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Broken Heart Syndrome: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Valentine’s Day may be over, but some may have felt the sting of Cupid’s curse. So, as the 1960s love song would ask, “What becomes of the broken hearted?” The good news is, you can recover from a broken heart. But the medical condition known as ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ is REAL.  This temporary condition, known to medics as takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is often triggered by an extreme emotional or physical experience, specifically, heart break, death of a loved one, sudden illness, natural disasters, or other life-altering traumatic events. Broken heart syndrome primarily affects women between the ages… Read more.

Q&A: Lead Poisoning and What It Means for Children

Lead poisoning may not have been a condition in the forefront of our minds…until the public health crisis in Flint, Michigan happened. There, thousands of children potentially have been exposed to high levels of lead from the contamination of the city’s water supply.  So, what is lead poisoning? And what should parents know? Dr. Reginald Washington, Chief Medical Officer for HCA-affiliate Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children – a system of six hospitals in Denver, Colo., recently sat down for a Q&A to educate our readers on the sources, symptoms, treatment and prevention for lead exposure. What is lead exposure? The… Read more.

HCA Prepares for Zika Virus

As one of the leading providers of healthcare services in the United States, HCA is actively preparing its hospitals for the spread of the Zika virus to the mainland United States. Drawing on the available materials from the CDC, as well as maternal fetal medicine and infectious disease experts throughout the organization, HCA has disseminated to its hospitals general educational materials about the Zika virus and updated guidelines regarding testing and clinical management for pregnant and symptomatic patients who have traveled to areas with known Zika outbreaks. Travel history and symptoms continue to be emphasized in the triage and assessment of all patients presenting at HCA-affiliated emergency rooms and outpatient healthcare settings. In… Read more.

INFOGRAPHIC – National Burn Awareness Week: Learn About Burns

February 1-7 is National Burn Awareness Week and the perfect time to become educated about first-, second- and third- degree burns. Last year, approximately 485,000 burn injuries were treated medically in the U.S., while nearly 40,000 burn-related hospitalizations occurred in America during that same time period. The Joseph M. Still Burn Center at our Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga., the largest inpatient burn center in America, admits more than 3,000 patients every year from across the U.S. and internationally. In recognition of this National Burn Awareness Week, they’ve put together an infographic to point out some of the characteristics of… Read more.

Arlington Police Detective Pays it Forward, Launches Kidney Exchange

Arlington (Texas) Police Detective Josh Gowins took his duty as a public servant to new heights on Monday when he donated one of his kidneys to a stranger at HCA-affiliate Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth. His selfless act launched a kidney swap chain, resulting in a new lease on life for three grateful patients. And to Detective Gowins, “it was a small price to pay to help someone” in need. “Det. Gowins literally walked through our front doors and said, ‘I am willing to donate a kidney to whoever needs it,” Dr. George Rofaiel, surgical director of transplant services for… Read more.

Zika Virus 101: What Every “Babymooner” Needs to Know

With the popularity of babymoons – a last romantic getaway before the arrival of a new baby – and the quick spreading, mosquito-borne Zika virus causing outbreaks in many vacation destinations, what should expectant mothers know? Dr. Kelly Culpepper, an OBGYN at our Medical City Dallas Hospital, sat down to talk about the Zika virus and pregnancy risks, signs and symptoms and give her advice to pregnant patients considering travel to Zika-affected areas. Visit our HCA North Texas blog for more pregnancy tips and information for moms and mom-to-be. 

Looking for a way to Give Back? Give Blood!

If volunteerism is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, consider the gift of life and give blood. January is National Blood Donor Month – the nationwide call for blood donation and recognition of lifesaving blood and platelet donors – and with the recent winter storm, blood supplies for patients in need are sure to be in short supply. HCA headquarters has been a proud host of American Red Cross Blood Drives for more than 10 years. The corporate office holds approximately 10 blood drives per year and averages about 500 individual blood donors annually. One such donor, Mitzi Rodgers… Read more.

TriStar StoneCrest’s Heather Bratcher Tested by Medical Emergency, Finishes with Victory

The football season is over for some. The lockers are cleaned out, the cleats are neatly tucked away and the glare of “Friday Night Lights” is a distant memory. But to Heather Bratcher, director of emergency services at HCA’s TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, her work on the gridiron has just begun. The registered nurse and 17-year veteran of HCA spearheaded the collection and donation of 12 first aid emergency responder bags to middle schools in Rutherford County, Tennessee, after she found herself providing life-saving care without basic first aid tools at a Siegel Middle School football game last September. The… Read more.

HCA Heroes – Dr. Cynthia Chandler Promotes Healing with Paws 4 Patients

A trip to the hospital can be a stressful time for some patients, families and visitors. Luckily, Dr. Cynthia Chandler, a volunteer at our Medical Center of Lewisville, has the cure – a four-legged, furry and freckled face Cocker Spaniel named Jesse. Dr. Chandler’s passion for animal assisted therapy led her and Jesse to our Lewisville facility in the fall of 2013. Realizing the healing potential of animals, she helped start the Paws 4 Patients program and has touched the lives of 316 patients, nearly 400 hospital visitors and approxmately 881 staff members in just two years. The health benefits… Read more.

A Labor of Love: Surrogate Grandmother Gives Birth to Granddaughter at The Medical Center of Plano

There’s no love like a mother’s love. After her daughter’s struggle with infertility, Tracey Thompson did what only a mother would do. At 54 years old, she stepped in as a surrogate to carry her grandchild. On January 6, Tracey gave her daughter Kelley the gift of a lifetime – a healthy baby girl delivered at The Medical Center of Plano. A unique situation for HCA’s Medical Center of Plano, the OB/GYN staff carefully laid out a plan for this special pregnancy. They coordinated medical treatments for Tracey’s surrogacy, implanted her daughter’s remaining embryo in April 2015 and successfully delivered… Read more.

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