Carilion Clinic: October 2007

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


New guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children be screened for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at 18 and 24 months. According to Carilion Clinic Developmental Pediatrician Kathryn Kerkering, M.D., in addition to formal screenings, doctors need to be aware of the signs of ASD, and take the time to ask parents or caregivers about the child's behavior and development at every well child visit.

"Early diagnosis and intervention is extremely important," Dr. Kerkering says. "While there is no cure, we can significantly improve a child's ability to interact with the world, and earlier treatment leads to better outcomes."

Subtle signs that can lead to early diagnosis include:

  • not turning when the parent says the baby's name
  • not turning to look when the parent points and says, "look at..." and not pointing to themselves to show parents an interesting object or event
  • lack of back and forth babbling
  • smiling late
  • failure to make eye contact with people.

More information about autism is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics at The AAP news release is here. You can also download an autism checklist.

MEDIA - email us to schedule an interview with Dr. Kerkering,

Monday, October 29, 2007

Media Update - 10/29 3:30 p.m. - Community Hospital Status Report - Most Services Back to Normal Tomorrow (Tuesday)

Repair work continues on the damage caused by Friday's water leak, however enough power has been restored to allow most services at Community Hospital to return to their regular schedule.

The Urgent Care Center at Community will be back on its regular schedule tomorrow (Tuesday October 30). The Urgent Care Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 7-days-a-week.

Carilion Occupational Medicine will be open and on its regular schedule.

Carilion's Wound Care Center will be open and on its regular schedule.

Endoscopy services at Community Hospital will be open and on its regular schedule.

Imaging services at Community Hospital will be open on a limited basis. Patients with imaging appointments should call to verify the appointment before they come.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

MEDIA ALERT - Community Hospital Update 10/28 - 3:00 p.m. Urgent Care re-opens at 10:00 a.m. See below for details on other services

Partial Power has been restored to Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital, allowing Urgent Care and some other services to reopen on Monday. Some services will be closed or relocated - see the list below for details.

URGENT CARE - Open at 10:00 a.m.
The Urgent Care Center at Community Hospital will re-open Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. The delayed opening will allow staff to throughly test all equipment affected by the power outage. (Staff should report to work at the usual time)

Medical problems appropriate for Urgent Care include:
Minor cuts & lacerations
Colds, coughs, sore throat
Skin rashes
Insect bites / minor dog bites
Minor cooking burns
Minor infections

The Carilion Wound Care Center is OPEN on Monday - normal business hours.

Carilion Occupational Medicine, located on the first floor of Community Hospital near the Urgent Care Entrance is OPEN on Monday - normal business hours

The medical offices surrounding Community Hospital, including offices at the Community Medical Building and the Pediatric Clinic, will be open for business as usual on Monday.

IMAGING - Closed
The imaging department at Community Hospital will be closed on Monday (this includes X-ray, CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, etc). Patients with imaging appointments on Monday will be contacted with re-scheduling information.
Patients who have not been contacted can call the scheduler at 853-0756

ENDOSCOPY - Closed/Relocated

The endoscopy center at Community Hospital will be closed on Monday. All procedures scheduled for Monday are being moved to Carilion Surgical Care - Brambleton, located at 3707 Brambleton Avenue. Patients will be contacted. See the map below for the location of Carilion Surgical Care - Brambleton.

View Larger Map

Friday, October 26, 2007

(Updated - 5:20 p.m.)Community Hospital Update - Urgent Care Relocated to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Through the Weekend

The Urgent Care Center at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital will temporarily relocate to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Saturday and Sunday.
Urgent Care patients should go to the Roanoke Memorial Emergency Department.

A 400,000 watt supplemental generator will be installed at Community Hospital over the weekend to restore normal power to key parts of the building while the electrical system is being repaired.

On Sunday, we will decide whether or not to move Urgent Care back to Community Hospital.

Update - The office buildings around Community Hospital, including the Community Medical Building, are not affected by the power outage, but lost some telephone and computer service as a result of the power failure. Repair crews will be working over the weekend to restore power to these systems so the medical offices will be able to re-open on Monday. We will update the status through the weekend.

Media Alert - Rain Causes Electrical Problem at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital - Urgent Care, Other Offices Closed

A water leak caused by heavy rain shorted out an electrical panel in a mechanical room Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital this afternoon. Part of the building was briefly evacuated. The short caused some smoke in the immediate area, but the smoke did not spread through the building. There was no fire.

The hospital generator is supplying emergency power to the building, but there are power and telephone outages in non-essential areas and the adjacent Community Medical Building.

As of 3:00, the Urgent Care Center at Community Hospital is closed, and medical offices at Community Hospital and the adjacent medical office building are closed. Patients who have appointments this afternoon should plan to reschedule.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Important Halloween Safety Message from Carilion Safe Kids!

(MEDIA - if you would like to interview someone with Carilion Safe Kids about Halloween safety, email me)

Halloween is an exciting holiday for children, but they can be vulnerable to injury on this night.

To ensure trick-or-treaters stay safe, Carilion Safe Kids recommends that children:

• always trick-or-treat with an adult until age 10
• only trick-or-treat in familiar areas that are well lit
• cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks look left, right and left again when crossing; always walk, don’t run, when crossing streets
• make eye contact with drivers and watch for cars that are turning or backing up
• walk on sidewalks or paths; if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
• never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars
• wear light-colored, flame-retardant, costumes decorated with retro-reflective tape or stickers
• wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls
• carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility to drivers
• wear face paint and makeup; a mask can restrict a child’s vision

Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids reminds motorists to be extra careful this Halloween and recommends that drivers:

• be especially alert in residential neighborhoods drive more slowly and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on and near the road
• be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances take extra time to actively look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
• remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle
• enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
• remember that children are excited on this night and may move in unpredictable ways remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30 p.m.
• reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and pedestrians

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carilion Clinic

Flu Shot Schedule

Please call 266-6000 or 1-800-422-8482 for information, unless otherwise noted. Must be at least 18 years old to receive a shot. Cost: $20 (cash or checks only please).


Nov.1 – Jefferson Center (in conjunction with Women’s Health University)

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 – Carilion Medical Center Pharmacy

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Carilion Medical Center Pharmacy

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Nov. 6 – Roanoke Athletic Club

10 a.m.-noon

Franklin County

Nov. 2 – Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

8-10:30 a.m. & 1-3 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Nov. 7 – Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

2 – 4 p.m.

Nov. 13 – Franklin County Family YMCA

4-7 p.m.


Nov. 4 – Trinity Ecumenical Parish

7-11 a.m.

Please call 721-4330 to register.

Nov. 10 – Resurrection Catholic Church
Following Mass
Please call 297-5530 to register.

Nov. 11 – Resurrection Catholic Church

Following Mass

Please call 297-5530 to register.


Nov. 7 – Botetourt Athletic Club
10 a.m.-noon


Nov. 3 – Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Please call 458-3557 to register.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Carilion Pole Day!

Steve Arner, Carilion Clinic Vice President for Cardiac Services, waves the green flag to kick off Carilion Poll day 2007 at the Martinsville Speedway.

Check out his flag technique and Pole winner Jeff Gordon in the short video below - great job Steve!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What You Need to Know About MRSA

Alice Ackerman, MD, Chair of Pediatrics for Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital says be aware, use reasonable caution, but don't be too worried about MRSA, and don't let it change your everyday approach to life.
According to Dr. Ackerman MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, has actually been occurring in communities across the country for years.
"It's actually happening here later than in many other communities around the country," Ackerman says. "In the bigger cities this has been a problem for the last five to ten years."

(Watch Dr. Ackerman's interview on AP-TV)

She says people should use normal common sense and pay attention to cleanliness.

"If something is overtly soiled, change it or wash it. I would not keep children home from school. Really understanding that this organism is probably much more prevalent than we know. It would make just as much sense to stay home from the local YMCA or WalMart as it would to stay home from school."
According to Dr. Ackerman, if you have
any kind of skin lesion, you should keep it clean and keep it covered. If it doesn't start getting better, see your doctor. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of any kind of infection.

More information about MRSA from the Virginia Department of Health is available here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Helicopters Over Roanoke!

Wednesday, October 10 was a busy day for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital - particularly for Carilion Patient Transportation Services (affectionately called CPTS around here).

A plane crash
and unrelated heart attack resulted in three in-bound medical flights arriving at the hospital at about the same time. Carilion LifeGuard 11 and a Virginia State Police medevac helicopter responded to the small plane crash in Hillsville, while LifeGuard 10 responded to a Heart Alert emergency in the New River Valley (Heart Alert is a Carilion program to identify heart attack patients at the surrounding community hospitals and fly them directly to the hospital's heart catheterization lab for treatment.

Here is some video of the whole thing (low quality - sorry, this is from a digital still camera)

Carilion LifeGuard 10 landed on the rooftop helipad first with the Heart Alert patient, kept the rotors turning and took off as soon as the patient was safely off the pad. As LifeGuard 10 left the pad in one diretion, LifeGuard 11 circled around from the other direction and landed with the first plane crash victim. As that victim was being taken off the helicopter, the State Police helicopter landed at the Carilion LifeGuard hangar down the street and the second plane crash victim was transported the remaining short distance to the Emergency Department by ground ambulance. The plane crash victims are listed in fair condition. The Carilion Patient Transportation Service dispatch center did an incredible job coordinating the incoming helicopter and ground traffic!
The Carilion helicopter crews have flow 7 missions so far today. Its not unusual for Carilion Roanoke Memorial to have three in-bound helicopters, though it is uncommon for they all to land within a ten-minute window.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Carilion Clinic Joins Sepsis Research

Carilion Clinic's Research Department recently joined an interesting clinical trial. "Sepsis" is a medical term referring to what happens when an infection overwhelms the body. It can be fatal. The body's reaction to the infection ends up causing the damage.
Here is the news release we just sent out:


Carilion Clinic Research has joined a national clinical trial to test the drug’s

safety and effectiveness

ROANOKE, Va. (October 4, 2007) Carilion Clinics’ Department of Research has joined a national study to test the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment for severe Sepsis – an often fatal reaction to severe bacterial infection. Sepsis occurs when a fast-spreading bacterial infection causes the body’s immune system to overreact.

“Our cells have receptors that recognize the presence of bacteria and react – we’ve all seen that happen when a small cut or scrape turns red and begins to swell,” said Dr. Ashok Amin, Carilion Clinic’s Vice President for Research. “If the infection spreads throughout the body through blood, then the whole body reacts.”

As a result the patient suffers from rapid, uncontrolled inflammation, which can cause shock, organ failure and death. Because the reaction occurs so quickly, it can be difficult to control with medications currently available. As a result, the condition is frequently fatal.

“Nationally, more than 200,000 intensive care patients die as a result of sepsis each year, and our options for treating them are very limited,” said Alexander Levitov, MD, the study’s Principal Investigator for Carilion Clinic.

The study, sponsored by Eisai Medical Research Inc., is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a drug called Eritoran tetrasodium. The drug is designed to prevent inflammation by blocking the interaction between the bacteria and cell receptors.

“The hope is that if we can reduce sepsis-related inflammation and damage, we can treat the infection with antibiotics and the patient will recover,” Levitov said.

The trial is being conducted at sites across the United States and abroad, and will involve 2000 patients.