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  • September 02, 2016

    Pelvic Floor Disorder: A Common Problem

    It’s a fact that one in three women over the age of 45 suffers from a pelvic floor disorder (PFD). The most common pelvic floor disorders are urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. The condition can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. There are easy ways to treat the disorder, but women are oftentimes unwilling to discuss the symptoms they are experienceing because they are too embarrassed.

    The older a woman gets, the greater the chance of developing a PFD. In general, pelvic floor disorders are caused by a laxity in the pelvic floor ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor supports organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. But when the muscles are weakened or the connective tissue tears, that's when problems can begin. Why does this happen? It’s a natural part of the aging process, hormonal changes after menopause plays a role as well pregnancy, childbirth and obesity.

    Identifying Symptoms

    Pelvic organ prolapse is the most common disorder, and it happens when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments become too weak to hold organs in the correct position in the pelvis. As the condition progresses, women can feel bulging tissue protruding through the opening of the vagina. When this happens, women may have problems controlling their bladder and bowels. Also, some have pain in the lower back, pelvis or bladder.  All women may not experience the same symptoms, but it’s important to seek help if any pain or discomfort persists.

    While an OB/GYN may be aware of the symptoms, women should seek out a urogynecologist, a physician with special training and significant expertise in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, if symptoms persist.

    They used to just say it was a ‘female problem,’” said Jeanne McMahon, 58, who lived with bladder and uterine prolapse for more than 20 years before having surgery in the fall of 2015. With the help of nationally-recognized and highly skilled urogynecologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Dr. Cheryl Iglesia, Jeanne is now playing tennis and hiking again, and is grateful she has her life back.   

     Dr. Iglesia, and her patient Jeanne, discuss PFDs in this Washington Post article.

     https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/a-hidden-epidemic-millions-of-women-suffer-pelvic-floor-disorders-silently/2015/12/22/f5997966-a6d5-11e5-b53d-972e2751f433_story.html

    Have any questions?

    We are here to help! Contact us for more information about pelvic floor disorders or to schedule an appointment. Call us at 202-877-3627.

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  • September 02, 2016

    Pelvic Floor Disorder: A Common Problem

    It’s a fact that one in three women over the age of 45 suffers from a pelvic floor disorder (PFD). The most common pelvic floor disorders are urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. The condition can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. There are easy ways to treat the disorder, but women are oftentimes unwilling to discuss the symptoms they are experienceing because they are too embarrassed.

    The older a woman gets, the greater the chance of developing a PFD. In general, pelvic floor disorders are caused by a laxity in the pelvic floor ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor supports organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. But when the muscles are weakened or the connective tissue tears, that's when problems can begin. Why does this happen? It’s a natural part of the aging process, hormonal changes after menopause plays a role as well pregnancy, childbirth and obesity.

    Identifying Symptoms

    Pelvic organ prolapse is the most common disorder, and it happens when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments become too weak to hold organs in the correct position in the pelvis. As the condition progresses, women can feel bulging tissue protruding through the opening of the vagina. When this happens, women may have problems controlling their bladder and bowels. Also, some have pain in the lower back, pelvis or bladder.  All women may not experience the same symptoms, but it’s important to seek help if any pain or discomfort persists.

    While an OB/GYN may be aware of the symptoms, women should seek out a urogynecologist, a physician with special training and significant expertise in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, if symptoms persist.

    They used to just say it was a ‘female problem,’” said Jeanne McMahon, 58, who lived with bladder and uterine prolapse for more than 20 years before having surgery in the fall of 2015. With the help of nationally-recognized and highly skilled urogynecologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Dr. Cheryl Iglesia, Jeanne is now playing tennis and hiking again, and is grateful she has her life back.   

     Dr. Iglesia, and her patient Jeanne, discuss PFDs in this Washington Post article.

     https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/a-hidden-epidemic-millions-of-women-suffer-pelvic-floor-disorders-silently/2015/12/22/f5997966-a6d5-11e5-b53d-972e2751f433_story.html

    Have any questions?

    We are here to help! Contact us for more information about pelvic floor disorders or to schedule an appointment. Call us at 202-877-3627.

  • May 02, 2016

    Three confirmed cases of the Zika virus have now been reported in D.C., all from people who have traveled outside of the United States, according to the D.C. Department of Health. One of the three cases came in 2015 and the other two were confirmed this year. All three cases involve people who took trips to Central and South America. One case involved a woman who was pregnant.

    While the virus has been fast-spreading in the Americas, it is important to remember that the virus poses no immediate threat to the health and well being for many of us in the United States. It’s also crucial to note that the Zika virus is not an airborne pathogen, which means it’s not contagious. Here are some things you need to know about the Zika virus.

    How is the virus transmitted?The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This same mosquito spreads dengue and chikungunya viruses. There is no strong evidence of fluid-to-person transmission, and the virus cannot be passed by skin or respiratory contact or through droplets from a sneeze. But in the wake of news out of Dallas of a suspected case of transmission of the Zika virus through sexual contact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for how pregnant women should protect themselves from getting infected, if their partner has traveled to an area with active transmission of the virus and has had symptoms. If that is the case, using condoms during sex is an easy way to protect oneself.

    If I am pregnant and have traveled to an area where Zika is prevalent, should I get tested?If you are pregnant and develop fever, rash, headaches and have joint pain within two weeks after traveling to an affected country, it’s important to call your health provider right away and discuss your exposure and your travel history. If you’ve had symptoms and traveled to an infected area in the Americas, the CDC will test the serum to determine if the virus is present.

    What are the symptoms?Only one in five people infected with Zika virus will have symptoms and become ill. The symptoms are mild and can last several days up to a week. Again, the most common are fever, rash and headaches. There’s no treatment for the virus. The disease has to run its course.

    How to protect yourself?If you are pregnant, the CDC recommends that all women postpone their travel abroad to Zika-infected regions. If you’re not pregnant, there’s no need to change your travel plans, but it is important to protect yourself in order to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquito repellents like Deet are the best protection against the Zika virus.

    Is their definitely a link between the Zika virus and microcephaly, the birth defect that causes babies’ heads to be smaller than expected?

    A lot remains unknown about the Zika virus. We have associations, but there are no definite confirmations. The huge spike in the numbers of children born with microcephaly in the Americas is alarming and is reason for concern. Evaluations and investigations are ongoing in this country and abroad. It’s important that women remain calm and stay informed.

    Stay Informed

    Bookmark www.MedStarWashington.org/CenterView to return for additional updates as they become available.

  • In addition to the Patient Care Tower, MedStar Franklin Square's expansion projects included the construction of a new waste management building that opened in August 2008.

    The "Be Square, Be Green" program allows MedStar Franklin Square to separate non-infectious and infectious waste streams and implement an on-site recycling program at MedStar Franklin Square.

    Mission statement

    The mission of the "Be Square, Be Green" program is to develop a workplace culture that inspires, informs, and supports environmentally responsible behavior in its employees, guests, and the wider community, and to contribute to the overall mission of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and the MedStar Health.

    Core values of the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • Meet all environmental laws and regulations

    • Conserve natural resources and limit the use of non-renewable resources. Strive to improve water- and energy-efficiency

    • Continue to expand and support recycling and reuse initiatives

    • Minimize waste and ensure that it is disposed its disposal in a safe and environmentally responsible manner

    • Use environmentally sensitive cleaning products

    • Consider seeking standards-based environmental certification on new construction (either Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC)

    • Purchase products which meet self-imposed environmental standards

    • Reduce emissions of toxic or dangerous substances into air, water, and earth

    Five reasons why you should recycle:

    • It saves natural resources
    • It saves energy
    • It saves clean air and water
    • It saves landfill space
    • It saves money and creates jobs

    Media contacts

    Marianne Worley

    410-772-6661

    202-531-1508

    marianne.worley@medstar.net

    Brendan McNamara

    410-772-6557

    571-314-2942

    brendan.t.mcnamara@medstar.net


    Facts about the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • Where we lead in sustainability

    • Facts about the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • How our staff contributes

    • MedStar Franklin Square's Green Team

    • Environmental results

    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center has been a leader in sustainability in the following areas:

    • Waste reduction

    • Reducing use of potentially harmful chemicals, such as DEHP

    • Reducing waste

    • Increasing recycling

    • Reducing use of disposable items and increasing use of reusable materials

    • Managing the disposal of pharmaceuticals using best practices

    • Reducing energy and water consumption

    Facts about the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • In June 2008, MedStar Franklin Square opened a new waste management building that would allow us to separate non-infectious and infectious waste streams. It also allowed us to implement and on-site recycling program

    • The separation of infectious and non-infectious waste also gave rise to the separation of recyclable materials, including metal, plastic, glass, and cardboard, which are collected and stored together in our solar-powered compactor

    • Our recycling initiatives extend beyond conventional materials to include batteries, electronic items, and cooking oil. We are also beginning to compost food waste from our kitchen in a secure storage space available in the new Patient Tower

    How our staff contributes to the program's success

    • MedStar Franklin Square has made significant strides toward increasing the purchase of reusable items and those with a longer lifespan, away from disposables

    • The Environmental Services Department has switched from conventional string mops to Rubbermaid microfiber mops, which has drastically reduced water and chemical use by decreasing the need to refill mop buckets

    • Our hospital has also switched from disposable to reusable sharps containers, which eliminates a huge amount of plastic from entering our waste stream

    • Food and Nutrition Services is also taking steps to limit the amount of styrofoam and other packaging used for food service

    • Our nurses have played an integral part in our greening process. In addition to being a strong voice for change, our nurses have put many ideas into practice at an individual level. Beginning in critical units, nurses have paved the way toward eliminating harmful DEHP-containing products from our facility

    MedStar Franklin Square's "Be Square, Be Green" team

    • The "Be Square, Be Green" team was formed in April 2009

    • The team is made of members from Environmental Services, Safety, Nursing, Materials Management, Food and Nutrition, Quality Improvement, Public Relations, and other departments

    Environmental results

    • Shutting down our incinerator has led to improvements in air quality and pollution prevention, as toxic air emissions and toxic ash residue are well known effects of medical waste incinerator use

    • The incinerator has consumed around 8 million gallons of water annually

    • As a result of our "Be Square, Be Green" waste separation and reduction program, we have reduced our infectious waste by 95,275 pounds per month on average from the previous year

    • We have increased our commingled recyclables to an average of around 19,000 pounds each month

    • The new microfiber mops trap potentially hazardous materials, rather than releasing in into the mop bucket, as the old string mops did. This decreases the use of chemicals and water by at least 90% by allowing Environmental Services employees to clean 20 rooms using the same amount of water and chemicals as it used to take to clean just 3 rooms (as required by the CDC). The new mops can also withstand up to 500 laundry cycles, whereas the old string mops lasted just 70 cycles

    • The reusable sharps program has allowed us to eliminate 4 tons of plastic from our annual waste stream. This change has also provided health and safety benefits to our staff by decreasing the amount of handling involved in switching out sharps containers