Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stress Testing Upgrade at SHHA!

2014 was end of life for the Stress Testing equipment that is relied upon so heavily by our Cardiologists, Drs. Fiaani and McLean.  A cardiac stress test determines how well a person’s heart reacts to exercise.  During the test, heart rate, blood pressure, and heart activity is monitored electronically.  The data provides valuable information about the status of the patient’s heart, lungs, blood pressure and general physical fitness.  The doctor can then discuss the risks with the patient to help them begin or modify activity for the health of their heart.

Our department conducts about 100 of these tests per year which allows community members to have their diagnostic stress test performed close to home.
An upgrade of the stress testing computer system was needed to ensure that parts and service would be available if necessary.   Through the generous donations to SHHA Foundation at the 2014 Christmas appeal, not only was the component able to be replaced, but an extra feature was able to be added: the e-bike. 

Until now, the stress testing technician only had one option for creating the exercise component of the test ~ the treadmill.  While the treadmill is very effective, it is not always the safest choice for all patients.  With the e-bike, the patient can sit and pedal without the danger of falling on the treadmill. 
SHHA would like to thank the many donours and South Huron Hospital Foundation for leading the campaign to upgrade our stress testing equipment!
                                                 Recumbent E-Bike

                                                Stress Testing Technician Doug Campbell with
                                             newly upgraded stress testing computer. June 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 - Year of the Brain

What is Brain Injury? 

 Brain injury occurs suddenly, without warning. In an instant life is changed, forever. Everyday we participate in activities that produce endless risks for sustaining a brain injury; events include a car accident while driving to the grocery store, a fall from a bike, or a blow to the head.
Brain injury has become a significant medical and societal concern within the last 30 years. With advances in medical technology, many people who would have died are now surviving severe brain injuries. At times the cost is astronomical: financially, socially and emotionally.
It is estimated that thousands of Canadians incur a traumatic brain injury each year the majority being young adults. They will have a normal life expectancy but will require special care. A majority of bicyclists who die each year die of brain injuries. Most of the serious brain injuries can be prevented by wearing a helmet. Brain injury affects a significant number of people each year and the numbers are reaching epidemic proportions.[1]
Statistics indicate that the incidence of brain injury is two times greater in men.

Effects of Brain Injury

 Although each individual is unique, the sequels resulting from a brain injury often have similarities. Some of the sequels can include difficulty with memory loss, impaired reasoning skills, and tendency toward “one track thinking.”
Imagine not remembering names and faces of lifelong friends or turning on a burner with a pot and not remembering having done so. Many persons with brain injuries will also have physical disabilities such as paralysis of the limbs or loss of vision and/or hearing. Some people experience varying degrees of speech impairment. Others may be able to speak, but due to cognitive impairments, have difficulty organizing their thoughts into meaningful speech. Some people lose their sense of smell, suffer from headaches or have to cope with having seizures. It is quite difficult to rely on others to plan your day.
Emotional effects vary as well as the person with a brain injury will see changes in emotional control. This may be related to the brain injury or to the frustrations that the person feels as he tries to adapt to his new self.
Realization of the effects of the injury combined with the increased dependence on others and/or a loss of control over one’s life may be cause for depression.
The social consequences of a brain injury can be devastating. Many people report losing friends and having difficulty cultivating and maintaining new friendships. These difficulties may result from the person experiencing problems with communication. Imagine the frustration of having difficulty remembering ideas and communicating them coherently and logically during a conversation. Loudness of the speech and knowing when it is appropriate to speak are examples of social skills that we all take for granted. In addition, subtle social skills may have been lost.
It is important to note the strength and character of these people. Once again all persons are unique, with varying injuries, personalities and supports available. Although there may be tremendous amount of loss to cope with, many people with brain injuries remain determined, sensitive and positive to their approach to life.
Although the effects of brain injury may make it necessary for the injured person to have assistance for up to 24 hours in a day, families often remain or become the primary caregiver and support person. Many families are left to cope on their own, with little understanding of the effects of the injury and the demands of living with an injured family member. Families need support of others who understand the stress within these family systems.


 Just as no two people are alike, no two brain injuries are alike. Appropriate treatment and rehabilitation will vary according to the needs of the individual. Programs and treatments change, as a person’s needs change. It is important to recognize that “more therapy” does not make a person “better”, but that “appropriate” therapy may. A person with a brain injury may transfer to different facilities throughout the recovery process. A rehabilitation program would generally look at the following components: cognitive, behavioral, vocational, educational, community re-entry and recreation. The active involvement of family members and friends throughout the rehabilitation process is a key component to achieve maximum success. Some province have a “continuum of services” where the person with a brain injury will go through the hospital, rehabilitation centre, back home and will then use the services of specific community programs.

What Can You Do?

 The effects of a brain injury can be varied and unique as the individuals who sustain them. Since brain injuries occur in different areas of the brain with varying degrees of severity, no two people will be affected in the same way. An injury to the brain may affect a person in several ways including his personality, thinking, communication, or mobility.
We cannot see many of the changes that a survivor of a brain injury experiences. It is often difficult for others to understand and accept changes in personality and thought processes, as these changes are not visible.
Some of the more common effects of a brain injury are changes in memory, concentration, response time, planning and problem solving, initiative, flexibility, insight, impulsivity, control of anger, talking, behavior, dependence, emotional stability, depression.
Following a brain injury, the person may experience any number of these effects in varying degrees. Individuals working with a person with a brain injury will need to be particularly sensitive, observant and flexible.

Survivors Of Brain Injury Are Saying:

 · Courage is what it takes to keep going after a brain injury.
· Treat us with dignity, respect and love in spite of our challenges.
· We rely on your good advice.
· Tell us when improvement will take a long time.
· Get to know us as a person and learn to communicate with us.
· Find out what motivate and keep us going.
· We need your encouragement to do our best.
· Positive feedback is far better than patronization .
· We need to take a risk sometimes.
· It is difficult for our old friends to “handle” the injury and it is hard for us to make new friends.

(Brain Injury Association of Canada)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Learn the Signs of a Person Having a Stroke.

Stroke is a medical emergency!

June is Stroke Awareness Month....

Learn the signs of stroke
If you or someone with you experiences any of these signs, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. Acting quickly can improve your survival and recovery.

Do not drive yourself or the person having a stroke to the hospital – an ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

Do you recognize Anorexia or Eating Disorders in Yourself or in A Friend?

There is Help!

Call the Huron Outreach Eating Disorders Program.

(A Satellite Program of the Alexandra Marine & General Hospital)

1 877 695 2524

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Elder Abuse Awareness

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On June 15th, Ontario joins jurisdictions across Canada and around the world to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD).
By wearing something purple on June 15th, we can raise awareness of this important issue and demonstrate that we are united in the belief that elder abuse cannot be tolerated.

Elder abuse: what it is and who can help

One in five Canadians believes they know of a senior who might be experiencing some form of abuse. Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to elder abuse and it is happening in communities across Canada.
Outlined here is basic information on how seniors and Canadians can spot elder abuse as well as information on how to help stop it.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is any action by someone in a relationship of trust that results in harm or distress to an older person. Neglect is a lack of action by that person in a relationship of trust with the same result. Commonly recognized types of elder abuse include physical, psychological and financial. Often, more than one type of abuse occurs at the same time. Abuse can be a single incident or a repeated pattern of behaviour.
Financial abuse is the most commonly reported type of elder abuse.

Why does elder abuse happen?

Elder abuse often occurs because of the abuser's power and control over an older person. In some situations, the abuse may also result from addiction issues (drugs, alcohol or gambling), mental health problems, a cycle of family violence or ageism. Abuse can happen when the aggressor wants to intimidate, isolate, dominate or control another person.

Who abuses seniors?

Older adults affected by abuse often know and trust the person mistreating them. Elder abuse can be caused by a family member, a friend, someone who provides assistance with basic needs or services, or health care providers in institutional settings. In many situations of elder abuse, the abuser is dependent on the older adult for money, food or shelter.

Who is affected by elder abuse?

Most older people who experience abuse are able to make decisions for themselves.
Abuse can happen to anyone, in any family or relationship. It can happen to people of all backgrounds, ages, religions, races, cultures and ethnic origins.

Why are some older adults reluctant to talk about elder abuse?

Older adults may feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone they are being abused by someone they trust. They may fear retaliation or punishment, or they may have concerns about having to move from their home or community. They may also feel a sense of family loyalty. Often, older adults may not be aware of people and resources that can help.

Who can help?

It is important that the older person have access to information to make informed decisions and be aware of available help. This may include support and assistance from family members or friends, health care providers, social services, police, legal professionals and/or members of faith communities. No one ever deserves to be abused or neglected.

What are indicators of elder abuse and neglect?

Elder abuse and neglect can be very difficult to detect. The following signs and symptoms may indicate that an older adult is being victimized or neglected:
  • fear, anxiety, depression or passiveness in relation to a family member, friend or care provider;
  • unexplained physical injuries;
  • dehydration, poor nutrition or poor hygiene;
  • improper use of medication;
  • confusion about new legal documents, such as a new will or a new mortgage;
  • sudden drop in cash flow or financial holdings; and
  • reluctance to speak about the situation.
Raising awareness among seniors about their right to live safely and securely is seen as the most important issue for governments when it comes to elder abuse, with 9 in 10 Canadians (90.5 percent) rating it as a high priorityFootnote 1.

Physical abuse of seniors

Physical abuse of seniors includes actions that injure or risk injuring an older person or cause them physical pain and may include:
  • striking;
  • hitting;
  • pushing;
  • shaking;
  • burning;
  • shoving;
  • inappropriate physical and chemical restraints; or
  • harm created by over or under medicating.

Psychological abuse of seniors

Psychological abuse of seniors includes actions that decrease their sense of self-worth and dignity, and may include:
  • insults;
  • threats;
  • intimidation;
  • humiliation;
  • harassment;
  • treating them like a child; or
  • isolating them from family, friends or regular activities.

Financial abuse of seniors

Financial abuse includes actions that decrease the financial worth of an older person without benefit to that person and may include:
  • misusing or stealing a senior's assets, property or money;
  • cashing an elderly person's cheques without authorization;
  • forging an elderly person's signature;
  • unduly pressuring seniors to make or change a will, or to sign legal documents that they do not fully understand; and
  • sharing an older person's home without paying a fair share of the expenses when requested.

Neglect of seniors

Neglect includes inactions that may result in harm to an older person and may include a caregiver or family member not providing appropriate:
  • water or food;
  • shelter;
  • clothing;
  • medication or medical attention; and
  • assistance with basic necessities.
Seniors most vulnerable to neglect include those who are socially isolated, and those with serious health conditions.
Abuse happens when one person hurts or mistreats another. Remember:
  • Seniors are entitled to respect.
  • Seniors have every right to live in safety and security.
  • There is no excuse for abuse.

For more information, visit  Elder Abuse Ontario’s WEAAD website or the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse website.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Help for Arthritis Sufferers

Are you living with the Pain of Arthritis?

A physiotherapist from the Arthritis Society is once again coming to SHHA to provide their services close to home. 

The Arthritis Clinic is held in the Physio Department (downstairs) at SHHA every 2nd Friday.

There needs to be a confirmed Diagnosis of Arthritis as the primary presenting problem, but not assessment/management of Muscular pain or post-operative joint replacement rehabilitation.

You may refer yourself to this program.  Click the link below to get to the Referral Form.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sun Awareness Week

Dangerous Gaps in Sun Safety Knowledge

OTTAWA, June 1, 2015 – A new survey commissioned by the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) for Sun Awareness Week suggests that Canadians have taken warnings about the risks of sun exposure to heart, but still continue to harbour some dangerous misconceptions.

One quarter of respondents indicated that when it is cloudy outside, there is no need to use sunscreen. Many also seem to believe that sunscreen is more permanent than it actually is: only 49 per cent reapply after swimming, 32 per cent after two hours in the sun and 24 per cent after perspiring.

"Cloudy days trick us by filtering out the heat and the light of the sun, and leaving us with high levels of UV radiation, " said Dr. Jennifer Beecker, chair of the CDA Sun Awareness Advisory Board. "It feels counterintuitive to put sunscreen on when it’s cloudy, but it’s necessary. In fact, in some instances, clouds can even increase UV radiation by bouncing it back down to Earth. This makes it just as important to wear sunscreen on overcast days as when the sun is blazing."

"As well, even though sunscreens continue to improve over time, they are not waterproof," said Dr. Beecker. "Some are water resistant, but even so, they must be reapplied regularly, especially if you are sweating or swimming."

Skin cancer is one of a small number of cancers that can be prevented through simple measures such as limiting sun exposure, seeking shade, wearing hats and clothing, and using an SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. Even so, skin cancer continues to rise in Canada.

Canadians born in the 1990s have two to three times higher lifetime risk of getting skin cancer compared to those born in the 1960s. For those born in the 1990s, there is a one-in-six lifetime risk of having skin cancer. For those born in the 1960s, there is a one-in-20 lifetime risk.

Changing lifestyles

Skin cancer has been on the rise in Canada since the 1970s, with its most dangerous form, melanoma, now the third most common cancer among women aged 15 to 29 years.

Many older Canadians are paying the price for sunbathing habits of the past. Today, some of the shine may have worn off sunbathing, but more and more Canadians are turning to outdoor activities as a way of improving health and quality of life.

"Physicians welcome this trend," said Dr. Beecker, "and we urge people, as they get active outdoors, not just to look after their heart, lungs and muscles, but also their skin. Develop good sun hygiene and stick with it."

Because many outdoor enthusiasts swim or sweat while participating in activities, it is even more important to take precautions when active than under normal circumstances.

Attitudes toward sun safety

The Sun Awareness Week survey did find that public information was having a positive impact on Canadians. For example:

• 92 per cent of respondents said it was essential to protect their skin from the sun.

• 86 per cent always or occasionally seek shade when going out between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

• 85 percent apply sunscreen when going outdoors.


• 57 per cent check the UV Index before going outdoors.

Despite this positive news, there remains a small group of people who are sceptical about the dangers of sun exposure. Twenty-four percent of respondents said they believe that the dangers of the sun are exaggerated.

The survey was conducted between April 2 and 9, 2015, by Ipsos Reid. It collected the responses of over one thousand Canadians, male and female, aged 16 and over. Its findings are considered credible +/- 3.4 percent, 19 times out of 20.
About Sun Awareness Week

The Canadian Dermatology Association has organized a nation-wide Sun Awareness Week in early summer since 1989. The aim is to educate Canadians about the dangers of too much sun and to help stop the rising incidence of skin cancer in Canada. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015




Huron Butts Out Clinic

Want to
quit smoking?

We can help you
with free nicotine replacement
therapy (patches, gum)
Connect you to the help you need.
Huron Butts Out Clinic
1 877 837 6143  or  519 482 3416
1-877-837-6143 or 519-482-3416