Sharp News Updates — December 2011

Sharp HealthCare values its relationship with local media and we look forward to working with you to educate our community about important health issues. Following is a compilation of current health care topics.  

Please contact Erica Carlson at if you are interested in speaking with one of our affiliated physicians or clinicians. To learn more about Sharp, please visit For the Media.

Inside Sharp HealthCare  

  • Guardian Angel — Sharp's Guardian Angel program has reached the $2 million mark. The Guardian Angel program was created to give grateful patients the opportunity to support Sharp while paying tribute to a caregiver that has made a difference in their visit or stay. To date, more than 7,500 individuals have thanked their Guardian Angels by making a gift. Their contributions have helped build facilities, fund innovative programs and provide advanced technology at Sharp. A Sharp representative is available to discuss this program in more detail.

  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Sharp Memorial Hospital — Santa won't forget Sharp Memorial Hospital patients confined to their hospital rooms on Christmas Eve. The Sharp Memorial Auxiliary will deliver approximately 450 oversized holiday-themed balloons in hopes of lifting the spirits of those away from home during the holidays. Patients and members of the Auxiliary will be available to share their emotions regarding spending Christmas Eve in the hospital.

  • Slim Down Secrets for the New Year — Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions and many feel they need assistance in order to succeed. Kelly Dutcher, a registered dietitian with Sharp Weight Management and Health Education, is available to share the secrets of making your New Year's resolution successful and offer five slim down secrets for the New Year.    

National Trends Localized  

  • Cholesterol in Kids — According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should get their first cholesterol check between the ages of 9 and 11 and it should be repeated between ages 17 and 21. A Sharp-affiliated physician is available to discuss preventative measures and the importance of cholesterol testing in children.

  • Chronic Pain — According to a recent study in Anesthesiology, one's pain can be significantly reduced by changing the way you think about it. A Sharp-affiliated physician is available to discuss this mind-body approach to chronic pain, an ailment that affects one-third of the adult population.  

  • Tanning Beds — Addictive? — According to a study in Addiction Biology, people who frequent tanning beds experience changes in brain activity during their session that is similar to patterns of drug addiction. A Sharp-affiliated neurologist is available to discuss how the brain responds to UV light and why Americans continue to tan despite warnings about skin cancer.

Important Health Dates  

  • AIDS Day — Dec. 1 is World Aids Day, as established by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to government agency USAID, 33.3 million people around the world were living with HIV in 2009, and more than 60 million people have been infected with HIV since the pandemic began. A Sharp-affiliated physician is available to discuss the disease including risk factors, treatment options and associated myths.  
  • Older Driver Safety Awareness Week — The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has dedicated Dec. 3 to 7 as National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. A Sharp-affiliated physician is available to discuss the importance of seniors remaining active in communities and, therefore, the importance of their mobility and transportation.

  • Safe Toys and Celebrations Month — December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toy-related injuries are increasing; in 2009, there were approximately 186,000 emergency room treated injuries related to toys with children. A Sharp-affiliated physician is available to discuss which toys are appropriate for children this holiday season.  

Emergency Department Trends

  • Accidental Overdose — The Emergency Department tends to see an increase in accidental overdoses in kids during December. When extended family visits during the holidays the house may not be as child-proof as it usually is. A Sharp ED director is available to discuss preventative measures such as careful storage and particularly toxic medications such as beta blockers and diabetic pills.

  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning — The Emergency Department tends to see an increase in adults with carbon monoxide poisoning during December due to their use of in-home heaters and lack of proper detectors. A Sharp ED director is available to discuss symptoms and preventative measures.

  • Heart Failure — The Emergency Department tends to see an increase in adults with heart failure during December, most likely due to diet changes over the holidays. A Sharp-affiliated dietitian is available to discuss heart-healthy foods and tips to maintaining your diet through the holiday season.      
Last Updated: January 9, 2012