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    Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is wishing you a safe Labor Day holiday! What are your plans?

    Last updated 5 hours 29 minutes ago

    National Immunization Awareness Month for a Good Reason!

    Last updated 3 days ago


    August is National Immunization Awareness Month and there’s more reason than ever to pay attention to timely vaccines for your children. While there is debate about benefits and effects of traditional immunizations, the truth is that some of the worst childhood diseases have been virtually eliminated with generations of children receiving timely vaccinations and preventing the spread of diseases throughout our schools.

    And it doesn’t stop with infant immunization and even grade school boosters. Your pre-teens and teenagers need to get regular check-ups and vaccines as recommended by their physician. And if you’re about to become an empty nester with a kid headed to college, even they need to get their shots updated.  Remember, whether it’s kindergarten, middle school, or college, they are going to be with socializing with others who might not have received appropriate vaccines. This is the best way to protect your treasured family from illnesses that can easily be prevented.

    Flu season is just around the corner. The very best step to take in keeping that nasty bug out of your home is through annual influenza vaccinations. When we look at infectious diseases like the flu, pertussis (whooping cough), and bacterial diseases like meningitis that cause blood infections, it’s so simple to prevent a family tragedy just by staying aware and making a quick stop at your doctor’s office to receive the shot. We’re fortunate to live in a society where these vaccines are available, affordable, and safe.

    While we’re focused on immunizations in August as our children – no matter what age – are preparing to return to schools and dormitories, call your family doctor and find out if they are due a booster shot or if there’s a new vaccine recommended for their age group.  If you don’t have a family physician, call our free health information and physician referral line at 1-850-864-0213 and we’ll help you find a doctor that fits your family’s needs.

    Open Heart Surgery: A Patient's Guide to Recovery

    Last updated 7 days ago

    Open heart surgery is any type of surgical procedure during which the chest is opened to access the heart. This term may encompass many different procedures, including heart valve surgery, bypass surgery, and other surgical procedures to repair the heart muscle, arteries, or veins. After your open heart surgery, you will remain in the hospital for a few days. During this time, hospital staff will provide personalized information regarding your recovery, both before and after you are discharged.

    How You Will Feel

    It is normal to feel fatigued after open heart surgery. You may not feel very hungry or even feel nauseated for up to two weeks after your procedure. Try to eat small, nutritious meals and drink plenty of fluids to bolster your body’s healing processes. Some patients have trouble sleeping; taking pain medication before bed can help you sleep through the night. You may also experience swelling in the legs, constipation, and tightness or numbness in your back and shoulders. Wearing TED hose can reduce swelling and minimize the risk of a blood clot as you recover.

    How to Care for Your Incision

    During your hospital stay, staff will check your incision regularly. After you return home, follow your physician’s instructions. You may wash the incision site over the bandages with warm water and mild soap, but avoid scrubbing. If you still have tape or sterile strips remaining one week after surgery, you may remove them carefully. Inspect your incisions at least once a day and notify your doctor if you see swelling, redness, drainage, or experience tenderness around the area or a persistent fever. These are indications of an infection that may need to be treated with antibiotics.

    Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is the only hospital in the Tri-County area to offer open heart surgery. Our nationally-recognized Heart Center provides comprehensive cardiovascular care, including surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, and heart catheterization. Please call 1-850-864-0213 to learn more about our cardiac, vascular, and vein services, or check out our blog for tips on maintaining a healthy heart. 

    Understanding Depression

    Last updated 17 days ago

    Although feelings of sadness are a normal part of life, clinical depression is different. Depression is a serious illness that can affect both your mental and physical wellbeing. Those who suffer from depression often lose interest in activities they once loved. You may feel sad, fatigued, and have difficulty concentrating. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for depression, including cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressant medications. Take a look at this video to learn more about the symptoms of and treatment options for depression.

    Depression isn’t something you need to fight alone. The Psychiatric Treatment Center at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is a 48-bed facility offering both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care in Destin. If you’d like to learn more, please call (888) 717-1080 or click through the information on our website.

    Breastfeeding Gives Baby A Great Start

    Last updated 21 days ago


    It’s National Breastfeeding Month and a great time to talk about the benefits of mother’s milk to your newborn infant.  Breastfeeding is a personal decision and for many reasons some women can’t or choose not to do it.  But if you can and want that experience, here are some reasons why it can give your baby a great start in life.

    When you first begin breastfeeding your milk is thick and deep yellow in color.  It’s call colostrum and is rich in nutrients and antibodies that protect your baby from infections.  It helps your newborn’s digestive system grow and function.

    As your baby grows, your milk changes.  Within three to five days the mature milk will provide fat, sugar, water and protein that helps your baby grow.  It’s thinner than colostrum but still contains those important nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

    There are many other benefits to breastfeeding like saving money, and always having what the baby needs to survive in an emergency (no bottles to worry about!)  And there’s no doubt that breastfeeding offers a bonding opportunity like no other – only mom can do it.

    If you’re pregnant and making the decision, consider the benefits.  Talk to your doctor and think about meeting with a lactation consultant at your hospital.  They can answer your questions and give you information you need to make the best decision for you and your baby.

    If you’re looking for a qualified pediatrician or want more information on obstetrical services, call our free health information and physician line at 1-850-864-0213.


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