Health Matters: Safe sleep tips for infants; heart attack symptoms in women; breast cancer gene testing; and new soda dangers

SSM Health experts share their thoughts on these big stories

Fred Bodimer
September 11, 2019 - 4:56 pm
baby yawning

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The most recent edition of Health Matters Presented by SSM Health provides KMOX listeners with an in-depth look at several hot button medical issues.

One of the big topics discussed in this week's show is a new report on infant deaths in Missouri. Lori Winkler, the injury prevention nurse coordinator at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, has tips on how to safely put our babies to sleep. And how to safeguard ourselves from accidentally leaving a child in the back seat of the car.

Related: 'WHERE'S BABY?' O'Fallon Police have a plan to prevent deaths in hot cars

We also find out more details about a new study on heart attack symptoms in women and how they don't differ that much from the main symptoms in men — when we talk with Dr. Michael Lim, a SLU Care cardiologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.

Plus, we talk with SSM Health Medical Group breast surgeon Dr. Andrea Behr about updated guidelines for genetic breast cancer testing for women.

And our substitute co-host for the week — Dr. Fred Buckhold, a SLU Care internal medicine specialist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital — gives us advice on three major stories for this past week: the health risks of drinking any type of soda — be it regular or diet; the dangers of vaping and electronic cigarettes; and in light of the marijuana legalization trend, the dangers of pot use.

Listen to this weekend's show here:

Health Matters Presented by SSM Health — aired on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at 4 p.m. on KMOX 1120 AM

  1. Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care internal medicine specialist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. Dr. Buckhold tackles three big issues this week: A new European study finds drinking soda — either regular or diet — increases our risk of early death. Why? What is it about beverages that are so bad for us? What options do we have? Also — more alarming news about the dangers of vaping this past week. What is the investigation showing regarding all the serious lung illnesses being seen in those who vape? How dangerous is vaping?  PLUS — The U.S. Surgeon General comes out with a warning about the use of marijuana — saying no amount of marijuana is safe for pregnant women and teenagers. Dr. Buckhold says people are getting a false impression of marijuana with the legalization movement for recreational marijuana picking up steam nationwide. How dangerous is marijuana today? How bad is it for pregnant women? How bad is it for teenagers?
  2. Dr. ANDREA BEHR, a breast surgeon with SSM Health Medical Group. Updated guidelines for women when it comes to seeking breast cancer genetic testing. Who should get a genetic test? Women who have already had breast or ovarian cancer. Women with a family history of cancer. How do you choose a genetic test? What is involved in genetic testing? How expensive is it? Do all insurance companies pay for it? What kind of results can you get? How do you interpret the results? Should you use a genetic counselor? What does Dr. Behr think about genetic tests like "23 and Me?" Why is genetic testing so critical for some women? Is this mainly for women carrying the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes? She says we should be doing more genetic testing, not less.
  3. Dr. MICHAEL LIM, SLU Care cardiologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. A new study busts a big medical myth that women have different major heart attack symptoms than men. So what's the truth? Do women have the same symptoms as men? Both, Dr. Lim says, can present with chest pain and pain down the left arm. Women sometimes have more subtle heart attack symptoms. Sudden onsets of chest pain, chest pressure, chest tightness — especially when paired with shortness of breath, sick to your stomach and just not feeling well — those are true worrisome signs and warrant immediate attention. On another cardiac issue, the FDA has expanded approval of a minimally invasive way to replace an aortic valve. Transthoracic Aortic Valve Replacement. Up until now, it could only be done on patients at serious risk, high risk or intermediate risk of not making it through open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve. Now, it is also for low-risk patients. This is a huge advancement in cardiac care — says Dr. Lim.
  4. LORI WINKLER, injury prevention nurse coordinator at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. September is Baby Safety Month. We talk about new CDC reports that indicate infant deaths are on the rise. Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths — which include SIDS and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed — is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in children from birth to one year of age. Lori has lots of advice on how to safely put our babies to sleep. What is the proper way to place a baby in its bed? What about bed sharing? In a car seat? What is the proper sleep surface for a baby? What old wives' tales need to be dispelled? What do grandparents need to know? And what about accidentally leaving infants alone in a car, leading to a heat death? What tips are there to try to avoid that tragedy? Create a reminder of some sort — like placing your purse or wallet or briefcase or phone on the back seat so you won't get out of the car without first checking — or going into the back seat.

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