Each year thousands of people are added to the waiting list for a kidney transplant.
Living donors can help to reduce their wait, and on April 9, Sentara Norfolk General honored more than 300 living kidney donors from the last 10 years.
Altruistic donor Jeff Mitchell, of Norfolk, was the featured speaker. He met his recipient, Isle of Wight resident Mary Holland, in February, a year after the surgery. Holland, who suffered kidney failure from diabetes and hypertension, was on dialysis for several years before the surgery.
For information about becoming a living donor, go to the National Kidney Foundation web site at http://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingDonors/index.cfm or the United Network for Organ Sharing at http://www.unos.org.
Readers responded to a couple of stories last week. One referenced the "white coat effect" on blood pressure readings, which is when a patient's anxiety can cause a rapid rise in blood pressure.
"For over 20 years, I would go to my doctor and the BP measurement in his office would be through the roof — 170/90, 200+/100+ — really bad," he wrote in an email.
His doctor recommended he buy a monitor and measure it at home. "Well over 50 times it has been perfect," he reported. He recommends buying a small easy-to-use BP device, "the kind that you wrap around the upper arm." He takes it with him to doctor's appointments so he can check the calibration of his device against the doctor's.
Another wrote in response to the article, "Advance Care Directives Get Attention," that ran on April 16 to highlight National Health Care Decision Day.
"A year or so back I tried setting up the DNR (do not resuscitate) account on the Virginia registry and wasn't able to complete the process. … It wasn't worth the effort to keep messing with the system, and we just give copies of relevant forms to medical folks whenever we undergo procedures," he wrote.
He also suggested that I should try for myself, which I plan to do.
In the interim, has anyone else had a problem with the register? Let me know.
Free spine care
Chiropractor Andrea Shannon is offering free spine screenings to adults and children on two weekends; from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, and again on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 at Walmart, 12407 Jefferson Ave., Newport News.
The events are in partnership with the Southeast Community Day Planning Committee, Walmart and Data-Tronix.
Shannon, who is board-certified in chiropractic and physiotherapy, will also be available to answer questions about spinal misalignments. She practices in Williamsburg, Hampton and Newport News.
For more information, contact http://www.powerfullchiropractic.com or call 757-778-9377.
Child safety seminar
Bon Secours Family Focus and Newport News Police will present a free seminar, "Keeping Children Safe from Predators" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 25, at Mary Immaculate's Health Resource Center, 2 Bernadine Drive, Newport News.
On Thursday, May 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Family Focus will present a discussion on "Preventing Youth Suicide."
To register, call 757-886-6511.
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