Frank Boutiette PT, DPT, CWS
Director of Ancillary Services
OakLeaf Surgical Hospital
In 2001, a group of independent OakLeaf physicians established the OakLeaf Surgical Hospital, a private hospital designed exclusively for surgery. Today, 52 surgeons in 15 specialties offer surgical procedures at OakLeaf Surgical Hospital on an outpatient or overnight stay basis. This unique state-of-the-art facility offers an alternative to the large institution when one is contemplating surgery. Now in its new location, OakLeaf Surgical Hospital offerings go beyond surgical procedures alone.
Commonly referred to as IV’s, intravenous therapy, or infusion therapy is the delivery of liquids directly into a vein. Unlike oral medications which take time to take effect, delivering the medication or fluid directly into a person’s vein promotes immediate effects.
The history of IV therapy dates back to the Middle Ages, with some of the first tools used being quills and bladders from animals. In the early 1800s, Dr. Thomas Latta pioneered the use of introducing saline into the veins for those suffering from cholera and by the end of World War II, IV therapy was standard medical practice. Fast forward to the 1990s, and more than 85% of hospitalized patients in the United States were receiving IV therapy, with nurses spending up to 75% of their time providing IV therapies of one type or another.
Today a partial list of intravenous therapies used throughout the United States in hospitals and clinics would include administration of fluids, medications, blood products, nutrition fluids, and the introduction of contrast agents for imaging of the circulatory system. At OakLeaf Surgical Hospital specially trained nurses working with referring providers and physicians provide infusion therapy for a variety of reasons ranging from providing treatment for infections to medications aimed at helping to manage ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, weakened immune systems, or osteoporosis.
Diagnostic imaging services at OakLeaf Surgical Hospital now include x-ray, CT and MRI scanning. They are painless procedures that yield a great deal of diagnostic information, but what exactly are the differences between these imaging devices and why might one be used over another?
Of the three types of imaging, radiographs are the most common and widely used. An x-ray machine passes radiation through the body part being filmed. Radiation is absorbed differently as it passes through the body depending on density. In the case of bone or foreign objects, which are both very dense, the result is a bright white image. X-rays can be taken from several angles and while often yielding a great deal of information, this imaging technique is limited. X-rays have limited value for capturing images of soft tissues, in which case other techniques are superior. Because x-rays use radiation, extra safety precautions are used to limit risks.
Computerized Tomography (CT scan)
A CT scan combines x-rays with computer technology to provide far more detailed images than x-rays alone. Cross sections of the body can be visualized on a computer screen, allowing the doctor to observe not only shapes but also sizes and positioning of structures that are deep inside our bodies. CT scans also use radiation.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI’s also produce cross sectional views of the body part being filmed. Unlike x-ray or CT scans, MRI’s do not use radiation. An MRI uses magnetic fields to generate computer images. These sophisticated images show in great detail the tissues of the body including muscles, tendon, nerves, cartilage, and organs.
Some of the most common laboratory testing procedures include a complete blood count (CBC) and a basic metabolic panel (BMP).
A CBC is a blood test used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection, or even leukemia. A complete blood count measures several components and features of your blood, including red blood cells, which carry oxygen.
A basic metabolic panel is a blood test that measures your sugar (glucose) level, electrolytes, and kidney function. Electrolytes help maintain fluid balance in your body. Additionally, electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, allow your heart and other muscles to function properly.
Information gained from these and many other laboratory testing procedures provide physicians and health care providers with invaluable information used to guide care, promote health, and manage illness.
OakLeaf Surgical Hospital continues its strong tradition of providing excellence and personalized care in a friendly and comfortable setting. Now with the addition of Outpatient Infusion, Imaging and Laboratory services, physicians, health care providers and people throughout Western Wisconsin can experience this attention to detail and outstanding care without a hospital stay.
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