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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


Earliest Tree Pollen on Record Points to a Long, Challenging Allergy Season

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

February Pollen Detection at Pittsburgh’s Allegheny General Hospital is a First, Doctors Say
PITTSBURGH  – Tree pollen in the air in February? Unheard of – at least until now.
The pollen detector on the roof of Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh has detected moderate amounts of tree pollen in February for the first time ever.
Tree pollen normally arrives in April and is gone by Memorial Day. The last documented early tree pollen detection happened in March 2007.
But even before the pollen detector did its work, David Skoner, MD, and Deborah Gentile, MD, of the Department of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at Allegheny General knew something was in the air. That’s because of the line of patients already at their door with allergy-related symptoms, another unusual occurrence for February.
“The winter months are normally quiet, but by the last week of February we were busy with patients already experiencing severe symptoms related to allergy and asthma,” Dr. Skoner said. “This is a first for February.”
The warmer-than-normal winter in the northeast means plants are already starting to grow, and releasing into the air the spores that provoke allergy sufferers’ symptoms: congested or runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip, itchy or watery eyes, wheezing, shortness of breath or coughing.
“I often advise patients to begin taking medications now, be it over-the-counter antihistamines or prescription nasal sprays,” Dr. Gentile said. “This could be a very long pollen season.”
Allergy sufferers can sign up to receive the daily pollen count from Allegheny General by emailing apatel@wpahs.org.
For more information, contact:
West Penn Allegheny Health System
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