A monthly list of story ideas for journalists
Scripps Physicians Available to Comment on Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
March is National DVT Awareness Month
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms inside a vein, usually in the leg, blocking the flow of blood. Interfering with circulation, DVT can cause the blood clot to break off and travel through the blood stream and lodge in the lungs, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism or venous thromboembolism (PE/VTE).
Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year in the U.S. – that’s more than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Approximately 10 percent of hospital deaths are attributable to PE, which is considered the number one cause of preventable hospital death. Most hospitalized patients have one or more risk factors for DVT and without preventive treatment (prophylaxis) medical and general surgical patients are at risk for developing this condition. Scripps is implementing new efforts to reduce DVT in our hospitals, working to ensure that all at-risk patients receive the appropriate preventive care. For more information about the DVT initiative at Scripps or to set up an interview with a physician expert, please call Jaime Szefc at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racial Disparities seen in Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Although Medicare expanded coverage for colorectal screening tests, blacks and Hispanics are still not undergoing as many tests as whites according to a study of 600,000 Medicare patients published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and in women in the United States and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, expected to cause about 52,180 deaths during 2007. Colorectal cancer screening rates among whites are almost 10 percent higher than the rates of African Americans and even higher among Hispanics. There is evidence that screening for colorectal cancer decreases incidence and mortality from the disease. To arrange an interview with a Scripps cancer specialist, please contact Steve Carpowich at email@example.com.
Daylight Savings Time and Sleep Schedules
Daylight Savings Time is beginning three weeks earlier this year on March 11 and clocks will be set ahead one hour. Dr. Alex Mercandetti, sleep specialist at Scripps Mercy Hospital, can offer practical suggestions on how to better manage this annual occurrence and get a complete night’s rest. To set up an interview with Dr. Mercandetti, contact Kristin Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scripps Clinic Begins Enrollment for Clinical Trial of Heart Procedure to Relieve Migraine Headaches
Physicians at Scripps Clinic are embarking on a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a cardiac catheterization procedure for the treatment and relief of migraine headaches in patients with a patent foramen ovale (PFO). A PFO is a common heart defect that may be a potential risk factor for migraine headaches in some patients. Drs. Paul Teirstein, Steven Poceta or Matthew Price are available for interviews about this procedure. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Johnny Hagerman at email@example.com.
Cocoa May Help to Improve Brain Function
A recent study reported that flavanols, an antioxidant found in cocoa beans, may increase blood flow to the brain. This finding may be especially important in the treatment of dementia, which is marked by decreased blood flow to the brain. Dementia is defined as a significant loss of cognitive abilities severe enough to interfere with social functioning is most commonly found in elderly people and is a top concern for medical researchers in this increasingly aging population. Flavanols can also be found in select teas, fruits and wine, and may assist in maintaining overall cardiovascular health. To learn more about this topic and schedule an interview with a neurologist, email Nichole Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scripps Physicians discuss the Team Approach to Stroke Care
A panel of physician experts from vascular surgery and interventional radiology at Scripps
La Jolla will discuss how to lower your risk of stroke and how to identify early warning signs Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m., in the Great Hall of the Schaetzel Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Other topics will include the newest approaches to treating stroke patients. For more information or to cover this event, email Lisa Ohmstede at email@example.com.
Scripps Clinic Physicians offer the First Minimally Invasive Alternative to Surgery for Women with Benign Breast Condition
Physicians at Scripps Clinic now offer the latest minimally invasive treatment for breast fibroadenomas, a common benign breast condition. The 30-minute outpatient procedure involves placing a small needle into the center of the tumor using ultrasound guidance. The system creates very cold temperatures at the needle’s tip, destroying the tumor. Dr. Vivian Lim, medical director for radiology at Scripps Clinic is available for interviews about this new procedure. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Johnny Hagerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scripps Encinitas Partners with Girl Scouts for First Aid Training
Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas is teaming up with local Girl Scout troops to assist them in earning their first aid badges. This new ongoing program launches Wednesday, March 14, with a group of 6th graders from El Camino Creek Elementary School in Carlsbad. The girls, Troop 1439, and members since kindergarten, will visit Scripps Encinitas to practice first aid exercises on dolls provided by the hospital, take a tour of the operating room and visit a newborn baby in the birth pavilion. To cover this event, email Nichole Warren at Warren.email@example.com.
Allergies and Hayfever
Spring is almost here and with it comes days at the beach, spending time in the park and for many people, allergy season. Millions of people suffer through the symptoms of hayfever and allergies each year, sometimes avoiding the great outdoors. To set up an interview with a Scripps Mercy Medical Group physician on how to combat the symptoms of hayfever and allergies, contact Kristin Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AHA Releases New Guidelines for Preventing Heart Disease
New guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease in women were published Feb. 20, 2007 in a special women’s health issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The new guidelines include expanded recommendations on lifestyle factors such as physical activity, nutrition and smoking cessation as well as in-depth recommendations on drug treatments and supplements. Mimi Guarneri, M.D., cardiologist and founder of Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, helps women and men prevent heart disease through a 12-week lifestyle change program, Healing Hearts. Since 1999, this program has helped more than 1,000 people treat, prevent and reverse heart disease through a comprehensive lifestyle change approach, which includes support groups, stress management, diet, supplements and exercise. For more information about the Healing Hearts program or to schedule an interview, please contact Anna-Maja Dahlgren at Dahlgren.email@example.com.
Scripps Clinic Extends Agreement with Padres Through 2009
Scripps Clinic recently announced that it will maintain its partnership with the San Diego Padres as the team’s official health care provider through the 2009 season. Continuing to build upon a relationship that began in 1981, Scripps Clinic will provide all medical services and evaluations for the team in La Jolla, Calif., during the regular season and at the team’s Spring Training facilities in Peoria, Ariz. Scripps Clinic Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jan Fronek has been the head team physician for the past 15 years and is supported by a staff of Scripps Clinic physicians, including orthopedic surgeons, internal medicine physicians, ophthalmologists, podiatrists and a nutritionist. For more information, please contact Johnny Hagerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expert Dads Help Dads-To-Be
Expert dads from the Parent Connection, a non-profit parenting support organization sponsored by Scripps Health, hosts a popular basic training class for dads-to-be. The class allows expectant dads the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts from dads who have been through it all. Accompanied by their infants, experienced dads will discuss what to expect in the last trimester of pregnancy, at the birth and during the first few weeks at home. They will also provide practical tips on diapering, feeding and soothing a newborn. The next class will take place Saturday, March 24 from 9:30 a.m. – noon in the Encinitas Community Center. For more information about this unique parenting class that’s developed for and by dads or to cover this event, please contact Jaime Szefc at email@example.com.