Trident Health

Trident Health is a 407-bed HCA hospital system comprised of two acute care hospitals- Trident Medical Center and Summerville Medical Center- as well as two free standing emergency departments- Centre Pointe Emergency and Moncks Corner Medical Center. The Joint Commission recently named Trident Health to their list of the nation’s top hospitals for quality and safety for the fourth year in a row.

Summer Safety Series: Make the Most of Outdoor Activities Accident Free

Summer is officially here! More daylight means many adults and children are opting to stay outside longer. Outside activities pose unique safety concerns beyond water safety and heat illness. Prepare yourself to brave the outdoors with our top tips on firework, insect and bike safety.

Firework safety: With the Fourth of July right around the corner, fireworks are being sold on every corner! The best piece of advice we can give you is to leave the fireworks up to the professionals, kick back, and relax with your family at a safe distance away from the lighting. But if you absolutely must light off fireworks, keep these pieces of advice in mind:

  • Never set fireworks off indoors or near any flammable objects (i.e. trees, leaves, homes, etc.).
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Stand back from lit fireworks, and pour water on any fireworks that do not go off properly. Do not try to investigate them!
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher and bucket of water nearby in case of emergency.
  • Look for creative alternatives! According to Safe Kids Worldwide, sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees! Little ones would be safer playing with glow sticks for the evening, and they’ll last longer.

Bike safety: Experts from the Trident Health emergency department say the most important thing to remember when it comes to bike safety is a properly sized bicycle helmet. They are easy to find and usually low priced. Head injuries are very prevalent in children. A child’s head grows more quickly than the rest of the body. This causes most children to fall head first. It doesn’t take much of an impact to cause a serious head injury. Have your child wear a helmet, and ALWAYS have an adult supervise the ride! Other considerations:

  • If riding in the road, ride with traffic
  • Be sure to have reflectors on your bike. To increase visibility, consider purchasing flashing lights to place on the front or back of your bicycle.
  • Tell someone where you are riding before you leave the house.

Insect safety: Especially in the Lowcountry, mosquitos, gnats and chiggers are just a few critters that could cause you grief while enjoying the outdoors. According to the Mayo Clinic, most mosquito bites are uncomfortable, but harmless. However, mosquitos can transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, malaria, or cause an infection of the brain, or encephalitis. The best way to avoid the discomfort of mosquito bites is to use insect repellent before going out, or cover your skin if you’re going to be in moist areas. If you happen to fall victim to mosquitos, take note –ice, hydrocortisone cream or antihistamines may offer relief.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you enjoy a fun, safe summer, but accidents can happen to the most prepared person! Always keep your phone on you in case of an emergency. With four locations throughout the Lowcountry, we’ll be here if you need us!

Trans Fat Chance! - Brought to you by h2u

Dietary interventions for heart health are always getting media attention. First, all fat was to blame for heart disease. Next, we shifted the focus to sodium and blood pressure. After that: cholesterol and heart disease. While all of these dietary components should be considered, now the conversation circles back to fat. A few years ago we were encouraged to eat healthy, unsaturated fats from plant based sources (think olive oil, avocado, walnuts) and fish. On the other hand, saturated fat should be consumed in limited quantity, as it can raise total cholesterol levels. Over the last few weeks the focus has narrowed further to a special kind of saturated fat known as trans fat. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked that trans fat be removed from all foods over the next three years.

Trans fat intake truly is a public health concern. This type of fat lowers the HDL, or “good”, cholesterol. It also raises LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol! According to the Mayo Clinic, a high non-HDL cholesterol ratio increases your risk for heart disease. Heart disease remains the leading killer of American adults. Eliminating trans fat is a step towards helping Americans improve their health by improving food quality.

So, if trans fats are so harmful, why use them? Some trans fat is naturally occurring, like in meat, and that’s ok. The concern lies in trans fat consumed from processed foods. Trans fats are created when liquid oils are made hard through the process of hydrogenation. Example: converting liquid oil to a shortening. Hydrogenation makes fats more stable, which allows food manufacturers to increase the shelf life on products. That’s why items like pastries can sit on shelves for so long! Other foods known to contain trans fats:

• Biscuits

• Pie crusts

• Frozen pizzas

• Pastries

• Cream filled cookies

• Stick margarine

Food manufacturers are permitted to list 0 grams of trans fat on the label is the true trans fat content is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Avoid purchasing items with the words partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated in the ingredients list and aim to limit processed foods in your diet. If you’d like to indulge in a special treat limit just be mindful of your serving size.

Now, back to cholesterol. Knowing your numbers and how that translates to risk is the first step! If you know your total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol you can plug them into our heart profiler and receive an assessment of your risk. Take the Heart Profiler now!

Dr. Darren Sidney Escapes from Alcatraz - Heart Specialist Turned Triathlete

Dr. Darren Sidney competed in the “Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon" on June 7, 2015.

When he’s on the job, Medical Director Dr. Darren Sidney, an electrophysiologist for The Heart Center at Trident Health, specializes in finding and fixing irregular heartbeats–but out of the office, he’s making his own heart beat pretty fast.

To celebrate his 40 th birthday this year, he had an idea: compete in " The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon” in San Francisco, California. Held annually, the fitness festival features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shores of the St. Francis Yacht Club, an 18-mile bike ride and an 8-mile run through the trails of the Golden Gate recreational area. The race, which began in 1981, attracts more than 2,000 professional and amateur triathletes each year.

Joined by his brother-in-law, who Dr. Sidney says signed them up for the race before he could think twice, and three other local friends, their team of five raised nearly $15,000 for a charity supporting the study of Tourette’s syndrome. Dr. Sidney’s family, including his wife and their three children, Charlie, Henry and Tessa, along with his sister and niece and nephew cheered them on from the sidelines.

Dr. Sidney stands with his three children, Charlie, Henry and Tessa after the race.

We caught up with Dr. Sidney to get the scoop:

What was the most challenging part of the race?
Jumping in the cold water with no experience swimming in cold water! The water was choppy too, and there was marine life. Also I had NEVER ran before! To train, I literally started off running for 30 seconds before having to walk 30 seconds and so on.

What motivated you?
The motivating factor was turning 40! I had never done anything like this before. It was my first triathlon and I wanted to make it a memorable one (since it may be my last)!

How did you feel once you crossed the finish line?
Euphoric and hungry!

Learn more about Dr. Sidney and his medical practice by visiting

What You Can Expect During Your Annual Mammogram

When it comes to your health, being proactive counts–and while Breast Health Awareness Month isn’t until October, there’s no time like the present to talk about the importance of getting your annual breast exam. If you’re a woman age 40 or older, this short blog post is for you! After reading it, you’ll know what to expect during a visit to Trident Medical Center’s nationally recognized Breast Care Center, and how to prepare for a mammogram.

We’ve also got a special invitation for you – we’re hosting Mocktails & Mammograms this July, and you’re invited!

A mammogram is a specific type of breast exam used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. This quick medical exam uses a noninvasive X-ray targeted to each breast, producing pictures that your doctor can use to identify and treat any abnormal areas, possibly indicating the presence of cancer. With this in mind, we caught up with Registered Technologist and Mammography Supervisor Narita Cathcart to learn about the process.

“The first and most important thing to remember before you get your first mammogram is to not be afraid,” she said. “Forget all the horror stories you’ve heard about mammograms. I promise they’re not bad!”

Narita recommends these tips for the best experience:

  • Wear a two piece outfit
  • Don’t wear perfume, powder, or deodorant the day of your test.
  • Cut down on your caffeine consumption a couple of days to a week before your mammogram. This will help with any discomfort that you may experience.
  • If your breasts are sensitive, you may want to take some over the counter pain medication before you come in for your test just to help with any discomfort.

“The mammogram itself takes about 10 minutes to complete,” said Narita. “We take 2-3 pictures of each of your breasts and check them before you leave to ensure they are free from motion and we have adequate tissue.”

After your mammogram takes place, you will receive a report in the mail in a couple of days and a follow-up phone call with your results usually within the same day.

Remember, be proactive about your health. Your mammogram is your choice! Call us with your questions and concerns at 843-847-4883.

Single Site Solutions - Brought to you by h2u

By Susan Hill Smith, guest blogger

It’s amazing to consider that a troublesome gallbladder can be removed through an incision the width of a pencil eraser. Yet Dr. Jeffrey Lafond has performed the procedure many times at Trident Health’s South Carolina Institute for Robotic Surgery.

Dr. Lafond uses the new da Vinci Single-Site Instrumentation System for gallbladder removal and makes the incision at the patient’s navel to help hide any scarring. “It heals up wonderfully,” he says.

For Nancy Drago of Summerville, the operation brought welcome relief with little disruption to her work and everyday life, when she had it done during the summer of 2012.

Drago realized she had a gallbladder problem after an intense attack of pain that lasted several hours. “My upper chest on the right side felt like a knife was going through me from my back to my front.” When she had another attack a month later, she went to her primary care physician, and an ultrasound revealed multiple gallstones.

Produced by the gallbladder, gallstones can cause temporary episodes of pain as well as serious blockages and infections when stones pass into the digestive ducts. Because the gallbladder is not an essential organ, patients who have multiple gallstones may decide to have it removed.

The da Vinci Single-Site Surgical System offers surgeons greater precision, increased range of motion, enhanced dexterity and improved access to the gallbladder without harming surrounding structures. As with other da Vinci procedures, the surgeon views a magnified 3D image of the surgery site while working the controls of the robotic system.

One advantage of da Vinci surgery is faster recovery times. Drago decided not to stay at the hospital overnight after her surgery and two days later was back at work.

Dr. Lafond practices with Tri-County Surgical Associates in North Charleston. This year, the team at Tri-County Surgical Associates have performed 152 robotic procedures! In recognition of Men’s Health month, we asked which procedure was the most common for men. The results: gallbladder removal!

Tri-County Surgical Associates is comprised of Drs. Lafond, Litton, and Asaro. For more information on robotic surgery solutions, visit the Tri-County Surgical Associates page or call 843-797-5151.

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