An outbreak of hand, foot and mouth (HFM) disease recently caused more than a dozen students at Florida State University to fall ill. This viral infection, not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which occurs in animals only, typically affects small children and is found in daycare centers, not college campuses. So, why has hand, foot and mouth, also struck our college-aged population? “That is a little bit of a harder question, but the answer is likely multifactorial,” Dr. Matt Ducey, an HCA-affiliated TriStar Medical Group family physician, said. “First, the virus causing this particular outbreak is more contagious, making… Read more.
We’ve all heard of the Zika virus: the mosquito-borne illness that has dominated the headlines in recent months. Pregnant women and hopeful mothers-to-be have been educated on the potentially dangerous effects a Zika infection can have on their unborn babies’ health, specifically microcephaly, a condition that causes unusually small heads and brains, and other brain-related birth defects. Americans are becoming more informed – and with good reason – Zika is a growing public health threat. But today I want to talk about another virus affecting pregnant women in the United States. It hasn’t garnered national attention like Zika but ~40,000… Read more.
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.
Being prepared to serve our communities during times of disaster, of all types, is a responsibility that HCA takes very seriously. During the first week of June, representatives from each HCA hospital and division office participated in a “Boot Camp” to prepare for infectious disease crises. Last fall, Ebola dominated the headlines in this country. The seven patients treated in the US and the thousands of patients screened taught us a lot about our strengths as well as the challenges of responding to this type of crisis. The HCA Boot Camp was a two-day course preparing HCA facilities to manage… Read more.