Uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death from trauma. Severe bleeding can lead to death well before paramedics can respond.

In an emergency, follow these steps to stop severe bleeding in others

Hannah Anderson, PA

Written by Hannah Anderson, physician assistant for UK HealthCare Trauma & Acute Surgery, and Amanda Rist, injury prevention/outreach coordinator for UK HealthCare Trauma & Acute Care Surgery.

Uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death from trauma. Severe bleeding can result in death within minutes, before paramedics have a chance to respond. In some cases, the difference between life and death for the victim of an incident is the bravery of a bystander.

How to stop severe bleeding

Research suggests bystanders with little or no scientific training can save lives during an emergency situation. Just like responding to respiratory distress with CPR or intervening with an automatic defibrillator (AED) during cardiac arrest, compressing a wound after a traumatic injury improves the chances of survival for trauma victims. You can turn bystander helplessness into heroism by remembering the following actions:

  • Make sure the scene is safe and call 911. You cannot help anyone if you become injured, so be sure to do this before attending to an injured person.
  • Find the source of the bleeding and apply firm, steady pressure with both hands. If you have a first-aid kit, use safety gloves and cover the wound with a clean bandage. In the absence of a clean cloth, pack the wound using a shirt or cloth.
  • Continue applying pressure until first responders arrive.

Class offering: ‘Stop the Bleed’

Members of the UK HealthCare trauma program are offering a course called Stop the Bleed, an initiative developed by the American College of Surgeons and The Hartford Consensus to train the public. Classes are open to anyone in the community interested in developing life-saving skills, and the first classes will be held at Tates Creek High School on March 28-29. Contact amanda.rist@uky.edu for more information about hosting a class free of charge.

You can learn more tips to Stop the Bleed at http://www.bleedingcontrol.org.


Next steps:

  • The UK HealthCare trauma program is one of only three American College of Surgeons accredited Level 1 Trauma Centers serving Kentucky. Find out more.
  • Learning CPR is important for anyone, and it can be the difference between someone living and dying. Are you familiar with CPR’s five steps? Visit our website to find out.
Daylight saving time

Ease the transition to daylight saving time

At 2 a.m. on Sunday, clocks will spring forward one hour, causing many people to lose out on a bit of sleep. Research shows that in the days following the switch to daylight saving time, heart attacks, traffic accidents and workplace accidents all increase as people adjust to the time change.

Although the one-hour time change can have an extended impact on your body clock and overall health, there are a few ways to minimize the impact of the time adjustment. Here’s how:

  • In the few days leading up to Sunday, try to wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual to prepare for a little less sleep.
  • Avoid napping on Saturday to ensure your sleepiness come bedtime.
  • Get some exercise earlier in the day on Saturday to help advance your body clock.
  • Spend some time in the sun on Sunday to help your body clock adjust to the time change.
  • Avoid stimulating substances like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine on Saturday, which will help you get better sleep.
  • If you feel sleepy on Sunday, take a nap, but limit it to a half-hour or less.
  • Make sure your bedroom is always free of distractions, like TVs or other sources of light.
  • If you have infants or toddlers, reduce their nap times by about one-third this weekend to prepare them for a bedtime that might feel too early.

Next steps:

  • How much sleep should you be getting? It might be more than you think.
  • If you or a loved one isn’t getting good sleep, we might be able to help. The UK Sleep Disorder Center works with patients of all ages identify and manage sleep disorders, including daytime sleepiness and disturbed sleep.
How often should you have an eye exam?

How often should you have an eye exam?

Dr. Shaista Vally

Dr. Shaista Vally

Written by Shaista Vally, OD, an optometrist at UK Advanced Eye Care.

There is a widely held belief that if you don’t have any vision problems, you don’t need an eye exam. But this isn’t the case. Getting eye exams, especially for children, is necessary for maintaining healthy vision throughout life. So, how often should you see your eye doctor?

It’s recommended that all children between birth and 6 months old have a vision screening. Depending on the findings of the exam, children may need another exam in six months. If there are no abnormal findings, children can be seen every two years until they’re 6 years old. Then, depending on symptoms and exam results, exams can occur every five to 10 years until the age of 40.

It’s imperative for children under the age of 6 to be screened regularly because that is when the brain is developing strong connections to the eyes. If there is a problem with the eyes turning, blurry prescriptions, or with the eyelids or lens inside the eye obstructing vision, it can lead to a visual impairment known as amblyopia, or lazy eye. The good news is amblyopia can be prevented with adequate and frequent care.

Individuals with no systemic health issues, visual complaints or strong family history of medical conditions don’t have to be examined as frequently. However, anyone with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease or neurological disease and those with visual complaints (blurry vision/headaches) should be seen yearly.

There are some symptoms that are urgent and require immediate attention. Please call your local eye care provider right away if you experience new-onset vision loss, flashing lights, new floaters, painful red eyes, extreme sensitivity to light or any distortions in your vision.

Eye exams are important for maintaining healthy vision, and they can detect changes in your overall health, too. So be sure to schedule regular eye appointments for you and your loved ones.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about UK Advanced Eye Care, which provides comprehensive care for patients of all ages with eye and vision conditions.
  • On March 20, UK Advanced Eye Care is moving to a state-of-the-art location in the new Shriners Building on the UK HealthCare campus. Find out more about our new location.
How much sleep do you need?

How much sleep do you need?

When it comes to how much sleep you need, there’s a big difference between what you need to get by and what you need to function optimally.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it might be less than what your body needs.

Just because you’re able to operate on six or seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed. And it’s not just your productivity that suffers when you don’t get enough sleep. Insomnia and lack of sleep can have a major impact on your health, too. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation can cause:

  • An increased risk for depression and anxiety.
  • An increased risk for heart disease and cancer.
  • Impaired memory.
  • Reduced immune system function.
  • Weight gain.
  • An increased risk for accidents.
  • An increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least seven hours. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.

So, how much sleep should you and your loved ones be getting? Here’s what the National Sleep Foundation recommends:

  • Newborn to 3 months old: 14-17 hours recommended; 11-19 hours may be appropriate.
  • 4 to 11 months old: 12-15 hours recommended; 10-18 hours may be appropriate.
  • 1 to 2 years old: 11-14 hours recommended; 9-16 hours may be appropriate.
  • 3 to 5 years old: 10-13 hours recommended; 8-14 hours may be appropriate.
  • 6 to 13 years old: 9-11 hours recommended; 7-12 hours may be appropriate.
  • 14 to 17 years old: 8-10 hours recommended; 7-11 hours may be appropriate.
  • Young adults (18 to 25 years old): 7-9 hours recommended; 6-11 hours may be appropriate.
  • Adults (26 to 64 years old): 7-9 hours recommended; 6-10 hours may be appropriate.
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours recommended; 5-9 hours may be appropriate.

Next steps:

Family and friends of those with depression can help reduce that stigma by understanding the illness and supporting loved ones as they seek treatment.

Here’s how you can support a loved one with depression

Theresa Gevedon, MD

Written by Dr. Teresa Gevedon, associate professor of psychiatry in the UK Department of Psychiatry.

Depression is an illness affecting about 16 million people in the United States each year. While effective treatments are available, the stigma of being seen as weak, inadequate or broken prevents many from seeking care. Family and friends of those experiencing depression can help reduce that stigma by understanding the illness and supporting loved ones as they seek treatment.

It’s more than simply being sad

Depression, the illness, differs from the sadness that is a normal part of life. It is biologically based and mediated by neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and stress hormones like cortisol. It is often experienced as a heavy or dark mood, and can be accompanied by feelings of guilt or anxiety. Depression can drain the enjoyment out of life, disturb sleep, appetite, energy, concentration and functioning. It may worsen to the point that life does not seem worth living and suicide is considered.

How to help a loved one

When a loved one is depressed, listen and be respectful of what they are experiencing. It’s important not to be dismissive of the concerns they may have. Avoid using phrases like “get over it” or “what do you have to be depressed about?” Approach depression the same way you would if that person faced diabetes or any other medical illness.

When a loved one is seeking treatment, be supportive of their efforts. You can do this by being encouraging, positive and interested. It’s important to respect privacy, but you can check in with them and express a willingness to help if needed; maybe run errands or provide transportation. Optimizing sleep schedules, good nutrition and regular exercise are important as well. Being respectful of time needed for appointments, supporting healthy eating habits, and joining that loved one at the gym or on a walk are other ways to support their mental health.

Remember, depression is something a person has, not something they are; your loved one is the person they’ve always been; they’re just dealing with some different challenges. Include them and care about them. By reducing the stigma of being diagnosed with depression and seeking treatment you can help your friend or family member lead a healthy, happy life.


Next steps:

UK Shriners

Watch: UK Advanced Eye Care doctors discuss new state-of-the-art clinic

The experts at UK Advanced Eye Care provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages  from routine eye exams to treatment for the most complex ophthalmic issues.

Later this month, we’re opening a new state-of-the-art clinic, allowing us to provide even better care for our patients. Starting March 20, all UK Advanced Eye Care appointments will be located in the leased space within the new Shriners Medical Center building, just across South Limestone from the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.

We sat down with a few of our eye care providers to talk about the beautiful new space and what patients can expect when they visit. Check it out!


Next steps:

This year's CCTS conference acknowledges the significant challenges of translating knowledge into new interventions for individual and community health.

UK HealthCare modifies visitation policy for flu season

To help protect the health and well-being of patients and healthcare workers during this flu season, UK HealthCare has temporarily amended the inpatient hospital visitation policy. The temporary restriction on visitations goes into effect on Thursday, Feb. 16 and includes:

  • No visitors under the age of 12 (except in Bone Marrow Transplant, where no visitors under the age of 18).
  • No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness.
  • Only two visitors will be permitted in a patient’s room at one time.
  • Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting.
  • Additional restrictions may be in place in special care units such as women’s and children’s units, critical care and oncology units.
  • Compassionate visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

This will continue for an undetermined amount of time as we monitor the presence of influenza in our communities.

We apologize for any disruption this may cause to your family time, but assure you that all of us at UK HealthCare are working to provide the very best care for your loved one in the safest environment possible. Please join with us in our effort to keep your loved one’s risk of exposure to a minimum.

If you have not already received a flu shot, we highly recommend that you and everyone in your household receive one. Please get one at your local pharmacy or primary care physician’s office.

Please remember that thorough and frequent handwashing is the best defense against the spread of disease.

Thank you for your understanding and please let us know if you have any questions.


Next steps:

10 things to know about women's heart health

Top 10 things to know about women’s heart health

By Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute’s Women’s Heart Health Program.

Dr. Gretchen Wells

Dr. Gretchen Wells

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, but it often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Part of that comes from the fact that women’s hearts are different from men’s in certain ways, which can affect the way women develop heart disease and experience heart attack symptoms.

People assume all heart attacks feel like a crushing in the chest, but often, and for women in particular, the symptoms of a heart attack can be quite different. That’s why it’s so important to teach women what to look for and how to take the best care of their hearts.

Check out my top 10 list of things women should know about their hearts, and be sure to listen to an interview I did recently about heart health below!

1. Know your symptoms

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
  • If you’re having symptoms, call 911!

2. Quit smoking. Just do it. You know you should. UK HealthCare has resources to help you quit. Check them out.

3. “Waist it.” Watch what you eat! Women have an increased risk of heart attack if their waist circumference is big.

4. Move it! The Nurses’ Health Study demonstrated that women who exercise (brisk walking) 30 minutes five out of seven days a week reduce their risk of a heart attack by 50 percent.

5. Know your numbers! Know your blood glucose (sugar), cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. If these are abnormal, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to improve them.

6. Don’t be sweet! If you’re diabetic, get treatment. This is a far greater risk factor in women than in men.

7. And while we’re at it – treat your blood pressure, too.

8. Talk to your doctor about whether or not you should be taking an aspirin (or any other medications for that matter). Women over the age of 65 should take a daily aspirin for prevention. The recommendations vary in other groups.

9. Don’t worry, be happy! The type-A personality has been strongly associated with heart attacks in men, and we’re learning more about optimism and positivity in women.

10. Call your mother (that’s my mother’s suggestion). Find out from her about your family history. Heart disease runs in families. Find out exactly what type of heart disease your family has and discuss it with your doctor.


Dr. Wells was recently interviewed on Behind the Blue, the University of Kentucky’s podcast. She was joined by Gail Cohen, a patient who experienced firsthand the dangers of undetected heart disease. Listen below to hear Gail’s story as well as tips from Dr. Wells about how you can improve your heart health.


Next steps:

Cold or flu? It’s a question that comes up every winter. Knowing the subtle and not-so-subtle difference between the two illnesses, though, is important.

Is it a cold or the flu?

Cold or flu? Knowing the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the two is important, since seeking early treatment when you have the flu can shorten its duration and severity.

Key differences

Colds and flu have many of the same symptoms, but here are some differences:

  • Body aches. With flu, they are much more severe.
  • Stuffy/runny nose usually signals a cold. The same is true for sneezing.
  • With a cold, a cough usually creates yellow or green mucus. The flu tends to appear with a dry, unproductive cough.
  • Sore throat. Could be either cold or flu.
  • Nausea. A cold does not produce nausea (unless in cases of severe nasal drainage that upsets the stomach).
  • Fever. Usually signals the flu, particularly if it’s 100° or higher.
  • Chills and sweats. It’s the flu.
  • Onset of symptoms. A cold comes on over time. The flu makes a much more sudden appearance.

If you’re still unsure whether you have the flu or a cold, consider seeing your healthcare provider for a definitive diagnosis. Anti-viral medications are available to reduce the longevity and severity of the flu, if it’s caught early. Most colds can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Check with your pharmacist to choose the medications right for your specific symptoms.


Next steps:

A floater is a dark spot or squiggly line that enters your vision when the eye moves. They can be bothersome, but how can you tell if they're serious?

Eye floaters are common with age but may signal a more serious problem

Dr. Claire Fraser

Written by Dr. Claire Fraser, an ophthalmologist at UK Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Have you ever noticed the sudden appearance of a black dot in your field of vision that moves around when you move your eyes? It could also look like a cob web. You try blinking, but it just won’t go away. It’s called a floater, and it can be quite bothersome especially if you’re trying to read or do other close work. But what exactly are floaters?

A floater may appear as a dark gray or black spot, circle, or squiggly line that drifts in the vision as the eye moves. Floaters are most noticeable in bright sunlight or when looking at a white background. What we see as a floater is actually a shadow cast by a small condensation of something inside the eye called vitreous gel.

Does everyone have floaters?

No, but they are very common and are more likely to occur with age. Vitreous gel liquefies with age, causing spots of condensation within the gel. Those become the floaters that we see. Eventually the vitreous gel separates from the retina, forming a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).

This happens to most people at some point during their lives. A new central floater often appears when the PVD occurs and intermittent light flashes may be present. The risk of a retinal tear is highest during the month after a PVD occurs because gel that is stuck to the retinal surface may cause a tear as it separates.

When should I be concerned?

You should seek immediate evaluation by an ophthalmologist if you see new floaters, the floaters are accompanied by flashing lights or part of your vision becomes dark. Floaters that appear red could indicate bleeding inside the eye, which is another indication for urgent evaluation.

Symptoms like flashing lights, multiple new floaters, decreased vision or bleeding inside the eye can be the first sign of a retinal tear or retinal detachment, which can lead to permanent vision loss. Early treatment offers the best chance for preservation and recovery of vision. A retinal tear can often be treated with an in-office laser procedure to prevent retinal detachment and loss of vision.

Other important causes of floaters include diabetes, injury to the eye, inflammation (uveitis) and infection.

Will my floaters go away?

Over time, the brain learns to ignore floaters in the eyes. This process usually takes months. The floaters themselves may also settle to the bottom of the eye and move out of center vision.

Occasionally floaters can impair vision enough that a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy is needed to remove the vitreous gel. Most people find that floaters become much less noticeable over time and surgery is not needed.

Laser treatment of floaters to break them up into small particles has significant risk and has not yet gained wide acceptance. Eye drops and diet modification have not been shown to decrease floaters.

Most patients find that time is the best medicine.


UK Ophthalmology, now known as UK Advanced Eye Care, is moving! Beginning March 20, all appointments will be located in leased space within the new Shriners Medical Center for Children building, just across South Limestone from UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.  This new space is not only beautiful, it’s state-of-the-art and will allow us to better serve our patients. We hope you’re as excited as we are.


Next steps: