Regional Conference held in Seattle
A Canadian Perspective
On Saturday, November 10th, the Oley Foundation held a one day Regional Conference in Seattle. This was my first time attending an Oley function and it was great to meet with others dealing with Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).
Ten consumers, three family members, two Calea Service Representatives, and two nurses representing Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital travelled to Seattle via bus.
The border crossing had been notified we were coming so entering the USA was quick and efficient. We made good time but missed the hotel exit and took an hour to negotiate our way back.
When we arrived at The Red Lion Hotel we were warmly greeted and directed to a continental breakfast of coffee, tea, juice, muffins, croissants, danish pastries and fruit, After a short welcome address, the plenary session of presentations and panel discussions commenced.
The first presentation given by the keynote speaker, Dr. Edward Lipkin, assisted by Lisa Barr, Phm. was on Nutritional Support and Liver Complications. Dr. Lipkin discussed how it appears that some oral intake is important to the liver function.
Wherever possible, regular, small amounts of food taken orally are recommended as the passage of some food through the gut helps emptying of the gallbladder by aiding bile flow. Also discussed was damage which can be caused to the liver by the amount and prolonged use of drugs (i.e. Tylenol).
The final plenary presentation, on Metabolic Bone Disease, was given by Reid Nishikawa (Phm) of Nutrishare. Weight-bearing exercises including walking, together with oral calcium intake were two of the most important things you can do for your bones.
After the sessions, a buffet lunch of salads, meats, a variety of breads, fruit and beverages was provided. The lunch selections had a general appeal for all attendees whether you were a consumer who only nibbled or someone with a healthy appetite. During lunch, we toured the exhibitors’ tables. I thought the displays, being USA homecare companies, were most useful for people living in the USA but it was interesting to see the difference in therapy delivery.
The afternoon commenced with a special session on coping strategies by Dr. Dave Helgeson, a psychologist with Multinomah County Mental Health Services, which was all the more interesting because he’s a J-tube enteral patient. He had only found out that morning there were both parenteral and enteral patients. He thought everyone was like himself, on HEN.
This special session was very well attended as coping is a big issue for a lot of consumers and their caregivers. Dr. Helgeson encouraged them to talk with others on coping with chronic illness. He strongly recommends consumers involve themselves of a support group – spouse, family, friends, the Oley Foundation.
The remainder of the afternoon was dedicated to round table sessions. The sessions, which ran for 45 minutes each were presented three times allowing participants to choose up to three topics that interested them. Topics covered were Motility, Enteral Issues, Pediatrics, Catheter Care, Site and Wound Care, and Interpreting Lab Results. The sessions were facilitated by experts on the topics who encouraged discussion and the exchange of experiences and ideas.
I attended three workshops. In Interpreting Lab Results we discussed both abnormal and normal results and what, if anything, could be improved.
The Catheter Care session discussed Taurolidine 2%, an antimicrobial, which has found a niche in Europe as a preventive lock technique for HPN’ers who have multiple catheter-related bloodstream infections. It has been used by some Canadians (at their own cost and with MD=s Rx) but requires Health Canada approval to import from Switzerland. Also discussed was Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) which dissolves clots and has received USA-FDA approval. We heard about positive pressure caps which prevent backflow in administration sets; something the nurses felt HPN’ers should be using.
My Motility Disorders and I learned that you can dehydrate yourself by drinking water – the equation is one cup in to two cups out.
You need a salty solution more concentrated than Gatorade. A brand name hydration was mentioned, but it was quite costly. The facilitator could not plug his own brand at the conference but a nurse did speak up on his behalf to say that it was a good product.
At this point I was getting really tired and sort of zoned out.
There can be a lot of information in these workshops and the lesson learnt here is, if there are two of you, break up and go to different workshops.
My husband and I went together thinking two sets of ears were better that one. By the third workshop I started to tire and we still had the journey back to Canada. Thank goodness we were riding back by bus. Others chose to limit the sessions they’d attend and had a rest time. Clever idea.
I believe I got the most information from interacting with people attending the conference. When the guest speakers presented, audience members would add something and then others would add to the discussion.
Also, it was neat to be in the Calea courtesy hotel room with a bunch of others all hooking up to TPN at the same time before boarding the bus for home. God help anyone going down the hallway, they would have gotten an eyeful. It was actually seeing others, not just hearing they exist, that left a really positive impression on me.
The Oley Foundation
The Oley Foundation, based in Albany, New York, is a USA national, independent, non-profit organization providing education, emotional support, outreach services, and clinical outcomes information for consumers of home-infused nutritional support (parenteral and enteral), their families, caregivers, and professionals. Programs are directed by the staff and guidance is provided by a board of dedicated professionals and patients.
The foundation programs include The LifelineLetter (the foundation’s newsletter), a Regional Coordinators Network, and annual and regional conferences as well as other services.