Monday, July 28, 2014

Health Care Tips: Secondhand Smoke

What is secondhand smoke?
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by the smoker. 

Is secondhand smoke a health concern?
Secondhand smoke is the third leading preventable cause of disability and early death (after smoking and alcohol) in the United States. Secondhand smoke causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and more than 50,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the United States.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including more than 60 known carcinogens, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen, a substance known to cause cancer in humans.

What chemicals does secondhand smoke contain?
Ammonia, arsenic, cyanide, and formaldehyde are found in secondhand smoke. These are just some of the harmful ingredients found in secondhand smoke.

Are there secondhand smoke concerns related specifically to children?
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get bronchitis and pneumonia. They are more likely to experience frequent and severe asthma attacks and ear infections. Secondhand smoke causes lung problems, including coughing, too much phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness among school-aged children.

How long does it take for a healthy non-smoker to be exposed to secondhand smoke before experiencing negative health effects?
Within 5 minutes of being exposed, the primary artery (aorta) for blood flow from the heart to the body stiffens as much as it does for a smoker who smokes one cigarette.

What are other names for secondhand smoke?
Environmental tobacco smoke, passive smoke, and involuntary smoking are other names for secondhand smoke.

Do ventilation and separate non-smoking sections eliminate secondhand smoke exposure?
Ventilation and non-smoking sections do not protect people from the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke. According to the 2006 US Surgeon General’s report, eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the ONLY way to completely protect people from secondhand smoke.

To learn more about health concerns linked to smoking and secondhand smoke, refer to the following:

This site provides numerous resources for people who are trying to quit smoking. It includes information on how to build a quit plan, how to manage cravings, and how to support someone who is trying to quit smoking. Resources for health care providers who are trying to help their patients quit smoking are also available.

This site provides information on numerous smoking related topics including cancer, heart disease, and pregnancy.

Or, contact Preston Medical Library at or 865-305-9525. Librarians will research questions and provide information on smoking or other health related topics - free of charge. 

Learn more about the Consumer & Patient Health Information Service (CAPHIS) - a free public education and health information service.

Post by Donna Doyle

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Preston on the Move: Library’s New Location Scheduled to Open September

Have you heard the good news?

Preston Medical Library is moving to a new location in the hospital – near Wood Auditorium and the pharmacy.

Although the library’s location will be new, the same services and resources will be provided. 

For example, there will still be a conference room, a computer room, and the same convenient hours.

What will be new?

The library will be 2,000 feet larger than the current location. Since the new library will be all on one floor instead of two floors, it will appear even more spacious. 

Compact shelving will provide room for the library’s book collection to grow.

An especially exciting feature of the new library will be the expansion to the Health Information Center – a designated area with resources for patients and the community. 

The Health Information Center will better spotlight a longstanding library service frequently referred to as “Knoxville’s best kept secret” - Preston’s Consumer and Patient Health Information Service (CAPHIS).

CAPHIS services and resources are designed to help educate patients and to enhance patient care. 

The Health Information Center and Preston Medical Library's new location in the heart of the hospital will add value to the UT Medical Center community and to the community at large.

Preston employees look forward to welcoming patrons to the library’s new location on Tuesday, September 2.

The Health Information Center will open at a later date.

During the weeks preceding the move, access to the library’s services and resources will be disrupted as minimally as possible.

During the move, the library is scheduled to be closed August 22-August 31.

In observance of the University of Tennessee holiday closing policy, the library will be closed on Labor Day, September 1.

Preceding and during the move, all patient care related requests will be fulfilled.

Move-related details will be announced via the library’s blog and Facebook page. News will also be published in the hospital’s electronic newsletter, the eMonitor.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the library at or 865-305-9525.

In the meantime, be on the look-out for this image – a sure sign of move-related news.

Post by Donna Doyle

Monday, July 14, 2014

Health Care Tips: The Importance of Regular Health Care Visits & How to Communicate with Your Health Care Provider

Do you visit your health care provider only when you feel sick?

Even healthy adults should visit their health care providers regularly. Regular physical exams can help you avoid future medical problems. 

In the early stages, health concerns such as high blood sugar and high cholesterol may not cause any symptoms. 

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, and yet it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and kidney failure.

How frequently you should visit your health care provider?

Recommendations vary for men and for women. Age is also a factor.

People avoid regular visits with their health care provider for a variety of reasons. 

Communication is one of the most important parts of getting good healthcare, but talking with health care providers can be difficult. The words they use might be hard to understand.

Preparing for a visit to your health care provider will help ensure you get the most out of your appointment. 

Question Builder – a free resource provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – can help you prepare for your next medical appointment.

In just a couple of minutes, Question Builder helps you figure out what questions you want to ask your doctor. Question Builder makes it even easier for you by compiling the questions into a format you can print and take to your visit. Writing down what your health care provider says will make it easier for you to remember. You can also ask your health care provider to write down instructions or any words you do not understand.

For more information on how to improve communication with your health care provider, visit MedlinePlus.

If you would like to better understand or learn more about what your health care provider has told you, please contact Preston Medical Library at or 865-305-9525.

Librarians will research your questions using the most reliable, current, and easy to understand resources. Information can be delivered to you by email, the U.S. Postal Service, or you can pick it up at the library.

The Consumer & Patient Health Information Service (CAPHIS) helps make taking care of your health pretty easy.

It is also very affordable – free.

Post by Donna Doyle

Sunday, July 13, 2014

This Week @ Preston Medical Library: H.A.B.I.T. Dog Visit on Wednesday

Sam, volunteer from the Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee (H.A.B.I.T.), Photo Credit - Donna Doyle

Hard week?
Part of your Wednesday could look and feel this soft.
July 16
Time: 4pm-5pm
Location: Library-wide
Description: Come relieve stress with one of the library’s H.A.B.I.T. dogs!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 9 Literary Rounds Features Spoken Word Poet, Black Atticus

“Many people have an intuitive sense
that voice in general and poetry in particular can be healing.” 
~ Robert Carroll, MD ~ 

On Wednesday, July 9 Black Atticus, spoken word poet, will be the featured guest of Literary Rounds: Where Medicine Mingles with the Muse

The event will be held in Preston Medical Library’s conference room at 4:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

But, just what is spoken word poetry? And, what does it have to do with a medical library?

While spoken word poetry might sound new to listeners, the art of spoken word poetry has existed for many centuries. The Ancient Greeks included spoken-word poetry in their Olympic Games. When Homer composed poems, society did not yet have written language. His poems were first written down about 500 years after their creation. 

In general, spoken word poetry is poetry intended for performance. Though some spoken word poetry may be published on the page, the genre has its roots in oral traditions and performance. 

Spoken word can encompass or contain elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theater, and jazz, rock, blues, and folk music. Since the genre is characterized by rhyme and repetition, listeners may experience spoken word readings in ways similar to how they experience musical performances.

Listening to the spoken word can also provide important health benefits.

In an article published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine – an international, peer-reviewed journal - Robert Carroll, MD addresses the significant roles poetry and voice play in healing:

“Our voices are saturated with who we are, embodied in the rhythms, tonal variations, associations, images and other somato-sensory metaphors in addition to the content meaning of the words. Our voices are embodiments of ourselves, whether written or spoken. It is in times of extremity that we long to find words or hear another human voice letting us know we are not alone.”

Even though Dr. Carroll had utilized expressive writing with his patients, it was not until he underwent an intensely difficult period in his life that he turned to poetry as a way to heal himself.

One of his patients had died, his father was dying, and a friend was dying. On top of that, he was disabled for several months following knee surgery complications.

Dr. Carroll writes, “I had never written much before except a few poems in earlier times of crisis. I developed ways of writing as my own healing practice, and I listened to the voices of other poets and writers doing the same.” 

In addition to providing examples of poems written as healing tools, Dr. Carroll’s article - Finding the Words to Say It: The Healing Power of Poetry - includes information on poetry therapy and poetry’s role in palliative care.

“Listening to the spoken word is one of the most profound sources of comfort. The sense of being looked after, nourished and replenished, is like being fed. The listener can relax and place their trust in the reader. The experience is quite unlike reading to oneself.” ~ Robert Carroll, MD ~ 

More information about poetry therapy and music therapy, is available via PubMed Central (PMC).

PMC provides a free, electronic, full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Witness the therapeutic value of spoken word poetry for yourself by attending Literary Rounds. If you have only encountered poetry in written form, you are in for an experience that will change how you view poetry. a fusion of the traditional and the modern.

Before electronic, before print, before the alphabet, there was speech.

In the midst of audiobooks and eBooks, the spoken word still retains its ancient magic. 

Experience the magic - at Preston Medical Library.

Post by Donna Doyle

Sunday, July 6, 2014

This Week @ Preston Medical Library: H.A.B.I.T. Dog Sam Visits & Literary Rounds Features Black Atticus

July 9
Time: 4pm-5pm
Location: Library-wide
Description: Come relieve stress with one of the library’s H.A.B.I.T. dogs!

Time: 4:30pm-5:30pm
Location: Preston Medical Library Conference Room
Description: Black Atticus, Spoken Word Artist, Speaking to Heal