Health News

How heart smart are you?

heart-smartIf you’re like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for other folks. But heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.

There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It’s the major reason people have heart attacks.


Extreme obesity rising at an alarming rate

Extreme-obesityOver the past decade, we’ve had a mind-boggling increase in what is fast emerging as the most serious and costly health problem in the U.S.: morbid obesity. About 35 percent or 72 million American adults are obese, and of that number, 7 million adults are morbidly obese, a health condition which substantially raises the risk of mortality (death) and morbidity (chronic disease).

The rate of obesity has increased by almost 25 percent but the rate of morbid obesity has grown even faster: people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 increased by 50 percent. Perhaps most alarmingly, people with a BMI over 50—extreme obesity—grew by 75 percent, three times faster than the rate of obesity. Our children are not immune from the epidemic; we’ve seen a 300 percent increase in overweight children. Obesity-conditions are the fastest growing cause of death, and the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.


Simple Changes For Lifelong Health

nutrient-rich-foodsThe journey to lifelong health starts with but one small step – and then one leads to another. A positive change here, an unhealthy habit dropped there, and before you know it, you’re travelling down a healthier path.

That’s how it should be. Radical overhaul is overwhelming, but small, simple changes are oh-so doable. These are a few of our favorite ways to ease into health. Start with one. When you see what a big impact a humble change can make, you might be ready to tackle the whole list. After all, it’s the little things, right? (more…)

Saving your skin from the Island sun

Visiting an island with a bright blue sky and world-class beaches can lead to irrational decision-making. Like going outside unprotected from the sun.


Summer on Hilton Head Island is ideal for swimming, boating, golfing, riding bicycles and horses, fishing and frolicking in the surf. But even a few minutes of the island’s sun can cause skin damage.


The Desire for Reinvention


Accessible prices, technological advances, less-invasive procedures with no down time and a rebounding economy are making cosmetic procedures, surgical and nonsurgical, far more attractive. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, last year Americans spent the largest amount on cosmetic procedures since the Great Recession. About 85 percent of the estimated $13 billion Americans spent on plastic surgery included nonsurgical procedures such as injectables and cosmetic fillers.




More than 70 percent of the people who commit suicide in the U.S. are white men, and most of them are middle age or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts say untreated depression is the No. 1 cause of suicide.


Sign-Up Help for the 2014-2015 Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period

healthinsuranceLocal residents seeking to enroll in the Insurance Marketplace can do so from now through February 2015 at Coastal Carolina Hospital and Hilton Head Hospital as part of the facilities’ “Path to Health” initiative. Open enrollment began nationally on November 15, 2014; both hospitals will have designated dates and times when people can receive enrollment help and get answers to their questions.

Path to Health is a community education and outreach initiative that aims to raise awareness and understanding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the insurance options available for those currently without insurance or looking to change plans.

As designated Affordable Care Act Assistance locations, Coastal Carolina Hospital and Hilton Head Hospital will provide resources to assist community members in enrolling in an Insurance Marketplace plan that is right for each person.  Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services trained enrollment counselors will be available on the following dates and times at our hospitals to answer questions and assist with the enrollment process.

  • Hilton Head Hospital Main Lobby
    11/21 and continuing every Friday until 2/13/15 from 9am to 4pm
  • Coastal Carolina Hospital Main Lobby
    11/24 and continuing every Monday until 2/9/15 from 9am to 12 noon

Additionally, assistance will be provided by DECO, a designated navigator through the Affordable Care Act marketplace at the Bluffton Medical Campus, 75 Baylor Drive in Bluffton, on Wednesday, December 10 and December 17 from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM.

According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 89 percent of uninsured are not aware of the second open enrollment period and many uninsured are also unaware of the substantial financial subsidies that are available to purchase insurance coverage.  Path to Health aims to bring greater awareness to uninsured individuals and families.

Through its social media channels, bilingual website and enrollment events, the Path to Health campaign works with community partners to offer educational materials and resources about the insurance exchanges and the ACA to help simplify the law and educate community members.

In Wake of U.S. Ebola Infections, Local Hospital Addresses Precautions

Questions for Beaufort Memorial Hospital President & CEO Rick Toomey

140703003447-ebola-suit-story-bodyNews that Dallas healthcare workers contracted Ebola after treating a patient seems to contradict assurances from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that U.S. hospitals are ready to treat and contain the disease, which has killed more than 4,000 people, primarily in West Africa.

Question: Given the remote possibility of an Ebola infection here in the Lowcountry, and that the CDC lacks the authority to mandate requirements for handling the disease, is the hospital required under any state law to follow precautions for such an outbreak?

Answer: The hospital is not mandated to follow CDC guidelines but we have written policies and procedures that specify we would follow the CDC’s recommendations as the leading U.S. authority on infection control and prevention, as well as other resources, including the local expertise from our military community in training staff and managing bio-hazardous conditions.

Question: A patient with a fever and no other symptoms is sitting on a hospital gurney in the ER and describing to a nurse his recent trip to West Africa when all of the sudden, he starts to seize and goes into respiratory arrest. He’s not breathing and his heart could stop at any second. What is the first thing the hospital would do? What kind of protocols, if any, are in place in this remote scenario? (more…)