Thursday, September 02, 2010
Salmonella is a type of bacteria

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Salmonella, which is in the news again, is one of those words that everyone uses but is not sure what it is. Salmonella is a type of bacteria. There are upper respiratory bacteria that sit in our nose and throat, on our skin and in our intestines. As a matter of fact, bacteria form most of the stool that we produce. There are many good bacteria in our intestines. They help us digest food. There are also some bacteria that are bad for our intestines. Salmonella is one of these. Salmonella usually causes diarrhea, which may cause a great deal of fluid loss. For this reason, dehydration can be an issue. The diarrhea may be bloody in nature. That is especially true in children. There may be other symptoms associated with diarrhea in people with Salmonella. These include fever and chills. Some people will be infected with Salmonella without having much in the way of symptoms. They may have an asymptomatic infection. In those cases, the infection lasts for a short period and then disappears. They may actually carry the bacteria and then spread it. For example, typhoid fever is one type of Salmonella infection. The famous typhoid Mary was a carrier of Salmonella. She passed it on to other people without getting sick herself. Salmonella can be more aggressive in certain individuals. For example, people with sickle cell disease do not have a lot of natural protection against Salmonella. They can become seriously ill if they get Salmonella. People with other kinds of immune problems are also at risk. Young children do not have as much protection as adults. For that reason, it can get into their bloodstream. Those kinds of infections can be very serious. Sometimes it can spread from the bloodstream to the bones which causes osteomyelitis. It can spread to the brain and cause meningitis or it can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonia. Fortunately, these kinds of infections are rare. One might think that a Salmonella infection can be treated with antibiotics since it is a bacterial infection. Serious infections such as pneumonia or meningitis or osteomyelitis are treated that way. However, in most patients with just diarrhea, they will get better in a few days. Antibiotics will not get them better any quicker. In addition, antibiotics can sometimes make the infection go into hiding. It then might come back when the antibiotics stop. It could lead the person to be a carrier. For that reason, we do not usually use antibiotics to treat Salmonella diarrhea. Eggs are the transmission form in the news at present. However, there are many other sources. Other animals such as pet turtles can spread it. It can be spread from one person to another. I once had two families of 14 people total that I had to admit to the hospital for Salmonella infection and dehydration. They had all eaten the same undercooked pea soup with ham-hocks in it and got sick. The bottom line is that while Salmonella can cause serious illness, most people develop a few days of diarrhea and then get better. Salmonella is a lot more common than people think. So, it's a good idea to cook your eggs thoroughly and not eat them soft boiled or sunny side up.

Alzheimer's Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Alzheimer's Support Group meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at LifeCare at Lofland Park's, first floor Resident Lounge, 715 E. King St., Seaford. Modeled from the American Stroke Association, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is engaging speakers to provide education, community resources and emotional support to those who have been affected by this life-altering disease.This group provides support and information about Alzheimer's and dementia to families, caregivers, and anyone who is affected by this disease. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, call LifeCare at Lofland Park at 628-3000, ext. 8302.

First aid classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid on Tuesday, Sept. 14 from 6:30-9:30 p.m., at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn basic first aid that will enable them to administer help during the first few moments until emergency responders arrive. Classes are open to participants age 13 and up. The course covers cognitive learning, role-playing and skill practice. Cost is $30. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days before the class. Late registrations (if seating is available) will be an additional $5 fee. To register, or for more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Luaces joins Delaware Hospice Delaware Hospice announces the appointment of Victor Luaces as vice president of Access and Business Development. Luaces is a senior executive with a proven track record in developing effective marketing and sales strategies. He brings to Delaware Hospice more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience with large multinational companies. He is fluent in Spanish and brings valuable multi-cultural experiences.

'Look Good, Feel Better' program Women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer can now receive free professional help to cosmetically disguise the appearance-related side effects of their treatments.

LOOK GOOD...FEEL BETTER, a program developed by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cosmetology Association, trains volunteer cosmetologists to help women with cancer, conceal loss of hair, skin problems, and other side effects that can result from cancer therapy. The next program will be hosted by the Cancer Care Center at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital on Monday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cancer Care Center's 2nd floor conference room.The program is free to all patients in active cancer treatment. Registration is required, and space is limited. To register, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Cancer Care Center at 629-6611, ext. 2378 or 2588.

Randeree joins staff Nanticoke Memorial Hospital welcomes Rashida Randeree, DO, MS, BA to its active medical staff.She specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology and joins Nanticoke Women's Health Services. Dr. Randeree is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Medical Association. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. Dr. Randeree also has a master's degree in natural sciences/epidemiology, a bachelor's degree in biology and an associate's degree in math/science. She is accepting new patients at 8472 Herring Run Rd., Seaford, 629-0452.

Prostate screenings offered September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Care Center staff at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will provide prostate screenings on Friday, Sept. 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the lobby of the Miller Building (121 S. Front St., Seaford). There is a $5 screening fee and pre-registration and fasting are not required. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital encourages men over 50 to take advantage of this service. Also men age 40 and at high risk of developing prostate cancer are also encouraged to participate. African-American men and men who have a family history of the disease have a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. For more information, call Melinda Huffman, nurse navigator, at 629-6611, ext. 3765 or 2378.

Delaware Hospice support group Delaware Hospice's Bereavement Counselor, Paul Ganster, LCSW, will lead an eight-week grief support group on "Grieving the Loss of a Loved One," on Thursdays, from Oct. 14 through Dec. 9, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. There is no fee for this service which is provided as a community outreach by Delaware Hospice. To register, call Paul Ganster, LCSW, at 357-7147, or email

Cancer Support Group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones held at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The next meeting takes place on Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m. The Wellness Community, an affiliate of the Cancer Support community, is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. Facilitators are trained mental health professionals with a master's degree or more. Call 645-9150 for information or to register for this program. All support groups offered at the Wellness Community are free of charge. This program is made possible by the support of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford.

BBQ & Antique Car Show Methodist Manor House will hold the 2nd Annual Chicken BBQ & Antique Car Show to benefit Delaware Hospice on Saturday, Sept. 11, from noon to 3 p.m., at 1001 Middleford Rd., Seaford. Guests will also enjoy a live broadcast of Eagle 97.7, bake sale, craft table, gift shop and Manor House Thrift Shop. Cost is $8 per chicken platter. Tickets may be purchased from the receptionist at Methodist Manor House.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.