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.

Moms can need support, too!

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Having a child is often remembered as the happiest time in a mother’s life. Along with the happiness comes changes that a women has never experienced before. Some women have struggles more serious than initial new mom stress and could be experiencing postpartum depression (PPD).

Mayo Clinic estimates over 3 million women are afflicted with PPD each year, with women ages 19 – 40 most commonly affected. Organizations exist to support mothers in the Charleston area. The goal of Postpartum Support Charleston is to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of PPD. The organization, founded in March 2000, helps educate and support women suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety.

According to Postpartum Support Charleston, nearly 20 percent of new moms will experience postpartum depression in the year after giving birth. Symptoms of PPD include:

  • Feelings of anger or irritability

  • Lack of interest in the baby

  • Change in appetite and sleep patterns

  • Racing thoughts

  • Crying and sadness

  • Feelings of guilt

  • Shame or hopelessness

  • Difficulty remembering details or concentrating

  • Loss of interest or joy in things you used to enjoy

  • Possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself.

The American Psychological Association explains PPD can occur for weeks or even months after delivering the baby and can last for an unknown period of time. Any mother can experience PPD, although a few factors can increase your risk. These factors are:

  • Family history of depression or mental illness

  • Stress revolving around your new life changes and newborn care

  • Lack of social support

  • Financial problems

  • First time motherhood, being a young mother, or older mother

The most important message is to know that you aren’t alone. Support groups and resources are available throughout the Charleston area. Visit the Postpartum Support Charleston website for information on local groups and grant opportunities.

The North Charleston support group, Moving into Motherhood, is offered the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Trident Family Health building. Address is 9228 Medical Plaza Drive, Charleston, SC, 29406. Help is also available at 843-410-3585 or contact contact@ppdsupport.org. Check the Trident Health website for our other classes and events.

With Mother’s Day in mind, consider taking time to support all the mom’s out there. Women and men alike can support the efforts of Postpartum Support Charleston by registering for the 13th Annual Moms’ Run 5K. Started three years after the organization was founded, the Moms’ Run is Postpartum Support Charleston’s largest fundraiser. This year’s event begins at 7 a.m. on May 7th at MUSC Health stadium on Daniel Island. Trident Health is proud to sponsor this event for the 2nd year in a row. To register for the Moms’ Run, visit https://www.ppdsupport.org/events/momsrun/.

Celebrate Donate Life Month

Organ Donation by the Numbers

Contributors: Darrell Bare, Chaplain for Trident Health and Allison Orr, Dietetic Intern

When we think about the gift of life, we often think about giving birth. However, organ and tissue donation allows the gift of life to be given to thousands of people each year. Donate Life is an organization that promotes education about organ and tissue donation. Trident Health facilities have staff assigned to help manage the donation process. These employees report information about local transplants back to Donate Life. To learn more about organ donation, check out Organ Donation, by the Numbers:

You can have your organ donor status listed on your driver’s license when you are at the DMV. That helps loved ones and medical professionals know you are a donor. Sign-up can be done online at www.donatelifesc.org.

Creating Beautiful Spaces to Encourage Smiling Faces

Everyone handles stress differently. Some paint or have taken part in the new coloring craze. Others may turn on a favorite song. The creative arts are disciplines have been used at an increasing rate in Pediatric, Cancer, and Mental Health units for their therapeutic benefits. According to Appalachian State University, “expressive arts therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dream work, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing.” Psychology Today includes art and music therapy in the family of creative therapies, which have been around for almost 70 years.

Lowcountry Transitions in-patient behavioral health has integrated creative therapies into the client experience, thanks to contributions from team members like Holly Slice. Slice, lead activity therapist for Lowcountry Transitions, is a trained music therapist and certified child life specialist. She has been with the program since it opened in 2014. A passion for healing, a love of the arts, and her faith led her to pursue a career in music therapy.

As an activity therapist for Lowcountry Transitions, Slice is responsible for coordinating group programs for clients including nutrition classes, fitness classes, music therapy, and other creative activities. All 17 clients participate together in seven 40 minute sessions per day, three of which are lead by Slice. Group sessions can be a challenge, as not all patients have the same capabilities or willingness to participate in the group. Slice uses her background as a music therapist to tailor her session to the client’s needs at that time. “It’s amazing how much music can affect our patients,” Slice remarks. Music therapy takes the medium of music beyond enjoyment or entertainment and combines it with research based therapeutic interventions. Sometimes she allows clients to select and create live music to increase group cohesion and promote self-expression. She may guide clients in songwriting to enhance communication. At other times, Slice uses song lyrics as a gateway to help clients open up. She mentions the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to increase self-awareness. During a session using that song, clients were encouraged to compare the lyrics to their own challenges and identify their coping skills to overcome those challenges.

When not in group sessions, Lowcountry Transitions offers an outdoor area where patients can safely be outside. While the area was designed to be therapeutic, the 16 foot concrete walls were not initially well received. “Comments were severe,” Slice recalls. “Patients would state they felt like they were in prison.” Slice led the charge in creating a solution to the problem and contacted artist Tricia Segar from the Spartanburg area. After reflecting on the request, Segar agreed to make the three hour drive to Charleston to paint a mural on one of the concrete walls. She took the time to research calming images of the Lowcountry. “Nothing said Charleston more to me than the beautiful green marshes,” Segar said. “The goal of the painting was to provide peaceful scenery in an outdoor space for recovering patients. I was very gratified to have many of the patients themselves comment in the process of watching me paint the scene that it was very comforting and beautiful to look at.” Her labor of love was created in one weekend.

Now when clients head outside their reaction to the space is completely different. The space is more inviting, with clients referring to the space as “relaxing” and “beautiful”. Slice hopes benches can eventually be added to the space so group sessions can be hosted outside.

Thank you to the Trident Medical Center Administrative team for supporting the project, artist Tricia Segar for lending her time and talent, and Holly Slice for advocating on our client’s behalf. For more information on Lowcountry Transitions call 843-847-3010.

Top Ten Tips to Turn a Hazardous Home into a Healthy Haven

Lung Cancer Screening Charleston

According to the EPA, indoor air quality is one of the top environmental health hazards facing the U.S. today. The potential effects of dust, dander, mold spores, pollen, and viruses are well-known (and icky enough), but what about CO, radon, VOCs and formaldehyde? These invisible invaders may very well be lurking, uninvited and undetected, in your home right now. In fact, the problem is heightened in winter when doors and windows are shut tight. But don’t worry—take a deep breath, relax and follow our ten simple and inexpensive ways to detect and eliminate these potential killers.

  1. Quit smoking. No surprise here; it’s the leading cause of lung cancer. Exposure to secondhand smoke can have serious consequences for adult non-smokers and children in the household too, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections.
  2. Use low- or zero-VOC paint to reduce odors, fumes and cancer-causing agents.
  3. Maintain your HVAC system by replacing dirty filters with the highest-quality filters you can afford and having your air ducts inspected and cleaned as needed.
  4. Consider purchasing a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air purifier and/or a HEPA vacuum cleaner. HEPA filters are the best you can get and remove ultrafine particles that others miss.
  5. Burn real wood rather than pressed wood products (which may contain formaldehyde) in fireplaces and stoves.
  6. Check for radon, a colorless, odorless naturally occurring radioactive gas. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and No. 1 cause among non-smokers. About one in every 15 homes has a level that needs to be reduced. Buy a test kit for less than $20 at home improvement and hardware stores.
  7. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace alkaline batteries at least once a year. Every floor of your home, every bedroom, and every hallway should have an alarm. Surprisingly, they don’t last forever, so replace after 10 years.
  8. Purchase inexpensive carbon monoxide detectors ($20-$40) and put in the hallway near every separate sleeping area. These should be replaced every 10 years; you’ll find the replacement date listed on the product.
  9. Reduce asthma triggers such as pet hair, carpet, smoke, etc.
  10. Let your house breathe by venting bathrooms, dryers and attics to prevent mold.

Knowing your family is safe and secure should have you breathing a sigh of relief. But if someone in your home is suddenly short of breath, unable to take a deep breath, or gasping for air, it’s almost always a medical emergency. Other symptoms of breathing difficulties include confusion, dizziness, weakness and sleepiness. If any of these occur, call 911 or head to the nearest ER right away.

Take Care of your Colon

By guest blogger Jillian Clinton, Dietetic Intern

It’s no secret that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. There is more buzz about your colon, or large intestine, this month than any other! Early detection and prevention is important when managing any cancer. In addition to receiving a screening colonoscopy (for those over the age of 40), you can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer by living a healthy lifestyle. Since the goal is to stop cancer before it starts, today’s blog is focused on ways to keep your “gut” healthy. If you keep up with food trends you may be hearing about yogurt, kombucha tea, or other functional foods that can improve the health of your colon. Research suggests that having healthy bacteria in your “gut” can have a variety of benefits- from weight management to immune health.

Did you know the colon, featured above, is approximately five feet long and as much as three inches wide at its widest point? Consider it: the food you had for breakfast this morning could still be making its way through your digestive tract tomorrow evening! Bacteria is responsible for breaking down the food you ate, extracting the good bits, like vitamins and nutrients, and sending the waste out. The colon also helps maintain fluid balance, and absorbs about 4 cups of water per day.

Photo credit: Huffington post: Scimat Scimat via Getty Images

While the thought of bacteria can make you shudder, they aren’t all bad. Approximately 100 trillion bacteria reside in your colon. This diverse bacteria community is referred to as the gut flora. The gut flora is made up of healthy bacteria that is known to promote digestion, keep the bad bacteria away, stimulate the immune system, synthesize particular vitamins, support gut motility, and help absorb various nutrients. What you feed your body can help or hurt your gut bacteria.

Here are some diet tips to keep the gut flora happy:

  1. Decrease sugar and refined white carbohydrate intake: these foods can interact with the bacteria and cause GI discomfort such as gas and bloating

  2. Eat more prebiotics: prebiotics are components of various foods that encourage the growth of bacterial flora; most commonly found in fruits and vegetables high in fiber:

    • Artichokes

    • Asparagus

    • Bananas

    • Blueberries

    • Garlic

    • Leeks

    • Onions

    • Rye

  3. Fill up on fermented foods: these foods (probiotics) already contain live bacteria cultures within them; examples include:

    • Yogurt

    • Kimchi

    • Raw Sauerkraut

Eating high fiber foods can also reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. Women and men should aim for 25 or 38 grams of fiber per day, respectively. Living a healthy lifestyle involves more than eating right. Follow the suggestions below to reduce your colorectal cancer risk:

  1. Get screened regularly

  2. Have a colonoscopy as recommended by your physician

  3. Maintain a healthy weight

  4. Be physically active

  5. Limit consumption of red and processed meats

  6. Get the recommended fiber from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits

  7. Limit alcohol intake

  8. Avoid tobacco products

Haven’t scheduled your colonoscopy? Call 843-797-3463 for help with locating a physician near you.

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