Headlines Cont. – 1/24/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – January 20, 2006


Batesville child benefits from new procedure at Le Bonheur
A Batesville girl was the first patient to undergo a new, less-invasive procedure to repair a hole in her heart at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in December.

Dr. Rush Waller, medical director of the LeBonheur Cath Lab, performed the first CardioSeal procedure on December 1 on Carrington Carter, 3, of Batesville. She was discharged the next day.

The procedure expands the hospital’s ability to mend a hole in a child’s heart without opening the chest or entering the operating room.

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Le Bonheur began using CardioSEAL implants to repair ventricular septal defects (VSD) in select patients. A VSD is a hole between the lower chambers of the heart – the right ventricle and the left ventricle.

The CardioSeal implant is produced by NMT Medical, Inc. of Boston.

Before such devices became available, patients with VSDs required open-heart surgery. But doctors can now seal certain types of holes with a CardioSeal implant in the Cath Lab. Le Bonheur cardiologists have been closing atrial septal defects (ASDs) in the Cath Lab for years.

Le Bonheur doctors performed three procedures using the implant in the first two days of December – two were in the Cath Lab and one was a hybrid procedure in the operating room.

To deploy the device, the doctor gains access to the child’s heart via the femoral vein and artery.

Catheters are advanced from the groin or neck vein into the heart, and angiograms are taken to better visualize the heart and the defect. Transesophageal echocardiography is also used to guide the implantation of the device.

Once visualization is complete, the implant is attached and collapsed for placement into a special catheter, which is then advanced to the site of the hole. The doctor re-expands the implant so that part of it sits on each side of the hole, sandwiching the hole between the two sides of the implant.

The implant is then released from the catheter, the catheter is removed and the procedure is complete.
Although the CardioSeal has been approved since 2002, research published in the August, 2004 journal, Circulation, provides data supporting its effectiveness in children, said Dr. Waller.

Carrington was already a Le Bonheur patient, having received a pulmonary valve implant and partial closure of her VSD last year by pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Christian Gilbert, M.D., in an open-heart procedure, said Tonya Carter, her mother.

Mrs. Carter said Carrington has recovered well. She enjoys gymnastics at Morgan Gymnastics and likes make-up.

Patients with complex cardiac problems are good candidates for the device because it allows repair of the defect while avoiding a major surgery, Dr. Waller said.

The new technology also makes possible hybrid procedures – in which interventional cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery are combined, said Dr. Jeff Myers, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Le Bonheur.

A six-month-old patient received a CardioSeal implant at Le Bonheur in a hybrid procedure in December, he said. The patient had had a previous heart surgery for repair of an interrupted aortic arch.

Dr. Myers cut through the old incision in the front of the patient’s chest and cut through the breastbone to gain access to the heart. He made a small hole in the right ventricle over the child’s VSD and then Dr. Joel Lutterman, another interventional cardiologist, used echocardiography to place and deploy the device.

Once the VSD was closed, Dr. Myers removed a pulmonary artery band, which had been placed in the child’s previous surgery. With the closure of the VSD, the band was no longer needed.

The hybrid procedure eliminates the need to use the cardiopulmonary bypass machine and to stop the heart, Dr. Myers said. In addition, the patient only had to undergo one procedure for deployment of the device and removal of the artery band, Dr. Myers said.

Mayor looking for volunteers in cleanup effort
By Jason C. Mattox

Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey is looking for civic groups that might have interest in participating in the Great American Cleanup-Mississippi that will take place this spring.

The Great American Cleanup (GAC) is Keep America Beautiful’s signature event that involves millions of volunteers nationally to improve the quality of life in communities across America.

The GAC is the nation’s largest community improvement program.

Research has shown that a clean community has less crime, enhance economic development, more tourism and a better quality of life for the community.

Glad trashbags will be delivered to participants along with a limited number of banners and posters.

Anyone interested in participating in this event should contact Autrey at 563-6622 or via e-mail at mayorautrey@panola.com.

Panola residents eligible for federal storm shelter grants
By Rita Howell

Panola Countians can take advantage of Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funds to install storm shelters on their property, according to Panola Civil Defense Director Son Hudson.

This month it was announced that Mississippi has received a grant for $6.6 million for construction of storm shelters to continue a program called "A Safe Place to Go."

Residents in the counties that took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina will be first in line for the funds, but Hudson expects that Panola will receive enough to install 20-50 individual storm shelters.

The grants are matching, with FEMA paying 75 of the cost, and the property owner responsible for the remaining 25 percent.

The cost to the individual could range from $661 for the smallest size shelter to $996 for the largest family shelter.

Last year, Hudson oversaw the installation of about a dozen "community" shelters (two shelters with enough space to hold 28 people at each location) at fire stations around the county.

The City of Sardis declined to participate in the program, but all other communities have at least one shelter now.

The Panola Presbyterian Partnership, a collaboration among Batesville, Independence and Black Jack Presbyterian Churches, helped pay matching funds for some of the shelters, and the county picked up the grant balance for the rest of the shelters.

In addition, Hudson said about 20 families received individual shelters through the program last year. They all paid 25 percent of the cost of the shelter.

"I have a waiting list already for people wanting shelters," Hudson said.

Anyone who wants to participate in the program should call Hudson at 563-6245 to request an application. The shelters will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, Hudson said.

The smaller shelters will hold six to eight people. They cannot be located in a flood plain, he said.

Mississippi averages 24 tornadoes a year and ranks second in the nation in tornado-related fatalities and injuries.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency established the program after a series of tornadoes ripped through areas of the state in 2001, killing eight people and injuring more than 100 others.

More than 2,100 residential and 180 group shelters have been built in Mississippi.

Chaplains sought to serve at Tri-Lakes
By John Howell Sr.

The Rev. Zannie Leland Jr. and the Rev. Courtney Selvy have agreed to co-chair a committee to encourage Panola County’s pastors to serve as chaplains at Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

"That’s part of what we think is important, a strong chaplaincy program," Tri-Lakes administrator Ray Shoemaker said.

"From our standpoint, we can deal with the medical and physical needs; serving the spiritual needs is part of the entire healing process," Shoemaker added.

"Our basic idea is that we want every pastor in the county to be involved," said Gwen Shirley, director of education at Tri-Lakes.

"We’ve been kind of on and off ever since the hospital was built," Rev. Leland said. "We want to invite all of the ministers in the county to an elistment meeting to hear what the hospital is all about and how they can play a part."

The meeting is a dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, Shirley said.

"We’re going to prepare for 70 and hope they all come," she added.

"With all the advances in medical techology, there’s still a need for spiritual comfort," Leland said. "When you’re in the hospital it’s important just to have someone come by and let you know that someone is available for prayer and spiritual counseling," he added.

"We ask their permission," Rev. Selvy said of a chaplain’s entry to a hospital patient’s room. "When we go, that’s a service that the hospital provides, but we only stay with the person’s permission."

The ministers said that people seek pastoral contact for varying reasons.

"I have been approached by a family whose loved one was suffering with a terminal illness; they wanted me to meet with him to read from the Word of God to make his transition more comfortable," Leland said.

Selvy recalled a call from the hospital requesting him to make a visit to a patient whom the minister found "real, real nervous" when he arrived.

"’I just need somebody to pray with me,’" Selvy said the patient told him. Once they prayed together, the patient said, "’Now I can rest,’" according to Selvy.

"There is a very solid line between a person’s physical well being and his spiritual well being," Selvy added.

Leland, Sevly and hospital officials are attempting to contact as many ministers in the county as possible. Ministers who would like to learn more about the program are also encouraged to contact Shirley at 563-5611.



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