All posts by Angelo Antoline

Hospitals and Disasters

Are hospitals prepared for disasters?

The short answer is…yes.

All hospitals are required by laws, regulations, or accreditation requirements to plan for disasters.

Hospitals prepare for both internal and external disasters. Internal disasters are events that occur inside the hospital building like a fire, flood, or power outage and have potential to affect services.

An external disaster is one like Hurricane Harvey or Irma that occurs outside the hospital. This includes severe weather conditions, chemical incidents, or large-scale community accidents. In these situations, the disaster can affect the operations of the hospital or cause an influx of patients to a hospital, depending on the situation and type of hospital.

Every disaster is different. Hospitals prepare for a variety of situations through ongoing planning and practice. This helps everyone understand what to do and how to do it to ensure patients’ safety and well-being.

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Recognizing a Concussion

With fall around the corner, participation in football and other cooler-weather sports and activities will grow – along with the potential for concussions.

A concussion is a brain injury that’s caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body. Concussion symptoms can occur immediately or days/weeks later. Signs of a concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory issues
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Feeling sluggish/”foggy”
  • Light sensitivity

Early treatment of the symptoms of a concussion may help speed recovery and prevent further injury down the road. If an incident occurs and you suspect a concussion, ask the person immediately and then again a few minutes later:

  • What day is it?
  • What month is it?
  • Repeat these words: Girl, dog, green (ask to repeat again a few minutes later)
  • Repeat the days of the week backward

If the individual appears confused and is unable to answer these questions, it could be a concussion.
End all activity and consult a physician immediately.

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Improving Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms through Rehabilitation

If you live with multiple sclerosis, rehabilitation can play an essential role in helping you function at your best.

From diagnosis on, rehabilitation specialists such as physical, occupational, and speech therapists can help with symptoms of the condition. These usually include muscle control and weakness – affecting the way you walk, move or talk.
Therapies that can help improve these issues include:

  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapists can evaluate and address how your body moves and functions. Therapists can help you with walking, mobility, strength, balance, posture, pain, fatigue, and bladder issues, helping to prevent unnecessary complications.
  • Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapists can help you with everyday activities to increase your independence, productivity, and safety. They can help you modify tasks, use adaptive equipment, and recommend strategies in the home and work place.
  • Speech Therapy – Speech-language pathologists can evaluate and treat any issues you may be having with speaking or swallowing. Some may also help with cognitive issues, which can affect your ability to think, reason, concentrate or remember.
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10 Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J. Fox was a 29-year-old actor who woke up one morning and noticed his little finger shaking. What he thought was a side effect of a hangover actually was an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that has no known cause. Nearly a million people in the United States live with the disease.

Some symptoms of the disease are easy to see, while others are hard even for a trained healthcare professional to detect.
The National Parkinson Foundation offers these 10 early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Tremor or shaking of a body part
  2. Small handwriting – your handwriting changes to become smaller
  3. Loss of smell
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Trouble moving or walking
  6. Constipation
  7. Soft or low voice – your voice changes to be softer
  8. Masked or serious look on your face even when you’re not in a bad mood
  9. Dizziness or fainting
  10. Stooping or hunching over

No one symptom necessarily means that you have the disease; the symptom may be caused by another condition. However, if you feel you are experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your physician.

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Rehabilitative Care – It’s Not All the Same

When looking for rehabilitative care, you may have heard of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, and nursing homes. While these may seem like equal choices for care, they’re not.

Each of the facilities mentioned above has rehabilitation professionals on staff, but only one – the rehabilitation hospital – specializes in rehabilitation, offering 24-hour rehabilitative nursing care, along with daily physician management and intensive rehabilitation therapies.

So, why is this important?

Simply put, when it comes to your health, you want the best option provided.

A national study commissioned by the ARA Research Institute shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities.
The study shows that patients:

  • Live longer
  • Have less hospital and ER visits
  • Remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services

In addition, patients in the study:

  • Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier
  • Remained home two weeks longer

So the bottom line is, as a patient, you get to choose where you want to go. Don’t ever hesitate to research, observe and ask questions about a facility to be sure you receive the level of rehabilitative care that you want and need.

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Lower Your Stroke Risks this Summer

Summer is a great time for a lot of things – barbecues, outdoor activities, vacations…but what you may not think about when it comes to summer is using all it has to offer to lower your stroke risks.

Strokes – or brain attacks – are the leading cause of adult disabilities in the United States, and can happen to anyone at any time. According to the National Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 people experience strokes every year.

One of the biggest myths regarding strokes is that they can’t be avoided. But in reality, nearly 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented by controlling lifestyle risk factors, or habits that we engage in that can be changed to improve our health.

Summer provides easy-to-find opportunities to lower stroke risks, such as:

  • Buy and eat fresh produce. Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store to find in-season, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them in their natural states.
  • Eat less salt. Eat fresh vegetables versus canned items, and your salt intake will decrease.
  • Visit the beach. Eat more seafood (at the beach or not) instead of red meat.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Get active outside during the warmer and longer days.
  • Put the cigarettes down. Summer usually is less stressful. Use it to your advantage to try to break the habit.
  • Shoot for your healthy weight. Healthy eating and activities may help you reach a healthy weight (if you’re not already at it).
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After a Stroke — Finding the Right Words

It’s common to struggle at times to find the right word during a conversation. But for an individual who has had a stroke, finding the right word may be much more difficult.

Aphasia can be a side effect of a stroke, which can affect a person’s ability to communicate by impairing the ability to speak, read, listen or write. When a person with aphasia has word-finding difficulty, it’s called anomia.

Anomia makes it difficult to find the words or ideas that a person wants to share. Sometimes the word may come, and sometimes it won’t.

When this happens in a conversation, the person who is speaking to the stroke survivor may want to jump in quickly to supply the word. But in reality, that can be more of a hindrance than a help. It would be more beneficial to help the person find the word they are looking for rather than supplying it.

So, how can you best communicate with someone under these circumstances? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Allow plenty of time for a response. Talk with the individual, not for him or her.
  • Ask “yes” or “no” questions that can be answered simply and without a lot of explanation.
  • Use photographs or pictures to help provide cues.
  • Write your cues – such as a letter or a drawing – on a piece of paper to share.
  • Confirm and repeat back what the person has said. Use paraphrases or key words to be sure that you’re understanding properly.
  • Use gestures as you ask questions.
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Act FAST and Save a Life

FAST is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of stroke:

F – Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. Note if one side of the face is drooping.
A – Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms to the side. See if one drifts downward.
S – Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Listen if the speech is slurred or strange.
T – Time to call 911. If you observe any of these signs, call for help immediately.

Take note of the time of the first symptom so you can tell medical personnel because this can affect treatment decisions. Rapid access to medical treatment can make a difference between full recovery and permanent disability.

Other symptoms of a stroke also may include sudden onset of:

  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding what someone is saying
  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Even if you’re unsure if someone is having a stroke, don’t delay in calling 911 to get the person medical help immediately.

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Don’t Have a Stroke

Dick Clark. Sharon Stone. Rick James.

When you think of these celebrities, you probably think of their talents. What you probably don’t realize is that each suffered a stroke.

Strokes – or brain attacks – can happen to anyone at any time. Strokes are the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death.

According to the National Stroke Association, about 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year. What’s notable, however, is that nearly 80 percent of strokes can be avoided.

Certain traits, conditions and habits can raise an individual’s risk of having a stroke. Many of these lifestyle risk factors can be controlled and may actually help prevent a stroke from occurring.

That’s good news, right? So, how do we lessen our chances of having a stroke?

We can start by controlling these lifestyle risk factors:
• High blood pressure
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Poor diet
• High blood cholesterol
• Physical inactivity
• Obesity
• Heart diseases
• Alcohol consumption

If you think you can improve any of these lifestyle risk factors, do it.
The changes you make now may affect what happens – or better yet, what doesn’t happen – later.

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Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®

We are excited to announce Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its Stroke Program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes our dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards! 

CertificationPost

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Recognized among the Top 10% of Rehabilitation Facilities in United States

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital is recognized among Top 10 Percent

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital has been ranked in the top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States. The ranking was provided by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a not-for-profit corporation that was developed with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a component of the U.S Department of Education.

The UDSMR ranks rehabilitation facilities based upon care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient, and timely. Corpus Christi Rehab Hospital was ranked this past year out of 783 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a national leader,” says Nick Nilest, CEO of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. “I believe it’s a reflection of our serious commitment to the Corpus Christi community to continually strive to provide high quality rehabilitative care to our patients. But, what I’m most excited about is that we’re bringing nationally recognized care right here to our own community – meaning that our patients don’t have to leave the area to receive it.”

“Through UDSMR, we’re also able to help elevate rehabilitative care for everyone across the United States because we collaborate with peers to share information and establish best practices for patients,” Nilest continues.

UDSMR, which administers the world’s largest medical rehabilitation database, provides common language and measurement tools to monitor patient results. The data used for the most current ranking was based on 12 months of information from 2014 from both Medicare and non-Medicare patients. The results were combined and weighted into a score, and each facility was then assigned a percentile rank.

 

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Rehab Realities

Sharing the Scoop on Alternative Rehabilitation Services with Nicholas Nilest, CEO

Due to a vast array of medical conditions, rehabilitation services are needed by many patients throughout the state. Depending on what the patient’s needs are, these 3 highly respected professionals in the medical field share what their facility offers and how treatments differ to facilitate the recovery of the patients and educate the readers looking ahead.

Nicholas Nilest PT, DPT is the Chief Executive Officer at Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky where he attended Bellarmine University, Nick received his Bachelor of Health Sciences and Minor in Biology. He further continued his education and received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Board certified and licensed to practice physical therapy by the Texas State Board of Physical Therapy and Kentucky State Board of Physical Therapy, Nilest is also Neuro-IFRAH certified to treat and manage adults who have suffered a brain injury or stroke. Nick has worked in many different settings of healthcare including Outpatient, Short Term Acute Care, Long Term Acute Care, Skilled Nursing, Home Health and Inpatient Rehab.

For six years, Nilest has been with Ernest Health System and in January of 2014, he accepted a position as the Chief Executive Officer of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, the only free-standing rehabilitation inpatient facility in Corpus Christi. Earnest Health owns and operates…

Click here to read the full article.

 

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Elevating Health Care for the Corpus Christi Community

Nationally Ranked Rehabilitative Services Provided through Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital

The other day, I spent 10 minutes searching for my car keys, only to find them in my jacket pocket. Like most people, I tend not to pay much attention to something until I need it – even if it’s in an obvious place.

I think my situation is similar to rehabilitative care. Unless you need it, you may not give it much thought. But, did you know that most of us will require at least one rehabilitative service at some point in our lives?

Approximately 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and there are 6 million stroke survivors living in the United States. Most of these people will require some type of rehabilitation service during their healing process. That’s why we have been pleased to offer rehabilitative services for the past 2 years to the community through the Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, a 35-bed free-standing hospital. It’s the only free-standing inpatient rehabilitation facility in Corpus Christi.

Rehabilitation is a medical specialty that helps people recovering from disabling diseases or injuries. It can be effective for a myriad of people, including those recovering from orthopedic injuries, strokes, brain and spinal cord injuries, and other impairments as a result of injury or illness.

Patients who receive rehabilitative services often experience positive results in regaining or improving productivity and independence. For example, a recent national study shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities. The study, which was commissioned by the ARA Research Institute, shows that patients treated in rehabilitation hospitals live longer, have less hospital and ER visits, and remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services.

These patients:

  • Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier.
  • Remained home nearly two months longer.
  • Stayed alive nearly two months longer.

In addition, patients who were treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities experienced an 8% lower mortality rate and 5 percent fewer emergency room visits per year. These findings illustrate how significant inpatient rehabilitative care is to a patient’s healing process.

In addition to improving lives, rehabilitative care saves money as well. For example, for every $1 spent on rehabilitative care, it is estimated that $11 are saved on long-term disability costs.

While I don’t wish for any of us to need these services, the good news is that we have rehabilitative services available to us through the Ernest Health system — of which Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital is a member — that is ranked in the top 10 percent nationally. That means that we need to look no further than our own backyard to find the best rehabilitative care available in the United States.

The ranking for the hospitals within the Ernest Health system is provided by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a not-for-profit corporation that was developed with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a component of the U.S Department of Education. It ranks rehabilitation facilities based upon care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient, and timely.

We continually strive to provide high quality care to our patients, so it’s exciting to be recognized as a national leader. But what I’m most pleased about are that patients right here in our community can receive the highest level of rehabilitative care available nationally without having to leave the area. And, through UDSMR, we collaborate with our peers throughout the United States to share information and establish best practices for patients. This helps us elevate rehabilitative care for everyone across the United States.

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital provides 24-hour rehabilitation nursing care and daily physician management through our full-time medical director – Dr. Michael Fuentes, who possesses more than 20 years of experience in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is joined by a highly-trained, specialized team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, therapists and other professionals who create individualized treatment plans to allow each patient to progress at his or her ability level.

The hospital also features all private rooms, a well-equipped therapy gym, and an outdoor therapeutic courtyard. Patient services include occupational, physical, and speech therapy, a stroke program, and an amputation program.

We treat about 600 people a year whose average length of stay is 2 weeks. We consider it a privilege to be able to offer high-level rehabilitative care to the Corpus Christi area, and are honored to be a vital part of the community.

 

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