• Culicchia Neurological Clinic introduces a new medical procedure that treats back pain due to herniated discs without surgery in less than an hour. During “percutaneous” or needle discectomy, the doctor extracts the swollen disc material through a needle.

• The only hospital in the state participating, Ochsner Health System announced a new study involving a medical device called the Optimizer TM. The device appears to help heart disease patients by making the heart beat more efficiently.
• According to a recent study by the American Society for Echocardiography, retired NFL linemen are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than non-lineman. Another study revealed that nearly half of all retired linemen have the Metabolic Syndrome. One possible explanation may be the larger body mass index (BMI) of football linemen.  nThe Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma honored their nurses with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The DAISY Foundation’s overall goal is to help fight immune diseases, however they also have programs to support bone marrow and blood drives.

HEALTHBEAT• The FDA approved the first-ever genetic test to assess breast cancer recurrence risk, a protocol that will enable physicians to customize treatment based on patients’ genetic data and possibly even prevent the need for chemotherapy. 

• Ochsner Health System treated their 100th patient with a cell therapy called Carticel that helps repair damaged cartilage in injured knees. Orthopedic surgeons use Carticel to treat patients who have not responded to prior surgery. “It’s a treatment that provides young and active people the possibility of returning to a lifetime that many thought they would never enjoy again,” says Dr. Deryk Jones, Section Head for Sports Medicine at Ochsner.

• Terrebonne General Medical Center has named Deborah Hebert as the new Director of 4-North (Telemetry).  

The Center has also named Linda Songy, RN, Assistant Vice President of Nursing Services.

HEALTHBEAT• Skin cancer may be linked to frequent driving. Drivers with exposed skin show vulnerability to UV rays, especially on the left side of the body. Wearing sunscreen, hats and protective clothing, as well as considering tinted windows, can help lower the risk of skin cancer associated with driving. 

• Ochsner Health System is offering employees courses in Spanish to help the hospital better serve the new Hispanic community in Greater New Orleans. The class is specifically tailored to employees with patient interaction that will benefit from learning Spanish medical terminology. 

• A study led by the Harvard School of Public Health found that midday naps may keep heart disease at bay. More research is necessary, however two key factors may contribute to this finding; decrease in stress through resting and attending to the normal biological rhythm of daily life.   

HEALTHBEAT• The esteemed trauma center of Charity Hospital, which moved to Jefferson Parish after Hurricane Katrina, has returned to New Orleans. Now situated in University Hospital, also called LSU Interim Hospital, the trauma center will service the five parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles.
– Karie Meltzer

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