Health Briefs:

Cath Lab renovations complete
Blount Memorial Hospital’s $1.2 million renovation of the cardiac catheterization laboratory is complete, giving physicians a high-tech tool designed for treating and diagnosing patients through the use of all-digital equipment.

The GE Innova 2100 provides views from inside a patient’s body while physicians perform diagnostic procedures and treat potential coronary artery blockages that could cause heart attacks or other serious cardiovascular damage.

The new technology also helps cardiologists clearly locate sometimes hard-to-see blood vessels and anatomy of the heart, as well as blood vessels throughout the body, even in the thickest, densest parts of the body. The quality imaging provided allows visualization of the smallest of medical instruments and devices including catheters, guidewires and stents in precision-based procedures such as angioplasties.

Patients benefit from minimally invasive techniques instead of major surgeries, which helps to reduce risk, lessen pain and stress, and shorten recovery times. Too, the digital offering reduces the overall radiation exposure to both the patient and the physician.

Capabilities of the equipment aren’t limited to only cardiac diagnoses and treatments. Instead, the technology also can assist physicians in diagnosing and treating a wide range of vascular conditions throughout the body.

The cardiac catheterization laboratory, which is in close proximity to the hospital’s emergency department, originally opened in December 1988, and the renovated area first was operational on Monday, March 12.

BMH Junior Volunteer applications available
Applications for Blount Memorial Hospital’s Junior Volunteer Program are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the ground-floor information desk seven days per week. The program is for teenagers interested the health care environment.

"We have volunteers working in various departments such as nursing, radiology, pharmacy, materials management and administrative jobs," says volunteer services director Connie Slingluff.

"For many young people, this will be their introduction to the world of work. They will have a job interview, orientation and training. The experience will help them decide if they would like to advance into a health care career like nursing and, at the same time, help teach them how to become responsible and independent young adults," says Slingluff.

Applicants must be 14 years old by June 1, and not yet be 18. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 6. Junior volunteers who have worked previous summers also must re-apply by that date.

Blood shortage continues
Medic Regional Blood Center continues to be in critical need of all blood types. All eligible donors are asked to please give blood as soon as possible and encouraged to bring along a friend. "We continue to have less than a one day supply on hand," says Christi Fightmaster, Medic spokesperson. According to the AABB, all community blood banks should have a seven to nine day supply of blood in the event of an emergency. Medic is currently falling very short of that goal and needs help from the community.

Medic’s donor center is open seven days a week for donor convenience. Community blood drives are also planned.

  • April 9, Wal-Mart—Alcoa, Hunter’s Crossing, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Medic Mobile.
  • April 10, Maryville High School, 825 Lawrence Avenue, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Inside Auxiliary Gym.

All donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh more than 110 pounds and have positive identification. Donors will receive a free T-shirt, cholesterol evaluation and a year’s credit towards Medic’s Family Blood Coverage Program. This program exempts donors and their IRS dependents from paying blood collection and processing fees at any U.S. hospital if a transfusion is needed.

Suicide support group continues in April
"Survivors of Suicide" continues this month, meeting on Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Blount Memorial Hospital auditorium.

The group is for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. For more information, call 865-984-4223.

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