DIVINE SAVIOR NEWS

Divine Savior Healthcare Recognized for Efforts in Tissue Donation

Divine Savior Healthcare efforts to provide families with donation options and information have been recognized by the American Tissue Services Foundation ATSF.

According to ATSF Education and Development Specialist, Joyce Kratz, Divine Savior achieved a 50-percent tissue donation rate in 2016. This means that tissue was recovered on 50-percent of the medical center’s eligible donors.  Hospital staff also received training in tissue donation practices during the year from ATSF, its tissue donation partner.

Gifts of tissue—which include bone, skin, heart valves, connective tissue and veins—are used in more than 1 million surgeries routinely performed each year in the United States.

Many more people are eligible tissue donors than they are organ donors, Kratz says. Organ donation usually takes place when brain death has occurred, and transplants must be performed within a short time afterward. Tissue can be recovered within 12 to 24 hours of death and preserved for later use.

“Through its dedication and focus on increasing donation, Divine Savior Healthcare has made a tremendous difference in the lives of others,” Kratz says. “Donated tissue gifts save lives, as well as increase strength, mobility and independence for many, many patients.”

In honor of those who, in death, gave gifts of life to others and to those who care enough to walk the path of grief with them. Divine Savior Healthcare would like to recognize the following employees for their completion of the American Tissue Services Foundation Designated Requestor certification on April 13, 2017. They are certified to provide emotional support to families while assessing candidates for tissue or eye donation.

  • Bonnie Julson, ICU
  • Sarah Carroll, M/S
  • Marianne Mueller, M/S
  • Mindy Nelson, M/S
  • Cathy Heggesta, ED
  • Heather Lauter, ED
  • Brittany Tester, ED
  • Kyle Sadogierski, EMS
  • Cammie Quinn, Lab
  • Cindy VanBeek, ED
  • Lauren Zietlow, Education
  • Melissa Tennier, M/S
  • Traci Bartels, M/S
  • Tom Drury, Spiritual Care
  • Michelle Kreiner, ICU
  • Melanie McCambridge, Nsg Supervisor
  • Kathy Meincke, Nsg Supervisor
  • Sacia Parker, M/S
  • Angela Hinze, Nsg Supervisor

American Tissue Services Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for families and helping them heal from the death of their loved ones. Accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, ATSF provides a compassionate and knowledgeable team of education, recovery and quality systems professionals. The organization supports healthcare agencies, coroners, medical examiners and funeral professionals through donation education and training. ATSF also partners with other agencies dedicated to the innovative use of tissue in medical care and research. ATSF may be accessed online at www.atsfoundation.org

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Experiencing a dull pain in the pit of your stomach

Stomach PainGastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and gallbladder disease are two very common disorders. Knowing which one you have may be trickier than you think. Symptoms may be vague, such as a “dull pain in the pit of your stomach”, making it hard for you to explain to your doctor what’s exactly going on.

At Divine Savior Healthcare, General Surgeons, Dr. Eric Anderson and Dr. Joshua Pogorelec, have seen many patients with these symptoms and after further examination are able to help  diagnose and treat both diseases.

What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD refers to stomach contents moving into the esophagus causing a burning sensation commonly referred to as heartburn. Other symptoms may occur as well, such as pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and an acid taste in your mouth.  If this continue, prolonged exposure of the esophagus to stomach contents can result in damage to the lining of the esophagus.  This in turn can result in difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing or permanent damage to the esophagus.

Although not all reflux results in symptoms or damage to the esophagus, common symptoms include:
• Heartburn
• Acid regurgitation
• Belching
• Difficulty or pain when swallowing
• Waterbrash sudden excess of saliva
• Dysphagia the sensation of food sticking in the esophagus
• Chronic sore throat
• Laryngitis
• Inflammation of the gums
• Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
• Chronic irritation in the throat
• Hoarseness in the morning
• A sour taste
• Bad breath
• Coughing at night

What is gallbladder disease?
The gallbladder is located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The main function of the gallbladder is to store bile, which is made in the liver and allows fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Any condition that affects the gallbladder is considered a disease, and there are many different scenarios that fall under gallbladder disease:
• Inflammation
• Gallstones
• Common bile duct stones
• Biliary Dyskinesia
• Infection
• Perforated gallbladder
• Gallbladder polyps
• Porcelain gallbladders
• Gallbladder cancer

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec share "the most common disease of the gallbladder is gallstones. Most people with gallstones do not even know they have them.  Once they cause problems, the gallbladder may need to be removed. Symptoms include pain below the right rib cage or in the “pit” of the stomach. This pain may radiate to the right upper back, chest, or shoulder. Other symptoms may include, bloating, nausea or vomiting, fever or chills, chronic diarrhea, jaundice yellow-tinted skin, or unusual lighter-colored stools or dark urine.”

After taking a closer look at GERD and gallbladder disease, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec are able to provide helpful insight on common distinguishing factors between the two diseases.

Common distinguishing factors:
• Location: Although both may feel like a “pit in your stomach”, if you experience symptoms located closer to your throat or in your chest it is more likely to be GERD related. Symptoms located near your right lower rib radiating into your right upper back, chest and shoulder are more likely to be associated to your gallbladder.
• Pain: Unlike GERD, gallbladder pain usually begins suddenly, and changing positions, belching, passing gas or taking medications rarely helps pain symptoms go away.
• Timing: With heartburn being the most common symptom of GERD, symptoms of reflux are likely to occur shortly after eating, where symptoms of gallbladder disease usually occurs several hours after eating and have more consistent patterns of reoccurrence the same time each day.

What does treatment look like?
The symptoms of GERD are commonly and effectively treated with over-the-counter medications such as anti-acids and proton pump inhibitors. However, if relief does not go away from these medications your provider may recommend you be evaluated by one of our surgeons at Divine Savior.

After a thorough history and physical, our surgeons may recommend further evaluation of the esophagus and stomach with endoscopy.  Similar to colonoscopy, but without the need for prep, upper endoscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the esophagus, stomach and intestine to evaluate for damage to the esophagus, infection and a hiatal hernia.  Depending on the findings, further testing may be indicated to evaluate the function of the esophagus. 

Patients with severe GERD benefit from surgery to prevent reflux from occurring.  This procedure is commonly performed by both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec, is minimally invasive, and very effective at treating GERD.  In fact, most patients no longer require any antacid medications after the procedure.

If you are found to have stones in the gallbladder causing symptoms, the best course of action is to have the gallbladder removed.  Leaving the stones in place will continue to cause pain and may result in serious infection of the gallbladder and bile ducts, jaundice or pancreatitis. 

Both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec routinely perform minimally invasive removal of the gallbladder.  This is most often an outpatient procedure and very successful.  After a short recovery, most patients will find their symptoms are gone and they are able to live a normal life. 

If you experience symptoms related to GERD or gallbladder disease, or have concerns about either, it is best to consult your provider for further examination. Treatment for either disease varies person to person, but taking action immediately and being properly treated can help you prevent problems from worsening.

To schedule an appointment with Divine Savior Healthcare General Surgeons, Dr. Anderson or Dr. Pogorelec, call 608-745-5176.

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