Silver Cross Earns an “A” for Patient Safety

Posted on : 05-27-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, safety

You have one more reason to feel confident in the care you are receiving when you come to Silver Cross for all your healthcare needs – from mammograms to hysterectomies.

DocHoldingA_Spring2015Silver Cross Hospital has just been recognized for its dedication to patient safety with an “A” grade in the Spring 2015 Hospital Safety Score.

The score indicates how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections within the hospital.

This “A” grade is one of the most meaningful honors a hospital can achieve, and one of the most valuable indicators for patients looking for a safe place to receive care. The Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety, compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a national, nonprofit hospital safety watchdog. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

“At Silver Cross, we see it is part of our mission and commitment to deliver higher quality care,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.  “Patients can rest assured when they come to Silver Cross, they are receiving care at a hospital that has higher survival rates, less complications, and a safer environment.”

“Silver Cross Hospital’s “A” grade validates its achievement in preventing harm within the hospital, and we are proud to recognize the efforts of the care providers and staff,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. “Patient safety requires constant vigilance, and we encourage Silver Cross and all other A hospitals to continue demonstrating unrelenting commitment to patients by consistently providing a safe environment for care.”

Click here to see Silver Cross Hospital’s full score online.

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score, representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in April 2015, with about 31% receiving an “A” grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website. Now, for the first time, patients can also review their hospital’s past safety performance alongside its current grade on the Hospital Safety Score site, allowing them to determine which local hospitals have the best track record in patient safety and which have demonstrated consistent improvement.

You can also access tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital.

Area Resident Gets Relief from Hip Pain from Innovative Procedure

Posted on : 05-08-2015 | By : bhernandez | In : Aches & Pains, Bone Health, Events, News, Success Stories

 

Antkiowak-webAfter three years of enduring shooting pain from his hip down the outside of his leg to his ankle, Jim Langs reached his limit of trying to relieve his pain with numerous medications. “As my medication wore off, the pain became so bad that I would drag my leg as if it were “dead” in order to cope with the pain,” said the Manhattan resident. “I was so fortunate to meet Dr. Antkowiak, who got rid of my pain by performing an innovative and minimally invasive anterior hip replacement.” Dr. Tom Antkowiak performed the cutting-edge anterior hip replacement procedure on Jim’s hip at Silver Cross Hospital enabling him to have a quicker and less painful recovery.

The anterior approach is an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery. During anterior hip replacement surgery, the hip joint is accessed through a smaller incision by entering through the front of the body and working between the hip. The surgeon works between the tissues without detaching them or cutting them. This leads to less tissue trauma, less pain and often a faster recovery.

The anterior surgical approach is becoming more popular as it is less invasive, hospital stays are shorter, and patients are able to return to their work or chosen activity faster with less pain.

“As a result of this less invasive technique, post-surgical mobility is greatly improved because the muscle tissues are spared during the surgical procedure,” said Dr. Tom Antkowiak, orthopedic surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Jim for example was slowly walking the day of his surgery and climbing stairs a few days later.  I am grateful to Silver Cross for providing the state-of-the-art equipment that is necessary for me to offer this innovative procedure to Jim and all my patients.

Advice to Others

“My advice to anyone with hip pain is simple – don’t waste another minute suffering – get help,” said Langs. “Not only am I thankful to have such an accomplished, down-to-earth, surgeon as Dr. Antkowiak perform my surgery, I am so happy to have received such an advanced procedure at Silver Cross, which is close to my home.  In addition, the nurses and therapists at Silver Cross gave me endless encouragement. They showed me alternative ways to move, while also cautioning me not to overdo things or push too hard until I was more fully healed.”

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Depending on the source that’s causing hip pain, you might feel discomfort in the following areas: groin, buttocks, thigh, outside of the hip joint, or the back.

Get medical attention right away if:

  • The hip pain came on suddenly.
  • A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain.
  • Your hip looks deformed or is bleeding.
  • You experienced a painful popping in the hip.
  • The pain is intense.
  • You can’t put any weight on your hip.

Free Lecture

Join Dr. Tom Antkowiak and Dr. Rajeev Puri, orthopedic surgeons, to learn the latest treatment plans for hip pain and degenerative hip conditions including hip arthroscopy and total anterior hip replacement on Thursday, May 21.  This free program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

 

Pet Therapy Dog helps 8 year old Bella walk again

Posted on : 04-22-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, Rehabilitation, Success Stories
Physical therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital helped leg amputee patient and Mokena resident Bella Rodrigues regain her mobility through therapy.

Physical therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital helped leg amputee patient and Mokena resident Bella Rodrigues regain her mobility through therapy.

When Mokena residents Kurt and Gia Rodrigues learned that their 8-year-old daughter, Bella, went into cardiac arrest they were speechless because days prior, she was her normal active self. Earlier that week, Bella was having cold symptoms, which worsened into a severe H1N1 flu virus causing her heart and other organs to fail. During the next 26 days, oxygen was delivered to her blood through the use of the life-saving Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine. As the ECMO device allowed her to rest while her affected organs healed, she was listed as a Status 1 for a heart transplant. Fortunately, with the use of a stress dose steroid, her heart improved moving her to a Status 7 for a heart transplant. However the aggressive infection didn’t allow her right leg to regain circulation forcing doctors to remove the limb from below the right knee to the foot. As she faced the challenge of learning to walk again with a prosthetic leg, her progress improved as her spirits were lifted when she began receiving physical therapy using a pet therapy dog at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital.

“The days I meet with my pet therapy dog, Max, are fun because we play as he helps me to walk,” said Bella Rodrigues, who has two dogs of her own at home.

“When I first started treating Bella, she was experiencing a lot of pain,” said Patty McQuinn, Pediatric Physical Therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “Since incorporating Max in our therapy sessions, Bella’s focus has moved from her pain to interacting with Max. By throwing a ball to Max and taking him for walks, Bella began to make great gains with her mobility. She has even begun to take steps without her walker. It has been so rewarding to see how working with Max has improved Bella’s mood, cooperation and motivation.”

“We continue to be encouraged by Bella’s progress and by how Patty takes the extra time to develop different approaches to her therapy, like incorporating the pet therapy dog, Max, to ensure she gets the most out of her sessions,” stated Kurt Rodrigues, Bella’s father.

Being a therapy dog has also been a rewarding experience for Max, who is an 11-year-old golden retriever and certified pet therapy dog. “Even though Max is an older dog, he still gets excited and wiggles his tail as he interacts with patients,” said Lori Greene, owner of Max. “And it has been so wonderful to see Bella’s face light up when she works with Max. They really have a special bond.”

Reduced Stress with High Quality Care Close to Home

“When we were researching where to take Bella for physical therapy, we learned that the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) was ranked the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report for over 20 years. We were ecstatic to find a RIC location with pediatric therapy so close to our home,” said Gia Rodrigues, Bella’s mother. “It has been extremely less stressful for Bella to receive such outstanding care nearby. Instead of spending a couple hours in the car, now she can actually go back to school after her therapy and not be as tired. Plus Bella has excelled in the one-on-one, calming environment that Patty has created during their sessions.”

“By coming to Silver Cross, patients have access to specialized care plans similar to those that are offered at RIC’s downtown Chicago location,” said Valerie Paluszak, Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “We are fortunate to have such highly trained and experienced physical, occupational and speech therapists working at Silver Cross, who truly make patients’ treatment successful enabling them to thrive, so they can return to their daily routines.”

For more information about pediatric therapy with RIC at Silver Cross, call (815) 300-7110.

 

New eICU provides Second Set of Eyes for extra care

Posted on : 04-01-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, safety, Stroke Care
Silver Cross staff tested the new eICU technology March 25 which will provide a second set of eyes to help keep critical care patients safe. (l-r) Ann Carpenter, ICU Manager; Saima Ayub, Pharmacist; Dr. Salah Lababidy, critical care pulmonologist; Megan Overcash; ICU nurse; Jane Harris, ICU nurse; Mary Shanahan, Nursing Administrative Director; and Mike Gruber; Information Technology Senior Director; and (TV monitor) Sanya Nikolich, eICU intensivist

Silver Cross staff tested the new eICU technology March 25 which will provide a second set of eyes to help keep critical care patients safe. (l-r) Ann Carpenter, ICU Manager; Saima Ayub, Pharmacist; Dr. Salah Lababidy, critical care pulmonologist; Megan Overcash; ICU nurse; Jane Harris, ICU nurse; Mary Shanahan, Nursing Administrative Director; and Mike Gruber; Information Technology Senior Director; and (TV monitor) Sanya Nikolich, eICU intensivist

Silver Cross Hospital has added another layer of specialized care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with the launch of an electronic monitoring system, or eICU to help keep patients safe.

The cutting-edge technology features around-the-clock, real-time audio and video monitoring of Silver Cross Hospital’s ICU patients in all 28 private rooms from one central command center, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days per year.  The new system, allows board-certified critical care specialists and trained ICU nurses the ability to consult with Silver Cross Hospital’s ICU staff to make real-time clinical decisions.

“The eICU does not replace a patient’s physician or nurse,” said Dr. Amar Garapati, critical care intensivist and Medical Director of the ICU at Silver Cross Hospital. “Instead, it provides and extra layer of support and expertise when we can’t be in the room.”

A camera sits on the ceiling opposite the patient’s bed. When turned on—either by the bedside nurse or triggered by an alarm, the physician or nurse in the remote command center can closely assess the patient.

“They can even zoom in to look directly into the patient’s pupils,” said Dr. Garapati.

The eICU team has real-time access to vital signs, blood tests, X-rays, medications and other information from the patient’s bedside using computers and encrypted, high-speed data lines.  They have the ability to quickly notice changes in a patient’s condition and work with the Silver Cross medical team to determine the appropriate course of action.

“The new eICU technology will tremendously enhance the already high quality of care provided Silver Cross, while also helping to save lives,” said Paul Pawlak, President/CEO at Silver Cross Hospital. “We expect this new program will significantly reduce mortality, complications, length of stay, and overall costs of care.”

What’s Happening at Silver Cross? New Therapies, Technology and Services

Posted on : 03-30-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, Replacement Hospital

SilverCross Hospital croppedWe  just celebrated our third anniversary in our state-of-the-art 296-bed hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.  Our staff remains dedicated to treating patients the way they should be treated with new services, enhanced expertise and safe, compassionate care.  This past year Silver Cross earned re-accreditation from the Joint Commission and the Commission on Cancer, and nursing care ranked in the Top 10% in the nation for patient satisfaction.

Since 2012, the medical staff has grown to over 700 physicians—300 with offices conveniently located on the hospital’s campus.  And we have increased our workforce by 25% to over 2,300 employees, many with special training and certification.

Specialty Care Close to Home

Through partnerships with University of Chicago Medicine, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Cadence Health—now part of Northwestern Medicine, specialists in cancer, rehabilitation, pediatrics, and stroke continue to bring new treatments and therapies to Will County and the surrounding communities.

“We have seen a significant increase in cancer patients requiring radiation therapy prompting the addition of a second linear accelerator and a permanent PET/CT Scanner earlier this year,” said Paul Pawlak, President/CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.

At the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, many patients are being treated for breast or lung cancer.  This led to the formation of Multidisciplinary Conferences for both diseases where cancer specialists gather weekly to review cases and provide patients and their physicians with a recommended plan so they can begin treatment immediately.  To diagnose lung cancer at the earliest stages when treatment is the most effective, Silver Cross was the first in the area to acquire navigational bronchoscopy technology.  At the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, patients can take advantage of the latest in breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography). This three-dimensional equipment helps physicians more accurately pinpoint breast tumors providing earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden during digital mammography.

“It is so important that we diagnose and treat cancer as soon as possible, therefore we no longer require a physician’s order for a screening mammography,” said Pawlak.  “Patients can just call (815) 300-7076 to schedule an appointment.”

Through a partnership with RIC, the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America, more Silver Cross patients than ever before are advancing their ability and returning home sooner. “Seventy-nine percent of patients who recover on our CARF-accredited rehabilitation unit are discharged home—not to a skilled nursing, assisted living or extended care facility,” said Pawlak.  “That is much higher than the regional average of 71% or even the U.S. average of 74%.”

RIC also oversees Silver Cross’ outpatient rehabilitation programs including facilities at the hospital, West Joliet, Homer Glen and on Route 30 in New Lenox.

Babies, Babies & More Babies

Also since opening the new hospital, we have experienced a baby boom delivering over 6,500 newborns.   “Nearly half of all babies in Will County are now born at Silver Cross Hospital,” Pawlak says.

To ensure that even the tiniest patients have access to the very best care, last year, our hospital received designation from Illinois Department of Public Health to have a Level 2 Nursery with extended capabilities.  This means that few babies ever need to be transferred to specialized neonatal care centers.  Parents can feel confident knowing that Silver Cross has neonatologists from Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago as well as OB/GYNs and anesthesiologists available in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Extra Care for Stroke and Critical Patients

Patients suffering stroke can also get all the care they need at right here at Silver Cross.   Last year alone, a comprehensive team of neurosurgeons and neuro-interventional radiologists halted and reversed stroke by performing over 350 lifesaving interventions.

“We want to do everything in our power to make sure all our critically ill patients are receiving the very best care,” said Pawlak.  “So, we are adding an extra level of support and expertise by upgrading our ICU with cutting-edge technology so that patients can be monitored 24/7 by highly trained intensivists in real-time.  These physicians will work in tandem with the ICU staff to monitor patients round the clock.  We are on-track to have the new eICU operational by the end of March.”

To learn more about other programs and services available at Silver Cross Hospital, follow us Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube.  For a referral to a physician on the Silver Cross Medical Staff, click here.

Tinley Park Mom Suffers Stroke, Recovers after Life-saving Treatment at Silver Cross Hospital

Jacob, Juliana, Jennifer and Henry Arciszewski.  Jacob and Juliana helped save Jennifer’s life after she suffered a stroke and seizure at her Tinley Park home in January.

Jacob, Juliana, Jennifer and Henry Arciszewski. Jacob and Juliana helped save Jennifer’s life after she suffered a stroke and seizure at her Tinley Park home in January.

Jennifer Arciszewski was just about to step into the shower when she fell to the floor in her Tinley Park home on Jan. 9, 2015.  She couldn’t get up or call out for help.  Fortunately, the commotion woke up Arciszewski’s 11-year old daughter Juliana who came to her rescue.  She knew something was wrong with her mom and got her older brother Jacob from his room who called 911.

“I knew what I wanted to say, but my words weren’t making sense. And I couldn’t move my right arm and leg,” Arciszewski remembers.  “Thankfully my kids were calm and knew to get help.”

After an initial assessment, the paramedics took Arciszewski to Silver Cross because of the hospital’s comprehensive stroke program.  Silver Cross Hospital is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission with a staff of experienced specialists offering the full continuum of care –from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Upon arrival she was greeted by the Code Stroke Team.  A CT Scan in the Emergency Department (ED) showed Arciszewski suffered an acute stroke.  She also had two seizures – one at home and one in the ED. Since she was not a candidate for clot-busting drugs, Dr. Richard Burgess, neurointerventional radiologist and stroke neurologist with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, immediately took her to the endovascular lab where he performed an angiogram to see exactly which vessels were involved. What he found was a large blood clot the size of a pencil eraser.  Using minimally invasive techniques, Dr. Burgess was able to open the larger of the two main arteries that supplies blood flow to the brain.

“Because of the size and density of the clot, we could not totally remove it without causing permanent damage to her speech and cognitive skills,” said Dr. Burgess.  “We were able to take her from a globally aphasic state (no usable speech) to having occasional expressive word difficulties but not distinctly noticeable.  With blood thinners and other medications, over time the clot will dissolve on its own.”

Recovering with RIC at Silver Cross

Arciszewski spent 16 days in Silver Cross Hospital – six days in the Intensive Care Unit followed by another five day stay on the 6-1 medical-surgical unit.  The last five days were spent in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s (RIC) rehabilitation unit at Silver Cross where she participated in occupational, physical and speech therapy three times a day to help her regain her abilities.

“Dr. Burgess and his assistant Kathy came to see me every day while I was at Silver Cross,” said Arciszewski. He always took time to answer any questions I had; even drawing diagrams to explain exactly what I happened to me.”

“I call her my miracle child,” said Arciszewski’s mom, Jacqueline Szymanski. “Everyone at Silver Cross was wonderful to all of us.  I felt comfortable because of the good care my daughter received.  I was totally amazed at her progress in the two weeks she was there.”

“I am relieved that I can walk and talk, although it has been difficult,” Arciszewski adds.

Eva Ricci, speech/language pathologist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, spent 8 weeks working with Jennifer Arciszewski to improve her speech after suffering a stroke.

Eva Ricci, speech/language pathologist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, spent 8 weeks working with Jennifer Arciszewski to improve her speech after suffering a stroke.

Arciszewski is eager to get back to work at Blue Cross Blue Shield. She just finished eight weeks of outpatient therapy with RIC at Silver Cross.

“Jennifer is a hard worker and has really made significant improvement, said Eva Ricci, speech/language pathologist with RIC at Silver Cross Hospital. “When I first saw her in the ICU, she had difficulty expressing her thoughts verbally.  Today, Jennifer is speaking fluently.”

“We’ve had a lot of tragedy in our family the past few years and I am so fortunate that Dr. Burgess and the staff at Silver Cross saved my life,” said Arciszewski.  “I also hug my kids and thank them every day for their act of heroism. I will be forever grateful to everyone who took care of me in the hospital, my family and friends.”

Save a Life!

To learn more about the warning signs of stroke and treatment available at the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, request a free Stroke Awareness Kit at online or 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

For more information about Modern Diagnosis and Treatment of Stroke, join Dr. Richard Burgess, neurointerventional radiologist and stroke neurologist with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, Monday, May 18, from 6:30  to 7:30 p.m. This free program will be held in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Register to attend at online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Help for Heartburn

Posted on : 03-27-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, Digestive Diseases, Events, News

145For women with sensitive digestive systems eating spicy tacos or greasy pepperoni pizza, can be a sure way to flare up a nasty case of heartburn. Millions of Americans experience heartburn symptoms at least once a week. There are many causes that can activate heartburn including medications, specific foods, obesity, and even stress. Being aware of what ignites your heartburn will help you to create a plan to avoid the uncomfortable condition. Silver Cross Hospital is offering a lecture on why it’s important to find relief from heartburn to prevent the acid reflux from escalating.

Dr. Kamran Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross Hospital, will present a free program on Burning Your Heartburn & Preventing Esophageal Cancer, on Tuesday, April 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This program is for people who suffer from chronic or severe heartburn. Dr. Ayub will discuss the latest endoscopic treatments to eliminate chronic heartburn and prevent Barrett’s Esophagus, which can lead to cancer. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Heartburn Can Lead to Esophageal Cancer

Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation in the chest after a heavy meal or while bending over, lying on your back or lifting. It occurs when the sphincter doesn’t close completely. Acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation. Other symptoms may include chronic cough or sore throat, persistent hiccups, feeling of having a lump in the throat, and trouble swallowing. Pregnant women often experience heartburn as the growing fetus increases intra-abdominal pressure.

Heartburn that won’t go away needs medical attention because it may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pill or medication induced esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, cancer of the esophagus, ulcers, or other gastrointestinal problems. Chest pain, for instance, can be a symptom of GERD, esophageal spasm, angina and heart attack. Pain from any of these can happen following a large meal.

“So, if you suffer severe or chronic heartburn or chest pain, it’s vital you find out if your problem is digestive or cardiac,” says Dr. Ayub.

For a person with Barrett’s esophagus, which is a change in the lining of the tube (esophagus) that carries food and liquids in the mouth to the stomach, Dr. Ayub says the risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. “It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’ esophagus and lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Ayub. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”

About 3.3 million Americans age 50 and older have Barrett’s. With advanced technology, Barrett’s can be successfully treated at Silver Cross Hospital.

Low Back Pain Slowing You Down?

Woman With Back PainAre you unable to enjoy life fully due ongoing back pain? If so, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain that persists for more than a few months. Back pain symptoms can range from a muscle ache to a stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. If you are experiencing these symptoms of back pain, learn the causes and treatments at a free program hosted by Silver Cross Hospital.

Join Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, for a discussion on the causes of low back pain and discuss conservative treatment options to help you feel better Tuesday, March 31. The free Aches & Pains: Low Back Painprogram will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This talk is part of an Aches & Pains Lecture Series and all participants will receive a gift bag that includes a complimentary carpal tunnel or low back screening performed by a physician with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, and other items to help you stay active. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

“Most low back pain can be treated without surgery,” said Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “The best way to develop a treatment plan is to diagnose the severity of the back pain. With so many innovative treatments available today, patients can learn the best options with a physician visit. So to avoid the pain from getting worse, patients need to seek medical attention.”

Dr. Tom Hurley, neurosurgeon

Dr. Tom Hurley, neurosurgeon

Treating Back Pain

Treatment of back pain can involve using over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce discomfort and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation.

“The goal of treating back pain is to return proper mobility and strength to the back, and prevent future injuries,” said Dr. Hurley.

Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Bed rest is only recommended for 1 to 2 days. Individuals should resume activities as soon as possible. Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help

New PET/CT Detects Cancer Early

Posted on : 03-12-2015 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, colon cancer, News, screening

PETCTfinalSilver Cross Hospital is enhancing its diagnostic imaging capabilities with the addition of a new, state-of the-art Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography system (PET/CT).  This advanced technology, which is now located inside the Hospital’s Imaging Department, offers early and highly accurate detection of cancer.  A physician’s order is required, and patients can call (815) 300-7058 to schedule an appointment.

“Now that PET/CT is in-house, this allows for greater scheduling flexibility and patient scanning comfort.  We are able to provide a better patient experience,” said Dr. Darius Keblinskas, Medical Director of Imaging Services at Silver Cross Hospital. Previously, patients needing a PET/CT would have their tests performed inside a mobile trailer on the hospital’s campus.

Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography  or PET/CT is a medical imaging technique using a device which combines in a single gantry, both a PET scanner and a CT scanner, so that images acquired from both devices can be taken sequentially, in the same session, and combined into a single superposed image. The imaging obtained provides physicians with information about the body’s metabolic activity and exact location of disease.

PET/CT has revolutionized medical diagnosis in many fields, by adding precision of anatomic localization to functional imaging.  Diagnostic imaging procedures in oncology, surgical planning, radiation therapy and cancer staging have been changing rapidly under the influence of PET-CT availability, and centers have been gradually abandoning conventional PET devices and substituting them by PET-CTs.

“For oncology patients, PET/CT is used to determine the exact location and stage of cancerous tissue and can prevent unnecessary surgery and biopsies and inappropriate treatments,” said Dr. Lawrence Schilder, Medical Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.  “The technology also helps us to monitor patients’ response to treatment to ensure it is working.”

For more information about PET/CT, talk with your physician.

Sinus Problem Solutions

Posted on : 02-25-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Events, Health Tips, News, Rehabilitation

sinusEach year, millions of Americans suffer from severe sinus infections with painful symptoms of nasal congestion, facial pressure, and headaches. Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox is offering a free program that will inform area residents about the causes and treatments for sinus pressure.

Sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones between your eyes, behind your cheekbone, and in the forehead. Sinuses generate mucus, which helps keep the inside of your nose moist. “If the tissue in your nose is swollen from a cold, allergies, or environmental causes, it can block the sinus passages,” said Ankit Patel, M.D. “Then your sinuses can’t drain, and you may feel discomfort.”

Common Sinus Problems

Sinus Blockages: Each sinus has a narrow opening, called the transition space, which drains any fluid. If a blockage occurs, mucus backs up.

Deviated Nasal Septum: Another common issue is a deviated nasal septum, which is the thin wall of bone and cartilage inside your nasal cavity that separates your two nasal passages. Ideally, your septum is in the center of your nose, equally separating the two sides. But in many people, the septum is positioned to one side, making one nasal passage smaller than the other. A deviated septum is one reason some people have sinus issues, which can also lead to obstructed breathing and snoring.

Narrow Sinuses: More often, people just have variations in their anatomy that creates a longer, narrower path for the transition spaces to drain. This may lead to recurrent infections.

Sinus Sensitivity and Allergies: Finally, some people are sensitive to tobacco smoke, dust particles and foods. This sensitivity triggers a dilation of blood vessels in the nose, which may releases chemicals from cells in the nose that cause swelling.

If you suffer from sinus problems, try these tips to prevent future occurrences:

  • Apply a warm, cloth to your face several times a day to help open the transition spaces.
  • Consume a lot of fluids to thin the mucus.
  • Inhale steam two to three times per day.
  • Use a nasal saline spray several times a day.
  • Clean the nose with a salt water solution from a neti pot using distilled water.
  • Try a humidifier to moisten the air you breathe to help open sinuses.
  • Try antihistamines and decongestants. Oral decongestants should be avoided by cardiac patients.

Finally, if you have recurrent sinus problems, you might talk to a physician about surgery to clean and drain the sinuses or outpatient balloon sinuplasty.

Learn More

Patel,Ankit396606The inflammation of the sinuses is one of the most common problems doctors treat. Join Dr. Ankit Patel, ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgeon, Tuesday, March 10 to learn more about the latest medications and outpatient surgical treatments to alleviate sinus symptoms and pain. The free Aches & Pains: Sinus Pressure program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This talk is part of an Aches & Pains Lecture Series which also includes an upcoming seminar on low back pain March 31. All participants will receive a gift bag that includes a complimentary low back screening performed by a physician with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, and other items to help you stay active. Register to attend at online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).