Spread the word about heart disease on National Wear Red Day

Do you know the truth about women and heart disease? More women die of heart disease than any other disease—even breast cancer. And living with it can lead to disability and a decreased quality of life.

Join Durham Regional staff on National Wear Red Day tomorrow—Friday, February 1—to help spread the message that heart disease doesn’t care what you wear; it’s the number one killer of women. Wear your favorite red dress, red shirt or red tie to inspire women to take action to protect their hearts.

CardiologyFor women ages 40-60, having just one risk factor can increase your risk for heart disease by 40 percent. Multiple risk factors multiply your risk. Know the risk factors for heart disease that you have control over:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol and high triglyceride levels
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes and pre-diabetes

Talk to your doctor to find out if you are at risk, and take action. Not smoking, heart healthy eating, physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and taking prescribed medication can help control and reduce your risks.

To learn more about women and heart disease, visit The Heart Truth or call the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Health Information Center at 301-592-8573. Visit durhamregional.org to learn about our heart services and find a cardiologist who’s right for you.

Durham Regional welcomes new families to Mother/Baby Unit

Yesterday at Durham Regional, Unit 4-3 Mother/Baby re-opened after a series of renovations, and the hospital welcomed patients into the new space.

New mom MiKeisha and newborn Kayley of Roxboro helped celebrate this milestone. They joined unit nurses and hospital staff by cutting the ribbon and marking Mother/Baby’s official reopening.

Mother/Baby ribbon cutting

MiKeisha and Kayley were the first patients to move into their new room on the Mother/Baby unit. While a couple nurses helped the family get settled, the Women’s Services team introduced several other new families to the updated space.

MiKeisha and Kayley

For more pictures of the ribbon-cutting and MiKeisha and Kayley, find Durham Regional Hospital on Facebook.

Mother/Baby Unit re-opens Monday

Ellen Byars
Clinical Nurse II, Unit 4-3 Mother/Baby

At Durham Regional, we’re committed to providing the best care for every patient, every time. Part of that commitment involves working to continually improve our patients’ experience by renovating the hospital. Renovations are nearly complete for Unit 4-3 Mother/Baby and gynecology services.  

By noon Monday, January 28, patients and their loved ones will be enjoying the beautiful new space. Patient rooms feature soothing new wall colors and curtains along with many other stylish updates, making this a special place for families to welcome their little ones.

Patient rooms have

  • increased square footage
  • new windows and HVAC units
  • glass tile-accented bathrooms with Americans with Disabilities Act-approved toilets
  • updated lighting fixtures

In addition, patients’ loved ones will enjoy multiple sleeping options, including recliners and futon-style benches in the rooms. The renovations also include a self-service nutrition area so patients can help themselves to snacks, ice and drinks as well as access to a refrigerator and microwave.

Mother-Baby room1

Mother-Baby room2

Women’s Services will continue to improve the patient experience with renovations to Special Care Nursery and Labor and Delivery.

Durham Regional earns ACR accreditation for MRI

Durham Regional Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Radiology at Durham Regional Hospital“Being accredited by the ACR is something our department and staff are very proud of,” says Paula Whitfield, MRI supervisor at Durham Regional. “ACR accreditation is recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging. When you see the ACR gold seal, you know the facility has undergone a rigorous review process, staff are well qualified to perform your procedure and the equipment takes optimal images.” 

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, staff qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed.

MRI is a noninvasive medical test that uses magnetic fields to create images of internal body parts to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Durham Regional has two MRI scanners and offers MRI of the head, spine and body, as well as musculoskeletal MRI and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.

Learn more about diagnostic imaging services at durhamregional.org/imaging.

Stay safe during winter weather

family in snowDurham and the surrounding areas are under a winter storm warning, beginning at 6 pm Thursday until 4 am Friday. According to the local weather forecast, Durham can expect rain and snow this evening, with snow accumulating up to four inches overnight.

Before conditions worsen later today, prepare for the winter weather. Make sure you have

  • Enough water and food for each person and pet in your home
  • Flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Medications you regularly take and a first aid kit
  • A fully charged cell phone
  • Warm clothing and blankets

Once you’re ready to weather the storm, keep these tips in mind to stay safe until you and your loved ones can return to work, school and other activities.

  • Listen to the radio or watch the news for weather updates.
  • Avoid driving in freezing rain, sleet and snow as much as possible.
  • Stay indoors, and wear warm clothing to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Help loved ones and neighbors (such as the elderly who live alone) who may need special assistance.
  • Go to a public shelter if your home loses power or heat.

Listen to your heart

Keep your heart healthy!Protect yourself and those you love by becoming familiar with techniques to detect and react to a heart attack.

“The most common signs you may be experiencing a heart attack are pain, discomfort and pressure in your chest,” says Michael Komada, MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist at Durham Regional Hospital. “You may also experience shortness of breath, nausea, a sense of clamminess or jaw discomfort.”

In addition to the classic symptoms, there are other, less common signs that may indicate you are experiencing a cardiac issue, such as feelings of indigestion, fatigue or muscle strain.

“Anybody who develops new symptoms of indigestion or muscle strain in the chest region should have it checked out to make sure it’s not an indication of heart disease,” Dr. Komada says.

What to Do When You Expect the Worst

“If you believe you are experiencing a heart attack, the smartest move is to call 911,” says Dr. Komada. “Taking an aspirin is usually a good idea, but the sooner you connect with emergency medical technicians [EMT] by calling 911 the faster the award-winning cardiac care team at Durham Regional can begin coordinating your treatment and recovery.”

Recent advancements in emergency response technology allow some rescue squads to conduct electrocardiograms on the spot, and early coordination allows admitted patients with blockages to be treated more efficiently. At Durham Regional, cardiac care is highly orchestrated from the moment the EMTs reach you until the day you go home.

To learn more about cardiac care services offered at Durham Regional, visit durhamregional.org/heart.


Don’t be a bystander when minutes count!

Saturday, February 9 at 10 am
First Level Classroom at Durham Regional Hospital
Join us for bystander CPR training as well as a panel discussion on heart attack and stroke, warning signs, symptoms and prevention tips. The panel will include Eric Moore, MD, cardiologist with Triangle Heart Associates; Michael Komada, MD, interventional cardiologist with Triangle Heart Associates and Nada El Husseini, MD, Duke neurologist.

To register, visit durhamregional.org/events or call 919-403-4DRH.

Durham Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals welcome physicians from China

Durham Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals have welcomed five physicians from Shanghai Pudong Medical Center in Shanghai, China, to observe the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery program.

Chinese physicians visit

Dana Portenier, MD (right), surgeon at the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery, discusses a patient’s case with Peng Zhang, one of the physicians visiting from China.

During the month of January, the visitors will observe and learn about the clinical, research and academic aspects of the program, and then will return to Shanghai to establish the first institute of metabolic and weight loss surgery.

“We are very pleased to host Shanghai Pudong Medical Center’s bariatric and metabolic surgery team,” said Alfonso Torquati, MD, MSci, medical director of the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery. “Meeting this distinguished group is a wonderful opportunity to exchange views on many aspects of weight loss surgery and discuss important issues relating to the management of patients with morbid obesity. The visit will enhance our understanding on current and future policies related to weight loss surgery in China, opening new opportunities for future collaboration.”

In addition to training at both hospitals, physicians with the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery and Shanghai Pudong Medical Center are planning to hold an international conference on metabolic surgery in Shanghai later in the year, and plan long-term collaborations in research and education around metabolic syndrome and diabetes resolution in weight loss surgery.