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8.19.2014

New Book by UM Experts Explores Complications in Patients Undergoing Medical Rehabilitation

With more than three decades of experience, Diana D. Cardenas M.D., M.H.A., professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, knows the many medical complications that may occur in patients undergoing medical rehabilitation.

People admitted to in-patient rehabilitation for injuries to the brain, spinal cord or even cancer recovery can develop fevers, pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI), and other complications that require specialized medical attention.

In her newly released book Medical Complications in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cardenas has teamed up with her husband, Thomas M. Hooton, M.D., professor of clinical medicine and Associate Chief of Staff of the Medical Service at the Miami VA, and a host of other Miller School physicians to explore the most common medical complications for major rehabilitation diagnoses, as well as effective prevention and treatments.

“Until this book, there wasn’t a good single source that explained the medical complications that patients have when they are admitted into the rehabilitation hospital,” said Cardenas, who is also Chief of Service and Medical Director for Rehabilitation at the University of Miami/Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital.

“Even experienced medical doctors are unfamiliar with some complications, because they are so unique to the disability. There are a lot of textbooks that teach specialists how to manage the rehabilitation of patients with impairments and disabling conditions, but we wanted to focus on the major complications that may occur.”

Hooton, co-author and co-editor, agrees that the lack of literature on this topic was a prime motivator for writing the book. “We thought it would be an interesting approach if the complications were addressed from both the rehabilitation and the medicine points of view,” said Hooton, a national authority on urinary tract infections and infectious diseases.

The first section of the 300-page book, released by New York’s Demos Medical Publishing in June, reviews the major conditions for which patients undergo medical rehabilitation, such as musculoskeletal disorders, burns, traumatic brain damage and spinal cord injury. The second half focuses on mild to severe complications, including fever, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal bleeding, pneumonia and blood clots.

“We hope that rehabilitation physicians will find value in the subject matter written from both perspectives and in an easy-to-read format,” said Hooton. “It’s a practical manual that highlights common problems encountered primarily in hospitalized patients.”

Each chapter features a timeline of when complications are likely to happen, and the window of time that doctors have to properly diagnose and treat patients. The book also offers a section on cancer rehabilitation, a growing area of interest.

Cardenas and Hooton hope physicians of all specialties better inform themselves on the potential medical complications in this patient population. Residents training in physical medicine and rehabilitation also are a target audience.

“It’s hard to learn everything in a few years of training so this book would be of tremendous help to them,” Cardenas said, adding that it took three years of hard work by two dozen doctors, mostly from UM, to make the book a reality. “The literature reflects the wealth of experience and knowledge UM has in physical medicine and rehabilitation.”

Among the book’s contributors are:

Lilian M. Abbo, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine
Lucinda Adriana Arenas, M.D., assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Aaron Bellows, M.D., former gastroenterology fellow
John Byrnes, M.D, professor of medicine
Michael Campos, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine
Simon C. Chakko, M.D., professor of clinical medicine and Chief of Cardiology, Miami VA Medical Center
Shaun C. Corbett, M.D., assistant professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation
Kevin Dalal, M.D., assistant professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation
Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, infectious disease
Paul Feldman, M.D. M.Sc., assistant professor of clinical medicine
Elizabeth Roy Felix, Ph.D., research assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Tamar Ference, M.D., assistant professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation
Karin I. Hjalmarson, M.D. assistant professor of clinical medicine
Robert W. Irwin, M.D., associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
David S. Kushner, M.D., associate professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation
Jasmine Martinez-Barrizonte, D.O., staff physiatrist at the Miami VA Medical Center
Bridget S. Norwood, M.D., nephrologist at the Miami VA Medical Center
Stasha Novakovic, M.D., former pulmonary and critical care fellow
German Ojeda-Correal, M.D., private physician, Miami
Louis Pizano, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor of surgery and anesthesiology and Chief of the Division of Burns
Andrew Sherman, M.D., professor and Vice Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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