05:58pm Tuesday 12 December 2017

Holiday tip sheet from the University of Michigan Health System

Looking for a heart-warming story about a Michigan mom of six who needs a new heart or tips for  protecting kids from noise-induced hearing loss?

Holiday tip sheet provides story ideas that relate to the holidays, and some evergreen ideas that can help you fill the newspaper or broadcast during the slow news month ahead.

Or want to know why heart attacks spike during winter weather and how many “drinks” are really in your favorite New Year’s Eve cocktail?

You’ve come to the right place.

Reporters, producers and editors, here is our holiday gift to you: Story ideas that relate to the holidays, and some evergreen ideas that can help you fill the newspaper or broadcast during the slow news month ahead.

Kids and hearing
A few iPods (or high-definition headphones) will be gifted this season, but parents should be aware of the impact monster beats can have on adolescent hearing. One in 6 teens has high frequency hearing loss, the type that can be caused by listening to loud noise for long periods or by a brief exposure to extremely high sounds. Noise-induced hearing loss is not reversible. Talk to our experts about ways to mitigate hearing damage in kids and how parents can help. Media contact: Margarita Wagerson at mbauza@umich.edu, (734) 764-2220.

Waiting for a heart
LaVisha McDonald walks two to three miles every other day and not many people on a heart transplant list can say that. “Most people waiting for transplant surgery … Their life is on hold. My doctor told me to go live,” says LaVisha, a mother of six who has no time for a hospital bed. Doctors at the U-M Cardiovascular Center implanted a left ventricle assist device that pumps blood for her in a way her failing heart no longer can. More heart patients nationwide are living normal lives with help from heart devices. See LaVisha McDonald at home http://www.michigandifference.org/video/cardio.html
Media contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll, smkirk@umich.edu, (734) 764-2220

‘Tis the season for heartburn
All those holiday treats, endless buffets and rich foods can add up to some unwanted seasonal stress on your digestive system. Looking for some tips for avoiding heartburn and other gastrointestinal ailments common during holiday feasting? William Chey, M.D., co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology and professor of internal medicine at the U-M, is available to offer tips for the holidays and beyond. Media contact: Mary F. Masson, mfmasson@umich.edu, 734-764-2220.

Snow shoveling and heart attacks
Those with heart trouble may get a pass on shoveling snow during winter weather when heart attacks tend to spike. The colder it is, the heavier the snow, and the weaker the person, the greater the risk for heart attack. The cold stimulates adrenalin and constricts the blood vessels, says Melvin Rubinfire, M.D., director of preventative cardiology at the U-M Cardiovascular Center, which can increase the likelihood of a heart attack, cardiac arrest or a stroke. Media contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll, smkirk@umich.edu, (734) 764-2220.

Managing alcohol-induced merriment
With more holiday celebrations comes more alcohol and, if you choose to drink, it’s not always easy to know exactly how much you’re consuming. To help people be more aware of how many drinks are really in their favorite cocktail, the University of Michigan’s MHealthy created the Alcohol Serving Size Challenge at www.mhealthy.umich.edu/alcohol-challenge. Research shows that people tend to underestimate how much alcohol they have consumed and over estimate how much other people are drinking. Experts are available with self-help advice about whether you drink too much, what’s a moderate amount of alcohol consumption for adults, and if alcohol is harming you or putting you at risk. Media contact: Michael Steigmeyer, msteigm@umich.edu, (734) 764-2220.

Coping with cancer during the holidays
The holiday scramble can be daunting under the best of circumstances, but people with cancer face different stresses. Specialists with the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s PsychOncology Program—which helps patients cope with the emotional impact of cancer—are available to discuss the unique challenges of this time of year. Holidays often trigger reflections on losses and hopes for the future, which may lead to depression for some. Our experts offer practical advice for ways patients can manage expectations and reorganize priorities so the holidays are more pleasurable than burdensome. Media contact: Justin Harris at juaha@med.umich.edu, or (734) 764-2220.

‘Dr. Snowflake’ teaches the art of pictorial snowflakes
Former University of Michigan physician Thomas L. Clark is a different kind of doctor these days. Known as Dr. Snowflake, Clark exhibits his pictorial snowflake art during the winter months at the Taubman Health Center. This year’s exhibit showcases royal snowflakes, featuring face card characters such as the Jack, Queen and King. In addition to the exhibit, Clark will host a how-to workshop for making similar snowflakes. The workshop is scheduled for Jan. 5. Media contact: Justin Harris, juaha@umich.edu, or (734) 764-2220.

New Year’s Baby
Working New Year’s Eve? So are we. For information about the birth of the first 2012 baby born at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, page the on-call public relations person at (734) 936-6266.

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Media Contacts      Justin Harris: juaha@umich.edu 734-764-2220


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