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WhatCanIDoWithThisMajor-Small-WP2Welcome to What Can I Do With This Major? Whether you are exploring multiple majors or searching for information about your chosen field, this site will help you connect majors to careers. Learn about the typical career areas and the types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate. Continue your research on majors and careers through the websites provided.

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  • Surgeons repair Tallassee woman’s mitral valve to help her overcome staph infection, stroke
    UAB surgeons patched mitral and tricuspid valve leaks, which eliminated Terry Maddox’s fluid retention and got her congestive heart failure to drop from a Class 4 to Class 1.

    Editor’s note: This is one of several patient stories to appear during the next several weeks that details how UAB’s structural heart program team repaired a serious heart issue with minimally invasive techniques instead of traditional open-heart surgery.

    Terry Maddox believed she was in the prime of her life in the summer of 2014. The then 53-year-old surgical scrub nurse had 21 years at her job, four children she loved and seven grandchildren on whom she doted whenever she got a chance.

    Her life was sent into turmoil, however, after an abscess formed on her shoulder following a cortisone injection for a rotator cuff injury. She developed a staph infection and, ultimately, endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart. She also had a stroke during an operation.

    “The staph got into my blood stream and started eating away at my mitral valve, and the doctors thought a piece of the valve broke off and traveled to my brain causing the stroke,” Maddox said. “All of this was just a freak thing. I guess I was the one in a million.”

    In September 2014, Maddox had a mechanical mitral valve placed in her heart at another hospital; but she developed congestive heart failure shortly after arriving home and began to retain fluid. Caregivers drained 5 liters and then 4 liters of fluid near the heart, and she was twice placed on a ventilator.

    “I had so much fluid retention that my right lung collapsed,” Maddox said. “I absolutely could not breathe from all the fluid.”

    Ultimately, Maddox’s cardiologist in Tallassee found the culprit — a severe leak in the mitral valve and a moderate leak in the tricuspid valve. The leak caused her congestive heart failure and fluid retention.

    “My heart just wasn’t working hard enough to circulate all of my fluids and blood,” Maddox said. “My blood was trying to flow backward because the valves were not functioning correctly. So in January, I was sent to Birmingham to see Dr. Alli.”

    “Ever since Dr. Alli put the plug in and patched my valve, I’ve had no more fluid retention,” Maddox said. “My congestive heart failure has gone from a Class 4 to a 1. I have no problems whatsoever today. None at all.”

    Once Maddox was at UAB, Alli performed percutaneous paravalvular periprosthetic leak closure using plugs originally designed to repair holes in children’s hearts. The procedure was first introduced at UAB in 2013. Alli closed Maddox’s mitral valve leak, which he said would help the tricuspid valve return to normal function too.

    “Ever since Dr. Alli put the plug in and patched my valve, I’ve had no more fluid retention,” Maddox said. “My congestive heart failure has gone from a Class 4 to a 1. I have no problems whatsoever today. None at all.”

    Alli performed the procedure by going through Maddox’s groin, similar to an angioplasty. Maddox says she felt no pain and the incision, which was about an inch long, healed “fabulously” and very quickly.

    “I had a wonderful experience with my procedure, and it took care of three problems — patched the leak, eliminated my fluid retention and got the congestive heart failure under control to where it’s almost nil now,” Maddox said. “It’s hard to believe everything started for me a year ago, but I’ve recuperated wonderfully since I was able to get my heart valve repaired. The stroke paralyzed my vocal cords and right arm, but I’ve got full use of my right arm back. I can swallow again, and I just got my voice back two months ago. It’s been a miracle. Today, I can eat, talk, yell and holler, run around, use my arms and everything. God is good.”

  • Trial combining exercise and a drug may help seniors muscle up
    A drug that might help older adults regrow muscle is under investigation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. UAB is recruiting healthy adults age 65 and older for a study combining strength training exercise with the anti-diabetes drug metformin.
  • Will you be ready when the weather outside is frightful?
    Winter is coming — are you ready? Prepare for the worst with handy checklists from UAB Emergency Management for home, office and car.

    The paralyzing 2014 snow and ice storm popularly known as Snowmageddon drove home the point that Alabama and the Deep South are not immune to winter weather.

    This year could bring more of the same as NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that this winter will see increased precipitation combined with colder than usual temperatures for the Southeast.

    The Department of Emergency Management at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has prepared checklists of items to keep on hand in home, office and car to prepare for the day when temperatures fall, the roads are impassible and you are stuck.

    In the car:

    • Jumper cables
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Ice scraper
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Charged cellphone and charger
    • Warm clothes, gloves and sturdy walking shoes
    • Baby supplies, if a small child is in the household
    • Flares or reflective triangle
    • Extra prescription and nonprescription drugs
    • First aid kit
    • Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars
    • Battery-powered AM/FM radio for traffic reports and emergency information
    • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
    • Shovel
    • Water for each person and pet
    • Enough gas to get home, allowing for extra time

    In the office:

    • Copy of all prescription drugs, including pictures of the labels on your smartphone
    • An at least 72-hour supply of prescription and nonprescription drugs
    • Cans of nonperishable foods, such as soups, in your desk or locker, with a manual can opener
    • Sealable container to carry your supplies if you need to evacuate your workplace
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Copy of your family’s emergency and communication plan

    In the home:

    • Nonperishable food such as canned or freeze-dried food, manual can opener, and water
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
    • First aid kit
    • Tools, including a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Signaling whistle
    • Matches in waterproof container
    • For baby: formula, powdered milk, diapers, diaper rash ointment
    • Prescription and nonprescription drugs
    • Paper and pencil
    • Food and extra water for pets
    • Cash or travelers checks
    • Cellphone with chargers or solar charger
    • Local maps
    • Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – FEMA

    These checklists are meant to be a guide only. Personal needs may vary.

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