Kelly Hurtado is a University of Maryland Undergraduate student who is considering going to medical school. She followed providers in our office in Silver Spring, MD. Below is a summary of 4 hours of her experience.
My visit at Healthy Steps Internal Medicine helped me understand what signs to look out for if a patient is experiencing infection. Certain signs and symptoms are: redness, tenderness, swelling, or pus in the involved area. To decrease inflammation, it is better to apply warm water and keep the area elevated. If there are signs of an abscess then a surgeon is consulted. In a diabetic this is even more critical since infection can destabilize their total system.
I learned that in diabetic patients, action must be taken as soon possible to prevent infection from worsening because the infection can spread through to their bone. A foot ulcer or open sore can easily be infected and can travel to the bone if not caught early by a visit to a medical professional. When bone is infected the area will need amputation. The reason amputation is done is to surgically remove the area before the infection spreads to more bone or to the blood system. It is also to regain as much quality of life as possible by taking away infection which is "eating up healthy tissue" and destabilizing the patient.
I also learned the importance of the Mallampati score as well as what actions need to be done for high blood pressure. For diabetics and any type of patient, maintaining an optimal airway is important in order to receive the adequate amount of oxygen for the body. This should be looked at closely because no air for a certain time can lead to progressive fatigue, increased weight, increased blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease which can, ultimately, be life threatening. The Mallampati score is Class I-IV as noted below.
This is one of the physical findings Dr Baksh and the providers at Healthy Steps look for when a person has hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, depression and certain other physical and emotional concerns. As you can imagine: a smaller passageway (often affected by inflammation due to allergies NOT treated on a daily basis) can lead to decreased UPTAKE of oxygen…especially when someone is sleeping. Decreased oxygenation has been associated with various physical AND emotional illnesses. Looking for, finding and clearly discussing such findings with their patients is what makes Healthy Steps unique in their patient care interaction.