Swedish Medical Center Announces Partnership with Loveland Ski Club: Love What Moves You!

(Englewood, CO) Swedish Medical Center is proud to announce a three year, exclusive partnership with the Loveland Ski Club: Love What Moves You. The partnership is generating extra excitement as both Swedish Medical Center employees and Loveland Ski Team members are glued to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games to see the young favorite Mikaela Shiffrin compete. Over the past 4 years Shiffrin has competed and trained at Loveland Ski Area in preparation. Shiffrin placed fifth in her Olympic debut, missing a medal by 0.23 seconds in the Giant Slalom. At only 18 years old, Shiffrin is a favorite in the upcoming Ladies’ Slalom.


The relationship between Swedish Medical Center and Loveland Ski Club is one that will provide education and injury prevention for club members and their families as well as medical directorship of the club. Additionally, Swedish Medical Center provides a one-call option to club members and their families for healthcare resources: 1-855-SWEDSPRT (1-855-793-7778).

“Skiing is such a part of the culture of Colorado,” said Mary M. White, President and CEO Swedish Medical Center. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of not only a Colorado past time, but also a club and a mountain that attracts skiers from across the Front Range. It’s members of our community that are enjoying skiing at Loveland and we want to serve them in every way that we can.”

The Loveland Ski Club consists or more than 100 racers, ranging in age from five to 20-years-old, 12 coaches and 82 families who live throughout the Front Range.

“Partnering with Swedish is a natural fit for us,” said John Hale, Director of Loveland Ski Club. “They are such a figure in the community, they are a Level One Trauma Center and while they have expertise in the types of injuries we can see in this sport, they also have a commitment to education throughout the community.”

The health education and injury prevention will be a combination of programs selected by and created for the club members and their families, as well as seminars from the Spirit of Women program providing age appropriate and relevant health and wellness topics. Seminars are open to the public and include everything from, ‘It’s a Slippery Slope: Injury Prevention’ to ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ a seminar about teenage vaccines.IMG_7747

Medical directorship is provided by Orthopedic Physicians of Colorado and if needed, the orthopedic trauma team consisting of Wade Smith, MD and Steve Morgan, MD in the event of a traumatic injury.

“We believe in education and injury prevention,” said John Reister, MD of OPC. “We also understand that ski racing is an extreme sport and injuries do happen. We are excited to provide fast, quality, comprehensive care to the racers and families of the Loveland Ski Club.”

This partnership is another way Swedish Medical Center is continuing their long tradition of being involved in the community they serve and providing education and comprehensive care. For more information visit www.SwedishHospital.com or visit us at our booth at one of the many races hosted by the Loveland Ski Club throughout the season.


About Swedish Medical Center (www.SwedishHospital.com)

Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado, part of HealthONE, serves as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for neurotrauma and as the region’s first Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, a recognized leader in the most advanced stroke care. Swedish offers patients the highest quality care and the most advanced technologies and treatments in nearly every medical specialty and is an eight time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award and a Top 100 Hospital recognized by Reuters. An acute care hospital with 368 licensed beds, Swedish is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 100 years. Annually, Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of 2,000 dedicated employees, 500 volunteers and more than 1,600 physicians.

About Loveland Ski Club
Our goal is to provide world-class alpine ski training, close to home, combined with exceptional coaching and curriculum. We offer a high-quality, dedicated training environment that is meticulously prepared, technologically advanced and well-staffed. In this setting, an athlete has every opportunity to reach his or her potential, whether that be a lifelong love of the sport, USSA competitions, FIS racing, the Collegiate ranks, the National team, World Cup, or the Olympic Games. We provide this training in a unique setting that allows an athlete to live in their own family home, attend their own school and still have essential access to world-class training. In this pursuit, we are passionately committed to acquiring, developing, and perfecting fundamental skills. We place a priority on helping our athletes develop their fundamental skills because we firmly believe that these fundamentals provide the structural basis for becoming both a successful racer and lifetime skier.




A Wounded Warrior’s Story of Recovery

Taking orders isn’t something Senior Master Sergeant Martin Smith is used to. The active duty Air Force member and father of four is usually the one telling others how things are done. But a recent turn of events in Martin’s life led him to become the one taking orders from his doctors at MOTUS also known as Mountain Orthopedic Trauma Surgeons at Swedish. HPIM2443

In August 2012, Martin was on his way home from work in Colorado Springs. This was a commute he often traveled on his motorcycle. “There was a lot of construction that day,” said Martin. “I wasn’t aware that the road was down to one lane and as I braked, I slide downhill, swerved and hit the car in front of me.” Martin severely broke his left leg in multiple places. Lying on the ground, he knew there was a big problem due to the amount of blood coming from his leg. He took his belt and made a tourniquet to stop the bleeding as someone else from the scene came to his aid. “This guy came to help me and held the tourniquet in place until AirLife came to take me to the hospital,” explains Martin.

He was rushed to Swedish Medical Center where he was immediately assessed by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Wade Smith. “Martin had suffered an open tibia fracture,” explains Dr. Smith. “Not only were bones of the leg shattered, the skin and muscles were torn off leaving the bone exposed to infection.” Due to the severity of Martin’s injury, Dr. Smith was unable to save his entire leg. “In some cases of severe limb trauma, amputation is unavoidable and in fact, can provide better long term function than a severely damaged leg. However, it is critical to use all means to preserve as much of the limb as possible to enhance future function and return to life,” says Dr. Smith. Martin underwent a below knee amputation.

“I was in a state of shock and never thought I was going to lose some of my leg,” said Martin. “I wasn’t really able to soak it all in until after surgery.” He received a prosthetic and did months of post-surgery therapy. “It was a stressful time for me but Dr. Smith always knew what to say to calm me down in the situation. One thing he said that changed my life around was to stop being a patient and start being an athlete again, so I did.”

Martin swam competitively in high school and has always considered himself athletic. Shortly after his conversation with Dr. Smith, Martin received the chance of a lifetime and was asked to be a part of the 2013 Warrior Games.

Smith, Martin divingThe Warrior Games showcase the spirit of competition for wounded, ill or injured service members from all military branches. He made the swim team and won the silver medal in the below knee amputee category. “It was one of the greatest moments of my life and one of my biggest accomplishments,” said Martin. “Dr. Smith was really my motivation to go beyond what I believed I could do at that point in time in my life.”

“I’m glad that as a team, we were able to get Martin back to where he once was in his life. He is an extraordinary person who just needed a little support to believe in himself again,” said Dr. Smith.

Martin plans on retiring from the military this year and may consider competing in the Warrior Games again next year. His goal is to ride a motorcycle and share this hobby with his wife again. Martin says he owes his current life to Dr. Smith and MOTUS and the medical expertise they gave him during the most difficult time of his life. “I want to thank Dr. Smith for kicking my butt and getting me back to living my life!”


Tips for Preventing your Child from Getting Hurt

As a dedicated parent, you undoubtedly want to protect your child from harm as much as possible. Parents often remark that when their children hurt, they hurt too, and nothing is more nerve-racking than taking your child to the hospital. Luckily, there are several ways to help your child play safer and avoid physical injury.

Swedish Medical Center pediatrician, Dr. Martin Alswang give parents tips on how to keep their child safe in and out of the house.

  • In the kitchen, keep hot liquids away from your child. Avoid carrying hot items and your baby at the same time. Plus, use your stove’s back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Make sure to keep glassware, flatware, appliances and appliance cords away from the edges of tables and counters.
  • In the bathroom, keep all medication in a secure place where your child cannot access it. Avoid using euphemisms for medicine such as “candy,” as this could give your child the wrong idea about its uses.
  • Always close toilet seat covers, and always cover all buckets of water and cleaning agents – children can fall in and drown.
  • Never put cleaning agents and chemicals into other bottles (i.e.: soda bottles) as children may see a “soda” bottle and have a drink, injuring themselves.
  • Around the house, keep all lighters and matches safely locked away and do not use candles around young children. Also, use safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs and be sure to close and lock the basement door to help prevent injuries from falls. Utilize window guards that prevent a window from being opened all the way. Additionally, buy cordless blinds or cut the cords so your child cannot get tangled up in them.
  • Children climbing up TVs or shelving have caused them to topple and have killed and maimed many children. Secure them against the wall with hardware devices and prohibit the act.
  • In the garage, safely store any chemicals in a secured place. Be sure to keep tools off the ground and on high shelves that children cannot reach.
  • In the yard, fence off and cover your pool when you are not actively using it. Never let a child swim or wade without adult supervision. Lastly, make sure all playground equipment is sturdy and soft—cover any sharp corners or edges with padding to help prevent injury.
  • Cover lawn-edging strips especially if metal – falling on the edges can cause deep dirty cuts.
  • Inform visitors who are staying over to be very aware to be careful with their medications, not leave them around, secure them etc.

If you or your child is in need of medical care in Denver, come to Swedish Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center with excellent doctors, nurses and personnel who provide high-quality medical care. We utilize state-of-the-art equipment and pride ourselves on our efficient and capable care. Call us at (303) 788-5000.

Why All Head Injuries Should Be Checked

Head injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries, can be caused by a jolt, blow, or any sudden trauma to the skull. Symptoms of these injuries will often depend on the severity of the initial trauma and can range from mild to severe. Although some injuries to the brain can be considered only ‘mild’, it is vital that all victims of suspected head trauma be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

“It is critical to see a trained medical professional to rule out any urgent, life threatening head injuries that may require close monitoring, medications to prevent seizures, or surgical intervention. With advances in technology and imaging techniques, we are now able to gather a better understanding of the nature of each particular head injury allowing us to put forth the most appropriate treatment option. Unlike other medical conditions, it is important to understand that head injuries are cumulative and can significantly change your long term ability to carry out mental and physical activities,” explains Swedish PA-C Tyler Schaefer MMS.

Read on to learn why it is so important that all head injuries be checked by a doctor.

  • To ensure a healthy oxygen supply: If the brain becomes injured, swelling, inflammation, and other problems can occur that may result in reduced oxygen concentrations in the brain. Without oxygen, brain cells can quickly die and cause damage to brain tissue. Seeing a doctor immediately will help to avoid any complications associated with oxygen deprivation.
  • To look for musculoskeletal injuries: A physician may also recommend diagnostic imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to evaluate the patient for any injuries to the skull, spine, or brain tissue. If there are any such injuries, they can be treated before further complications can arise.
  • To check for the presence of hematomas: Hematomas, or ruptured blood vessels, can lead to dangerous amounts of pressure building up in the brain. Once detected, these abnormalities can safely be removed or repaired.
  • To determine a treatment or therapy plan: Even in cases of mild head injury, patients can experience problems with cognition (thinking), mood swings, and sleeping issues long after the injury was sustained. Meeting with a physician can help the patient and his or her loved ones know what to expect and how to deal with the symptoms as effectively as possible to ensure a quick and healthy recovery process.

The Level 1 Trauma Center at Swedish Medical Center in Denver is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide leading-edge medical care when you and your loved ones need it most. Call our hospital today at (303) 788-5000 to learn more about our comprehensive emergency care services.

Signs that Your Loved One is in Need of Emergency Care

Medical emergencies can happen at any time and at any place. Although it can be difficult to be truly prepared for such an event, knowing the symptoms of a medical emergency and what to do if one occurs can allow you to help your loved ones get treatment faster. Below are some of the most common signs that your loved one may be in need of emergency medical care from a hospital in Denver.

Chest pain: Chest pain or tightness that lasts more than a few minutes, or that subsides and comes back, can be a sign of a heart attack. Other heart attack warning signs include sweating, shortness of breath, feelings of anxiety and nausea. Without immediate treatment, a heart attack can lead to permanent disability or death.

Weakness on one side of the body: Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the face and body, especially when accompanied by difficulty speaking, visual changes or a severe headache, is a warning sign of stroke. These symptoms indicate that immediate emergency medical care is required.

Severe bleeding: Even when caused by a small cut, severe bleeding can be a problem. Bleeding that does not cease with continued pressure should be treated by medical professionals immediately to avoid dangerous levels of blood loss and shock.

Head trauma: Injuries to the head can lead to dangerous bleeding in the brain tissue or in the membranous layers that protect the brain. Even if a person seems alert after head trauma, medical care is recommended.

“If you are critically ill or injured, the best way to get to the ER is via the EMS system. Because of the ability of EMS personnel to provide advance hospital notification and activate specialty services, such as the cardiac cath lab, patients with heart attacks and strokes who arrive via EMS actually have shorter times to treatment, and in the case of stroke, are more likely to be eligible for treatment. Patients often underestimate serious symptoms. If you or a loved one have symptoms of a possible stroke or heart attack, call 911,” says Dylan Luyten MD FACEP, Swedish EMS Medical Director.

Knowing where to go when a medical emergency occurs can help you get treatment faster when you need it most. When making your emergency plans, consider Swedish Medical Center as your hospital of choice. Our 24-hour emergency services department is designated as a Level 1 Trauma Center and is prepared to treat even the most complicated of medical issues. We are ready to treat patients of all ages and have both adult and pediatric board-certified emergency professionals on staff. Call us today at (303) 788-5000 to learn more about our services.

Concussion Warning Signs

Concussions are potentially severe brain injuries that are caused by trauma to the skull. In the United States, sports-related concussions are extremely common, affecting more than 300,000 American athletes annually according to the University of Pittsburgh Brain Trauma Research Center.

By watching the video above, you can learn more about the symptoms of concussions. You can also find out when parents should consider seeking professional medical help for an injured child.

If you suspect that you or your child may have a concussion, the professionals of Swedish Medical Center are available to answer your medical questions, so call us today at (303) 788-5000. Our hospital is the region’s referral center for neurotrauma and is a recognized leader in the treatment of neurological conditions.

What is a Concussion?

“Believe it or not, many (if not most) concussions are preventable. Precautions like wearing a helmet or buckling up can decrease your risk of concussion injury.”—Phyllis Uribe, Swedish Trauma Supervisor. 

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results in the temporary loss of normal brain function. Concussions can be caused by a fall or blow to the head that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth. Although most concussions may be considered relatively minor brain injuries, these events can cause long-term changes in the way that the brain functions and may require treatment at a hospital.

The symptoms of concussion are normally categorized into four groups, depending on how they affect brain function.

  • Thinking/Remembering: These symptoms can include difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering new information. Some sufferers also feel as if their thinking process has slowed down.
  • Physical: Depending on the area of the brain affected by the concussion, patients can experience a variety of physical symptoms. Headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue can all occur as the result of concussion. Victims of concussion may also experience sensory difficulties such as light sensitivity and blurry vision.
  • Emotional/Mood: Concussions can also affect a person’s mood by causing irritability, sadness, stress, anxiety or nervousness.
  • Sleep: After a concussion, a victim can have difficulties maintaining healthy sleep patterns. Some sleep more than usual, while others do not sleep enough or have issues falling asleep.

Normally, the symptoms of concussion only occur briefly and resolve completely after a short time. In some cases, however, the symptoms require a much longer recovery period. Some symptoms may also appear long after the injury occurred.

In rare cases, a concussion can lead to serious and life-threatening symptoms that require immediate attention from a hospital’s emergency department. Some of the severe danger signs of concussions include seizures or convulsions, a worsening of symptoms, loss of consciousness, an inability to be woken up, slurred speech and decreased coordination.

The Level I Trauma Center at Swedish Medical Center is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to provide expert care to you and your loved ones when every second counts. Contact our staff today by calling (303) 788-5000 for more information about our comprehensive medical services.