Category Archives: General

The Beaumont Blog Has Moved!


beaumont blog has moved

The Beaumont Health System blog has moved to a new address: We’ll continue to publish the articles you’ve come to enjoy, along with new and improved features and content throughout the months.

If you’re an email subscriber, don’t forget to sign up to receive updates from the new blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page on and entering your address in the “Subscribe via Email” box.

Thanks for reading!


How do I know when my child is getting the flu? | Ask a Beaumont Doctor

by Nicholas Gilpin, D.O., chief, Infectious Disease, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe

Ask A Beaumont Doctor, GilpinWith flu season at its peak, children are at higher risk for getting sick because their immune systems are not fully developed.

How do I know when my child is getting the flu?

Influenza is a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system, so the most common symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and cough. Your child also may have severe fatigue, body aches, fever and chills. During the winter, these symptoms should always raise one’s suspicion for the flu.

What kind of care should I give my child with the flu?

For most healthy children, the best treatment for the flu is supportive care, including rest. Parents should give their child lots of fluids and give them anti-inflammatory medications to control fever and body aches.

What is the difference between a virus, cold and flu?

Both the common cold and influenza are a type of viral infection. The common cold is caused by a number of different viruses, including the rhinovirus. The flu is caused by the influenza virus. Colds are usually less severe and don’t last as long as the flu. Common colds also are rarely associated with the more severe symptoms of the flu, such as fever, chills and severe fatigue.

Who needs a flu shot and how young can a person be to get a flu shot?

Remembering who should be vaccinated is simple: all people over age 6 months should get a flu shot. There are a few different varieties of influenza vaccination available, so it is best to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist which is best for your child.

Do flu shots protect my child against all the strains out there?

No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but the shots are very effective at preventing influenza and its complications. Most of the flu this season is the H1N1 influenza virus, and the best news is that this virus is covered by all available influenza vaccines.

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Bride and groom say “I do” to donating flowers on would-be wedding day

Charles and Abby

Charles and Abby

Friday, December 20, was Abby Wrysch’s wedding day. She was supposed to wake up, put on her wedding dress and marry the love of her life, Charles Langford II. Instead, Abby woke up in a hospital bed on the ICU unit at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

Abby started having trouble breathing that previous Wednesday night and experienced sharp pains in her side. Charles drove her to an urgent care and she was quickly referred to Beaumont’s emergency center.

And that’s where she found herself on her wedding day.

Abby and Charles had been planning their wedding for more than a year. They invited 300 of their friends and family to join them as they exchanged vows. Now, just two days away, their thoughts were instead focused on Abby’s health.

Abby received a CT scan and was diagnosed with blood clots. She underwent treatment immediately.

“I was devastated,” said Abby. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Knowing there was a good chance she would still be in the hospital, Abby and Charles called their parents and word spread quickly – the wedding was postponed.

Anybody who has planned or attended a wedding knows how much work goes into each detail. In Abby and Charles’ case, catering would have to be canceled, the Grand Ballroom at the Colony Club in Detroit would be empty and the band would have to find another gig. The flowers, which were already paid for and ready to go, would go unseen.

“The flowers arrived this morning and we both just didn’t want them to go to waste,” said Abby.

After speaking with Charles, the should-have-been-newlyweds decided to donate nearly $4,000 of floral arrangements to the hospital. Both agreed that the flowers would be best served cheering up patients and families of the hospital going through the same stress and anxiety they had endured.

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Winter Driving Safety Tips

2014 has begun with plenty of snow for Detroit and the surrounding areas. The National Weather Service currently has winter weather advisories out for Monroe, Lenawee, Livingston, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

If you must travel in the snow, please keep in mind these tips for safe winter driving:

  • Clean your windows of snow /ice to ensure good visibility.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Reduce your speed.
  • Give the car in front of you plenty of room.
  • Avoid abrupt acceleration or braking.
  • Drive with your lights on.
  • Avoid driving at night, whenever possible, drive only during daylight hours.
  • Do not travel to unfamiliar areas in poor weather or darkness.
  • Reduce blind spots; adjust your mirrors.
  • Limit your time on the road.
  • Use caution on bridges and overpasses, these usually freeze first and can be icy.
  • Do not use cruise control on icy roads.
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The Facts About Groin Tear Surgery

by Peter Perakis, M.D., Acute Care Surgeon, Beaumont Hospital, Troy

(Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

The World Series has ended, the MLB season is over and Detroit Tigers fans are still getting over a tough loss to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. While there were many factors that contributed to the series loss, one of the spotlights was on the injury of MVP third-baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Even though Cabrera was playing through his injury for the past few months, as soon as the Tigers’ season ended, surgery to repair muscles in his groin was scheduled.

How common are groin tears?

Groin pain is a common complaint and may result from a variety of causes, including osteitis pubis, fractures, arthritis, bursitis, hernias, muscular pain, tendonitis, tearing or avulsion of a tendon or ligament, urologic conditions, connective tissue diseases and nerve pain. The anatomy of the region is fairly complex, so a team approach to groin injuries is optimal and may require coordinated input from a sports physician, general surgeon, urologist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, gynecologist, radiologist and physical medicine and rehab specialist.

What causes groin tears?

A groin tear can be triggered by quick movements, twisting, turning, sprinting, bending forward, kicking and performing sit-ups all of which are common movements in sports such as baseball, soccer, hockey and football. Avoiding overuse of the thigh and lower abdominal muscles may prevent weakness or tear.

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Five Benefits of an Electronic Medical Record

Health systems are increasingly turning to electronic health records in order to provide easy access to data for those who need it – which includes physicians, patients and specialists. While there has been a lot of talk about electronic medical records (frequently called health records), not many patients are aware of what an electronic medical record is, what are the benefits of having one and what is available to them.

An electronic medical record is a version of your medical chart that can be accessed on your computer or smart phone and may include test results, medical history, discharge instructions and more.

Benefits of an electronic medical record include:

  1. Patient convenience – Patients can access their medical record anytime, from anywhere.  Accessing laboratory and imaging test results, scheduling mammogram appointments, reviewing discharge instructions, and more can be done 24/7, with just the click of a mouse. You can also access your record from your smart phone.
  2. Improved accuracy – Prior to electronic medical records, most of the information in a patient’s record was handwritten. Handwritten information has a greater chance for misreading or misinterpretation. With an electronic medical record, all information is typed into the computer, reducing the chance of misreading the information or doctor’s order.
  3. Increased patient participation – Electronic medical records allow patients to participate in their care and keep better track of their medical history. This can lead to a better overall patient care experience and can improve diagnosis and treatment decisions since  patients don’t have to rely on writing down important information about their medical history – it will all be stored  electronically. Continue reading
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Beaumont Employee Pumpkin Contest 2013

Each year, the Standards and Recognition Team at Beaumont hosts a pumpkin decorating contest for employees. This year’s theme focused on the Team Giving Campaign.

Departments had six days to decorate their pumpkin and then employees were asked to vote for their favorite submission. This year’s entries did not disappoint. Which pumpkin is your favorite?

Thanks again to the generous donation of the pumpkins by Nino Salvaggio.

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Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ is icing on the cake

by Howard Belkin, M.D., Beaumont psychiatrist

birthday_partyHave you ever wondered why people love singing happy birthday or blowing out candles before cutting into a birthday cake? Or why sitting in your normal chair at the dinner table makes having a family meal more enjoyable? Researchers at Minnesota University looked into those very questions and came up with some interesting observations. Participants in their study were divided into two groups – one group who performed a ritual before eating certain foods and a second group that did not. Their study demonstrated that those subjects who performed the rituals actually felt that the food tasted better than those who did not perform any such rituals.

We live in a society that has become increasingly social and increasingly participatory. As humans, we are more attracted to things that are special and out of the ordinary than we are to normal, mundane activities. Foods delivered with a special appearance, flashy wrappings, ceremonial songs or presentations make even ordinary foods appear special. People feel good when their level of excitement and level of interest is raised because they feel that they are about to enjoy something very special.

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This job interview has gone to the dogs


Sammi, Ava, Maddee and Freddy

Sitting outside of the human resource office for a job interview can be an uneasy experience – looking at and sizing up your competition, making sure you’re well-prepared and remembering to sit, stay and shake when commanded.

You may have already guessed that this isn’t your typical job interview.

Sammi, Ava, Maddee and Freddy (along with a few other interviewees) all took part in a review process to become pet therapy dogs at Beaumont. All dogs hoping to join the rotation of greeters and patient visitors in the hospitals must be registered by Therapy Dogs International and demonstrate their temperament and interaction with people.

Today, all six of the dogs interviewed will become Beaumont volunteers, joining the current roster of nine dogs throughout the hospital. Judy Mrachina, Beaumont volunteer and pet therapy coordinator, says the goal is to have 50 dogs available for visiting.

“There are seven days a week, nine floors and a lot of patients,” says Judy. “Ideally, we’d like anybody that wants a few moments of companionship to receive that.”

Pet therapy dogs visit most of the patient care areas, including pediatrics, emergency, palliative care and rehabilitation. In fact, pet therapy dogs have been visiting rehab patients for the past 20 years. What type of dogs make the best hospital volunteers? Judy says that Beaumont has had a wide-variety, from Great Danes to Pekingese.

“The process and coordination is overwhelming, but the results are just so positive,” explains Judy. “The patients enjoy the visits and it is even great for the staff to see.”

Pet therapy has been proven to reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health conditions.

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Patient Registration gets “All Shook Up”

Every year Beaumont registration managers plan a celebration to recognize all of the work done by their staff throughout the year. Past celebration themes have focused on Opening Day (Tigers) and the Oscars. This year, the Beaumont, Royal Oak registration team celebrated with the theme “Registration Rocks ‘n’ Rolls.”

There was diner food, record players, poodle skirts and even a visit from Elvis to help the team celebrate! So, “Don’t Be Cruel” and say thanks to a member of our registration team today!

Our patient registration staff handles many tasks daily to support the hospital’s quality, service and patient experience objectives. The staff also voted for co-workers to receive special recognitions for strong team work, technical strength or service excellence. Registration is a challenging department, but our staff makes sure to welcome each patient with a smile!

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