New mother feeling very light headed, tired have your heart checked

New Moms if you have any of the following reoccurring symptoms please call your doctor.

Symptoms

* Fatigue
* Feeling of racing heart or skipping beats (palpitations)New moms heart disease -Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
* Increased night-time urination (nocturia)
* Shortness of breath with activity and when laying flat
* Swelling of the ankles
Doctor’s exam may show Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

liver enlargment
neck veins swollen.
low Blood pressure worse stands up
Heart enlargement,
lungs/veins to lung congested
cardiac output/functioning decreased
heart failure

A real time case
Tanya Ginther, 26, had given birth to her second child just two months earlier, so she thought it was only natural to feel tired, and out of breath. But packing the car one day in the garage attached to her Bismarck, N.D., home, Tanya collapsed her heart had stopped without warning – a cardiac arrest.

Doctors later determined Tanya was suffering from a mysterious condition called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PC).
PC strikes as many as 3,000 new mothers in the United States every year, is characterized by symptoms that include fatigue and shortness of breath. No one is certain of its cause or why Peripartum Cardiomyopathy develops.

“The heart muscle weakens in the last months of pregnancy,” Sharonne Hayes, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic, told ABC News. “We don’t know what causes it. It could be inflammation, or a virus, or the changes in hormones.”

At a Bismarck, N.D., hospital, Tanya Ginther’s heart stopped, again and again. Doctors, shocking her back to life each time, She needed a heart pump. In a last attempt to save her life, the Mayo Clinic dispatched one of its “air ambulances,” a Learjet equipped with the latest emergency medical equipment, to lift Tanya to its hospital in Rochester, Minn.

But at an altitude of 30,000 feet, Tanya’s heart failed yet again. Today she is fine. She and her family are grateful she is one of the fortunate ones to survive. (1)

Cardiomyopathy occurs when there is damage to the heart. As a result, the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems. Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy in which no other cause of heart dysfunction (weakened heart) can be identified.

In the United States, Peripartum Cardiomyopathy complicates 1 in every 1,300 – 4,000 deliveries. It may occur in childbearing women of any age, but it is most common after age 30.

Risk factors include obesity, having a personal history of cardiac disorders such as myocarditis, use of certain medications, smoking, alcoholism, multiple pregnancies, being African American, and being malnourished. (2)

Resources

1.Excerpts and video courtesy of ABCNews HeartHealth/story?id=6724565&page=1

2.Excerpts and Image courtesy of NIHMedline

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000188

Surgeon General's New Family Health History Tool

Surgeon General’s New Family Health History Tool Is Released

Karen Hendricks of the D.C. Office of the AAP shares the following with you.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Contact: OPHS Press Office
(202) 205-0143
Surgeon General’s New Family Health History Tool Is Released, Ready for “21st Century Medicine”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released an updated and improved version of the Surgeon General’s Internet-based family health history tool. The new tool makes it easier for consumers to assemble and share family health history information.  It can also help practitioners make better use of health history information so they can provide more informed and personalized care for their patients.

“This valuable tool can put family histories to work to improve patient well-being and the quality of care,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said.  “The tool is built on health information technology standards that make it more convenient for consumers and more useful for practitioners.  It is ready for use in electronic health records.  And its software code will be openly available to other health organizations, so they can customize and build on its standards base.”

“Family history has always been an important part of good health care, but it has been underused,” said Acting Surgeon General Steven Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.  “Today, with our growing knowledge of genetics, family history is becoming even more important.  The new tool will help consumers and clinicians alike.  It will also serve as a platform for developing new risk assessment software that will help in screening and prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.”

Key features of the new version of the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait include:

  • Consumers can access the tool easily on the Web.  Completing the family health history profile typically takes 15-20 minutes.  Consumers should not have to keep filling out different health history forms for different practitioners.  Information is easily updated or amended.
  • Consumer control and privacy – The family health history tool gives consumers access to software that builds a family health tree. But the personal information entered during the use of the tool is not kept by a government or other site.  Consumers download their information to their own computer.  From there, they have control over how the information is used.
  • Sharing – Because the information is in electronic form, it can be easily shared with relatives or with practitioners.  Relatives can add to the information, and a special re-indexing feature helps relatives easily start their own history based on data in a history they received. Practitioners can help consumers understand and use their information.
  • EHR-ready, Decision support-ready – Because the new tool is based on commonly used standards, the information it generates is ready for use in electronic health records and personal health records.  It can be used in developing clinical decision software, which helps the practitioner understand and make the most use of family health information.
  • Personalization of care – Family history information can help alert practitioners and patients to patient-specific susceptibilities.
  • Downloadable, customizable – The code for the new tool is openly available for others to adopt.  Health organizations are invited to download and customize, using the tool under their own brand and adding features that serve their needs.  Developers may also use the code to create new risk assessment software tools.

The first adopter of the HHS-developed tool is the National Institute of Genomic Medicine of Mexico (INMEGEN).  Dr. Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez, director general of the institute, will release the Mexican Spanish-language version of the tool in Mexico City this month.  The Mexican family health history tool will be available on the INMEGEN Web site, http://www.inmegen.gob.mx.

The Indian Health Service, an agency of HHS that was instrumental in developing the new Surgeon General tool, will also adopt it into the IHS care system.

One organization saying it will link to the new tool is the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), a cancer advocacy organization.  “A strong family health history tool can be an important element for guiding medical decision-making, especially in the area of cancer screening, prevention and early detection,” said LAF founder and chairman Lance Armstrong.  “This tool will further the capabilities of electronic health records and takes a significant step toward improving clinical care.”

The Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait was originally launched in 2004, but the first version was not standards-based.  The new tool was developed under Secretary Leavitt’s Initiative on Personalized Health Care.  It will be hosted by the National Cancer Institute, where the caBIG® initiative is pioneering health IT networks and software sharing.  A ready process for organizations to download the family health history code is at https://gforge.nci.nih.gov/projects/fhh.

The Surgeon General’s new My Family Health Portrait tool is located at https://familyhistory.hhs.gov.   In addition, a presentation of sample risk assessment tools under development can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=7297 .

Operation Smile

Crest and Oral-B Partner with Operation Smile to See the Difference, Make a Difference from  January through March 2009, Crest and Oral-B are encouraging people across the country to pledge to see the difference in their own smile while also making a difference in children’s smiles worldwide.

OPERATION SMILE was founded in 1982 by Dr. William P. Magee, Jr. and his wife, Kathleen S. Magee, Operation Smile is a worldwide children’s medical charity headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia

More than 120,000 children and young adults in 26 countries have received reconstructive surgeries thanks to thousands of trained healthcare professionals and volunteers.

People can also make a difference by simply purchasing Crest and Oral-B products, as Crest and Oral-B will make a monetary  and product donation to Operation Smile to help give new smiles to children in need.

Crest and Oral-B have partnered with Operation Smile, a not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organization that provides reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children and young adults in developing countries.

Since its inception in 1982, Operation Smile volunteers have provided surgeries for more than 120,000 children and young adults all over the world.

From January through March 2009, when people buy Crest or Oral-B products to help see the difference in their own smile, Crest and Oral-B will make a difference in children’s smiles worldwide in partnership with Operation Smile. “We are thrilled to partner again with Crest and Oral-B. See the difference, make a difference is a win-win for everyone,” says William P. Magee, Jr., DDS, MD, Operation Smile co-founder and CEO. “The program empowers people to not only significantly improve their own dental health, but it also helps us at Operation Smile provide life-changing surgery to correct the smiles of children around the world.

Resources

http://www.operationsmile.org

Video: http://www.operationsmile.org/?cid=3&gclid=CIOE2K2f75cCFRwwawodjE_RDQ

http://www.oralb.com

http://www.cnbc.com/id/28459996/site/14081545