Thursday, January 26, 2017
More Options Needed for CPR certification

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
For years we have encouraged people to learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). There was a push to try and get as many people trained as possible. AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) were being placed in many locations. With more trained people, we should expect better outcomes. Statistics show that only 15% to 30% of cardiac events have bystanders perform CPR. The chances of survival in those situations increase by 70%. However, that means it goes from a 10% chance up to 17% chance. That is not impressive. However, I am sure that the extra 7% of people are happy with that result. King County in Washington State has figured this out. They spend a lot of time and money on CPR. They train their citizens in CPR and they have AEDs in many locations. Their 911 operators are trained to give phone CPR instructions. Their paramedics have one of the highest formal certification rates in the nation. They began this emphasis in 2002. At the time survival rates for cardiac events (whether they were ones requiring CPR or not) were at 27%. Some of them did not require CPR so that is why the rate is higher than the overall national rate of 10% survival for individuals needing CPR. What is interesting is that between 2002 and 2013 (the most recent statistics available), the survival rate for cardiac events climbed to 62 percent. That is more than double the original rate of 27 percent. One might ask how Sussex County compares to King County. I took my last CPR class two years ago and it is time to renew my certification. I figured it would be easy to do. That is apparently not the case. Over the years the course has become more complex and more sophisticated. The required equipment (like testing mannequins) has become more expensive. The result has been a marked decrease in availability. I am employed by Nemours. They offer CPR. It requires two parts. The first part is an online study program and exam which can be done from any location with a computer. The second part is actual testing done on the mannequins which is only done at A I duPont in Wilmington. So I thought I would look for one somewhere closer. Seaford has availability of CPR. There is a group from Gaithersburg, Maryland that rents space from Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. However, they only come here one day per week - Tuesdays - when I am in the office.Beebe Hospital also only offers their course on Tuesdays. I could not find an online phone number for CPR courses at PRMC. I looked for other possible courses. There is one that is totally online, however, it is not American Heart Association approved so it would not cover me for the Nemours requirements. This leaves a question for the residents of Sussex County. They might be content being in line with the national average or they might want to be more successful than King County. However, if no action is taken, things will remain the way they are.

Nanticoke plans dinner auction Avast ye! Captain Rosie Rose (chair) and her mighty crew (committee members) have set their sights on Saturday, April 8, which marks the spot for the 31st annual Nanticoke Health Services Dinner Auction, Pirate AdventuresÉHunt for the Black Pearl, at Heritage Shores in Bridgeville. Sail ho! Lads, lassies, seadogs, and landlubbers alike will meet under bare poles to wet ye pipes with a bottle o grog. But, beware of the bilge rats that may broadside your ship! Proceeds will benefit Nanticoke Health Services Cancer Care Center which treats patients living in Sussex County and surrounding areas, allowing them to receive lifesaving cancer treatment in Seaford. The Nanticoke Cancer Care Center combines a loving environment with quality care delivered by a team of compassionate experts. The center is expanding to meet the cancer needs of the community. Tickets are $125 per person. Businesses and individuals can support the dinner auction through sponsorship and/or by donating items for the auction. Sponsorship packages and additional information is available by contacting the Nanticoke Health Services Foundation at 536-5390 or

Parr joins palliative care program Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Gregory Parr, MSN, CRNP to its palliative care program. At Nanticoke, Parr works with Kathy James, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, palliative care coordinator on the inpatient palliative care team.

Parr received his master of science in applied behavioral science and in nursing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. For over 35 years, he has worked in various clinical settings and has experience in adult primary care, HIV, community health, home health and critical care. He is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Palliative care is specialized medical care that aims to improve the quality of life for patients and families who are facing a serious or life-threatening illness. Palliative care focuses on symptom management optimizing how the patient is feeling physically, spiritually and emotionally and can be provided along with curative treatment. To continue providing excellent palliative care in Western Sussex County, Nanticoke Health Services has partnered with Delaware Hospice.

Bariatric Support Group Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts bariatric support groups the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m., in the Medical Staff Conference Room at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Meetings will be held in February on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Monday, Feb. 27. This free support group is designed to provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and is open to the public. Support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide useful information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. For more information about this support group or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 536-5395.

Journaling For Wellness On Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m., Cancer Support Community DE and Nanticoke Cancer Care Center will collaborate to offer a free workshop, Journaling For Wellness. Journaling is one way that cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers can care for themselves. Writing down your thoughts gives you an opportunity to work out your feelings and emotions, which may help you relax and find reasons to be happier and more hopeful about the future. Join Mariann Wolskee, LCSW and learn how journaling can promote wellness. The workshop will be held in the Resource Library, Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, 701 Middleford Rd., Seaford. Refreshments will be provided. Register in advance at 645-9150 to reserve your spot.

Diabetes Education Program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes education program, The Diabetes Connection, on Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. As a person with diabetes, Nanticoke can be part of your healthcare team to help teach you the self-care skills needed to keep you on track. Our four-session diabetic program includes weekly education sessions in a group setting.One family member or significant other is welcome to attend. Pre-registration is required. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. To register or for more information about this course, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education Department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Weight Loss Seminars Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts weight loss seminars the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m., in the Medical Staff Conference Room at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. The next seminars will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, Wednesday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 18. These free seminars are designed to provide education to individuals considering weight loss surgery to help them make informed decisions on whether surgery is an appropriate option. The seminars will consist of educational presentations by Dr. Tarek Waked to inform individuals about the many benefits of weight loss surgery. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. For more information about this seminar or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or 302-536-5395.