Author Archives: Amber Smith

Meth lab dangers: Exposure can cause lasting effects

BY AMBER SMITH Rescuers whose jobs take them to clandestine methamphetamine labs risk exposure to chemicals that can cause what appears to be permanent damage to their memory-making ability. Specialists in anesthesiology and neurology at Upstate Medical University tell about … Continue reading

Posted in brain/neurology, community, disability, drugs/medications/pharmacy, health care, illness, mental health/emotional health, patient story, poison center/toxicology, research, safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Safe houses: 11 things emergency doctors ban from their homes

BY AMBER SMITH Doctors at Upstate University Hospital’s emergency department are on the front lines of the mayhem and mishaps that befall young Central New Yorkers. They care for people with every imaginable injury or illness at their workplace, the … Continue reading

Posted in adolescents, community, emergency medicine/trauma, entertainment, health care, poison center/toxicology, prevention/preventive medicine, public health, safety, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick call to 911, prompt response and fast flight to Upstate stroke center helped save the life of Larry Deshaw

Tuesday afternoons are usually when Nancy Humphrey golfs. But she was still home a little after 4 p.m. on July 19 because that day’s tournament didn’t start until 5 p.m., and the Clayton Country Club is only about a quarter … Continue reading

Posted in brain/neurology, brain/spine/neurosurgery, community, emergency medicine/trauma, health care, patient story, public health, stroke | Leave a comment

Helping newborns by helping moms off drugs

BY AMBER SMITH One quarter of the babies born in Onondaga County have been exposed to an opioid drug of some sort in the womb, making for one of the highest rates of newborn drug exposure in New York state. … Continue reading

Posted in addiction, drugs/medications/pharmacy, health care, HealthLink on Air, maternity/obstetrics, poison center/toxicology, public health, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics, women's health/gynecology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why a kidney biopsy may be unnecessary

BY AMBER SMITH For decades, kidney experts believed that biopsies of the organ were not helpful in determining how to treat a small kidney tumor. Today, more doctors believe a biopsy helps guide treatment. It can – sometimes, says Gennady … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, health care, illness, kidney/renal/nephrology, prevention/preventive medicine, research, urology

Instead of a biopsy: Scientists seek better, noninvasive diagnostic tool to detect liver cancer early

BY AMBER SMITH One of the reasons liver cancer is so deadly is that people rarely discover the disease at an early stage, when it’s treatable. What might help would be a screening test, similar to the one that exists … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, health care, illness, liver/ gallbladder/ pancreas, medical imaging/radiology, pancreas/liver/gallbladder/bile ducts, research

‘In good hands’: Patient appreciates Cancer Center’s energized staff, warm, vibrant surroundings

BY AMBER SMITH When Carl Pesko is at the Upstate Cancer Center for treatment, he receives chemotherapy for eight to 10 hours the first day, and then two to three hours the next. He has had plenty of opportunity to … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, community, drugs/medications/pharmacy, health care, illness, patient story

She’s resilient: 11-year-old faces Ewing sarcoma

BY AMBER SMITH Maddie Shaw is covered with a plush purple blanket. She grasps an iPad Mini, on which she quietly battles digital zombies, while the last of her chemotherapy flows into her arm. It’s a Friday at the end … Continue reading

Posted in adolescents, bones/joints/orthopedics, cancer, community, health care, illness, patient story, surgery, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics

Quality or quantity? Serious illness prompts serious discussion

BY AMBER SMITH Some doctors are reluctant to recommend palliative care, particularly for patients who are younger than 65 and dealing with a serious illness. The shift from lifesaving treatment to comfort care may seem like admitting the futility of … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, community, death/dying, grief/loss, health care, HealthLink on Air, illness, research

A 50-year anniversary: Meet one of Upstate’s oldest living pediatric brain tumor survivors

BY AMBER SMITH Some of the details are fuzzy, but 50 years after her treatment for a brain tumor at Upstate University Hospital, Michelle “Shelly” Kikta-Kiner, 62, still considers her survival a miracle. The Verona woman is one of Upstate’s … Continue reading

Posted in adolescents, brain/spine/neurosurgery, cancer, depression, health care, history, illness, medical imaging/radiology, patient story, surgery, technology