Source Newsroom: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Newswise — As the world eagerly anticipates the Games of the XXIX Olympiad this summer in Beijing, China, medical experts from The University of Pennsylvania are prepared to share expert insights into health issues that impact the game's athletes and spectators. Areas of expertise include:
"¢ Air quality and athletic performance
"¢ Ensuring a safe and ample blood supply for visitor and athletes
"¢ Detecting the next generation of performance enhancers
Air Quality and Athletic Performance
"¢ Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the PENN Airways Biology Initiative and Angela Haczku, MD, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division can discuss the consequences of poor air quality on the performance of Olympic athletes.
Despite efforts to protect atheletes competing in outdoor endurance sports from air pollution, there is no way to stop winds from carrying polluted air into Beijing. Exposure to ozone (O3), a common air pollutant, is believed to damage cells in the respiratory tract and cause a temporary decrease in lung capacity. It is also particularly dangerous to those athletes suffering from asthma as it exacerbates bronchial inflammation.
Dr. Panettieri and Dr. Haczku can interpret the daily ozone and air pollution conditions and discuss its impact on athletes' ability to perform at their best.
Ensuring a Safe and Ample Blood Supply for Visitors and Athletes
"¢ Patricia Ford, MD and Michael J. Columbus can discuss the safety of the blood supply in Beijing, transfusion alternatives being used and their work with hospitals in Beijing.
China's blood-testing system, less developed than the U.S., has resulted in higher risk of infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C for patients receiving transfusions. With the expectation of a large number of visitors for the Olympics, Beijing health officials are taking extra steps to ensure a safe and ample blood supply.
The Center for Bloodless (transfusion-free) Medicine and Surgery is working closely with the health community in Beijing to make blood transfusions safe and efficient during the Olympic Games and beyond. Originally developed to meet the needs of the Jehovah's Witness community, Pennsylvania Hospital, part of Penn's network of hospitals, is one of the pioneering centers for bloodless medicine and surgery. Michael J. Columbus, Administrative Director of the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, recently traveled to China to work with the Beijing Red Cross and Blood Center to discuss more efficient use of blood products, blood conservation and transfusion alternatives.
"Bloodless procedures have proven to be safer, eliminating complications that can result from blood transfusions," says Patricia Ford, MD, Medical Director of the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program. "The hospital stay is also shorter for our bloodless patients, a cost savings for the patient and the institution."
Pennsylvania Hospital will be training a physician from China, from July through early September, in bloodless medicine techniques which he will share with his colleagues upon his return.
Detecting the next generation of performance enhancers
"¢ Tejvir S. Khurana is available to discuss new efforts to develop a test to detect performance enhancers that increase the blood's ability to carry oxygen, resulting in improved athletic performance.
New performance-enhancing drugs aim to artificially increase the concentration of red blood cells in the body so more oxygen is delivered to muscles than normal, which can significantly improve an athlete's endurance and performance. Tejvir S. Khurana, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology and a member of the Penn's Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, is an expert in the physiology underlying muscle diseases. This line of research has led him to investigate ways to detect molecular signatures in blood and muscles to combat doping in sports, funded in part by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Knowing that the body naturally increases red blood cell production at high altitudes to account for the relative lack of oxygen in the air, Khurana and colleagues are studying how a mammal's physiology changes and what naturally triggers this increased red blood cell production at high altitudes. The results of their research may have implications for drug testing at future Olympics.
PENN Medicine Experts Available for Comment
University of Pennsylvania clinical and research experts are available for comment on a variety of topics. Interviews are able to be conducted via satellite uplink from the Penn campus.
Story Angles and PENN Medicine Experts:
- Orthopaedic Injury
- Physical Therapy
"¢ Brian Sennett, MD, Director of Sports Medicine for the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
"¢ Gary Dorshimer, MD, Internal Medicine. Served as Internal Medicine consultant for the NHL at the 1998 Nagano and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics; team internist with the Flyers, Phantoms, Eagles, Kixx; consulting internist to the Pennsylvania Ballet.
"¢ Arthur R. Bartolozzi, MD, Director of Sports Medicine Programs at Pennsylvania Hospital. Treating world-class athletes in every sport, from wrestling to rowing, from the NHL to the NFL; former team physician for the Philadelphia Eagles, Flyers and Phantoms; currently Assistant Team Physician to the US National Soccer Team.
"¢ Justin Shaginaw, Manager of Sports Medicine and Fitness Programs at Pennsylvania Hospital. Assistant athletic trainer for the US Men's National Soccer Team; assistant athletic trainer/physical therapist for the Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League; former physical therapist for the Philadelphia Charge of the WUSA, Villanova, St Joseph's and Temple University's athletic departments; past rehabilitation consultant for the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League; medical staff for the Philadelphia venue of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup; worked national and international level soccer players, NFL, NBA, MISL/NPSL, WUSA, MLS, WTA, NLL and Olympic athletes; expert in injury prevention and ACL injuries, particularly in female athletes.
- Head/Neck Injury
- Spinal Injury
"¢ M. Sean Grady, MD, Charles Harrison Frazier Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery
- Heart Rhythm problems
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest
"¢ David Callans, MD, Associate Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology
"¢ Lance Becker, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Center for Resuscitation Science
- Mechanism of Action
"¢ Tejvir S. Khurana, M.D, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, recently took research mice to within 1000 feet of the summit of Mount Everest to study how a mammal's physiology changes when exposed to low-oxygen conditions at extreme altitude.
Asthma and Allergies
- Air Quality
"¢ John H. Hansen-Flaschen, MD, Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine Division and Medical Director of the Penn Lung Center
"¢ Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the PENN Airways Biology Initiative
"¢ Angela Haczku, MD, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division
Bloodless (transfusion-free) Medicine
- Blood Supply
- Blood Transfusion Risk
"¢ Patricia Ford, MD, Medical Director of the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital
"¢ Mitch Lazar, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism and Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
"¢ Mark Schutta, MD, Director of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center
"¢ Tejvir S. Khurana, M.D, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology
- Performance Anxiety
- Mental Preparedness
- Eating Disorders
"¢ Michael E. Thase, MD, Director of the Penn Mood and Anxiety Program
"¢ Rita B. Ryan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry
"¢ Thomas Wadden, PhD, Director of Weight & Eating Disorders
- Time Change/Jet Lag
- Sleep Deprivation
"¢ Allan Pack, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine and Director of the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology
PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #4 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation's top 10 "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.