The Nation’s 5,000 Outpatient Surgery Centers Could Help With The COVID-19 OverflowKaiser Health News

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, a group of anesthesiologists wants to convert America’s surgery centers into critical care units for infected patients.

Many of the country’s more than 5,000 outpatient surgery centers have closed or sharply cut back on the number of elective procedures they perform, to comply with requests from government agencies and professional societies. But those surgery centers have space and staff, as well as anesthesia machines that could be repurposed into ventilators — all of which could be especially crucial in hard-hit areas like New York.

“Half of the surgery centers in New York are not doing anything,” said Adam Schlifke, an anesthesiologist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University in California, who is leading the push for the centers to help. “All these anesthesiologists and nurses who are sitting on the sidelines, they want to help. They don’t know how to

Read More

Put your coat on; you’ll catch a cold! | Health Beat

As temperatures dip, bundling kids up is great to keep hypothermia at bay, but doesn’t necessarily keep germs away. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

“Put your coat on, or you’ll catch a cold.”

At one time or another, most parents have said this—perhaps while struggling to put a winter coat on a stubborn toddler, or while trying to convince a teenager to bundle up.

So, is it true? Two Spectrum Health pediatricians agree the answer is an emphatic, “No.”

“The bottom line is that cold does not cause a cold,” said Daniel McGee, MD, pediatric hospitalist at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Mom’s not going to win those arguments if she says put your coat on or you will catch a cold.”

William Bush, MD, pediatrician-in-chief at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, agrees.

“It is not true,” Dr. Bush said. “One of the issues we have

Read More

Chocolate: Friend or foe? | Health Beat

Go ahead, indulge. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

February is the month of love.

So what says love better than a box of chocolates? It is no secret that for many, the way to the heart is through the stomach. And chocolate has been one of those special foods that seems to hit that irresistible spot.

But, aside from the emotional benefits, can chocolate actually improve your physical health?

Chocolate has long been known for its high content of flavanols, a naturally occurring compound found in many plant foods including fruits, vegetables, wine and tea.

These particular flavanols have a positive effect on the circulatory system, which transports blood through the body. They help to maintain flexibility of the arteries, a key part in heart health, and also act as antioxidants to fight off damaging free radicals.

Researchers have also found an additional benefit to chocolate. A study published in Neurology

Read More