Monthly Archives: August 2015

What You Need to Know about Hospice Care By Dr. Christine Estrada

Hospice

When an individual with a life-limiting illness has exhausted all aggressive treatment options, or these options are determined to be more harmful than beneficial, these individuals and their families can choose to optimize comfort with hospice services. How do we know that hospice is the right choice? The factors to consider are: the patient’s prognosis with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, burdensome symptoms caused by the illness, the risk-to-benefit ratio of the current and alternative treatment plans, goals of care, caregiver needs and the desire for specialized care focused on comfort and happiness. The purpose of hospice care is to relieve suffering, restore dignity and enhance quality of life. Hospices often care for the patient-family unit. Families of terminally ill patients often undergo emotional journeys, and they are in great need of education, understanding and support.

One major fear about hospice care is the myth that it will shorten life expectancy because of the notion that everyone has “given up” on the patient. The truth is that hospice does not directly lengthen or shorten the patient’s life; it helps to make the patient’s final days more comfortable. Hospice services support the patient and family as the natural progression of a fatal condition continues. Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care’s (LVSHC) interdisciplinary team approach helps address many patient needs including physical, emotional, social needs. The patient and family are counseled and supported by social services. Whatever moments the patient may have – whether it be many moments or less moments than hoped for – hospice care helps make these moments the best moments possible.

When given a poor prognosis with a limited life expectancy, patients may feel as though they have lost control of their health and possible outcomes. With quality of life care, the patient regains control of how to shape their journey before them. LVSHC makes every effort to help bring out happiness in a person’s life, whether this involves providing a listening ear or offering their favorite comfort food. We like to help bring the patient back to his/her mental state prior to becoming ill.

LVSHC is proud to be a part of the hospice community of the greater Las Vegas area. We are able to manage the most complex and persistent symptoms, from uncontrolled pain to severe terminal restlessness. As well as standard pharmacologic interventions, we offer non-pharmacological approaches and complementary and alternative remedies, including homeopathy, aromatherapy and acupressure. We also provide specialized services, such as palliative sedation, palliative vent release and therapeutic paracentesis in any setting. Quality and educational initiatives drive our mission at LVSHC, as we train to the level of board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Our clinical team has complex symptom management algorithms that facilitate critical thinking and troubleshooting approaches to address uncontrolled symptoms. Most importantly, we at LVSHC care for our patients in the same way we would want our own loved ones cared for. Our care is personalized, tailored to the needs and desires of the patient and family, and highly motivated by compassion and understanding. Together, our team can show patients and families a better way.

For more information about Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care, call 702-870-0000 or visit our website at http://www.lvsolarihospice.com.

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Vaccinations By Dr. Blair Duddy

VaccinationsWith the school year quickly approaching, it is important to ensure that students are up to date on their immunizations. Proof of immunization is a prerequisite for enrollment in all Nevada public schools for all non-exempt students. Immunizing your child is extremely important, especially when they are preparing to enter a school environment where they will be exposed to a large population of people and face a greater risk of contracting harmful diseases that could cause serious health issues.

Under state law, children can be exempt from vaccination requirements if their parents or guardians have submitted a written statement to a school’s governing body indicating their religious beliefs prohibit immunizations. Medical exemptions are also permitted.

A recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported that childhood immunizations save thousands of lives and billions of dollars by preventing disease. Immunizations are integral public health tools, as they protect the vaccinated individual and limit the spread of infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among children born during 1994 to 2013, immunizations will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths, while saving $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.

Immunizations serve to protect children and their classmates from the spread of infectious diseases, including measles, mumps and whooping cough. With more than 315,000 students expected to enroll in Clark County schools for the upcoming school year, vaccinations serve as the most effective preventative measure.

Disease prevention is a key component of our philosophy at HealthCare Partners Nevada. Our mission is to make sure that our youngest and most vulnerable patients are immunized and protected. HealthCare Partners Nevada participates in the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, which helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians might be unable to afford them. To find out if your local HealthCare Partners Nevada provider participates in the VFC program, or to consult with a pediatrician about immunizations for your child, visit www.hcpnv.com/lasvegaspediatrics.

Now is the Time to Get Your Flu Shot By Dr. Lana Dawood

Flu ShotThe arrival of fall means flu season is approaching. Flu season can start as early as October and last until May. The providers at HealthCare Partners Nevada would like to remind patients that with flu season around the corner, there is no time like the present to get a flu shot. Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step towards preventing the flu.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Each year approximately 5 to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications. Last year the U.S. experienced a flu epidemic, with high flu activity reported in 22 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unlike a common cold, flu symptoms can come on very suddenly. Those who are infected experience a sudden onset of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, headaches, muscle and body aches.

The flu vaccine is the best defense against the flu. HealthCare Partners recommends the vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, especially those who live with or care for someone who is at a high risk for flu-related complications.

While everyone is at risk for the flu, some groups including as children, people with chronic health conditions, and seniors are more likely to experience complications related to the flu. In fact, 90 percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people ages 65 and older.

The flu virus spreads mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. People may be able to infect others one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. In addition to receiving the vaccine, you should follow preventative steps, such as washing your hands and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, to keep yourself healthy.

Getting vaccinated and practicing simple preventative measures can go a long way in preventing the spread of the flu.  Make an appointment with your HealthCare Partners provider today to get the flu shot. For more information about the services HealthCare Partners Nevada offers, please visit www.hcpnv.com.