HEALTH NOTEBOOK: Pain Awareness Month, sleep disorders Q&A and newborn bathing

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 12, 2017 9:55 am

QUINCY -- September is recognized as National Pain Awareness Month.

One of this year's themes is centered around the treatment of pain possibly requiring looking into more than just the physical symptoms the patient is experiencing.

Dr. Howard Dedes, a Quincy Medical Group physician trained in anesthesiology pain medicine, agrees with that philosophy.

"Most of the people that we see are experiencing low back pain, (which is) followed by neck pain and general joint pain, usually in the hip, knee or shoulder," said Dedes, who is the director of the QMG Interventional Spine and Joint Wellness Department and board-certified in pain medicine.

Dedes said pain can be associated with a wide range of injury and disease.

Some conditions may also have pain and associated symptoms arising from a distinct injury or disease, but there are other cases where pinpointing the cause may be difficult. Dedes said.

Getting to the root of the pain can mean looking beyond an MRI image, Dedes believes.

"The MRI is a very sensitive picture, and it will show me a picture of everything," Dedes said. "But, it doesn't mean that everything I see is causing their pain.

"Based on a patient's history, you could probably find out about 75 percent of the time where the pain is coming from or what's going on, and then the rest from an exam."

More information is available at or by calling 217-222-6550, ext. 3074.

Entrance now open

Blessing Hospital's main entrance at 11th and Spring streets is open after completion of a month-long renovation project.

The project involved replacement of the concrete circle driveway and adjacent sidewalks, plus removal and replacement of floor tile that runs throughout the main lobby area of the first floor.

In addition, free valet parking has moved to its original location at the 11th and Spring entrance.

The cashier's office, which moved from the main lobby during construction, will remain in its new location, Suite 106 of the Blessing Health Center's East Entrance.

Specialist to speak

Sleep medicine specialist Dr. Nanjappa Somanna will hold a question-and-answer session at Quincy Regional Sleep Disorders Support Group 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Complimentary Services room on the lower level of the Blessing Cancer Center.

Somanna is the medical director of the Blessing Sleep Center, in addition to being a pulmonary disease and critical care specialist.

For more information or to join the mailing list, call the support group voicemail at 217-277-5397.

Newborn bathing

Blessing Hospital's Blessed Beginnings has instituted a national best practice that calls for not bathing newborns for the first eight to 48 hours of their life.

In the past, newborns received a bath immediately after their birth. Delayed bathing allows the newborn to retain on their skin a substance with which they are born, called vernix.

Vernix is composed of the skin cells the baby made early in development and contains proteins that prevent common bacterial infections.

In addition to reducing infection risk immediately after birth, leaving the vernix on the baby's skin for a while after birth and delaying the first bath contributes to:

º Improved maternal-infant bonding by not removing the baby from the mother immediately after birth for a bath.

º Improved breast feeding as a result of improved bonding.

º Stabilization of blood sugar by eliminating the stress a baby can feel as a result of its first bath.

º Improvement of the baby's body temperature control by delaying the bath.

º Reduction in the need for baby lotion, because vernix is a natural skin moisturizer and skin protectant.

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