Category Archives: Health

Contaminated Devices Putting Open-Heart Surgery Patients at Risk

CDC encourages hospitals to take action, advises patients to seek care if ill 

diagram of heater cooler deviceThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning healthcare providers and patients about the potential risk of infection from certain devices used during open heart (open-chest) surgery.

doctors in operating roomPatients who have had open heart surgery should seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms associated with infections, such as night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue, or unexplained fever. This advice follows new information indicating that some LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH) Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices, used during many of these surgeries, might have been contaminated during manufacturing, which could put patients at risk for life-threatening infections.

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Valley Regional Becomes NH’s Only Alpha-1 Center

donald-mahlerValley Regional Hospital in Claremont has become the only Alpha-1 Clinical Resource Center in NH.  Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a condition where the body does not make enough of a protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage. The condition can lead to emphysema and liver disease.

Valley Regional Healthcare was designated as an Alpha-1 Clinical Resource Center by the Alpha-1 Foundation. Dr. Donald Mahler and his team were invited to apply to the Alpha-1 Foundation to be a Clinical Resource Center due to their work in this field. The hospital has diagnosed four patients with Alpha-1 deficiency emphysema in the past 18 months thanks to diligent testing of all of patients with COPD who come into the Kane Center at the hospital. Dr. Mahler was Director of a Clinical Resource Center while at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, until his retirement there in July 2014.

Avoid Tick Bites to Prevent Anaplasmosis

black-leg-tickThe Vermont Public Health Department is warning residents about anaplasmosis a tick-borne disease. Officials say the disease is transmitted by the same black leg tick that transmits Lyme disease and is the most common tick in VT.

As of September, 133 cases of anaplasmosis have been reported compared to 127 cases for all of 2015.

Bradly Tompkins infectious disease epidemiologist says over one-third of people with anaplasmosis that were reported in VT were sick enough to be hospitalized, Symptoms can include fever, headache, chills and muscle aches. Anaplasmosis can be successfully treated with antibiotics, especially if treatment is given early. Tompkins urges people to not drop their guard just because summer is over and continue to use repellents, check for ticks daily, remove ticks right away, and to call your health care provider if you get any of the above symptoms after a tick bite.

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Over $3 Million Raised During Prouty

prouty 2(Lebanon, NH 07/09/16) With a rainbow greeting early starters and showers throughout the day, more than 4500 participants and some 1200 volunteers welcomed a cool day in Hanover to raise more than $3 million for cancer care and research in the Prouty, Northern New England’s largest charity fundraiser.

People from all over the country come together every July to raise funds through a wide range of activities for people whose interests run from golf to cycling 100 miles for two days in a row. Participants pitch in by walking or cycling through neighborhoods and roads in New Hampshire and Vermont, rowing on the Connecticut River, or hitting the links at the Hanover Country Club. It all supports Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer’s innovative research and ways to ease the journey of cancer patients and their families with such efforts as support groups, art and writing programs, a comfort cart, a resource library and gas cards. Continue reading

New London Hospital Trustees Vote to Close Clough Extended Care Center

New London HospitalNew London, NH – New London Hospital Trustees have voted unanimously to begin the process of closing the William P. Clough Extended Care Center. This decision has come after a lengthy review over nearly two years of both current operations and a variety of alternative future operating scenarios, including potential partnerships with Dartmouth-Hitchcock and other entities. Dartmouth-Hitchcock leadership has been kept apprised throughout New London Hospital’s process of deliberating the future of the Clough Center, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (the Hospital’s parent company) has approved the New London Hospital Board’s decision. Continue reading

Valley Regional to Offer Services at Newport Health Center

newport health centerNew London Hospital and Valley Regional Healthcare of Claremont are strengthening their commitment to accessibility of -quality patient care in Newport NH. The construction of the Newport Health Center is scheduled to open in October. The Health Center includes space that is leased to Valley Regional Healthcare for several of its primary care providers.

New London Hospital President and CEO Bruce P. King said they want all patients in Newport and beyond to receive the high quality, close-to-home care they need to stay healthy, regardless of who delivers that care.

Peter J. Wright, Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and, President and CEO of Valley Regional Healthcare agrees. Wright said they look forward to partnering in providing care in the Newport Health Center. Noting the modern medical space will enhance the community and the care experience in the region.

Primary Care Physicians operated by Valley Regional on Main Street in Newport will continue to provide services at that location.

NH Health Officials Issue Scabies Alert

ScabiesConcord, NH – Some patients and healthcare staff in several Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Manchester clinics and Catholic Medical Center (CMC) may have been exposed to crusted (Norwegian) scabies by a patient treated at these facilities within the past several months. Crusted scabies is a more severe version of typical scabies and can be more easily passed to others than typical scabies.

As a precaution, D-H Manchester and Catholic Medical Center in collaboration with the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Manchester Health Department are preparing a series of precautionary preventive treatment clinics on March 9, 10, and 11 from 8:00 am–8:00 pm in two Manchester locations for patients, staff, family, and visitors who may have been exposed to scabies during visits to the facility locations during the dates and times specified below. Any patients or staff members identified as having possible exposure are being contacted directly. For people exposed at CMC, the clinic location is 195 McGregor Street, Manchester, NH, (formerly Planet Fitness) across the street from the CMC Hospital, entry via Foundry Street. For those exposed at any D-H facility the location for the clinic is 100 Hitchcock Way, 2nd Floor, Manchester, NH. Continue reading

Re Vaccination Needed for Over 800 Children

apdAlice Peck Day (APD) Hospital is offering over 800 children free re vaccinations after a problem with refrigeration was discovered. Officials at APD said in a press release that they could not guarantee that all pediatric vaccines given from September 2, 2014, to October 23, 2015 are effective since the vaccines require constant refrigeration within a particular temperature range in order to maintain effectiveness. Hospital officials are offering to revaccinate affected patients at no charge. Further information, including answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), is available at APD’s website ( or by calling a staff member dedicated to answering questions about this issue at (603) 442-5610. Appointments for revaccination can be scheduled by calling (603) 442-5602.


Violations Found at Mt. Ascutney Hospital

mt. ascutney hospitalalA State inspection at Mount Ascutney Hospital in Vermont revealed numerous lapses in patient care and record keeping practices.
According to the Valley News and Becker’s Hospital Review, the Dec. 9 inspection showed the hospital failed to take adequate measures to prevent a terminal cancer patient from falling six times in six weeks and did not document four of the falls.
The hospital also failed to determine the risks of a fall in a stroke patient and failed three times to document the need for restraints. A third patient incident in the report said the hospital did not put a care plan in place according to the wishes of the patient admitted in November who was treated for heart failure. Nothing in the care plan indicated the patient was transitioned receive only comfort measures during his final days.
Mt. Ascutney Hospital has made a plan for correction. Under the plan, the hospital has committed to beefing up care planning, assessments of patients’ fall risks, training and record keeping when falls occur or restraints are used.

Newport Approves Ambulance Cost Increase

Newport nh mapJust like other medical cost, ambulance costs are going up. That is for those using Newport Ambulance Service starting January 1, 2016. The Newport Select Board voted unanimously on Monday night to raise the cost charged to individuals by 28 percent for residents. Non-residents will see a 32 percent increase. Resident rates would be for anyone living in the town of Newport or with the towns of Goshen or Croydon who contract Newport’s services. There has not been an increase for the last three years and Medicare has been paying less for the service leaving a deficiency in the rates. The patients billing address will determine if they are charged as a resident or nonresident.