hands making heart shape

Heart Murmurs

As we remember American Heart Month every February, it is important to us that we discuss heart issues that affect many of our patients.

A heart murmur is a common medical condition. Although the numbers vary from various medical authorities, as many as 30-50% of children may be diagnosed with a heart murmur at some time during early childhood.

Although no parent ever wants to hear that their child has a medical problem, the majority of heart murmurs are not serious and do not affect a child’s health.

In contrast, only around 10% of adults are ever diagnosed with a heart murmur.

 

What is a heart murmur?

 

When your doctor listens to your heart through a stethoscope, it is usually a steady sound. However, in some individuals, a “whoosh” sound is heard as the blood flows through the heart. We refer to this sound as a murmur. Sometimes this extra sound is due to normal blood flow moving through the heart. Other times, a murmur may be a sign of a more concerning heart problem.

Some heart murmurs may be soft and difficult to hear. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for a murmur to be noticed during a routine checkup when a doctor did not notice it before.


What is the difference between serious and non-serious heart murmurs?


The most common type of heart murmur is known as a functional or innocent heart murmur. An innocent heart murmur is the sound of blood traveling through a healthy heart in a normal way. This type of heart murmur may come and go throughout childhood. Children with innocent heart murmurs do not require any special restrictions or diet. Most innocent murmurs will also go away as a child ages.

If a doctor suspects that a heart murmur indicates a more serious problem, he or she may have a child see a pediatric cardiologist. The cardiologist may then order tests such as an EKG, and a chest X-ray.

About 1% of babies are born with a congenital heart defect which is a structural heart problem. Some children will show no signs at all of their heart defect while others will show symptoms soon after birth. Such symptoms may include difficulty feeding, cyanosis (blueness in the lips) or rapid breathing.

Older children with heart defects may tire easily, have trouble exercising or doing physical activity or have chest pain. Call your child’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

 

What are common heart defects?


Several kinds of heart problems can cause heart murmurs, including heart muscle disorders, septal defects and valve abnormalities.

Heart muscle disorders (cardiomyopathy) make the heart muscle abnormally thick or weak. Furthermore, this weakening hurts the heart’s ability to pump blood to the body as it should.

Septal defects involve the septum (walls) between the upper or lower heart chambers. A hole in the septum allows blood to flow into the heart’s other chambers. The heart may also work too hard and become enlarged.


When heart valves are too small, too thick or too narrow, a heart murmur may occur. Sometimes a valve abnormality causes a backflow of blood into the heart.

 

 

If you have questions about heart murmurs or you would like to learn more about heart and vascular services offered at CCMH, please visit http://www.ccmhhealth.com/heart-and-vascular/.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

RBC Care Team Awards

Care Team Awards Banquet

The RBC Care Team celebrated the accomplishments of our leaders with their first Awards Banquet. The highlight of the evening was recognizing the RBC Rising Star of the Year and the RBC Lifetime award.

The winner of the RBC Rising Star of the Year: Amber James.

The winner of the RBC Lifetime Award: Yvonne Hall.

The nominees were: Jayne Gallimore (CCSWOK), VeEtta Wandick (2 South), Chandra Lucksted (Education), Scott Odebrecht (Engineering), Jennifer Walters (Cath Lab), Erica Ochsner (Outpatient Rehab), Hollie Holbrook (Surgery), Susan Milam (Surgery), Craig Andrus (Pharmacy), Blanca Gonzalez (Respiratory), Sara Ann Grover (Nutrition Services), Toshia Fanning (GI Lab), George Alvillar (Nursing Admin), George Obinero (Hospitalist), Amber James (Nursing Float).

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

2nd Heart Healthy Luncheon

2nd Heart Healthy Luncheon – February 22, 2019

2nd Heart Healthy Luncheon

February 22, 2019 • 11:30am

Oakwood Conference Room

A delightful lunch and informative discussion regarding “Coronary Artery Disease” featuring Vijaya Velury, MD.

$10 per meal

RSVP by February 18, 2019, call 580-585-5406

 

First Heart Healthy Lunch SOLD OUT! Back by popular demand! Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease. When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. This year’s 2nd Heart Healthly Lunch will feature Cardiologist Vijaya Velury, M.D. of the Heart & Vascular Center. Dr. Velury will discuss Coronary Artery Disease, the unique signs and symptoms, and how to modify risk factors for a longer, healthier life.

CCMH Wear Red Day 2019

CCMH Goes Red for Heart Health Awareness

February is the month we dedicate as American Heart Month!  On Friday, February 1st, CCMH went red for heart health awareness. Every year, we join with individuals across the nation to bring awareness to heart disease on the first Friday of February. CCMH is dedicated to the common goal which Wear Red Day represents: the eradication of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is responsible for 25% of deaths in the United States.

Healthy Heart Luncheon

Heart Healthy Luncheon – February 15, 2019

Heart Healthy Luncheon

February 15, 2019 • 11:30am

Oakwood Conference Room

A delightful lunch and informative discussion regarding “Peripheral Artery Disease” featuring Eugen Ivan, MD.

$10 per meal

RSVP by February 11, 2019, call 580-585-5406

 


 

Quick facts about Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

The most common symptoms of PAD involving the lower extremities are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. Typically, this pain goes away with rest and returns when you walk again.

Be aware that:

  • Many people mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else.
  • PAD often goes undiagnosed by healthcare professionals.
  • People with peripheral arterial disease have a higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack or stroke.
  • Left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation.

Added risks for PAD

Other factors can increase your chances for peripheral artery disease, including:

  • Your risk for peripheral artery disease increases with age.
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol puts you at risk for PAD.
  • If you smoke, you have an especially high risk for PAD.
  • If you have diabetes, you have an especially high risk for PAD.

The good news

If you’re at risk for peripheral artery disease or have been diagnosed with PAD, it’s worth knowing that:

  • PAD is easily diagnosed in a simple, painless way.
  • You can take control: Follow your doctor’s recommendations and strive to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.
  • Some cases of PAD can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
woman holding head in pain

Sleeping Well with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is suspected to affect between 11% and 40% of American adults. The most common types of chronic pain include back pain, nerve pain, joint pain and chronic headaches, and it is one of the top reasons adults seek medical care. 1 A variety of additional problems are linked to chronic pain including depression and anxiety, restrictions in daily activities and mobility, dependence on opioids, and reduced quality of life.

No matter the extent which the chronic pain sufferer experiences these symptoms, most all sufferers complain of inability to receive a good night of rest. Sleep is important for the physical health of all. However, it is even more important for those dealing with chronic problems. For example, sleep helps to repair the blood vessels and heart. Furthermore, sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of a variety of conditions including kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 2

For the sufferer of chronic pain, sometimes the only time he or she receives reprieve from pain is while sleeping. Although, many develop problems while sleeping due to the inability to get comfortable. A vicious cycle then begins of feeling exhausted which increases symptoms and pain.

Although difficult, sleeping with chronic pain is not impossible. Here are seven methods which may help improve your sleep quality despite the pain.

 

Avoid napping

When you suffer from chronic pain, you tend to try to get sleep anytime and any way you can. Sleep is however, how the pain is avoided. Sometimes a nap is unavoidable after a fitful night of sleep, but don’t nap routinely. Napping too much during the day may increase your chances of not being able to sleep at night.

If you do feel especially tired, try to nap in the morning and set an alarm so you don’t sleep the day away. A morning nap allows more time to pass before bedtime than an afternoon nap, ensuring you are sufficiently sleepy for bedtime.

 

Develop a routine

Although it is difficult to avoid hitting the snooze button, rising and laying down at the same time everyday is important. Your internal clock will adjust and your body will prepare to relax and sleep at the right time.

During the day, open up the house and let in as much light as possible. Exposing yourself to light helps your internal clock become more aware of when it is time to go to sleep.

Also, go through the same steps of your sleep routine each night. Spend half an hour or so going through your hygiene routine and complete a relaxing activity before turning off the light such as reading. Avoid screens from computers, smartphones and TVs which can be overstimulating and keep your mind from winding down. Some relaxation exercises may also help you go to sleep more quickly.

 

Limit caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant found in sodas, teas, energy drinks, coffee and chocolate. Limit your consumption as much as possible and consume caffeine by early afternoon. This will allow sufficient time for the effects to wear off before bedtime.

 

Review your medications

Discuss your medications with your doctor to ensure none of them are causing you to lose sleep. Also, ask your doctor about sleep aids. Although not usually recommended long term, your doctor may approve for you to take a sleep aid short term to help get your sleep on track or as needed for particularly bad days.

 

Exercise

Exercising four to eight hours before bedtime may help reduce anxiety, a common factor that interrupts sleep. However, be sure to allow enough of time between exercise and bedtime. Working out too late in the day can keep you awake.

 

Create a good environment for sleep

Many factors can influence your sleep including mattress and pillow firmness, sleep position, temperature and darkness level. Consider using white noise to block out noise if your bedroom is near a high traffic area. Blackout shades may also help. Discuss with your doctor to learn if he or she recommends specific types of mattresses, pillows and sleep positions for your type of pain.

 

Get your pain under control

Although easier said than done, getting your pain under control is the best method to improving sleep. Relaxation techniques, acupuncture, medications and surgery are all used to help treat various forms of chronic pain. Discuss with your doctor which methods may be best.

If pain is part of your daily experience, we want to help you achieve the optimum level of comfort and an increased quality of life. Please seek medical attention from one of our CCMH providers. To learn more about problems affecting sleep and how we can help visit CCMHealth.com/Center-For-Sleep-Medicine/.

 

Sources

1 Dahlhamer J, Lucas J, Zelaya, C, et al. Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1001–1006.

2 National Heart Blood & Lung Institute. Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.
Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.
While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Kimberly Brunty Receives Rising Star Award

Kimberly Brunty Receives Rising Star Award

Kimberly Brunty (LCHC Case Mgr) recently received the RBC Rising Star Award for her outstanding work in patient care and supporting team values. On multiple occasions, Kimberly has helped staff from other departments with patient issues like denture replacement, rides to OKC for vision appointments, and financial assistance. These are all things that case managers do, but Kimberly does them for everyone and always with a smile. She doesn’t just do her job, she goes above and beyond to make our families feel cared for. Several families have stated that she makes a difference in their care and that they would not know what to do without her.

Kimberly’s actions not only show the character of the staff that work for us but they show that she is willing to always take the extra time to get to know our patients and provide that individualized care that makes such a difference.

teens walking together

Drug Use in Children and Teens

January 22-27 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. During this week, we encourage all adults to take a few minutes and educate themselves on a few facts about drug usage in children and teens. You never know if you may have the opportunity to apply this knowledge and save a life whether it is the life of your own child, a student, neighbor or child you mentor.

 

When are youth at the highest risk of using drugs and alcohol?

 

Research shows that the time of highest risk for beginning drug consumption during youth is during times of transition. 1 The first major transition in a child’s life is entering school. Studies also show that the earlier you begin discussing the dangers of drugs with children, the more likely you are to be successful and preventing drug usage. On the other hand, the younger a child tries drugs, the more likely he or she is to develop a problem. 2

 

As children advance to middle school and then high school, they are confronted with more and more challenges and social pressure. They are more likely to be offered illegal substances as they get older.

The risk of drug consumptions continues to grow as youth leave home after high school.  

 

How should I talk to my kids about drugs and alcohol?

 

Keep in mind that is is never too early to begin talking to your children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

 

In early elementary school, drug usage often begin with huffing or sniffing household or school items such as markers and glue. Discuss why it is important to use items only as they are intended with your children. Teach them to report these unusual behaviors to you or their teachers. Read books to them about the dangers of drugs and offer to volunteer to find programs for their school if there is not a drug prevention program offered.

 

In fact, volunteering when you can at school activities will give you a chance to get to know your child’s peers and be more aware of any concerning behaviors.

 

As children progress through elementary school and into middle school, teach them how to identify drugs and that many drugs look like candies. Walk them through different scenarios they may encounter and practice how to say no with them.

 

Open, ongoing conversation as your child grows is so important. Ask specific questions about how he or she is coping through times of stress.

 

What warning signs should I be aware of?

 

Many behaviors may indicate that a child is consuming drugs and alcohol. Some of these are:

 

Not telling you where they’re going or when they’re coming home
Disappearance of valuable items or money from your home
Verbal or physical abusive
Decreased memory and attention span
Mood swings
Decreased interest in school work, personal hygiene, hobbies, family activities and friends
Spending a lot of time in their room
Overreacting to criticism, acting rebellious
Being negative, argumentative, paranoid or confused

 

How can I get help for my child’s drug problem?

 

If your child has a drug or alcohol problem, dealing with all the emotions can be difficult. You may feel overwhelmed and not know where to turn for help.

 

Many services exist within our community to provide assistance to you and your child. You can always reach out to your doctor for recommendations. Another way to discover these services is by calling or visiting the website for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. You can reach them at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

 

Sometimes the best of kids slip up. It is natural to feel upset in this situation. Remember to not blame yourself or focus on your disappointment or anger if you discover your child has a problem. Focus on providing him or her with the help that is needed so he or she can go on to live a successful life.

 

Sources

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse.  What are the highest risk periods for drug abuse among youth? Oct. 2003.

2 Addiction Center. Teen Drug Abuse. 19 Nov. 2018.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Image of Connie Bryant and coworkers

Connie Bryant Retires after 31 Years of Service

On Wednesday, January 9, co-workers, staff, family and friends all gathered to give farewell wishes to Connie Bryant, Lab Director, at her retirement celebration. A tile in her honor was revealed on the wall of the Martha Lou Lawson Chaplaincy Center on the first floor of CCMH. Afterwards, everyone attended a reception where they could write down memories of working with Connie or share them with attendees. “Connie always put the patients first in whatever task she was completing, building up her coworkers and finding positive ways to resolve any obstacle set before her. Her service here is a great legacy for us to follow” said Jamie Kendall, Interim Lab Director. Administration thanked Connie for her 31 years of caring service to the hospital, patients and families.

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