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Back-to-School Immunizations

With guest blogger, Dr. Brandon Emery of Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice

This time of year makes us think of new backpacks, freshly sharpened pencils and stylish pairs of bright sneakers. But before you send your child back to school, be sure they’re up to date on important vaccinations.

Dr. Brandon Emery

Dr. Brandon Emery

Children ages 10 to 11 should receive a whooping cough (pertussis) booster through the Tdap vaccine. Whooping cough is bacterial infection with violent coughing fits marked by a “whoop” sound while gasping for breath. Children are usually vaccinated for whooping cough as young children. The vaccine provides excellent immunity but decreases over time. That makes older children, teenagers and adults more likely to contract whooping cough and spread it to others.

Around age 11, children should also receive a vaccine for meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the protective membrane around the brain and spinal cord. While the disease is rare, it can be deadly. Symptoms of meningitis are a high fever, severe headaches, and neck stiffness along with altered mental status, sensitivity to light, and vomiting. Teenagers should receive a meningitis booster again between the ages of 16 and 18, before attending college. The disease is known to spread among individuals who live close to each other, such as in a college dorm.

circle of handsAdditionally, children who are 11 can receive a hepatitis A vaccine. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease. Patients catch it when they come in contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by an infected person.

Finally, parents of school-age children should also make sure that their children have had two rounds of the chicken pox vaccine or have immunity. Boys and girls during adolescence should receive an HPV vaccine to prevent several forms of cancer.

For more information about these vaccines, call your doctor or Lexington Pediatric Practice at (803) 359 – 8855. LexPediatricPractice.com

Understanding Open Heart Surgery and Advances in Cardiac Procedures

Join Lexington Medical Center heart surgeon Jeffrey Travis, MD in Sumter on Tuesday, August 5 for a presentation called “Understanding Open Heart Surgery and Advances in Cardiac Procedures.” The event is part of Lexington Medical Center’s quarterly patient education series in Sumter, featuring medical topics that are important to our community.

Dr. Jeffrey Travis

Dr. Jeffrey Travis

“Understanding Open Heart Surgery and Advances in Cardiac Procedures” will take place on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. inside Sumter Cardiology at 540 Physicians Lane in Sumter. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Dr. Travis is a physician with Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. During his career, he has performed more than 1,000 open heart surgical procedures. Dr. Travis earned his medical degree at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Before joining Lexington Medical Center in 2012, Dr. Travis was a heart surgeon in Georgia.

A Duke Medicine affiliate, Lexington Medical Center began its complete cardiac care program in 2012. The hospital expected to perform about 100 open heart surgeries each year. But the program has far exceeded expectations. To date, the hospital has performed more than 500 open heart surgeries. The program has earned the highest designation given to hospitals – a three-star rating for heart surgery – from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). For the year 2013, only 15 percent of heart programs nationwide have achieved this prestigious level, which is a designation that recognizes quality and clinical excellence.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has developed a comprehensive rating system for the quality of coronary artery bypass surgery among hospitals across the country. Lexington Medical Center ranked in the highest quality tier for 2013, earning the three-star rating. The STS 2013 analysis included more than 1,000 heart programs nationally.

amberg_130115_269Lexington Medical Center has also earned full chest pain accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). To receive this accreditation, Lexington Medical Center demonstrated its ability to quickly assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an accredited chest pain center, Lexington Medical Center has enhanced the quality of care for cardiac patients and showed its commitment to the highest standards.

The hospital has continued to build its heart program by offering a variety of new services including TAVR, a minimally-invasive technique that replaces the heart’s aortic valve through a catheter, closure of holes in the heart called atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovale (PFO), and insertable cardiac monitors that detect abnormal heart rhythms.

Lexington Medical Center’s work with cardiovascular care extends into the community with a robust heart education program. Heart disease is an epidemic in South Carolina. One out of every 3 people in South Carolina dies of cardiovascular disease. Lexington Medical Center is working to teach our community about risk factors, prevention and cardiac technology.

For more information about Lexington Medical Center’s heart program. visit LexMed.com. For information about the quarterly patient education series in Sumter, visit SumterCardiology.com