Health Wise W

Spring 2011
WCH dialysis technician
orking in a dialysis unit
requires a unique nursing
skill set, combined with long days and
an acceptance of relentless tasks that
usually go unnoticed with
little praise. When Wayne
County Hospital (WCH)
Dialysis Director Maggie
Lindsey nominated one
of her employees for the
Heartland Kidney Network
Best Patient Care Technician Award, she
knew Rebecca Moorman was deserving of
the recognition and wrote:
“ … she is our only Patient Care
Technician and she handles all that is asked
of her with grace and kindness … she is
extremely compassionate and dedicated to
her job, reliable and extremely hardworking ... she has a great sense of humor and
stimulates much needed laughter … she is
a team player, willing to learn new things,
as well as a critical thinker and a problem
solver with great organizational skills ... she
has excellent dialysis access skills ... she
creates balance with her job, family, friends
and God … she is a great asset to WCH
and the renal world.”
At the January 2011 Heartland
Kidney Conference in Kansas City, Mo.,
Moorman was one of 10 technicians to
receive the Best Patient Care Technician
Award. She was selected from 280 dialysis
unit nominations from Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas and Missouri. We congratulate
Rebecca and thank her for her commitment
to excellence.
Dialysis is a procedure used to
support failing kidney function. For
more information about the WCH
Dialysis Unit, call Maggie Lindsey,
Director, at 641-872-5325.
Cold and canker
sore primer
Do you have a
drinking problem?
Hair loss
Can you stop it?
Cold sores, canker
sores, oh my!
ou can feel it coming. That
tingling on your lip lets you
know that a painful, unsightly
cold sore is on its way. Cold sores and
canker sores can ruin your day, as well
as your polished appearance. Here’s
what you can do about them.
> Cold sores
They’re red or purple
fluid-filled blisters that typically appear on the lips or in
the vicinity of the mouth.
Cold sores are caused by
the herpes simplex type 1 virus.
Once you’ve been exposed, the
virus remains in your body for the
rest of your life. The virus is often
dormant but flares periodically, causing
the uncomfortable sores, which are also
called fever blisters.
Without treatment, cold sores tend to disappear in about one to two weeks. To reduce their
burning discomfort and pain, you may opt for an
over-the-counter (OTC) topical anesthetic or a
pain reliever like acetaminophen. See your doctor
if your cold sores persist, your symptoms are very
severe, your eyes are affected or you have a compromised immune system. Your doctor may prescribe
antiviral drugs that can preventively reduce the
recurrence of sores as well as lower the severity and
duration of symptoms. Don’t touch or pick at them
because you can spread the virus to other parts of
your body. It’s best to avoid kissing or sharing food
or beverages with anyone infected with a cold sore
because the virus that causes them is extremely
2 Spring 2011
> Canker sores
Although they’re often confused for cold sores,
canker sores are quite different. These grayish, whitish bumps with red edges only appear inside the
mouth, alone or in groups.
Canker sores are believed to be caused by
bacteria or viruses, but their exact cause is unknown.
Experts think that stress, intestinal diseases or injuries to the inside of the mouth (biting your cheek,
for example) may raise your chances of developing
canker sores. Fortunately, they aren’t contagious, and
they usually disappear in a week or two. Topical oral
pain relievers or OTC antimicrobial mouthwashes
may relieve some discomfort, as can avoiding spicy
foods while you have sores in your mouth.
Hair loss: Causes and cures
Image on page 2 © Wackerhausen; Image on page 3 © 2011 Thinkstock
ou have the telltale signs. Errant strands of
hair on your pillow and in your shower drain;
a receding hairline; a bald dad or grandfather.
Everything points to baldness. So is it possible to stop hair
loss in its tracks?
Hereditary hair loss is the most common cause of
baldness, affecting 80 million people nationwide. Although
it may seem to be a male problem, millions of American
women suffer from hereditary hair loss, too, according to
the American Academy of Dermatology. Male-pattern
baldness causes a receding hairline and a bald spot on top
of the scalp. Female-pattern baldness causes thinning on
the top of the scalp but typically doesn’t affect the hairline.
(For women, a common medical problem, polycystic
ovarian syndrome or PCOS, is often associated with
female-pattern hair loss.) Hair loss sometimes occurs as
a symptom of certain illnesses, including autoimmune
diseases, or as a side effect of a variety of medications,
including blood thinners. Extended periods of stress, rapid
weight loss, excess vitamin A consumption or a diet too
low in protein or iron can also lead to balding. Even
treating your hair too roughly—whether by blowdrying, dyeing or curling in excess or wearing tight
ponytails daily—may affect your hairline.
Fortunately, dermatologists are often
able to treat hair loss, so you may not need
to hide your problem beneath a baseball cap.
To figure out the cause, your doctor will take
a full medical history. Sometimes, changing
your hair-care routine, switching your
prescription drugs or getting treatment for an underlying
medical condition can reverse hair loss.
When hair loss is hereditary, prescription medication
can often slow, stop or even reverse the condition. Some
drugs are rubbed onto the scalp, while others are taken
orally. Note that not all medications are safe for women.
Surgery is another option. During a hair transplant,
a doctor removes small strips of scalp from the back of
the head, where the hair grows thickly, and grafts small
sections where hair growth is needed; the transplanted
scalp continues to grow hair in its new location. Scalp
reduction surgery is another surgical option; during the
procedure, large areas of bald scalp are removed, and the
hair-bearing regions of the scalp are shifted so hair grows
atop the head. Patients may need to wear tissue expanders
beneath the scalp for several weeks before the surgery to
stretch the skin, allowing hair-bearing regions of scalp to
sufficiently cover the head.
Hereditary hair loss is the
most common cause of
baldness, affecting 80 million
people nationwide.
—American Academy of Dermatology
Spring 2011 3
{ Wellness news from the world over }
> Virus linked to
childhood obesity
> Another reason
breast is best
The benefits of breastfeeding keep adding up. Now, a report in the American
Journal of Medicine says that breastfeeding your infant—even for just one
month—can help you stave off type 2
diabetes, which increases your heart
disease risk. The study involved more
than 2,200 women ages 40 to 78, who
either had no children, had children but
never breastfed or had children and
breastfed them. Researchers found
that 26.7 percent of those women who
didn’t breastfeed their babies went
on to develop diabetes, compared to
18 percent of women who exclusively
breastfed their infants for at least
one month. The driving force behind
Could there be more to the childhood
obesity story than just eating too
much and not moving enough? Yes,
say researchers in a study published
in the journal Pediatrics. They’ve found
that a particular strain of a common
cold virus, adenovirus 36 (AD36), may
explain some of the weight gain. Of the
124 children studied (ages 8 to 18),
those who had been infected with
the virus were an average
of 50 pounds heavier
than children who
hadn’t picked up
the strain. Even
among just the
obese children,
those who
tested positive
for exposure
to AD36 were
about 35 pounds heavier than those
never infected with the virus. Although
the reasons behind the potential connection are unclear, previous studies
have linked viral infections to obesity
in animals and adults. While more
research is needed to confirm a link
in children, help your child maintain
a healthy weight by setting a good
example with balanced foods and
regular exercise and scheduling regular
doctor’s appointments for him or her.
> Don’t skip out on
daily exercise
Americans are failing miserably when
it comes to one cornerstone of good
health: regular exercise. Only about
5 percent of us engage in some sort
of vigorous physical activity on any
given day, reports a recent study in the
American Journal of Preventive
Medicine. Researchers looked
at data from almost 80,000
people participating in the
American Time Use
Survey, a national
poll. When asked
what they did
the preceding
24 hours, some
of the most
popular answers
Only about 5 percent of us engage in some sort
of vigorous physical activity on any given day.
—American Journal of Preventive Medicine
4 Spring 2011
© 2011 Thinkstock
breastfeeding’s benefits isn’t known,
but animal studies have shown that
lactation may reduce belly fat and
trigger a sensitivity to insulin (type 2
diabetes occurs when the body either
doesn’t produce enough insulin or the
cells ignore insulin). Currently, only
about 14 percent of mothers exclusively
breastfeed their babies for the recommended minimum of six months.
WCH introduces eICU
advanced care
Nothing is wrong with a daily nap to give
the body the rest it needs, while improving
alertness and reducing mistakes and accidents.
—National Sleep Foundation
were eating and drinking and watching
TV or movies. The 5 percent of people
who did exercise reported using cardio
machines or running. The National
Institutes of Health says that people
who are active live longer, feel better,
can maintain a healthy weight and delay
or prevent diseases such as diabetes,
cancer and heart problems. So get up
and get moving—it’s just what the doctor ordered!
othing wrong
with napping
Those cat naps some of us can
squeeze in have gotten a bad
rap as sleep saboteurs.
But the National Sleep
Foundation says that for most people,
nothing is wrong with a daily nap to
give the body the rest and relaxation it
needs, while improving alertness and
reducing mistakes and accidents. You
just have to do it right:
eep your nap to no more than a
half hour. More than that may leave
you feeling groggy.
ick a place that’s cool, dark
and quiet.
void napping late in the day,
which can interfere with nighttime
sleep. And don’t nap too early, as
your body may not be ready yet
for more shut-eye.
he Wayne County Hospital
(WCH) eICU (electronic intensive
care unit) has established a new
way of using advanced telemedicine
technology to benefit physicians and
ICU patients across our region. Linked
with the Mercy Health Network eICU
Center in Des Moines, the eICU provides
remote monitoring capability for
critically ill patients at WCH. Installation
of this high-level monitoring system
was made possible with partial grant
funding received through the Wayne
County Foundation and a USDA Rural
Development grant.
WCH, the first critical access hospital in Iowa to provide this service, initiated
in November 2010, partnered with Mercy
Health Network. WCH has two dedicated
eICU rooms for patients who require a
higher level of care. “Our eICU patients
range from cardiac and stroke patients to
trauma victims and include many types of
critical care that you might see in a larger
facility,” says Sheila Mattly, Chief Nursing
Officer. “The nursing staff loves the eICU
and the support it provides them in caring
for their most critically ill patients.”
Collaboration of
WCH primary care physicians and
nurses are able to discuss care plans
with the Mercy eICU team, and together,
they develop the best strategy to care
for patients. The eICU has enabled WCH
to provide a higher level of quality care in
our rural setting.
With eICU care, physicians specializing in intensive care medicine (intensivists) from Mercy-Des Moines lead a care
team that works with WCH ICU staff
to monitor critical care patients around
the clock. The eICU uses high-resolution
cameras, phones and software to
evaluate real-time patient physiological
(continued on page 8)
Winter 2011 5
Alcohol: What’s too much?
o you need more alcohol than usual to get a
buzz? Do you have blackouts or miss work
because of your drinking? Do you ever drink
alone? If so, you may be alcohol dependent or suffer from
You may not realize that you have a drinking problem
because your habits are ingrained, but your loved ones
probably know. In fact, they may be trying to figure out
how to broach the subject. Or perhaps you’re the friend
or relative of someone who’s abusing liquor. How do you
know when someone drinks too heavily? And how can you
get help for someone in need?
Problem drinkers tend to have:
• an increased tolerance for alcohol, needing more
drinks to feel drunk as time passes
• blackouts or memory lapses after a night of drinking
• violent behavior while drinking
• regular instances of drinking alone
• a lack of control or willpower regarding alcohol
• absences from work or a decrease in job quality
• hostility when anyone brings up the problem
In the past, it was widely believed that confronting
someone about an alcohol problem was the best way to get
him or her to seek treatment. These so-called “interventions,” where friends and family would gather to talk to
someone about his or her drinking en masse have even
been depicted in movies and on TV. But today, experts
believe that friends and family are most effective in getting
problem drinkers to seek help when they privately discuss
the matter with empathy and compassion. Gently explain
how you’ve noticed that your friend or relative’s drinking
gets in the way of relationships and personal or professional goals.
Getting support
Once someone decides to seek treatment for a drinking problem, a variety of places offer support. Many people
go to detoxification centers to withdraw from alcohol
surrounded by trained medical professionals who can prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms. Rehab centers
offer in- and outpatient therapy. If rehab isn’t a good fit,
counseling from a psychologist or psychiatrist can help.
Support groups offer long-term aid to problem
drinkers who want to reduce or eliminate their connection
with alcohol. Check the Yellow Pages under “Alcoholism”
or visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism’s “Rethinking Drinking” website at for groups in your area.
You may not
realize that you
have a drinking
problem because
your habits are
6 Spring 2011
Images on page 6 and 7 ©
Your embarrassing
health questions,
ou should be able to discuss anything with your doctor, but
some topics may make you more squeamish than others. To
help, here are answers to common embarrassing questions.
y arms and legs are hairier than those
of my female friends. Could there be a
medical reason for this? How can I get rid
of unwanted hair?
There are many reasons why some women
have excess body hair. All women produce
some male hormones, but those who produce higher
levels may be hairier. The tendency may be inherited or caused by conditions like polycystic ovarian
syndrome or PCOS. Whatever the cause, hair can
be removed without a physician’s care. You may
shave, tweeze or wax at home, or at a salon or spa,
although shaven hair that grows back may appear
thicker, and plucking or waxing may cause scarring.
Bleaching the hair or removing it with chemicals
are two other options. For a long-term solution,
consider laser hair removal, which permanently
damages individual hair follicles and prevents them
from sprouting new hairs. Laser hair removal may
be painful and expensive, but it can be effective, and
it’s available without a doctor’s prescription.
y feet always sweat and smell, which
makes it embarrassing to take my shoes
off when other people are around. Is there
a treatment?
Sweat itself doesn’t have an odor; the bacteria
on your skin contact your perspiration
and make it smell. To combat this, dry your feet
thoroughly after bathing
to reduce the chances
of bacteria thriving
on your feet. Try
foot powder to
absorb excess
moisture. Wear
only cotton or wool
socks, which absorb
moisture and help
keep your feet dry; change
them once or twice a day as needed, drying your
feet before you put on new ones. Put on moisturewicking athletic socks when you exercise. Rotate
the shoes you wear daily to allow your footwear
to dry out thoroughly. You might even consider
applying an antiperspirant to the soles of your feet
before bedtime. Prescription medications may be
prescribed if needed.
Spring 2011 7
HealthWise is a
community educational
service provided by
Wayne County Hospital
417 S. East St.
Corydon, IA 50060
Non-Profit Organization
Wayne County
Wayne County Hospital
417 S. East St.
Corydon, IA 50060
Daren L. Relph, P.S.-C.C.P., C.E.O.
Sheila Mattly, C.N.O.
Laurie Ehrich, C.C.O.
Clinical services in Wayne County:
Lineville Medical Clinic 641-876-2070
Seymour Medical Clinic 641-898-2898
Medical Clinic 641-872-2063
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WCH introduces eICU advanced care
(continued from page 5)
data for thresholds and trends. It is a little like
an air traffic control center staffed with critical
care experts who are networked to multiple ICU
patients across the system by voice, video and
data. This secure data is continually monitored by
an intensivist and critical care nurses located at
the Mercy eICU center.
eICU advantages
• the benefit of additional critical care
support and high-level intensive care monitoring
• support for the local medical staff with
24-hour monitoring capability
• early intervention opportunities
• higher level care for WCH patients normally available only in larger hospital systems
• reduced transfers so patients and families
can remain close to home
• faster recoveries and a decrease in
mortality rates
In addition, the eICU has improved attending
physicians’ quality of work life with the eICU taking calls at night and having the ability to contact
the local attending physician, as needed. These
factors are helpful and noteworthy when recruiting new physicians.
“The value of this system is in providing an
enhanced level of care where our physicians and
nurses can discuss the plan of care with the
Mercy eICU team and in that planning determine the best strategies for those critically
ill patients,” says Daren L. Relph, WCH CEO.
“This technology is at no additional cost to
the patient. We believe we can provide high-
quality care in the rural setting that we’re in,
and the eICU helps us achieve that level of
For more information, contact
Laurie Ehrich, Chief Communications
Officer, at 641-872-2260.
Welcome Home!!!
Wayne County Hospital and
South Central Iowa Medical Clinic
are pleased to announce
the return of
Dr. Hoch &
Dr. Baker
Dr. Douglas Hoch, M.D.
on May 2, 2011
Dr. Joel Baker, D.O.
Advance appointments may be scheduled by calling
South Central Iowa Medical Clinic
in Corydon at