Health Tips for the Week of October 31


    Health care providers and researchers with the University of Louisville are available to discuss any of the following health topics this week. Click on the headline or scroll down for more information: 


    The idea of surgery can obviously be frightening and overwhelming for any child. A little preparation can help reduce everyone’s fears and improve the experience.

    “Having a plan and knowledge of the situation can help kids and parents feel less anxious about anesthesia and surgery and get through the recovery period faster,” said Mary Fallat, M.D., general surgeon with UofL Physicians and Norton Children’s Hospital. “The key is to provide information at your child’s level, correct any misunderstandings and calm any fears.”

    Fallat said kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what’s going to happen and why the surgery is necessary. To do this, parents should prepare themselves first and correct any misconceptions of their own.

    “If a parent is anxious or nervous, a child will often mimic these feelings and behaviors,” she said. “We encourage parents to ask questions and become educated and more comfortable with the process.”

    Once you’re comfortable, you can start preparing your child for the big day. For example, children of all ages may have clear liquids (drinks you can see through) up to two hours before surgery.

    For other tips on preparing children for surgery, with directions based on age groups, visit the web page here.


    Building upon the success of the past five years, the American Heart Association, in partnership with the University of Louisville, received a nearly $18 million, five-year renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Tobacco Products to continue support for the American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center at UofL.

    Under the direction of Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., the association’s deputy chief science and medical officer, and Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine at UofL, the center examines the short- and long-term cardiovascular effects of tobacco products and the overall toxicity of tobacco products and their constituents.

    The AHA Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center received $20 million in its initial funding in 2013 through this same interagency partnership between the NIH and FDA as the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products began its investment in the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science. The AHA center is a multi-institutional network focused on creating a broad scientific base to inform the FDA’s regulation of tobacco product manufacturing, distribution and marketing.

    The renewal grant awards are based on the scientific and technical merit of the applicant organizations. The AHA Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center’s quality of research and productivity in its first five years created a strong foundation for future research and led to the renewed funding.

    To date, researchers found the use of tobacco products such as traditional cigarettes, hookahs, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and e-hookahs leads to a decrease in immune cells and prevents repair of damaged endothelial cells, increasing the risk of contracting secondary infections. Additionally, the researchers found that electronic hookahs can increase the risk of blood clots.


    The need to make psychological therapies widely available is the focus of the “Building Hope” public lecture on Thursday, Nov. 1.

    David M. Clark, Ph.D., professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford in England and director of the Oxford Centre of Anxiety Disorders & Trauma, will present “Thrive: How Psychological Therapies Transform Lives and Save Money.” The event is part of the “Building Hope” public lecture series sponsored by the University of Louisville Depression Center and will be held at 6 p.m. at the Clifton Center, 2117 Payne St.

    “Effective psychological treatments are available for most mental health problems, but the public rarely benefits. This can be changed,” Clark said. “The clinical and economic arguments for increasing access to psychological therapies are overwhelming.”

    The lecture kicks off the Depression Center’s 12th annual conference at the Clifton Center on Friday, Nov. 2, that focuses on translating science into clinical practice for depression and anxiety disorders.

    Conference sessions are geared toward psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, primary care physicians and other mental health clinicians.

    Attendance is free for UofL physicians, nurses, faculty members, students, residents and fellows. Registration for other health care professionals costs $100. For more information, call 502-588-4886 or visit the website.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.