Monthly Archives: April 2011

National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week


Boston Medical Center is celebrating the contributions of its Laboratory Professionals during National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 24-30.

Laboratory Professionals get results. Laboratory Professionals ensure that patients receive the right tests, the right diagnosis, and the right treatment. They represent key members of the patient care team. Their work requires extensive knowledge, skill, and an unrelenting focus on quality.

Using state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, laboratory professionals perform and supervise tests that search for health problems at the early stages when they are most treatable. Laboratory tests also guide the ongoing care of patients. Laboratories also play a critical, frontline role in the detection of infectious agents.

A wide variety of medical laboratory professionals positively affect patient care on a daily basis. Included among these professionals are medical technologists, clinical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, histotechnologists, cytotechnologists, phlebotomy technicians, clinical chemists, microbiologists, transfusion specialists, laboratory managers, pathologists, and medical educators. Among the departments that make up the medical laboratory are chemistry/immunology, hematology/coagulation, cytology, microbiology, blood bank, tissue dispensary, point of care testing, laboratory information system, outreach, laboratory support, surgical pathology, and molecular biology. All deserve special recognition this week for their commitment to provide accurate diagnoses as well as blood and tissue products for patients.

The result of their work is improved patient outcomes, wellness, and advances in personalized medicine to fulfill the mission of providing exceptional care without exception. National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week provides an oppurtunity to honor their contributions. 

BMC Surgeon Dr. Hiran Fernando featured on FOX25 Morning News

Hiran Fernando, MD, director, Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Surgery at Boston Medical Center discusses a new robotic surgical procedure – the first in New England.

Read more

Inside New England’s Busiest Trauma Center


Three patient stories highlight Boston Medical Center’s expertise in emergency and trauma care. To view the video click here.


BMC’s Level 1 Trauma Program has earned a reputation as one of the country’s finest and treats the majority of Boston’s most critical injuries. Take a look inside to find out more about this leading program. – Read More

Need a Bicycle Helmet? BMC offers low cost helmets through the Play Safe Campaign

Boston Medical Center works in collaboration with the Boston Public Health Commission and the Play Safe Campaign to provide low cost helmets to the people of Boston.

Helmets can be purchased at the Boston Medical Center Gift Shop in the Menino Lobby for $5.00. The gift shop hours are Monday – Friday 6:30 am – 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 5 pm.

We encourage everyone to measure head circumference prior to purchasing their helmets to ensure the proper fit.  For information on how to measure, click here.

For more information about this program, please contact: 617.414.8007



Did you know?

  • The most effective way to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is to provide helmets and insist that children wear them every time they ride a bike, in-line skate, skateboard, or scooter.
  • Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.
  • Massachusetts law requires any person under 17 years old to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, a skateboard, a scooter, or in-line skating.



Source: Boston Public Health Commission

Parents, Caregivers Should Consider Safety Before Opening Windows

As temperatures go up, so do windows in many homes. Opening windows in your home to enjoy the warmer temperatures may seem harmless, but open windows have proven to be sources of injury and death for young children.

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) joins the National Safety Council in recognizing National Window Safety Week and urges parents and caregivers to be aware of the dangers of leaving windows open when young children are present.

According to CPSC data, falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths yearly to children five years or younger, while an estimated 3,300 children ages five and younger are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments.  On average, one of every three children, about 34 percent, required hospitalization after falling from a window.

These deaths and injuries frequently occur when kids push themselves against window screens or climb onto furniture located next to an open window. These incidents increase dramatically during the spring and summer months.

“We want parents and caregivers to think ‘safety first’ before opening windows where young children are present. The deaths and life-altering injuries are heartbreaking and in many cases preventable,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

To help prevent injuries and tragedies, CPSC recommends the following safety tips:

  • Safeguard your children by using window guards or window stops.
    • Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows.
    • For windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.
    • Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
  • Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
  • Whenever possible, open windows from the top – instead of the bottom.
  • Keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.
  • Some jurisdictions require landlords to install guards. Check your local regulations.






Courtesy of: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Release #11-192  





BMC Receives Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant

Boston Medical Center was recently awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant. The grant, Specialized Intervention Services for Victims of Violent Crime within a Healthcare Setting, will support two full-time clinicians to build capacity for serving victims of homicides/attempted homicides and their families in the Greater Boston Area. These social workers will provide crisis intervention, advocacy, case management and short-term, trauma-focused counseling, if needed, to adults, adolescents and children.

The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) provides funding for state and community based organizations to offer free mental health counseling and a range of other specialized services for crime victims. The Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance (MOVA) is the designated administrator of VOCA funds in the state of Massachusetts. Each year, MOVA distributes more than $7 million in VOCA funds to programs across the state. The funds go to assist survivors of homicide victims, children who witness violence, and victims of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, drunk driving, hate crimes and elder abuse.

Lisa Allee, MSW, LICSW, Division of Trauma Surgery, Injury Prevention Coordinator, who applied for the grant with Betsy Groves, MSW, LICSWdirector, Child Witness to Violence Project, in liaison with the BMC Emergency Department said:

“This funding will provide much needed resources to help assist homicide bereft families as well as victims of attempted homicide and their family members. It will help fill a current void in therapeutic services for siblings and other family members who are in need of clinical intervention and support services.”

About Boston Medical Center

With the largest 24-hour Level I trauma center in New England, BMC’s Emergency Department had more than 132,000 visits last year. Previous year’s statistics reveal that the Emergency Department handled more than 30% of Boston’s emergency cases and 70% of the stab and gunshot wounds reported in the city.

BMC’S Adult and Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) serves more than 30% of Boston’s emergency room visits and 132,000 patients from diverse communities of whom 53% are Black, 18% are White, 16% are Hispanic/Latino, 2% are Asian and 11% are of other backgrounds.

The BMC Emergency Department goes beyond the procedure-based limits of the traditional “treat and street” approach to integrate public health into emergency medicine—in other words, to pay attention to the health, safety and well-being of patients.

Programs such as the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP), which provides counseling, triage and referral services for victims of violence brought to the ED and the Child Witness to Violence Project (CWVP), which serves children who witness homicide and other violent crimes, have served as leaders in training other hospitals and providers.

Additionally, BMC has a Domestic Violence Program; child and adult trauma services within the Department of Psychiatry, and the Child Protection Team, which provides advocacy and medical services to child/adolescent victims of child abuse and sexual assault. 


Eric Mahoney, MD, publishes article in World Journal of Emergency Surgery


Case Report: Successful non-operative management of spontaneous splenic rupture in a patient with babesiosis


Babesiosis is a zoonotic disease transmitted by the Ixodes tick species. Infection often results in sub-clinical manifestations; however, patients with this disease can become critically ill. Splenic rupture has been a previously reported complication of babesiosis, but treatment has always led to splenectomy. Asplenia places a patient at greater risk for overwhelming post-splenectomy infection from encapsulated bacteria, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia as well as Babesia microti. Therefore, avoiding splenectomy in these patients must be considered by the physician; particularly, if the patient is at risk for re-infection by living in an endemic area.

Case Presentation

A 54 year-old male from the northeast United States presented with left upper quadrant abdominal pain associated with fever, chills, night sweats and nausea. A full evaluation revealed active infection with Babesia microti and multiple splenic lacerations. This patient was successfully treated with appropriate pharmacological therapy and non-operative observation for the splenic injury.


Patients diagnosed with Babesia microti infection are becoming more common, especially in endemic areas. Although clinical manifestations are usually minimal, this infection can present with significant injuries leading to critical illness. We present the successful non-operative treatment of a patient with splenic rupture due to babesiosis infection.

For the full article, click here.



Agarwal, Suresh; Cotton, Deborah; Lepore, Timothy; Mahoney, Eric; Tobler, William. World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2011, 6:4.