November 16th 2019 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Mohsin Ehsan, Dr. Babatunde Olumide, & Dr. Jeroen Coppens

Health Matters
Friday, November 15th
1.  Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  New peanut allergy treatment where an injection will allow patients to safely consume a small amount of peanuts after two weeks.  New study shows antibiotic resistance affects more than twice as many Americans as first believed.  Dr. Buckhold says we misuse antibiotics in too many cases -- using them to treat viruses like the cold when they don't do any good.  He worries we will run out of new antibiotics because they aren't a money maker for the pharmaceutical industry.  The flu shot is shown to help prevent other illnesses in people with cardiac conditions.  Dr. Buckhold says what's really going on might be people who get the flu shot are more in touch with their health and more likely to do a whole bunch of things to stay healthy.  Whole Foods and other stores recall a ton of fruit and vegetable products due to Listeria concerns. How do we protect ourselves?  Wash our produce first, and always cook to the right temperature says Dr. Buckhhold.  And trampoline park injuries are on the rise.  Dr. Buckhold says this is risk versus reward.  Be careful when going to these places.  Crowded trampoline parks can lead to injuries like broken bones. 

 2.  Dr. MOHSIN EHSAN, a pulmonologist with SSM Health Medical Group in St. Charles County.  New numbers for lung-related vaping illnesses and deaths: 1 new death in Missouri, 1 new death in Illinois. That's two in Missouri and four in Illinois.  In Detroit, doctors performed  double lung transplant on a vaping patient.  And the CDC now says there is a Vitamin E Acetate connection in every fatal case.  Dr. Ehsan says Vitamin E is okay to use as a skin care product and to swallow as a pill or supplement but very dangerous to inhale into the lungs.  It is very sticky and stays there a long time causing serious and sometimes fatal injuries.  Dr. Ehsan says he tells his patients not to vape until more is found out.  Youth are most at risk.  Marketing makes it popular with young people and the many flavors.  CDC says Vitamin E Acetate is just one of the dangerous compounds, but it is not ruling out other compounds found in vaping products and electronic cigarettes.  CDC says don't use any cigarette products containing THC -- especially if you get the products off the street. 

3.  Dr. BABATUNDE OLUMIDE, a primary care physician and geriatrician with SSM Health Medical Group in St. Charles County. A study published in the journal Nature Medicine and reported in the New York Times observed a woman in Colombia who had a genetic mutation that seemingly protects her from dementia, despite her brain having a major neurological feature of Alzheimer's Disease.  What is the significance of this finding?  Could this lead to the next big breakthrough in Alzheimer's treatment?  Dr. Olumide says this is exciting but there still is a long way to go.  What is the role of Tau in all of this? Why is Alzheimer's so complex to treat? How is Alzheimer's identified?  What are the signs and symptoms?  Dr. Olumide says there are very few effective treatments.  There are medicinal and non-medicinal treatments.  What's the role of the family and caregivers in helping dementia and Alzheimer's patients?  How important is early detection? 

4.  Dr. JEROEN COPPENS, SLU Care neurosurgeon with SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  Former President Jimmy Carter underwent surgery earlier this week to relieve bleeding and pressure on his brain.   It is believed the bleeding was due to a couple of falls he suffered earlier this year.  It's called a subdural hematoma.  Dr. Coppens says subdural hematomas are quite common today -- with our lifespan growing longer and more of us on blood thinners due to heart conditions.  What are the signs and symptoms of a subdural hematoma?  Dr. Coppens outlines the three types of surgery to drain the blood from the brain.  The best and least dangerous is a burr hole trephination -- drilling a hole into the skull to allow the blood to drain out.  Other types include removing a part of the skull first then draining the blood before replacing the skull piece.  Dr. Coppens says the surgery is pretty straightforward but the recovery is often risky -- depending on the age of the patient and how the patient deals with the type of anesthesia received during the surgery.  Best to use local anesthesia and have patient be as awake as possible during the process.