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What is Palliative Care?

A Comprehensive, Caring Approach to Dealing with a Life-Limiting Illness Palliative Care is customized, supportive care that takes into account all aspects of who the patient is and what works best for them. It helps people understand their choices about their care and it’s why our new Director of Palliative Care, Dr. Alvin Reaves, III, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, refers to think of what he does as Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care. “When I began my career as a physician, I began to take care of people with chronic diseases, managing symptoms we could not cure,” said Dr. Reaves. “Uncontrolled symptoms cause fear and…

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Neurologist Anne Constantino, MD, on Migraines

What causes a migraine? Migraines have a strong genetic component with 70 percent of patients having a first degree relative with a history of migraines. More women than men suffer migraines, and many associate their migraines with factors such stress, hormonal changes, contraceptive use, pregnancy, ovulation, lack of sleep, head trauma, changes in weather, smoking, ingesting red wine and exposure to computers or bright lights. What are the treatments you offer? If you experience the worst headache of your life, you should not delay going to the ER for evaluation. If you experience a headache that is likely triggered by…

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Retired Navy Veteran Adrian Knight's Recovery from Stroke

Neurologist Aabha Shah, MD, with patient Adrian Knight. A trip to Golden Corral began like any other lunch for Adrian Knight, a trim, previously healthy, retired IRS worker, and father of two grown daughters who live in Capitol Heights. He headed into the restaurant but began to notice his left foot was dragging as he walked. He shrugged it off, thinking because it was rainy out, his foot was slipping. As he headed to the buffet, he realized the numbness on his left side wasn’t going away and was, in fact, getting worse. He began to worry, thinking it could possibly be a stroke,…

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MedStar Southern Maryland Saves Lives Through Organ Donation

April is Donate Life Month For Renee Sicheri, a registered nurse at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC), organ donation is very personal. Indeed, it is a solemn occasion for everyone at the hospital. We know it means one family is dealing with a devastating loss and a sad time, but we also know another family will be able to celebrate a second chance for their ailing loved one. Sicheri has been on both sides of this equation. She suffered the loss of a beloved family member whose organs lived on and saved lives in the bodies of others, and she is part of the team at MSMHC who works with Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC)…

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