Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Your lungs and heart: partners for life

Did you know shortness of breath is a sign of heart failure? Did you know fluid in the lungs can be caused by heart issues?

In a healthy body, the heart and the lung work together in harmony with each heartbeat and breath you take. When that harmony is broken, it can be a sign of serious health issues. Cardiopulmonary health - which means having to do with both your heart and lungs - should always be taken seriously. Let's learn more about how the heart and lungs work together, symptoms of cardiopulmonary problems and steps you can take to improve your cardiopulmonary health.

How do the heart and lungs work together?

Your heart and lungs aren't just located near each other - they are partners working to make sure your entire body gets the oxygen it needs. The right side of your heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The lungs fill the blood with oxygen and then send it back to the heart. The left side of the heart receives this oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body.

Want to learn more about how oxygen gets from your lungs into your blood and throughout your body? Read this article from the Joan Lamphier Memorial Research Foundation for Pulmonary Hypertension.

Symptoms of cardiopulmonary problems

A weak heart or lungs mean that your major organs and muscles aren't getting the oxygen you need. Common symptoms of cardiopulmonary health issues include:
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath - most often during activity but even when lying flat in bed 
  • irregular heartbeat
  • swollen lower legs or ankles
  • dizziness
  • fatigue and weakness
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a doctor to assess your cardiopulmonary health.

A weak heart causes fluid to back up in the lungs which makes the lungs less efficient. Lung congestion can also cause problems in delivering oxygen-poor blood to your heart. Basically, if either partner isn't holding up their end of the relationship - you will have health problems.

Keeping your heart and lungs healthy

Seemingly small changes can make a big difference in the health of your heart and lungs.

Since your heart and lungs are so important to your overall health, you'll reap many benefits from a healthier lifestyle. Here are a handful of things you can start doing today that will help your heart tomorrow:

1. Eat a healthy diet: a diet filled with veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish, and nuts and beans is a good step towards better health. Pay particular attention to foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids - these decrease inflammation in the arteries surrounding your heart which helps your heart work better. And don't forget to watch your salt, food high in salt increases your blood pressure which is hard on your heart and lungs.

2. Exercise regularly: Walking, biking and swimming are all examples of aerobic activity that improves the capacity of your entire cardiopulmonary system. Strength training with weights in particular is good for your heart as it reduces your body fat and increases muscle mass which helps you get more from aerobic exercise. New to exercising? Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

3. Reduce stress: the hormones that rise with stress are bad for your heart. Daily meditation; taking slow, deep breaths; seeking healthy friendships and other stress relieving techniques aren't just better for your emotional health - they help your heart too!

4. Stop smoking: Your heart and lungs will reap immediate benefits when you stop smoking. Read our recent article with three steps to quit smoking.

5. Get enough sleep: Research indicates that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to stay in good health. While each individual is different, one thing remains the same for all of us - sleep is an important part of overall health. Turn off electronics before bed, avoid caffeine after noon and stick to a sleep schedule to help your body get a good night's sleep.

Let us help you take care of your heart and lungs

Our services include diagnostics, cardiac rehab, respiratory therapy, sleep therapy and more. Take a few minutes to use our calculator to determine your risk of developing cardiac disease in the next ten years. If needed, make an appointment or call our heart care center with your questions. Learn more about cardiopulmonary health at Logansport Memorial.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Here's to your Hearing

During the month of the year when so many healthcare providers and organizations are focused on promoting heart health, we wanted to do something different. Not that we don’t support raising awareness for heart health… in fact, we had several employees participate in the National “Go Red” Day on Friday, February 6. Those who made a $5 donation to our Cardiac Rehab Fund through the LMH Foundation got to wear jeans with their red shirts while giving to a good cause. The Cardiac Rehab Fund provides scholarships for individuals who need assistance to participate in our Cardiac Rehab program. It’s one way we can support heart health here locally!

Okay, enough about that. We’ve officially done our part to promote heart health awareness. This month, let’s talk about something that isn’t as commonly discussed… your hearing. Whether you are a child, a parent, or a grandparent, you need your ears to be working at their best. Think of all that you could miss if they weren’t – the sound of the ocean, birds singing, your favorite sports team’s fight song… the list goes on and on. (And if you can’t tell, I think I’m one of many who is ready for a season other than winter… bring on spring!)

What did you say? I couldn’t hear you.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 28 million Americans have some type of hearing loss. Because most problems develop gradually, many people don’t realize there is an issue with their hearing early enough. The good news is that we know a lot about how to recognize some common signs and symptoms of hearing loss so that we can get help for ourselves or for our loved ones.

Signs that you or a loved one may have a hearing problem:

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Often turning an ear toward a sound to hear it better
  • Understanding people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces
  • Losing your place in group conversations
  • Keeping the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud
  • Having pain or ringing in your ears
  • Noticing that some sounds remain clear (often low-pitched sounds like the bass line in music) while others seem fuzzy (frequently women’s and children’s high-pitched voices)

Hearing loss can be subtle. The people you care about might not realize how much of the conversation they miss, and they don’t want to be dismissed as “too much bother.” They also may be afraid to “say the wrong thing” if they misinterpret a comment. Try to help them understand that a hearing test could give them peace of mind, improve their quality of life, and protect them from problems that arise when they can’t hear… like when an oven timer goes off.

Let’s talk about Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have come a long way since they first came out as an option for hearing loss. Years ago, they used to be big and bulky – with even bigger batteries that felt clunky on your ear. Now, hearing aids are much less visible. Some are so small that others don’t realize you have one at all. They can be custom molded for comfort, and come with lots of other options to best meet your hearing needs. 

If you think that you or a loved one is having difficulty hearing, it’s best to consult with a certified audiologist, who can conduct a test to detect any hearing problems and develop a treatment plan to prevent additional hearing loss. In our community, we are fortunate to have an audiologist in our Ear, Nose, and Throat office who can work with you individually. You can call the office directly at (574) 753-2222 to schedule an appointment, or learn more about your options.

This month, take advantage of our services and employees that are “hear” to help. Here’s to your hearing, your heart, and your overall health!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tenured Logansport physician set to retire

Dr. David Morrical, an internal medicine physician with the Logansport Memorial Physician Network, has announced his plans to retire this year. He will take his leave from the hospital effective April 10, 2015 after nearly forty years of service to his patients and community.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make,” commented Dr. Morrical. “I have enjoyed my time in medical practice at Logansport Memorial Hospital and I will miss taking care of my patients. But I want to take the opportunity to spend time with my wife, my adult children, and my grandchildren." 
Although I will no longer be practicing medicine, I still call Logansport ‘home’ and I plan to remain in the community upon my retirement. David Morrical

“As Dr. Morrical prepares for this transition, we thank him for his years of service to our hospital, our patients, and our community,” comments David Ameen, CEO of Logansport Memorial Hospital. “He has also been a well-respected community member, donating many hours of community service to the Boy Scouts and to other local organizations. We wish him well in this new phase of his life.”

If you are a patient of Dr. Morrical and would like to find a new provider, please call our Find-a-Doc service at (574) 725-3463. LMH staff will answer your questions about your healthcare needs or concerns and help place you with a provider who can meet them for you. We will work to ensure that you do not experience a disruption in your care and are placed appropriately as soon as possible. Please talk with staff about any other questions you may have.

LMH Sweetheart Getaway Winner is announced

The Logansport Memorial Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary is pleased to announce the winner of their annual “Sweetheart Getaway” raffle. LMH employee Kathy Green was the excited recipient of this year’s prize – a deluxe package for two, including an overnight stay at the Blue Gate Garden Inn, and two tickets to a show of choice at the Blue Gate Theater, all in Shipshewana.

This combination event – bake sale and trip raffle – got started three years ago, when the Volunteer Auxiliary decided to have a “Sweetheart Getaway” where people could purchase raffle tickets and win a wonderful prize “getaway” trip. 
I was shocked and thrilled to win the Sweetheart Getaway this year to Shipshewana. I never seem to win anything! I am planning to take the trip with my husband, and it will be a wonderful chance for us to get away – all thanks to the Volunteer Auxiliary. Kathy Green

Kathy Green (center) is pictured here with members of the Logansport Memorial Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary (from left to right): Karen Hamm, Auxiliary President Ellen Brady, Ellen Bland, Marge Speitel, Volunteer Coordinator Tammy Szarszewski, and Judy Gillum. Congratulations to Kathy!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Logansport Memorial Hospital hires new Nurse Practitioner

Laura Hess, FNP-C
Logansport Memorial Hospital is pleased to welcome Laura Hess, FNP-C to the medical staff as part of the Logansport Memorial Physician Network. She will join the providers at ExpressMed Logansport, providing urgent care for patients in Logansport and Cass County.

Laura received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. She went on to receive her Master of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Indiana Wesleyan at the Fort Wayne, Indiana campus. She is a registered nurse with the Indiana Board of Nursing, and is certified in CPR and First Aid. She is also a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is looking forward to serving this community in a new way, as a bilingual nurse practitioner who speaks fluently in Spanish. She will be a welcome addition to the ExpressMed team.

ExpressMed is open for patients Monday – Friday from 9 am – 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm, and Sunday from Noon – 6 pm. ExpressMed is a walk-in clinic, so no appointments are necessary. If you have questions about being seen as a patient, please call the clinic directly at (574) 722-9633.