Calling All Helping Hands

Partner with Duke Regional Hospital and give back to your community by becoming a volunteer. Whether in patient care areas or behind the scenes, our volunteers provide valuable assistance in carrying out our mission to care for our patients and their loved ones.

Duke Regional Volunteer Services is looking for individuals who can volunteer Monday through Friday during regular business hours.

“Our volunteers need to have a desire to help others, a good attitude and strong customer service skills,” says Carol Swanson, manager of Corporate Communications and Volunteer Services at Duke Regional. “Volunteering is an opportunity to give back to your community, learn about the hospital and interact with other people who want to give back.”

Visit to print an application and apply to become a volunteer today.

Relief for Chronic Sinus Pain

blowingnoseYou may not have heard of it, but one of the most common health issues in the United States may be right under your nose. If you have allergies or a cold that never seems to go away, it may be chronic sinusitis, a bacterial sinus infection that can last for months or recur again and again.

Chronic sinusitis causes persistent nasal drainage or postnasal drip, sore throat, cough, bad breath and severe sinus pain and pressure. Medications are the first treatment of choice for this condition, but for many patients, surgery offers the best chance for long-lasting relief.

“Chronic sinusitis that is not treated properly not only causes bothersome symptoms, it can actually damage the sinus,” says Donna Sharpe, MD, otolaryngologist at Duke Otolaryngology of Durham. “If someone suspects he has chronic sinusitis, he should receive a thorough evaluation by an ear, nose and throat specialist to determine if surgery can help.”

Today, “sinus surgery” typically means minimally invasive procedures that can restore free breathing quickly and painlessly. A new technique called Balloon Sinuplasty™ opens sinus passages in much the same way that a modern heart surgeon removes a blockage from an artery—by gently inflating a balloon inside. During Balloon Sinuplasty, a surgeon threads a small, lighted probe called an endoscope through the narrow sinus openings. Then a balloon is inflated to enlarge the soft membranes and bony openings of the sinuses. Symptoms of sinusitis improve rapidly, and the beneficial effects can last for up to two years.

For patients in need of more intensive treatment, functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is another minimally invasive option. In this procedure, a surgeon uses an endoscope to guide small surgical instruments into the sinuses and remove any diseased tissue or polyps.

“Sinus treatment today is very different than in the past,” Dr. Sharpe says. “With the advancement of medical technology we can restore the natural function and health of the sinuses with less bleeding and quicker healing.”

Sinus surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure at Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center. Visit to learn more.

Holiday Cheer

No one really enjoys being in a hospital, especially during the holidays.

One of the ways our healthcare team at Duke Regional Hospital works to improve the experience of our patients and their loved ones is to decorate for the season. This year decorations embraced elements from the classic ballet, “The Nutcracker.” Throughout the hospital, our patients, their loved ones and visitors will see nutcrackers, sugar plum fairies, babies in tutus and a rat king or two.

Here are a few highlights:

Door Decorating

Make Preventing Falls a Priority

Aging takes a toll on balance, vision and bone strength, increasing the risk of a fall resulting in a fracture. Most broken hips are caused by falls; for some patients, these injuries limit their ability to live independently.

Avoid falls with these tips:

magazinesClear the way: Remove area rugs, stacks of old magazines, children’s toys, power cords and other objects from the footpaths in your home to prevent tripping and slipping.

lightbulbDo some redecorating: Install more light fixtures or brighter bulbs (but ask a younger friend or family member to climb the ladder), as well as handrails and non-slip mats in the shower or tub.

chairExercise with a purpose: Get active, and incorporate exercises to improve balance into your workout. The National Institutes of Health recommend holding onto the back of a heavy chair, slowly lifting one leg and holding it behind you or to the side for one second. Repeat several times.

Keep an eye on your vision: Stay up to date with your glasses prescription.

If you missed the news about Duke Regional Hospital new Hip Fracture Program, visit our post from December 20, 2013.

Introducing Duke Regional’s Hip Fracture Program

In June, Duke Regional Hospital created a program to enhance the care of hip fracture patients. The goal of the program is for patients to have surgery 24–48 hours after arriving in the Emergency Department (ED) so recovery can begin quickly.

Our hospital features an orthopaedic trauma surgeon available around the clock and an operating room dedicated to severe musculoskeletal injuries. A key focus of our treatment protocol is ensuring patients experience as little pain and confusion as possible before and after surgery.

“We employ as many modes of pain relief as possible to minimize medications’ side effects and maximize patient comfort,” says William Norcross, MD, anesthesiologist at Duke Regional. “An anesthesiologist meets with patients in the ED to administer a preoperative femoral nerve block to relieve pain, if appropriate. We want to avoid delirium in the elderly, which puts them at risk for falls and hinders their ability to care for themselves.”

Hospitalists oversee each patient’s recovery, which includes rehabilitative therapy that begins the day after surgery. When it’s time to go home, patients leave with knowledge about how to prevent falls and keep their recoveries on track.

Visit to learn more.

Most broken hips are caused by falls. Come back December 24 for a few tips to help prevent falls.

Put Your Health First: Holiday Celebrations


By Clinical Dietitian Carson S. Garoni, MS, RD, LDN, Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery

Now that you’ve planned to be healthy this holiday and are committed to healthy eating and exercise, below are a few tips to help with those holiday events and parties.

  • Bring a healthful protein-packed dish to share
  • Use a small plate or napkin and fill it once
  • Move around the room and avoid lingering near the food
  • During a sit down meal use portion control
  • Be careful of increased alcohol – try soda water with a splash of juice instead
  • Concentrate on being social – learn one new thing about each person
  • Give gifts that are not related to food – gym passes, yoga or exercise classes, exercise videos and shoes, crafts, games, movie passes or tickets to area concerts and plays

Happy Holidays!