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Published on March 01, 2010

Women's Wellness March 2010

Crozer-Keystone Introduces Dizziness and Balance Center at Springfield Hospital

The Center was created to care for the growing number of people who suffer from such problems as recurrent dizziness; vertigo; feeling lightheaded, unsteady or “giddy”; a lack or loss of balance; and fainting. These conditions can make everyday activities difficult, or they can lead to more serious problems like falls or accidents. Dizziness and balance conditions can have several causes, including vestibular (balance system) problems, neurologic disease and cardiac disease.

The Center for Dizziness and Balance offers a well-coordinated team approach to caring for people with these disorders – many of whom are unsure about what services are available to help them.

“Dizziness and balance disorders are generally underdiagnosed and undertreated. A big reason for this is that many who suffer from these problems do not know where to turn. They may accept their symptoms as part of their lives and perhaps not seek treatment until a fall or a bad episode leads them to an emergency department. We want to let the community know that we can help,” says Mahmoud Ghaderi, D.O., chief of the Division of Otolaryngology at Springfield Hospital and one of three co-medical directors of the center along with John Feehery, M.D., chief of the Section of Otolaryngology at Taylor Hospital, and Marc Surkin, M.D., chief of the Section of Otolaryngology at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

The Center is located in a newly constructed space next to the Healthplex Sports Club and Café Carl on the first floor of Springfield Hospital’s Pavilion I, 196 W. Sproul Rd. It includes state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, examination rooms and space for rehabilitation services. 

The Center’s offerings begin with a unique triage/evaluation experience and continue throughout the patient’s treatment and recovery.

“When a patient first comes to our center, he or she will receive a comprehensive evaluation. Through this evaluation and perhaps additional testing, our team will diagnose the problem and develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs,” Feehery says. “We will maintain constant communication with each patient’s primary care physician about the patient’s progress.”

A patient’s evaluation may include a Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) test. CDP is considered one of the most advanced diagnostic equipment for dizziness and balance conditions, according to Surkin.

“CDP is a unique assessment technique used to objectively quantify and differentiate among the wide variety of possible sensory, motor and central adaptive impairments to balance control. The test allows us to localize and categorize what may be causing the patient’s problems. It helps us to determine what other testing might be needed and to develop a treatment plan,” Surkin says.

During a CDP test, the patient stands on a platform surrounded by a visual screen. The platform and/or the visual screen move while pressure gauges under the platform record shifts in body weight (body sway) as the person being tested maintains balance.

Depending on the outcome of CDP testing and other tests, patients may then be referred for consultations with an otolaryngologist; neurologist (Norman Leopold, M.D. and Sigmund Jenssen, M.D. both serve on the Center’s steering committee); or a cardiologist.

Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, rehabilitation and surgery. If rehabilitation is needed, it will be performed right in the center by Crozer-Keystone therapists. 

Above all, the Center aims to make each patient’s experience as seamless and successful as possible. “At the Center for Dizziness and Balance at Springfield Hospital, we are proud to offer a truly multidisciplinary team that includes board-certified physicians and experienced rehabilitation professionals. All care will be coordinated by an experienced nurse practitioner, who will help guide each patient through the diagnostic and treatment process,” says John Munshower, D.O., FACSG, a Crozer-Keystone primary care physician boarded in family medicine and geriatrics who serves on the Center’s steering committee. “Above all, our main goal is to improve the quality of life for every patient.”

The Center also aims to make it as easy as possible for patients and referring physicians to access its services. The Center has a toll-free appointment request line – 1-877-95-DIZZY (1-877-953-4999) – that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During weekdays, the line is answered by an attendant at the Center. During nights and weekends, callers will speak to a live attendant who will take their requests, and a representative from the Center will respond to the request on the next business day. 

For more information about the Crozer-Keystone Center for Dizziness and Balance at Springfield Hospital, call 1-877-95-DIZZY (1-877-953-4999) or visit www.ckdizzy.org.

 

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