Thursday, November 01, 2012
Cure can be worse than disease

By Dr. Anthony Policastro There are times when the cure is worse than the disease. We have some of those situations involving bones. There are some pediatric conditions that cause cosmetic issues. The fix is to break some bones and then put things back together so that the appearance is improved. For obvious reasons we do not often do these things. The first such condition is called pectus excavatum, a situation where the bottom of the rib cage is curved inward instead of being flat. It can go from being a mild inward curvature to being a more obvious curvature. The fix to this condition is to break all the ribs connected to the sternum. Then an artificial piece can be put into place and connected to the bones. The result will be an improved appearance. However, the cost in pain from the procedure is not usually worth it. A second condition is called femoral anteversion. In this situation, the child spends a lot of time doing what is called "w-sitting," sitting with their legs out to the side instead of criss-crossed. The result is that the legs become comfortable in this position. When they stand up the legs are then turned in and they wind up tripping over their own feet. The best approach to this is to encourage the child to sit with their legs criss-crossed. That will not fully fix the issue but it will make it better. A more extreme fix is to break the femurs and then spin them around so that they are now straight. The good news is that no one does this surgery anymore. Therefore, a change in sitting position is all that can be done. A third condition is known as craniosynostosis which occurs in children under a year of age. It refers to the bones of the skull fusing together before they should. The result is a misshapen skull. Of the three conditions, it is the one with the most extreme cosmetic changes. However, again the fix is to break the fused skull bones apart. They can then be allowed to refuse at a slower rate. This is major surgery so it is not undertaken lightly. There are instances in which the fusing of the bones occurs to such a degree that it interferes with brain growth. This becomes more than a cosmetic issue. Therefore, surgery is needed under those circumstances. As a rule cosmetic issues are not things that should trigger this kind of significant surgery. There are occasions when parents are so obsessed with appearances that they are almost demanding that something be done. In those instances that cure could indeed be worse than the disease.

Team leads new Emergency Center Bayhealth is proud to announce that Steven Talbot, DO, and Kim Ford, RN, will be leading the medical team at its new, state-of-the-art freestanding Emergency Center located at 401 N. Carter Rd., Smyrna. Both familiar faces at Bayhealth Kent General and Milford Memorial, Talbot and Ford bring a great deal of medical and leadership experience to their new roles at the Smyrna Emergency Center. Talbot will serve as medical director and Ford as the nurse manager. They are committed to a total team approach to emergency medicine. "Smyrna, Clayton, Middletown, and Townsend have been underserved for too long. We are happy to be able to bring those communities rapid access to excellent emergency care," said Talbot. In preparation for the facility's opening day on Dec. 5, Ford and Talbot are spearheading a number of initiatives such as team building activities, "moulage" (injury simulation) drills, and selective hiring processes to ensure the best possible care for Smyrna and neighboring areas.

Go Red scholarship program The American Heart Association and Macy's, national sponsor of Go Red For Women, announce the second year of the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund which is designed to help women of diverse backgrounds achieve a dream of working in a healthcare position. This year's deadline is Nov. 30 and several prizes will be awarded in the amount of $2,500. For more information, or to apply online, visit

Peninsula Home Care recognized Peninsula Home Care, a licensed and certified home health service provider headquartered on the Lower Eastern Shore, has been named to the Decision Health "2012 HomeCare Elite." HomeCare Elite is a compilation of the top-performing Medicare-certified home health agencies in the United States. This is the third time in four years the agency has been recognized with the ranking. Peninsula Home Care has been serving patients in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset Counties in Maryland, and Sussex County in Delaware for nearly 30 years. The HomeCare Elite recognizes the top 25-percent of home health agencies based on performance measures in quality outcomes, quality improvement and financial performance. It also compares agencies to the overall performance averages in their state. It is the only performance recognition of its kind in the home health industry. For more information visit The entire list of HomeCare Elite agencies can be viewed on the OCS website at

Tobacco cessation classes Bayhealth's seven week Tobacco Cessation program offers support and guidance to help you quit using all tobacco products. The next series of classes begins Tuesday, Nov. 6 and is held every Tuesday for seven weeks, ending on Dec. 18. The class will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Rehab Conference Room at Bayhealth Milford Memorial. This series of classes offers strategies to improve your lifestyle through behavior modification, diet, stress reduction, exercise and nicotine replacement therapy. The "quit week" is the fourth week of the program. This program is free to all Delaware residents. Call 1-877-453-7107 to register. You must be at least 18 to register and be able to attend all sessions. For more information, call Bayhealth Clinical Educator Terry Towne, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, at 744-6724.

HNMH offers CPR classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and receive a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor. The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency. Cost is $40. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

HIV/AIDS Support Group A new support group for HIV/AIDS will meet every other Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in the Branford Lounge at Epworth UMC at 19285 Holland Glade Rd., Rehoboth Beach. The group is sponsored by Epworth UMC, CAMP Rehoboth, the AIDs Delaware and Delaware HIV Consortium. For more information, contact David at

Parkinson's support group meeting The Nanticoke Parkinson's Education and Support Group will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on the third Monday of each month, from 10 to 11:30 a.m in the ballroom at the Nanticoke Senior Center. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and stay for lunch and a social time after the meeting.