NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for February, 2016

Magee Patients Paint with Local Artist for Black History Month


To commemorate Black History Month, the Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC Black History Committee coordinated a series of events for patients and staff, including an art party for past and present cancer patients. Local artist Tracy Lynn of Creating Smiles led a group of patients in a therapeutic afternoon of painting. Each artist took home her own unique version of Tracy’s painting “Blushing Flamingo.”

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Renovated Presby CTICU Reopens to Patients

5V3A9524 copyUPMC Presbyterian Hospital fully reopened its 20-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU) to patients today, nearly six months after it was closed in September for renovations as UPMC moved quickly to address some mold-related infections.

The updated unit features a new nursing station, along with the latest in patient safety technology. Changes include water-resistant walls and surfaces, stationary toilet units, enhanced door security and new plumbing.

“The renovated CTICU features multiple infection control measures and is truly a model unit for caring for our sickest patients,” said Holly Lorenz, chief nursing officer for UPMC. “I’m proud of our staff for working together to accommodate this renovation with minimal disruption and am happy to welcome patients back into the unit.”

The renovation went above and beyond recommendations made by top infection prevention experts. For example, to enhance disinfection of the hospital rooms, the walls were finished with a special paint that increases their reflective properties. This makes the ultraviolet light emitted by disinfecting UV robots able to more effectively reach all areas of the rooms. (more…)

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Longtime UPMC McKeesport Physician Also Member of Famed Tuskegee Airmen

doc2Before he was a doctor, Harry E. Lanauze, M.D., wanted to serve his country in the skies and prove that African-Americans could do anything.

The young man from Washington, D.C., was so determined to serve his country that he lied about his age to enlist in the Army Air Forces when he was only 17 years old.

The passion that fueled him to blaze trails in his youth never wavered. And now, more than 70 years later, the 90-year-old Dr. Lanauze is enjoying his recent retirement from his private practice.

He spends his days with his wife, kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. He gets to watch all of his favorite Pittsburgh sports teams. He also can reflect on a 50-year career in medicine, which included a near 40-year career at UPMC McKeesport as an emergency room physician. (more…)

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Zika, UPMC Shine Spotlight on Gap in Research with Pregnant Women

ThinkstockPhotos-469910566The recent outbreak of mosquito-borne Zika virus disease and its link to developmental issues in the infants of mothers infected with it highlights a gaping hole in medical research that a UPMC obstetrician is trying to fill.

Today, in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Richard Beigi, M.D., chief medical officer of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, calls on the world to learn from this frightening outbreak and change policies that block pregnant women from safely participating in infectious disease prevention research trials.

“This current situation with Zika highlights an often overlooked yet important target area for progress that could translate into a global improvement in maternal-child health,” said Dr. Beigi. (more…)

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How can you quickly recognize sepsis?

UntitledUPMC and Pitt Health Sciences doctors were instrumental to an international team writing a new definition for sepsis, the leading killer of hospitalized patients. But how can clinicians use the definition to improve patient care and save lives?

Christopher Seymour, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor in Pitt’s departments of Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine, directed the creation of an infographic and animated video to help physicians everywhere put words into action.

Called qSOFA (quick Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment), the prompt incorporates more nearly a million electronic health record encounters at 177 hospitals worldwide so doctors can be assured that it’s been vetted and works.

Click on the picture above to learn more about qSOFA.

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