Carilion Clinic: May 2008

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Carilion Clinic in the News
Insight into brain tumors and the medical school officially has a name

Carilion Clinic Neurosurgeon, Zev Elias, MD, provides commentary on brain tumors to WDBJ, following the announcement of Sen. Ted Kennedy's diagnosis.

WSLS updates the status of the joint medical school being developed by Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech, including the official new name: the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine or VTC.

World Record Attempt Reveals Interesting Stats - Is your Blood Pressure Medication Working?

A review of the numbers revealed that Carilion Clinic did unofficially break the current Guinness World Record for most blood pressures taken in a 24-hour period, but by a smaller margin than originally thought. The confirmed number of blood pressures recorded during last week's event is 2,329, beating the old record (set in March) of 2302. We are submitting our documentation to Guinness for review.

As we reviewed the numbers, some other interesting statistics emerged. 30% of the people tested had high readings (above 140/90). That matches the national average pretty well. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in three Americans have high blood pressure. The AHA also says that 71.8 % of people with high blood pressure know they have it. In our group, only 53% of people with high readings had been previously told they have high blood pressure. 47% were unaware.

Another area of concern - 537 people tested during the event said they were taking medication for high blood pressure, but half of them still had high readings (above 140/90).

The take home message - know your numbers - even if you're taking medication for high blood pressure, have it checked regularly and if your numbers are too high, see your doctor!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

WE DID IT!! (unofficially)

We needed to take 2303 blood pressures in 24 hours to break the previous record of 2302. According to our preliminary count, we recorded 2359!

We will now go back and audit our count and prepare our submission to Guinness. Keep your fingers crossed! A huge thanks to everyone who helped out - our staff, our volunteers, our adjudicators, and the 2359 people who came out to support us, and hopefully learn a little bit more about their health. We will be reviewing the anonymous data we collected and will have more information next week, including how many people learned for the first time they may have high blood pressure. We hope this event makes everyone a little more aware of the importance of controlling high blood pressure.

Its Over!

We're currently counting and will post preliminary results soon!

2:30 Update

2125 at 2:30
30 minutes to go!!!
We're shooting for 2303!!

2:00 pm update - Its Going to be Close!

1995 at 2 pm!

1 pm Update

1805 at 1 pm - 2 hours to go!!

Noon Update - 1500 milestone reached!

1556 an Noon!

11 am Update

1350 at 11 am!!

Saturday 9:30 am Update

1130 blood pressures completete at 9:30 am - we need a big push when the Valley View stores open to break the record by 3 pm!

1:00 a.m. Update

1023 at 1:00 a.m.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Carilion Clinic Starts Strong in World Record Attempt

Major Milestone! We Broke 1000! Total Count 1003 at 11:00 p.m.!

Thanks to strong support from Carilion Clinic staff, volunteers and community residents, Carilion Clinic's attempt to break the world record for the number of blood pressures taken in 24 hours got off to an excellent start, approaching the 1000 mark as midnight approached. More than 200 blood pressures were taken during the first hour, hitting the 400 mark at 5:17. The 800 mark, 1/3 of the goal, was passed by 8:00 p.m. The total surpassed 1000 (1003) as 11:00 approached.

Things are expected to be slow overnight, but we are hoping for a big push from Valley View visitors on Saturday to take us over the top.

A big THANKS to everyone who has participated so far.!

10:00 p.m. Update

978 at 10:00 p.m.

9:00 Update

921 at 9!00 pm - heading for a thousand!!

Milestone! 1/3 of the way there!!

806 at 8 pm!


635 at 7 pm!


400 blood pressures at 5:17

Blood Pressure World Record Update

320 as of 4:30 pm! We'll be here all night!

Blood Pressure Record Attempt Update

As of 4 PM (1 hour into the attempt) 208 blood pressures had been taken. 23 hours and 2096 to go!!

World Record Attempt Begins!! Pictures and Video added

The Carilion Clinic Blood Pressure World Record attempt is underway. Updated numbers will be posted here soon!
Click below for video of the official start (the clock counts up in 1 minute increments, that's why the digits are still at zero when the event begins)

Friday, May 9, 2008

World Record Attempt set for Friday - May 16th
New Record in the Philipines Ups the Ante!

Carilion Clinic's world record attempt for most blood pressures taken in 24 hours begins Friday, May 16th at 3:00 p.m. at Valley View Mall. Thanks to the Roanoke Times for a really nice story in today's extra section. Click the picture to the right to read it.

Our challenge just got a little bigger. We've learned that a group in the Philippines set a record in March of 2302. We commend them for their great effort - and we're going to try to beat them!

Members of the media - check this site during the event for photographs and updates.

Practice Event held on May 9th

Two expert blood pressure takers checked 47 people in 30 minutes during a practice run at Valley View Mall today. The event was intended to test the procedures that will be used during the actual 24-hour record attempt that will be held on May 16th starting at 3 p.m.

Carilion needs to record more than 2109 blood pressures in a 24-hour period in order to break the current
Guinness World Record. Click below to watch Dr. Paul Frantz, Carilion Clinic's Director of Cardiac Services, start the time trial.

Its not about speed - the blood pressure readings must be taken accurately. 30% of the population has high blood pressure - 30% of them don't know it. If those figures hold true for Valley View Mall shoppers, we have the opportunity to warn more than 200 people that they have a potentially life-threatening condition, and encourage them to seek treatment.
In order to meet the goal AND be accurate, we will have at least a dozen blood pressure checkers working in different areas of the mall during high traffic. 3 will continue on duty through the night so if you can come by at 3 a.m. and have your blood pressure checked.

Tickets will be used to keep an official count, and draw for door prizes which include the popular "I Got Cuffed for a Guinness World Record" T-Shirt.
Bring your family, friends and neighbors and let's bring a World Record home to Roanoke!

Click for more information on Blood Pressure Awareness Month. Click here for the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Risk Calculator.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Media Advisory - Carilion Clinic Prepares for World Record Attempt with Blood Pressure "Race" this Friday at Valley View Mall

On Friday, May 16th, Carilion Clinic will attempt to break the world record for the most blood pressures taken in a 24-hour period. The current record is 2,109. The attempt will take place at Valley View Mall, beginning at 3:00 p.m.

In preparation for next week's World Record attempt, Carilion Clinic will hold blood pressure "Races" Friday, May 9th at 11:30 a.m. at the mall.

The goal of the "race" is to measure how many blood pressures a single individual can accurately measure during a specific period of time. This information is important because it will help determine how many "pressure takers" will be needed to break the existing record.

The media is invited to join us for the Friday's preparatory activities (and participate in one of the races if you choose), and hopefully help us drum up participation in the event itself. Paul Frantz, MD, Carilion Clinic's Director of Cardiac Services, will be present on Friday to talk about the importance of blood pressure screening in preventing heart attack and stroke.

Given the recent publicity about decreasing lifespans in parts of Southwest Virginia, it is important that we increase awareness of this key health concern.

In addition, we hope to collect some interesting data during the 24-hour event, including:
  • What is the average blood pressure of people who visit the mall?
  • Is it higher or lower than expected?
  • How do men & women compare?
Statistics will be released following the event.
If you have questions, feel free to email me. Hope to see you this Friday for the race and next Friday for the record attempt itself!

Fire Alarm at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Triggered by Apparent Elevator Motor Burnout

An apparent burned-out motor on an elevator in the East wing of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital triggered a fire response this afternoon.
The apparent burn-out caused sparks and smoke - some of the smoke venting out of the elevator shaft on the roof of the building.

Currently the sparks have been extinguished and two of the east elevators have been shut down.
No one was injured, and the event did not disrupt activites in the east wing. There was no evacuation.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The Carilion Administrative Services Building (CASB) in Downtown Roanoke will reopen on Friday, May 2nd. Employees should report for their normal shift.

The CASB building at the corner of Jefferson and Kirk, was closed today, May 1, due to a power disruption. About 900 people work in the CASB building, the majority of which are Carilion employees. They were advised to go home for the day. The building has been cleared by the Fire Marshall to reopen on Friday morning, May 2.

Details of the incident:

  • An alarm came in to Carilion Police Dispatch at 7:46 a.m.
  • Some type of power disruption caused an electrical short or fire in an electrical control box that is part of the building's sprinkler/fire alarm system
  • There was a small amount of smoke - the fire was contained inside the electrical control box.
  • The building lost power, alarm and sprinkler service.
  • Employees and building tenants were evacuated and advised the building would be closed for the rest of the day.
  • Hospital operations were NOT be affected by the outage