Scripps Tips - April 2008

A New Model for Pain Management Created at Scripps
One out of two people over the age of 50 will experience chronic pain, according to Joseph Shurman, M.D., Chairman of Pain Management at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. The management of pain has become such a significant medical issue, that pain is now considered one of the vital signs of a patient. However, since pain has become such a big issue and opioids, pain relief drugs, have become so readily available to the general public, there have been problems with addiction and abuse, creating a national crisis. In response to this crisis, a new pain management model has been created at Scripps La Jolla. The model states that patients with intractable pain who need to be placed on opioids do the following:

  • See a psychotherapist
  • See an addictionologist
  • Incorporate non-drug approaches to pain management, many of which can be found at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

These new procedures are extremely valuable to the patients and are in place for their protection. For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Shurman, please contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or ohmstede.lisa@scrippshealth.org.

Bathing Suit Season Is Around The Corner…Trim Down and Do Something Healthy For Your Heart
Spring is here, which means bathing suit season is around the corner so it’s time to slim down and do something healthy for your heart. By simply adding foods enriched with sterols and stanols to your diet, you can slash your heart disease risk. Research shows that sterols and stanols, types of plant compounds, can lower cholesterol and slashheart disease risk. All you need to add is 2 grams of sterols and stanols to your diet (which are found in soy, wheat, wood oils, corn and fortified foods and spreads) per day and you are on your way to a trimmer and healthier you. For more information on effective ways to modify your diet to slim down and lower their risk of heart disease or to arrange an interview with cardiologist Jerrold Glassman, M.D., chief of staff at Scripps Mercy Hospital, contact Jori Victor at (858) 678- 7137 or victor.jori@scrippshealth.org.

Tips To Ease Springtime Allergies
For the 35 million Americans who have seasonal allergies, rising pollen counts in the spring bring symptoms that can ruin a time of year that others enjoy. San Diegans are not immune to allergies, as the city consistently ranks on Forbes’ top 100 worst cities to llive for those who suffer from allergies. Allergies cost the health care system more than $18 billion a year and they are a nuisance to those who suffer from them and those around them, often impeding the ability to work, perform at school, or disrupting sleep. Learning what triggers springtime allergies can help people avoid allergens and minimize their suffering. To arrange an interview on tips to ease allergy symptoms with Katharine Woessner, M.D., from the Division of Allergy at Scripps Clinic, contact Ian Wright at 858-652-5519 or wright.ian@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will offer a free pain management community lecture Wednesday, April 23 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Joseph Shurman, M.D., anesthesiologist and pain specialist will discuss new treatments for these pains. For more information or to cover this event please contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or ohmstede.lisa@scrippshealth.org.

Reality Check for the War on Cancer
April is Cancer Control Month
Are we winning the war on cancer, or at least treating the disease with better success? A new study that appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that clinical trials help lead to breakthroughs and sustainable, successful cancer treatments. Scripps Health currently adds about 100 new clinical trials a year, and has approximately 400 clinical trials active at any given time. Brian Issell, M.D., Vice President of Clinical Research for Scripps Health can offer information on clinical research trials and the impact they are having on finding and advancing cancer treatments. For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Issell, contact Jori Victor at (858) 678- 7137 or victor.jori@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will host “Carnival of Life,” a free cancer education and health fair Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities will include health screenings and information, carnival games, food and giveaways. For more information or to cover this event please contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or ohmstede.lisa@scrippshealth.org.

The Link between Sex and the Heart – Erectile Dysfunction A Warning Sign of Heart Disease
Recent studies have indicated that men with erectile dysfunction (ED) have a greater risk of heart disease. ED does not cause heart disease, but may be a warning sign of the condition, according to researchers at the University of Chicago. Both ED and heart disease are caused by damage to blood vessels and share similar risk factors including obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. Understanding the connections can help men to better recognize the symptoms of heart disease sooner. Bernard Morris, M.D., board certified urologist, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, is available to talk about the connection between heart disease and ED. To arrange an interview, please contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or ohmstede.lisa@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will host a free seminar for men and their partners on Wednesday, April 16 from 6 – 7 p.m. Bernard Morris, M.D., board certified urologist, who specializes in the treatment of ED will discuss the connection between heart disease and erectile dysfunction. For more information or to cover this event please contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or ohmstede.lisa@scrippshealth.org

Be Sure Your Little League Slugger is Safe This Spring
It’s no surprise that youngsters are more concerned with wearing their Major League hero’s signature shoes than they are his batting helmet, but attention to protective equipment is imperative in keeping players safe. With baseball season right around the corner, kids of all ages are preparing to lace up a fresh pair of cleats, break in a new glove and hit home runs with the latest in aluminum bat technology—but they probably are not thinking about the effectiveness of their safety equipment. Scripps Clinic pediatric sports medicine specialist Paul Stricker, M.D., is available to offer advice on how to make sure that children playing all sports are using the right safety equipment, and that league officials keep up to date with the latest in protective gear and precautions. To arrange an interview, please contact Ian Wright at 858-554-2098 or wright.ian@scrippshealth.org.