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Lewes, Delaware
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February 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 28, 1997

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CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, February 28- March 6, 1997 - 29 HEALTH & FITNES00 Jen EIIIngsworth photo March of Dimes kicks off WalkAmerica with VIA reception The Village Improvement Association (VIA) of Rehoboth Beach hosted the 1997 March of Dimes WalkAmerica Kick-Off on Thursday, Feb. 20. The event featured refreshments and an informative WalkAmerica video. Progressive Systems Inc. was the WalkAmerica 1997 Kick-off Sponsor. Volunteers on hand at the event standing 0-r) were: Marj Biles, Mable Granke, Kathy Whitman, Debbie Imperial, Joe Carney, Anne Marie Burnell, Oliver Parker and Scott Johnson. In front are Butch Imperial, Amanda Bozman and March of Dimes Community Di- rector LaLynda Hodges. WalkAmeriea, now in its 27th year, is the major source of funds for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. Over a million people in approximately 1,500 communities across the country participate in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica event each year. For more information, call (302) 737-1310. AIDS bereavement support group meeting in Lewes P.L. Active, Inc., a non-profit AIDS service organization, has announced the start of two weekly support groups. The Bereavement Support Group will meet every Thursday for six weeks beginning April 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the Parish House on Second and Mulberry streets in Lewes. The group is designed for those persons living with AIDS or persons who have lost significant others due to AIDS or other cata- strophic illnesses. Persons who have experienced multiple losses or layered grief are especially encouraged to join. There is a small charge for those who are still working and finan- cial assistance will be arranged for those on disability. The group will be professionally facilitated. For those persons living with AIDS in Eastern Sussex County, a weekly support group will meet every Friday at 1 p.m. also at the Parish House on Second and Mul- berry Streets in Lewes. This is a self-referral group only, not a drop-in group. No one living with AIDS will be turned away. To register for either group, call 226-0387. Beebe introduces new information system Beebe Medical Center will be- gin operation of a new computer information system on Saturday, March 1, that will guide the med- ical center to the forefront in clin- ical and financial patient manage- ment. The initial phase will include the functions of registration and billing. The entire information management system will be phased into operation over several months. "This system will help Beebe Medical Center continue to im- prove the level of service to our patients," explained Jeffrey M. Fried, president. "It will especial- ly help improve the convenience of the registration process." Beebe Medical Center employ- ees are currently undergoing an extensive training program on the new computer system. "We are asking patients to be understanding if the registration process takes a few minutes longer than usual during March as we become at- tuned to this new system," Fried said. Fried said that Beebe has been lis- tening to pa- FRIED tient com- plaints about the length of time necessary to register for health- care services, and the need to reg- ister at multiple locations for dif- ferent services. "This system will enable the hospital to capture the necessary patient information at one time, thus avoiding multiple registra- tion," Fried said. During subsequent visits, it will only be necessary to verify the in- formation already in the system. This will speed up the admission process, plus provide an added level of security and convenience for the patient by ensuring the in- formation is accurate. The multi-million dollar infor- mation management system will replace outdated systems used for patient registration and billing. Eventually, physicians and oth- er hospital staff will be able to ac- cess clinical data for medical management decisions. All Beebe Medical Center loca- tions will be linked to this com- mon information system. Beebe locations include: Beebe Medical Center in Lewes. Beebe Eye Surgery Center in Millsboro. Sussex Imaging in George- town, Millsboro and Millville. Beebe Health Centers in Georgetown, Milton, Miilville, Rehoboth and Millsboro. Beebe Pediatric Center in Lewes. Michael Salvatore, M.D. in Lewes. Lewes Convalescent Center in Lewes. Summer Emergency Depart- ment in Millville (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Knowing what to expect from MRI can ease anxiety MR.I, magnetic resonance imag- ing, is doing a great job for medi- cine. It is the most advanced tool to date. The MR/gives a clear pic- ture of inner structures, such as the brain, spine, arms and legs. Therefore it has the ability to di- agnose everything from brain tu- mors to unexplained knee pain. Because patients in all settings are now routinely sent for MR/s, it is appropriate to answer some ques- tions and concerns for people who may undergo this diagnostic pro- cedure in the future. First, anyone who has a pace- maker, insulin pump, bone stimu- lator or other implanted device should not have an MR/. These electrical devices may malfunction from the strong mag- netic field of the MRI. and are therefore eontraindications to hav- ing an MRI. Those with any metallic objects within the body should report this to their doctor. Screws and plates that are in bone, such as with a hip replacement, can resist the power- ful magnetic pull; however, cere- bral aneurysm clips and shrapnel can become dislodged and cause extensive bleeding. Fragments of metal in an eye can cause the optic nerve to be severed, which would result in blindness. Anyone who was or is a metal worker should undergo x- rays first to be sure there are not metal shavings in his or her eyes. There is no special preparation on the day of the MR/; however, earrings, hair pins, and metal jew- elry must be removed because they could either be pulled out or cause distorted pictures. People with tattoos that were painted with a metal based paint may experience stinging or the area may turn red during the pro- cedure. The test normally takes 20 to 40 minutes. Scans of the ear canal, optic nerve or pituitary gland may take about an hour. These areas require specific pie- tures plus images of the entire brain. The procedure will take longer if a contrast agent (dye) is used. In that case, images will be tak- en, the person will be removed from the machine in order to in- ject the contrast agent in the arm, the remainder of the images will than be taken. The traditional MRI consists of a long, circular tube with an open- ing at both ends and a tight inner tube where the person lies on his back for the entire procedure. There are also newer, more open models now that don't fully enclose the patient. Those ma- chines reduce the likelihood of a claustrophobic-type reaction. The patient may be encouraged to breathe normally, keep eyes closed or covered, picture a relax- ing scene or possibly wear special headphones to listen to music. Often, patients are encouraged to bring a friend or a relative with them to offer reassurance. The MR/technologist will speak to the patient through headphones or a microphone in between images bering shot. Patients who feel pan- iclky during the procedure can ptnsh a button to alert the technol- ogist to stop and remove them from the machine. 'The machines will make noises wlhen they are taking a picture; they have been described as a loud butzzing, knocking, grating, jack- hammer type sound. Again, to muffle these noises, many centers will offer music headphones or earplugs. It is imperative that the person lie still during the procedure. Be- tween images, the patient may be allowed to reposition the hands or scratch the nose, but the body part beiing scanned must not move. The images will be taken in sev- eral different places and the body part must be in the same spot for each image. People who are extremely claustrophobic, have limited mo- bility, severe pain and children under five are usually given seda- tion. For most people, and MR/is a simple, uncomplicated procedure, and knowing what to expect makes it even less complicated. HEALTHTOPICS TERESA PRICE Teresa Price, R.N., is the- home health program direc- tor at Sussex County Senior Services, Inc. (CHEER).