[KARE-TV, Jan. 13, 2015] Wendy Salter keeps a selfie of sorts on her phone. It’s a picture of blood vessels in her brain and an aneurysm protruding from them.
Showing the picture, she laughed, “It looks like a stick person so if you think about it, it’s like your subconscious.”
The head of the stick figure, the aneurysm, was found when she had dental problems. She explained, “I had an infection, an abscess, under my tooth and when they did a CT scan to see how deep it was they found it.”
When you’re feeling sick, answering the “What do I have?” question is key to knowing when to use antibiotics. But nailing it down is tricky. Illustration: Chris Ware Tribune News Service
[Star Tribune, Jan. 13, 2015] Pinpointing the culprit behind your winter crud — virus or bacteria — is the first step in understanding how to treat it. At a time when public health officials warn that antibiotics are overused, getting the right diagnosis takes on new significance. Antibiotics work on bacterial infections but not on viruses.
“It boils down to that one decision: Are you going to treat with antibiotics or not?” explained Dr. Frank Rhame, a physician specializing in infectious disease at Allina Health Uptown Clinic in Minneapolis. “It’s not always easy. You don’t want to miss a bacterial infection, and you don’t want to overtreat a viral infection. But we’re helped by the fact that they’re usually viral.”
[Star Tribune, December 26, 2014] A grateful Minnesota entrepreneur, Rod Burwell, credits the emergency care personnel at Abbott Northwestern Hospital with saving his life this year.
“I had a blood infection and went to the emergency room in January 2014 and I didn’t get out of Abbott until April,” Burwell recalled last week. “I was near death several times. I guess I actually died … ‘coded’ … at one point. It didn’t bother me because I didn’t know what was going on, but it wasn’t great for my family.
“I survived several operations with a survival rate of only 5 or 10 percent. I was very weak. But I’m back now. I’m getting stronger.”
Rod and Barbara Burwell, also longtime community philanthropists, recently pledged $3 million to the $15 million Critical Care Campaign of the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation to renovate and expand Abbott Northwestern’s emergency department and neurological intensive care unit
The gift is the largest of the campaign and one of the largest from an individual in Abbott’s history.
[KSTP-TV, December 21, 2014] Jake Anderson would be any parent’s dream.The 20-year-old was an honor student and varsity hockey player at Chanhassen High School before moving on to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He was a popular member of a fraternity who made new friends easily. Madison is also where his life changed forever in the span of about two seconds.
[KARE 11, Dec. 18, 2014] The Minnesota Department of Health says school influenza outbreaks are spiking, one sign an even bigger outbreak may be coming. That’s because as many people get together this week for the holidays, they may spread the virus, and children can pass it on quickly.
“You can ask a mom to keep her kid home from school,” said Rhame, “But you can’t ask a mom not to take her kid to the family gathering for Christmas.”
Flu spreads through contact, so doctors recommend using hand sanitizer, wiping down surfaces, avoiding touching your face. They say you can even wear a mask. And if you do feel sick? Take Tamiflu right away.
[WCCO-TV, Dec. 18, 2014] As the number of influenza illnesses surges, one drug you can get from your doctor, Tamiflu, can be tough to find.
Doctors agree that it is effective, but Tamiflu may also be hard to find, especially when you need it the most. In some cases, the supply is limited as wholesalers hold on to the drug to ensure it lasts the entire season.
“It’s almost like a pseudo-shortage right now because of the way they are handling it. But it’s really to preserve the overall supply by kind of putting limits on each pharmacy, the amount they can receive,” Mork said.
[KMSP Fox 9, Dec. 15, 2014] Influenza is spreading in Minnesota. One death has already been attributed to the virus.
So what do you need to know about the flu this year? Allina Health Clinic infectious disease specialist, Frank Rhame, MD, talked with Fox 9 News about the strains or the virus going around this year, when you should consider seeing a health care provider and the flu vaccine.
[KARE11, Dec. 6, 2014] For the fourth year in a row, Allina Health has helped Free Bikes 4 Kidz get donated bikes to youngsters from families in need across the Allina service area. For many of those kids, it’s their very first bike. This year, more than 5000 bikes were distributed.