Hip Replacements and Heart Health

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Question:

Dear Dr. Dan,

What concerns should a person with a hip replacement have regarding metal ions being released into the body and the (possible) affects on the heart?

Answer:

Well this topic is quite the buzz on some TV stations and on Lawyer blogs.  Yet, there is only mild evidence that there are any consequences to the patients that have hip replacements with metal prosthetics. At present the evidence is so slight that it has Not affected the sales or implantation of hip replacements.

Present pop culture and sensational “jump the gun” conclusions suggest a negative association between hip replacement and their metal alloys and ions on the human condition. I think the evidence at present is so scant that it would not make me pause before getting a needed hip replacement.
This question was written in by a reader. If you have questions for me, feel free to write in here.
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Dr. Dan on the Today Show

4424a068568b34a72b30aad6e9a88293Women should Use Caution if taking the sleeping pill AMBIEN.

Watch Dr Dan interviewed on the Today Show:

http://www.today.com/id/3041426/ns/today-today_health/#50431307

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Dr.Dan on NBC News with Brian Williams tonight!

The FDA is concerned about the sleeping pill AMBIEN, and it’s long lasting effects, especially on women. FDA is considering making changes to the recommended dosage. NBC Nightly News interviewed Dr. Dan today.

Watch it here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3032619/#50427041

 

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Dr. Dan on KCET “SoCal Connected”

On November 26, 2012 – Dr. Dan was interviewed by KCET on the television show SOCAL CONNECTED. The episode focused on a topic  – that of making difficult end of life decisions – that for most people is not pleasant to discuss. However, it is very common for people to find themselves experiencing this sensitive challenge at some point in their life  – whether for themselves or for a family member. Perhaps the KCET show, will help make this type of conversation a bit less uncomfortable to discuss.

You can watch it here:  http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/health/choosing-to-die-making-difficult-end-of-life-decisions.html

Dr. Dan’s last blog also spoke about the process in making these difficult decisions, especially for family members. Being a bit more prepared can help make a huge difference…read it here.

Wishing you healthy and Happy Holidays!

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The Dying Patient

The patient is hooked up to machines…breathing machines, blood pressure machines, tubes and more tubes. Days go by and hopes and fears abound. Different shifts of nurses, therapists and doctors change every few hours and time goes by. Guests of the patient come and go. Sometimes none. Sometimes one. Sometimes more.

In this scenario, patients illnesses and diagnosis can vary, but the scene looks pretty much the same. Families start to ask questions to the nurses and to whatever doctor comes around: “How bad is it? Is there anything else that can be done? When will things get better?” and many more questions of this sort.

Frequently nurses start to notify the doctors that the family members are upset and feel no-one is talking to them. Often some members of the family begin to question the medical care being delivered. Yet, talking about what the doctors believe are the last days of life can be a very difficult and confusing issue for the family.

Every day, as the patient gets critical care, tens of thousands of dollars are spent. During the last days of life in hospitals, more money is spent per patient, than for any other kind of major treatment costs.

Often, the discussion of turning off machines begins and families can be astoundingly strong and united, or fractious and disjointed. Despite what medical professionals may say, families or family members may ‘“want everything done” regardless of what they are told the odds of survival are. Expectations abound, especially regarding the presumed ability of medical technologies. People hear over exaggerated stories of lives saved despite bad odds, and this leads to even more confusion with families.

This is when the dignity of dying becomes the major issue. Many people sign an Advanced Directive that defines what they want if they are in a situation of doubtful survival in the hospital setting. This certainly helps. But if no advanced directive is available then the family needs to decide what to do or what NOT to do.

At this very sensitive time, the angels might appear. These angels are called “Hospice Care”. More commonly, this team of hospital personnel will intervene and help care for the patient, if requested. They are usually the most compassionate people and are experts at helping the family and the patient receive the most pain free and professional care.

If you have a family member that is terminally ill and may require compassionate care, I kindly suggest you look for the hospice team in your hospital.

At a date soon to come, I will discuss this delicate matter in more detail and share with you a clip of a recent interview I did for a television program on this topic.

Live well and with love.

–Dr. Dan

If you have any questions you would like to ask Dr. Dan, feel free to write in here.

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