In The Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

January 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Courtney Kidd's Long Road to a Normal Life

By In the Loop

Image collage of transplant patient Courtney KiddIf it's true that "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger," Courtney Kidd could give Wonder Woman a run for her money. There was the emergency surgery when she was born. And five other major heart surgeries. Surgery to implant a pacemaker. A hemorrhagic stroke that left her paralyzed on the right side of her body, forcing her to learn how to walk and talk again. And that was just her first 12 years. Now, at 32, Courtney's medical journey has taken another unique turn after she recently became only the third person at Mayo Clinic -- and in the world -- to have a heart and liver transplant done in reverse order.

Courtney first came to Mayo Clinic for her fifth heart surgery. At that time, doctors classified her as "highly sensitized," meaning that her body had built up high levels of antibodies against foreign tissues due to her surgeries and blood transfusions. That made likelihood of her getting a transplant that her body wouldn’t immediately reject extremely low. But this time, luck was on her side, because doctors at Mayo found that highly sensitized patients like Courtney who get liver transplants in combination with other organ transplants tend to not have rejection issues as often. Instead, they say the patient's liver essentially "absorbs” the antibodies so they won’t attack and ultimately reject the other transplanted organs. [...]

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Tags: Dr Sudhir Kushwaha, Heart Transplant, liver transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

January 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

This Is Your Brain … Paying Attention

By In the Loop

Image of video character Broody the brain. The other day we spotted some sage advice in the virtual pages of The Atlantic on intentionality and attentiveness from Mayo’s own Amit Sood, M.D. Naturally, we stopped and paid attention. In the article, “Attention: A Muscle to Strengthen,” we learned that giving things due consideration is not so natural these days as “most of us spend more than half of our mental energy flitting from thought to thought, from app to app” and so on. More than half of our mental energy. (If our calculator app is correct, that’s more than 50 percent.)

Thankfully, Dr. Sood has some ideas about how to change that. And up our mental energy. The article points to Dr. Sood’s website, stressfree.org for some thoughts on “helping people to ‘create intentionality’ … choosing where you deploy your attention and how you process information.” Not to mention, training your mind to become “more productive and resilient, less depressed, and physically healthier” by being “more deliberate with our cognitive energy.” [...]

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Tags: Dr Amit Sood, Intentionality, Mindfulness, Wellness

January 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop

“Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.”

Jeffrey Eugenides

January 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Don’t Let a Barking Dog Lie

By In the Loop

Yellow Labrador

When it comes to saving the day, collies (like our old friend Lassie) have nothing on a good yellow Lab mix. At least not when you consider the tale that Larry and Pat Lee have to tell. One morning last fall, Larry Lee and his Lab, Dee, went out for a walk. A short time later, Pat heard barking, which progressed to really loud barking. So Pat decided to investigate, and she soon learned why Dee’s yelp was so insistent.

According to the story in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Pat found her dog outside, but there was no sign of her husband. As it turned out, Larry had [...]

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Tags: Albert Lea, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo One, stroke, telemedicine

January 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Pitchers and Infielders Report to Rochester

By In the Loop

Minnesota Twins baseball players talking to young athletes at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center.

If you were hanging around the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester last Wednesday and thought, “Those two guys that just walked by looked a lot like Brian Duensing and Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins,” you’re right. The pitcher and second baseman came to town last week to “give baseball tips to dozens of kids … as part of the annual Twins Winter Caravan,” as the Rochester Post-Bulletin and KIMT-TV report. The two Brians put on a baseball clinic, all sponsored by Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and EXOS, a company that works with Mayo to provide endurance training.

The Twins duo did more than just give hitting, fielding and throwing pointers. Both media outlets report Duensing and Dozier also helped the kids understand there’s a lot more that goes into playing baseball (professional or otherwise) than grabbing a beat-up glove, saying “put me in, Coach,” and taking the field. “It’s not like we just run out and play,” Dozier told the kids. The players said they both do “plenty of work away from the park” -- before, during and after the season -- to make sure they get the nutrition and rest they need to keep them healthy throughout the season. [...]

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Tags: Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, Minnesota Twins, sports medicine

January 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.”

Christopher Morley

January 22nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Saving Lives at 30,000 Feet

By In the Loop

airplane flying into sunsetLike many air travelers, Chris Viozzi, D.D.S, M.D., was just trying to get some shut-eye on a recent flight from Minnesota to Amsterdam. That was put on hold after Dr. Viozzi was “jolted awake” as a flight attendant and female passenger rushed past his seat shortly after take-off. Moments later, Dr. Viozzi says he heard the flight attendant call for medical assistance at the front of the plane.

A few seats away, two other Mayo Clinic physicians on the same flight -- Todd Miller, M.D., and Richard Daly, M.D. -- quickly sprang into action. “I saw Todd get up just to my left, so I headed up there, too,” Dr. Viozzi says. ”When I got there, the woman had just collapsed onto the floor from shortness of breath. Todd had started chest compressions, and we just began doing basic life support at that point. I asked the flight attendant to find an automated external defibrillator (AED) if there was one on the plane, as well as a medical kit. Rocky (Dr. Daly) then came around the corner and started helping, as well.” [...]

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Tags: Dr Chris Viozzi, Dr Richard Daly, Dr Todd Miller

January 22nd, 2015 · 1 Comment

Taking the Long View When Time Is Short

By In the Loop

Dr. Dave Eitrheim running across race finish line holding hands with other runnersIt’s not every day that you hear about someone diagnosed with terminal cancer running a marathon. But David Eitrheim, M.D., a longtime physician at Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Cedar, in Menomonie, Wisconsin, did just that last November, completing the Rails to Trails marathon, held along the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. This month, he’s taking thing a bit further by setting his sights on the Jan. 24 Coldwater Rumble – a 100-mile ultramarathon in Arizona’s Estrella Mountain Region Park.

In July 2013, Dr. Eitrheim, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. As the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram tells it, tests at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus revealed the cancer had spread to two of his lymph nodes. The following months were a grueling series of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and a roller coaster ride of hope. The cancer seemed to have disappeared at one point. Last May, Dr. Eitrheim learned that the cancer had returned and spread to the lymph nodes on his neck and chest. He was told he had six to nine months to live. [...]

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Tags: Dr David Eitrheim, Dr James Deming, marathon, Mayo Clinic Health System, Running

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