Loma Linda University Health

Cardiologists use nation’s first alternative access point for heart device to save a veteran

In a first of its kind in the United States, cardiologists at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute have performed a pioneering coronary intervention with an Impella heart assist device and stent placement through single access from the axillary artery in the shoulder. The new procedure offers surgeons another option to help save the lives of people suffering from severely calcified coronary heart disease, which kills more than 370,000 Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Seventy-year-old Vietnam veteran David Quiett presented at Loma Linda University Medical Center with a heart attack. Physicians quickly learned that he had severely calcified coronary artery disease in his major arteries. He was in need of stents and a heart-saving pumping device. But surgeons were unable to insert both interventions in separate vascular entry points because of the patient’s calcification. The pumping device is usually inserted through the femoral artery near the groin, and stents are placed through a separate artery. Due to the patient’s condition, there were no viable traditional arterial access points. With no options left, Loma Linda University Heart Institute interventional…

Loma Linda University Health nurse honored for donating 113 gallons of blood, inducted into national Donation Hall of Fame

Dexter Emoto, RN, a post-anesthesia care unit and recovery room nurse at Loma Linda University Health, has been inducted into the national Fresenius Kabi Donation Hall of Fame for his blood donations. Emoto started donating his blood 45 years ago while he was attending Pacific Union College (PUC) in California’s Napa Valley. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people, and at the time, I simply hoped someone could benefit from my donation,” he said. Emoto has donated more than 113 gallons, making him one of the highest blood donors in the western United States. That blood has helped nearly 1,500 individuals, estimates Lifestream. Representatives from Fresenius Kabi, an organization that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies, inducted Emoto into its national Donation Hall of Fame Wednesday for his contributions. Emoto began routinely donating blood at Lifestream in San Bernardino, California, in 1982 after transferring from PUC to Loma Linda University School of Nursing. “I realized I could benefit the patients in my local hospital by donating,” Emoto said. “Almost all of my donations have come to the Loma Linda University Medical Center, where it goes to…

Loma Linda University Health performs Inland Empire’s first spinal ablation surgery to treat tumors

A new, innovative and minimally invasive procedure called Spinal Tumor Ablation with Radiofrequency was successfully performed last month at Loma Linda University Health, the first such procedure in the Inland Empire. The procedure involves making small incisions in the back at each bone level to insert a probe directly into the tumor. The probe emits heat generated by the radiofrequency to kill the tumor cells. Once the tumor has been ablated, surgeons then stabilize the weakened bone by performing kyphoplasty — a procedure in which the surgeon uses a balloon-like device to inject cement into the spine. Spinal Tumor Ablation can be performed in as little as a few hours and allows patients to return to activities more quickly than traditional surgeries. “This is a great minimally invasive therapy for patients with metastatic disease or primary tumor of bone because it provides patients another option for better quality of life and control of their tumor disease without exposing them to the risk of traditional surgeries,” said Namath Hussain, MD, a neurosurgeon who performed the procedure. Hussain said traditional surgeries to remove a spinal tumor often involve opening the…

Loma Linda University Cancer Center launches breast pain clinic that combines medical and psychologic treatment

Loma Linda University Cancer Center has created a breast pain clinic that combines medical and psychological interventions to treat the common condition experienced by women — the first in the nation to create a multidisciplinary approach to breast pain management. The clinic incorporates the use of a medical treatment plan to treat physical pain while using one-on-one and group therapy sessions with stress management tools that can unearth underlying stressors causing breast pain. The clinic also educates attendees on the definition, causes and remedies of the condition. Some 70% of women experience breast pain in their lifetime, yet only 7% of women with breast cancer have breast pain as their first symptom, according to the breast pain clinic co-director and director of Loma Linda University Cancer Center Breast Health Center, Sharon S. Lum, MD. Yet many women believe their pain is due to cancer and end up in an oncologist’s office. To save women time and offer them the resources they need, Lum partnered with clinical oncology therapist Gabriela E. Gutierrez, PhD, LMFT, to launch this clinic. “When someone gets stressed, they can get headaches or even stomach aches,…

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