Patients in UK HealthCare's first kidney donor chain.

Patients in UK HealthCare’s first kidney donor chain meet for first time

On Wednesday, we announced our first “kidney donor chain,” and patients in the the chain learned who their respective donors/recipients were.

Kidney donor chains, also called kidney paired exchanges, occur when a living kidney donor is incompatible with their intended recipient. The donor may agree to donate their kidney to a different patient, provided that their loved one receives a kidney from someone else.

When multiple pairs are involved, this causes a domino effect, with each recipient receiving a matched kidney from a stranger. That’s what happened here at UK HealthCare in June.

Eight surgeries were performed within 48 hours and four people were given their lives back.

Check out our infographic to see how it all worked.

infographic: UK HealthCare's first kidney donor chain

The chain was initiated by one altruistic donor who was willing to give her kidney to anyone who needed it: Nicki Coulter, a former nurse from Bloomfield, Ky.

“I used to be a nurse, and I just felt like this was something I needed to do,” Coulter said. “I was blessed with good health and a good support system in my family. So I decided to do it!”

Read more about this remarkable event at UKnow. And check out UK HealthCare’s Twitter feed for more coverage from Wednesday’s press conference.

5 tips from the Falls Fair

5 tips from UK HealthCare’s Falls Fair

Last week, UK HealthCare hosted the Falls Fair, an event that provided educational resources to older members of our community and their caregivers and highlighted the risks and dangers of falling.

We had a great turnout from the community as well as support from local businesses and groups. Organizations like the YMCA of Central Kentucky, Kentucky Arthritis Foundation, Lexington’s chapter of the Taoist Tai Chi Society and more were on hand to share the importance of physical activity to help improve balance and coordination, build strength, and reduce the likelihood and severity of falls.

Other organizations like Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, gave out information about its Skilled Rehabilitation Program, and Safe Kids Fayette County offered tips about how grandparents can keep children safe while in their care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year.

Amanda Rist, RN, BSN, is a registered nurse and is the Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Trauma Program Office here at UK HealthCare. Rist organized the Falls Fair event and said older adults who have fallen or are afraid of falling should speak with their doctor.

“If you have fallen and you have not told anyone, then you need to talk to your doctor,” she said. “There are things we can do to help you gain independence back.”

Here are our five top tips to help prevent falls:

  • Know your limitations and risk. Talk to your doctor.
  • If you are on multiple medications, make sure to manage them well and talk to your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Stay active. Get into an exercise program. Exercise improves strength, balance and coordination.
  • Get your eyes checked regularly
  • Make sure your house and stairways are clutter-free and well lit.

Next steps: To schedule an appointment with a UK HealthCare doctor, visit our Appointment website.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Falls Fair!

E-cigarettes present a danger to adolescent smokers

Understanding the dangers of e-cigarettes

In the 1970s, Congress banned tobacco ads to protect our impressionable youth from perceiving smoking as socially desirable.

Now, for the first time in decades, advertisements portraying the recreational use of tobacco products are reappearing in popular media. Advertisements present e-cigarettes and vaporizers as safer alternatives to conventional cigarettes. Tobacco control advocates fear this type of exposure will unravel decades of progress in America by renormalizing smoking.

Researchers know little about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. We do know nicotine, a highly addictive substance, has harmful effects on the adolescent brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more young people are trying e-cigarettes, and those who try e-cigarettes are twice as likely to express intent to smoke conventional cigarettes. About three out of four teen smokers will continue to smoke into adulthood.

It’s imperative that parents, mentors, teachers and youth are not misled about dangers of e-cigarettes through advertising.

No regulatory standards

The e-cigarette is classified in the U.S. as a tobacco product, not a tobacco cessation therapy. These devices came on the market in 2007 without any FDA testing and escaped many of the safety controls that protect consumers from potential harm.

FDA investigations are finding inconsistencies with the chemical and nicotine content reported on the product’s label and what is actually in the e-juice. Both devices and e-juice can be customized. Currently, no government standards exist for the production process or ingredients used in e-cigarettes or e-juice.

Exposure to highly addictive nicotine

Tobacco control advocates are especially concerned about the consequences of exposing teens to any amount of nicotine, which is highly addictive. Most people start using tobacco products before age 18. The younger a person is exposed to nicotine, the harder it is to quit later in life. Nicotine exposure can cause lasting harm to the brain and promote sustained use.

In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette users are exposed to 40 to 60 other chemicals found in e-juice. To date, no scientific evidence can fully explain the effects of those chemicals on the body when they are heated and inhaled.

Use for illegal substances

Youth are able to modify e-cigarettes for the consumption of illegal drugs. The devices can mask an illegal substance and facilitate smoking at school.

E-cigarettes are not innocuous devices. The unanswered questions regarding the safety of these devices and the detriments of exposing youth to nicotine aren’t worth the risk of trying them.

Audrey Darville

Audrey Darville

 

 

Audrey Darville is a tobacco treatment specialist at the University of Kentucky and an assistant professor in the UK College of Nursing. 

Winter cherry plant extract, may hold promise as a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

UK study says plant extract shows promise against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

A University of Kentucky study shows that withaferin A, a component of Withania somnifera (winter cherry) plant extract, may hold promise as a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Winter cherry extract was used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for thousands of years before it caught the interest of Subbarao Bondada, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor and researcher for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Because withaferin A shows promise in treating other cancers without the side effects associated with current treatments, Bondada’s laboratory tested it against lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and is known for being particularly aggressive.

Unlike other studies using withaferin A to treat cancer, Bondada’s study, published in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, is the first to test the chemical against a blood cancer. Previous studies using withaferin A focused on cancers producing tumors that grow as a mass in tissue, more commonly known as solid tumors.

Katie McKenna, a graduate student in Bondada’s laboratory, found that withaferin A prevented the lymphoma cells from dividing and ultimately killed them. Specifically, they found withaferin A directly targeted a signaling pathway in the cancer it needs to survive.

“It may be possible to develop orally administered versions of withaferin A that could be used in lymphoma patients with fewer side effects than current chemotherapy regimens,” Bondada said.

Because withaferin A shows promise in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Bondada’s team is now testing the chemical on chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.

Bondada’s group collaborated with University of Louisville Professor Ramesh Gupta, who aided in the isolation of withaferin A.

This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute to the UK Markey Cancer Center, the National Institutes of Health, Office of Vice President for Research for Core Research facilities and the Sabinsa Corporation and does not necessarily represent the views of these institutions.

Learn how to prevent falls at the Falls Fair!

As we get older, falling can cause significant health issues. One out of every three adults age 65 or older falls each year, but fewer than half discuss it with their health care
provider.

Come to the Falls Fair for free information, demonstrations and activities that can help you prevent falls in your home.

UK HealthCare experts will be at the fair offering:Join UK HealthCare for the Falls Fair on Sept. 17
• Free blood pressure checks.
• Free gait/balance testing.
• Free on-site exercise demonstration.
• Free medicine checks.
• Information on how to fall-proof your home.
• On-site community resources.
• Raffle prizes, including items to help fall-proof your home, medication organizers, and UK merchandise such as T-shirts and tumblers.

Parking and transportation
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can park in the UK HealthCare Garage, 110 Transcript Ave., (directly across S. Limestone from the hospital) and walk across the concourse bridge at Level C of the garage. Participants can also be dropped off in front of Pavilion A, where they will be greeted by volunteers who will take them to the event. Senior citizen centers shuttling participants can also drop off attendees in front of Pavilion A.

Tips to help you beat fall allergies

Who would think that an innocent looking tiny green flower would produce copious amounts of pollen, making us miserable with a stuffy, runny nose, itchy throat and eyes? This member of the daisy family is the culprit for hay fever, also known as ragweed allergies.

Ragweed season rears its ugly head in late summer through November with pollen counts at its highest levels in mid-September in most regions of the U.S. Some people with hay fever also develop asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing.

People whose parents or siblings have allergies to plant pollen are more likely to develop ragweed allergies. Also, people who have allergies to dust, animals, grass or mold tend to develop allergies to pollens, and people who already have an allergy to one type of plant pollen tend to develop allergies to other pollens.

Seasonal allergies develop when the body’s immune system in a genetically susceptible person becomes sensitized and makes allergic antibodies to something in the environment that causes no problem in most people.

Here are some tips to help you limit and avoid contact with ragweed pollen:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Limit time outdoors when ragweed counts are high and avoid mid-day when counts peak.
  • Keep your windows closed and air conditioning on.
  • Wear a dust mask if working outside.
  • Don’t wear outdoor work clothes inside to avoid bringing pollen in the house.
  • Clean and replace HVAC filters often using HEPA filters which remove at least 99 percent of pollen and other particles.
  • Use a clothes dryer rather than outdoor clothes lines.

Climate can affect the level of pollen particles, which in turn influences symptom severity. Ragweed pollen thrives during cool nights and warm days.

There is little we can do about the weather, but preparing for ragweed season can help you avoid some misery. Some allergy medicines should be taken one to two weeks before ragweed season begins. Ask your allergist which medicine(s) you should take, and begin your regimen now.

Your health care provider may also recommend allergy shots. The shots contain a tiny but increasing amount of the allergen you’re sensitive to. Over time, your body becomes used to the allergen and no longer reacts to it. Alternatively, sublingual drops for ragweed are also available, although this treatment will only treat ragweed allergy.

Beth Miller

Dr. Beth Miller

 

 

Dr. Beth Miller is division chief of Allergy and Immunology at the University of Kentucky and director of UK Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Clinics.

 

UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital

Help a UK HealthCare pharmacy tech win a $1,000 honorarium

Ashley Ackerman, a technician in the UK Specialty Pharmacy who helps multiple sclerosis and rheumatology patients manage their medications, has been named one of the eight best pharmacy techs in the nation. We are so proud of her!

Ashley Ackerman

Ashley Ackerman

Ackerman is one of eight finalists for the Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year award from the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB). The award focuses on individual work towards innovation and safety in patient care and providing an excellent level of service for patients.

The winner will be chosen by popular vote and will receive a $1,000 honorarium along with travel and accommodations to attend a special evening event on Oct. 27 in Washington D.C. to recognize the CPhT of the Year for leadership, innovation, and excellence in patient safety.

Voting is open to the public and ends on Friday, Sept. 18. To vote for Ackerman, visit the PTCB voting page. For more information about the award, visit UKnow.

Good luck Ashley!

 

 

turmeric

Turmeric – for color, flavor and health!

Adding new flavors and seasonings to our foods can pull us out of a flavor rut, jolt tired taste buds and offer healthful benefits.

Turmeric, a spice found often in Middle Eastern dishes, brightens with both color and flavor.  Its yellow color comes from the component in the spice called curcumin, a polyphenol, or type of antioxidant – and one that is being studied for its possible anticancer properties and anti-inflammatory effects. Research is also exploring the role curcumin may play in inhibition of tumor cell growth.

Turmeric is available at most grocery stores and can be used in many entrees and side dishes for a unique flavor with orange and ginger hints. Try this recipe for a change of pace, and hold the cayenne if you don’t like it spicy!  Try serving it with a side of whole grain rice or a green salad.

Shrimp with Mango & Basil

From Eating Well:  February/March 2005, The Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006)

Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each
Active Time: 15 minutes (if using peeled shrimp)
Total Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large ripe, firm mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see Tip)
  • 1 bunch scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

PREPARATION

  1. Toss shrimp with salt, cayenne to taste and turmeric in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; place the shrimp in a single layer and cook until the undersides turn salmon-pink, about 1 minute. Flip them over and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add mango, scallion greens and basil and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is just cooked and starts to barely curl, 1 to 2 minutes.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 183 calories; 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat); 168 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 20 g protein; 3 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 478 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (57% daily value), Vitamin A (30% daily value), Iron (20% daily value).