Thursday, June 11, 2015
Doctor's Perspective Every life matters

By Dr. Anthony Policastro When I was a pediatric resident in 1972, neonatology was in its infancy. We often took care of premature infants between 30 and 34 weeks that had previously just died because we could not provide them with enough oxygen. We started using respirators for them and things changed dramatically. Of course at that time science was such that we could only save babies who were born after 27 weeks gestation. We would occasionally have a 26 week infant born. We knew their mortality rate would ultimately be 100% so we would not treat them and they would die. It was a heart wrenching life or death decision each time. Over the years science improved. The survival age gradually moved from 27 weeks down to 24 weeks. However, with each step, we were still having to make the same kind of decisions for the infants who were one week too early. The last time this happened to me was about five to 10 years ago. "O" had a set of twins born at 23 weeks. I got both of them started breathing at birth. However, since the mortality rate was still considered to be 100%, they were not eligible for intensive care. I gave them oxygen and the mother was able to spend nine hours with one and 15 hours with another before they died. Recently, I was watching TV news and they were discussing how they now think that they can actually get down to 23 weeks with treatment. It is too bad that it is now too late for those twins. Over the course of the years I have had to make too many decisions of that kind. Sometimes, it involved very small preemies. Much of the time, it involved deciding when to call a code for patient who was not responding. Occasionally, it was having to make an end of life decision. Every time it was a heartbreaking decision. However, when I look at the news, it seems so easy for others to make those decisions without so much as a mere pause. Human life seems to be worth more in medicine than it does outside the hospital. There are certainly the extremes like ISIS and Boko Harum. They have no respect for human life. However, we see policemen get murdered in New York while sitting in their patrol cars. There is an overzealous use of force taking young lives in the name of the law. We see people who have revenge in their heart supporting the death penalty. Pro-abortion forces feel that Catholics are wrong about the soul being present on conception. But what if the Catholics are correct? That is an existential question. Recently, the St Louis Cardinals mascot got into trouble. Fans asked him to take a picture with them holding a sign which said, "Cops Lives Matter." He obliged. Since this was in St. Louis near Ferguson, Mo., it was a politically charged issue. I do not understand that. The implication is that it is politically incorrect to say that anyone's life matters. I am not sure how that can be. I am not sure how anyone can decide whose life matters and whose life does not. I know for a fact that when I am faced with that kind of decision, every life matters. It should be no different for the rest of us.

KSI Receives Eunice Reed Grant From Milford Lions Club Kent-Sussex Industries, Inc. (KSI) received a grant recently from the Milford Lions Club Eunice Reed Fund. This donation from the Milford Lions shows their dedicated and generous support of KSI. For many years the Milford Lions Club has supported KSI and the people with disabilities that we serve. The funding received from the Eunice Reed Fund grant will help KSI secure a wheelchair lift equipped vehicle designated to KSI's volunteer programs. KSI is a not for profit agency providing vocational training, employment, supported employment, and day habilitation services to individuals with disabilities throughout Kent and Sussex Counties. KSI is committed to making all reasonable accommodations in order to ensure that its programs and services are as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

Contact Alicia Hollis at 422-4014 ext. 3015 for for more information.

Camp New Hope Camp New Hope will take place at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford on July 7-10 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Camp New Hope is a four-day inspiring summer day camp for children who have experienced loss. The camp offers group projects, community healing, individual support, education, and free time to allow children to process emotions and ask questions. There is also a special memorial service, which celebrates and honors the life of each child's loved one. For more information, contact Delaware Hospice.

La Red welcomes new COO La Red Health Center welcomes Rosa Rivera as its new Chief Operations Officer (COO). Rivera, who joined La Red on May 18, was previously employed at Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (HJMC), a multi-site family health care center in Wilmington. Rivera held a range of managerial positions during her 18 years at HJMC, including 10 years as chief executive officer. Rivera also worked for eight years as Delaware's vice president of the Mid Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers. A graduate of Wilmington University, Rivera earned her bachelor's degree in business management and graduated with cum laude. A native of Puerto Rico, Rivera has lived in Wilmington for 32 years. She plans to relocate to this area in early September.

Medicine drop boxes available Medicines play an important role in treating health conditions and diseases, but they are open to abuse and improper disposal, which can harm the environment. Eight local police departments throughout the state are offering permanent safe and secure medicine drug disposal at their offices thanks to the recommendation of the Delaware Prescription Drug Task Force, a partnership between the state, Medical Society of Delaware, and community partners. Permanent medication collection boxes are available in Sussex County at the Greenwood Police Department and the Selbyville Police Department. Bring expired, unused, or unwanted medications to any of the locations to ensure that they are disposed of properly. Drugs must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zip lock bag. Leave liquid medications in their original containers. No needles, aerosols, or biohazard materials may be deposited. Do not put medical equipment, batteries, syringes, or other biohazard waste into the drop-off boxes.

Nanticoke welcomes director Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Julia Abel, LPN, CTR, MHA, as director of Nanticoke's Cancer Care Services. Abel will manage operations that continue to provide lower Sussex County with quality cancer care. This includes planning for strategic and operational needs, resource allocation, administrative duties, marketing, and staff leadership. Abel earned her BS in healthcare administration from Saint Joseph's College of Maine in Standish, Maine and also possesses a master of healthcare administration. She has been involved with the care of cancer patients since 2001. Abel comes to Nanticoke from the Reading Health System in West Reading, Pa., where she served as Cancer Services Program coordinator. Her professional memberships include the American College of Health Care Executives, the Association of Cancer Executives and the Association of Community Cancer Centers.