A monthly list of story ideas for journalists
Young Marine Saved by New Procedure after Motorcycle Crash
When Mark Baird crashed his motorcycle on an I-5 exit ramp on the morning of December 30, 2005, his bike ended up relatively unscathed. The driver, however, was not as fortunate. The 22-year-old Marine had lacerations on his spleen, kidney and liver, a third-degree collarbone separation and a shoulder blade fracture. But the worst injury was a life-threatening tear in the main blood vessel coming off of his heart. Vascular surgeon Sunil Rayan, M.D., opted to perform a stent graft — a relatively new solution and one that only a handful of surgeons in Southern California have the capability to perform. The hour and a half procedure saved Baird’s life and got him back on his feet in no time. To arrange an interview or for additional information, contact Lisa Ohmstede at Ohmstede.firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Less-Invasive Technique for Chronic Back Pain
Scripps Mercy Hospital was the first in San Diego to perform a recently FDA-approved neurosurgical procedure known as the X-Stop ®. The procedure is indicated for patients age 55 and older with a common back problem: lumbar spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine resulting in painful pressure on the spinal nerves). The procedure, which takes less than one hour under minimal anesthesia, involves inserting a titanium spacer, and patients typically go home the next day. To arrange an interview with Scripps Mercy neurosurgeon Sohaib Kureshi, M.D., about the benefits of this new procedure, contact Kristin Reinhardt at Reinhardt.email@example.com.
Running Hot and Cold
Whether you are experiencing joint and muscle pain because of age, chronic injury, or intense exercise, applying hot or cold therapy to relieve pain can actually do more harm than good if misused. Many people are unaware of when and how to apply hot or cold therapies and why it’s important to know the difference. Sports Medicine physicians at Scripps Clinic offer six basic rules of thumb to consider when applying cold and heat to relieve the aches and pains in joints and muscles . To schedule an interview with a sports medicine physician in orthopedics at Scripps Clinic, please contact Johnny Hagerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Rooms Face Crisis
While Scripps received more than 116,000 ER visits last year in San Diego, experts estimate that nearly half of all ER visits received nationally are for conditions other than medical emergencies. When the poor and uninsured can’t get health care anywhere else, they turn to emergency rooms. This, among other problems, has created huge vulnerabilities in access to health care, especially in the event of natural disaster or terrorist attack. Scripps Chief Medical Officer Brent Eastman, M.D., a trauma surgeon and co-author of the recent Institute of Medicine’s national study on the state of emergency care, is available for interviews to discuss the findings of this study and the special challenges we face in San Diego with this growing dilemma. To schedule an interview or for more information, contact Bryan Revis at email@example.com.
New Cervical Cancer Vaccine
In June the FDA approved Gardasil as the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer. This drug is said to protect against the two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) believed responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. What will this vaccine possibly mean for women’s health? Is it an indication of a trend in medical research toward cancer prevention rather than cure? Scripps Mercy’s chief of obstetrics and gynecology John McHugh, M.D. is available to discuss the impact and effectiveness of the vaccine, for whom it is recommended and why. To arrange an interview or for additional information, contact Kristin Reinhardt at Reinhardt.firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Joints for Baby Boomers
A new study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons is predicting that the number of knee and hip replacements is going to increase dramatically as the baby boomers begin to age – as much as 673 percent by 2030! Find out how this is helping boomers maintain their active lifestyles, and talk to a Scripps La Jolla orthopedic surgeon about the benefits and risks of total joint replacement. To arrange an interview or for additional information, contact Lisa Ohmstede at Ohmstede.email@example.com.
Contact Lenses Inside the Eye
Implantable contact lenses are now a safe alternative to LASIK surgery. These lenses, made of plastic or silicone, can permanently eliminate the need for glasses or removable contact lenses. The surgery only involves a small incision in the front of the eye where the lens is inserted just in front of or behind the iris. To arrange an interview with a Scripps Mercy ophthalmologist about this procedure or for additional information, contact Kristin Reinhardt at Reinhardt.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healing Touch for Pre and Post Cardiac Surgery Patients
Research shows that the use of imagery, music and healing touch can decrease stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and enhance recovery in surgical patients. Healing touch is provided to patients at Scripps Green Hospital who are undergoing cardiac surgery by a full-time nurse certified in healing touch and guided imagery. The patient receives a healing touch treatment with guided imagery CD’s and head phones, which prepares the patient emotionally, mentally and spiritually for their procedures. To arrange an interview or for additional information, contact Anna-Maja Dahlgren at email@example.com.
Can Lack Of Sleep Hurt Your Heart?
Millions of Americans suffer from a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time while you are sleeping. A study by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that the lack of sleep caused by this disorder may actually cause heart problems. Learn more about the connection from a Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla cardiologist or sleep doctor, and see what treatments are available. To arrange an interview or for additional information, contact Lisa Ohmstede at Ohmstede.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleaning out the Medicine Cabinet
In today’s modern world, we have medications to treat all sorts of ailments. But before you reach for that bottle, there are some things you should know about storing your medications safely. (Here’s a hint: you shouldn’t keep them in the medicine cabinet.) Find out how to avoid the dangers of expired medications and how to safely dispose of them. To arrange an interview or for additional information, contact Kristin Reinhardt at Reinhardt.email@example.com.