Thursday, June 23, 2011

Free Glaucoma Screening at Sentara Potomac Hospital

Did you know that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and the first among African Americans in the United States?

An estimated four million Americans have glaucoma but only half know it. That’s because glaucoma has no early symptoms or warning signs. Everyone is at risk, particularly African Americans, those over age 60, Hispanics in older age groups, those with a family history of glaucoma, and those who are nearsighted or have experienced eye trauma.

Glaucoma is not curable, and vision lost cannot be regained. With medication and/or surgery, it is possible to halt further loss of vision. Since open-angle glaucoma is a chronic condition, it must be monitored for life. Diagnosis through a simple screening is the first step to preserving your vision.

Sentara Potomac Hospital is holding a free Glaucoma Screening on Thursday, August 18, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. (by appointment) in the Century Medical Building, 2280 Opitz Boulevard, Suite 100, Woodbridge, on the campus of Sentara Potomac Hospital. This screening is performed by Dr. Susan Majlessi, a fellowship-trained ophthalmologist.

This is a free screening but an appointment is required. For an appointment, call the Health Connection at 703-221-2500.

Please note: This screening is for adults who are currently NOT being treated for glaucoma. It is NOT a vision correction examination.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Emergency Case Performed at SHVC

The Interventional Radiology team of the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital performed the first after-hours emergency case in the new center.

A critical care patient was urgently brought into the SHVC for a mesenteric angiography (a test to examine the blood vessels that supply the small and large intestines) performed by Dr. Jim Papadouris, with the assistance of Will Roden, R.N., Clinical Manager, and David Orta-Vega, RT(CV), Lead Technologist.

During the procedure, contrast was injected into multiple abdominal arteries to determine if the patient was experiencing active bleeding. Since no active bleeding was noted, the patient was returned to the ICU for continued care.

The Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital opened on May 31. The center offers residents in our community the option of receiving cardiovascular care closer to home, including interventional radiology procedures, interventional cardiac catheterization, and other procedures to treat heart and vascular diseases. Learn more here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sentara Potomac Hospital Becomes Tobacco-Free Campus on Independence Day

No smoking on campus, including sidewalks and parking lots after July 4, 2011

Hospitals see the effects of tobacco every day in heart disease, respiratory ailments and numerous types of cancer. Tobacco, smoked or spit, is a significant cause of preventable disease.

In support of Sentara’s mission to improve health every day Sentara Potomac Hospital will become a tobacco-free environment (TFE) on July 4, 2011. This means the hospital and its campus will be 100% tobacco-free, with no use of smoking or tobacco products permitted anywhere on the hospital campus, including parking lots. Everyone on hospital property including staff, physicians, volunteers, patients and visitors will be required to adhere to this policy.

Starting July 4 smokers will be asked, politely, to extinguish all smoking materials while on the hospital campus, including in parked cars. Nicotine gum will be available at no charge for short term use while visitors are on the campus. Educational materials and smoking cessation information will also be offered.

“Our goal is to provide a healthier environment for everyone at Sentara Potomac Hospital by eliminating the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke and to help staff, patients, and visitors adopt a healthier lifestyle through tobacco cessation,” says Megan Perry, hospital president. “This is a positive demonstration of concern for the health of everyone using our campus.”

The boundaries of the tobacco-free zone will extend to the campus property lines. This includes the main hospital and its surrounding sidewalks and parking lots, The Potomac Center building and its surrounding sidewalks and parking lots, and the Century Medical Building and its surrounding sidewalks and parking lots.

“We understand that compliance with this policy may be difficult for some visitors,” says Perry. “That’s why we are offering nicotine replacement therapy and educational information. We are not mandating that visitors quit smoking, but rather that they refrain from tobacco use while on hospital property.”

Independence Day – a great day to be free from tobacco!

Be a Hero. Donate Blood!

The American Red Cross is holding a Blood Drive at Sentara Potomac Hospital on Tuesday, June 21, from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the Hylton Education Center.

The American Red Cross needs over 1000 units of blood every day to maintain a safe and adequate blood supply for our community, and they provide the majority of the blood supply at Sentara Potomac Hospital, so we would greatly appreciate your donation.

B Positive, B Negative, and O Negative blood types are below a level which is considered to be safe, but all blood types are needed in order to treat local patients who depend on that type.

Appointments are available every 15 minutes. For information or to register call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or specify a desired appointment time online at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fuzzy Friends Bring Smiles to Patients, Staff and Visitors

Sentara Potomac Hospital has a Pet Therapy Program that is made up of specially trained volunteers and their dogs who have met the rigorous criteria established through Therapy Dog International and Delta Society - nationally recognized training and registration programs for people and their pets.

Research has shown that when therapy dogs visit patients in the hospital, the patients’ spirits are raised and heart rates and blood pressures decrease. Also, they help people cope with life changes, loneliness, and disease recovery.

Two new fuzzy friends have joined the Pet Therapy Team:

SuzieQ (pictured) is just beginning her work as a therapy dog with owner Leslie Harris and is excited to meet many people. She is a six-year-old Labrador retriever mix rescued from the Prince William Animal Shelter. Being a lab means that her main interest in life is eating and the only criteria is that the item will fit in her mouth. Her favorite foods are carrots, broccoli, apples, and pears. SuzieQ is not as pitiful as she looks – her sad looks are purely an enticement for someone (anyone) to love her.

Eli is a 1½ -year-old male sphynx cat. According to owner Nichole Bukowski, his personality is like that of a dog or ferret. His favorite foods include liver, cat treats, dog treats, peas, and noodles. His favorite thing to do is go to the pet store and walk around on his leash. (He likes to pick out toys!)

Eli’s breed is also known as a Canadian Hairless, but they actually do have hair -- it’s so fine and short it is hard to notice.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Free Sinus Screening at Sentara Potomac Hospital

Are you suffering from chronic sinus problems such as runny nose, itchy eyes, loss of smell or taste, headaches, or dizziness?

These are common complaints, but solutions are available. Learn what treatment options might help you at our free Sinus Screening on Wednesday, June 15 at 5:00 p.m.

Screenings are performed by board-certified ear, nose and throat specialists, Drs. Alidad Arabshahi and Ramin Ipakchi, who are trained in minimally invasive sinus surgery techniques, including balloon sinuplasty.

The screening is free but an appointment time is needed. Please register online or call 703-221-2500.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

First Cardiac Procedure Performed at SHVC

Team members in the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center performed their first cardiac procedure in the new center on Wednesday, June 1. The team inserted a Swan-Ganz catheter, which is the passing of a thin tube into the right side of the heart and the arteries leading to the lungs to monitor blood flow and the overall function of the heart. This procedure is usually performed on seriously ill patients.

The SHVC team members involved in the first cardiac procedure were (left to right): Jason Morda, M.D., Mount Vernon Cardiology Associates; Dawnielle Roderick, R.N.; Matt Fisher, RT(R)(CT); Ellen Walker, R.N.; Shane Bittinger, RT(R)(VI); Khalid Abousy, M.D., Virginia Cardiovascular Care; Deidre Thomas, R.N., Charge Nurse; David Orta-Vega, RT(R)(CV), Lead Invasive Lab Tech; and Candi Mansfield, R.N., RCIS.