. Overdose patients will receive a kit free of charge when they leave the hospital, so they or a loved one can prevent another overdose event and possibly save a life. 

 The funding is provided through the Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee (SATAC).

“Heroin has harrowing impacts on people who use it, as well as on their families and their communities. Many hospitals in Kentucky see multiple overdose victims every day,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “These kits, once in the community, can allow a friend or family member to reverse a heroin overdose almost immediately. It’s a literal lifesaver as families forge a path toward recovery.”

Gov. Beshear created SATAC by executive order to oversee the KY Kids Recovery grant program and distribution of the $32 million in settlement funds that Attorney General Jack Conway secured from two pharmaceutical companies. The judge required the settlement funds be used to expand treatment in Kentucky. Attorney General Conway chairs the committee and First Lady Jane Beshear serves on the committee.

The committee is providing $105,000 to purchase approximately 2,000 Naloxone Rescue kits for the University of Louisville Hospital, the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, and the St. Elizabeth Hospital system in Northern Kentucky. The kits will be provided free of charge to every treated and discharged overdose victim at the pilot project hospitals. SATAC hopes to expand the program to 17 more Kentucky hospitals or hospital systems.

“This project will allow us to get this medicine into the hands and homes of the people who need it most – heroin users and their families,” Attorney General Conway said. “Heroin and opiate abuse is killing Kentuckians, and these kits will save lives and provide a second chance for people to seek treatment for their addictions. I hope the legislature will follow our lead by putting partisan politics aside and passing meaningful heroin legislation that will stiffen penalties for large scale traffickers, increase treatment funding, provide for a Good Samaritan defense, and get Naloxone kits into the hands of first responders and limit the civil liability of those responders.”

Naloxone, which is also known as Narcan, has no potential for abuse and immediately reverses the effects of a heroin overdose by physiologically blocking the effects of opiates.

Right now, it is not covered by Medicaid or many private insurance companies, which means even if users currently receive a prescription they likely never fill it because they cannot afford it. Naloxone is available in injectable or nasal mist forms. The nasal mist form must still be approved by the FDA. When it is approved, health experts believe most insurance companies and Medicaid will begin to cover it.

“Narcan kits are critical, lifesaving tools that can help put people on the road to recovery,” said Mrs. Beshear. “As Kentuckians expand access to mental health treatment, including addiction recovery, it’s more important than ever to have community access to tools like Narcan. Often, an overdose experience is what finally drives people suffering from addiction to seek help.”

In 2013, 230 Kentuckians died from heroin overdoses. The final numbers for 2014 are not currently available, but officials do expect an increase in the number of heroin overdose fatalities.

The Greatest Gift - The Gift of Life

by Jodi Parsley, Lawrence Co. Circuit Court Clerk

This time of year, most of us are busy buying gifts, making plans, and celebrating with family.  Two years ago, Kenedy Maze and her family were just trying to make it through the holidays alive.  Kenedy, of Fleming County, Kentucky, was missing a lot.  She missed her friends because she was not allowed to go to school due to the advancing Cystic Fibrosis (CF) disease taking over her lungs.  She missed being able to run and play because she was now tethered to 6 liters of oxygen just to breathe.  She missed her sister, Kaylee, who lost her fight against CF in 2007.

Kenedy heading to her Sophomore Winter Formal last monthIn January 2013, Kenedy and her mother left family and friends to move to their transplant hospital St. Louis because Kenedy was getting so sick.  “When I hear of someone talk about registering as an organ donor, I hear them talking about a hero,” Kenedy has said.

During the holidays, many of us wish to give back, but we struggle to find the time and means to do so.  This Christmas, there is something everyone can do that costs nothing, takes less than a minute, and helps children like Kenedy.  Joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry gives hope to thousands of children, adults, and their families.

“Although we may not be able to save their life today, we are able to give them hope simply by registering,” explains Lawrence Circuit Clerk, Jodi Parsley.  “There are over 124,000 patients waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant this Christmas.  Each day, 21 of those patients will lose their fight, and their life, waiting.”

The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life works to educate Kentucky about the vital mission of organ donation and encourage everyone to be hope for patients in need.

“As your Circuit Court Clerk, I’ve been involved with our Trust For Life for many years.  My staff and I ask every person obtaining a license or ID if they would like to donate $1 to raise awareness about this lifesaving mission.  We are also required to ask everyone to join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry.  It only takes a moment to say ‘yes’ and be hope,” says Parsley.

Everyone, regardless of medical history or age can join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry simply by saying “yes” while renewing a driver’s license or going online to www.donatelifeky.org.

“We feel honored to give everyone the opportunity to be hope and save lives - in a quick and simple way - every day.  Thanks to the kindness of this community and the dedication of my hardworking staff, many of you have already joined the Registry over the years.  However, the need is still there.  Only 45% of Kentuckians are registered donors.  Everyone, regardless of medical history, can join the Registry to give hope to those waiting today.  It’s easy.  Do you have questions about organ donation?  You can call 1-866-945-5433 and talk to Shelley at the Trust For Life,” explains Parsley.

Kenedy received her Gift of Life in April 2013 after several months on the Waiting List.  “Kenedy’s lung transplant is still proving to be a success. Her lung functions are at 98%, and she is living life. Cystic fibrosis (CF) has stopped her from doing so much, but she is showing CF that she is stronger. Her Sophomore year of high school has been exciting,” explains Kenedy’s mom, Sandra Maze.  Kenedy adds how grateful she is for her second chance at life, “I have chosen to live my life not only for myself, but for my organ donor. I am living because of organ donation.” 

Enclosed is a photo of Kenedy heading to her Sophomore Winter Formal last month.