Archive | May, 2012

The Art of Healing

Lexington Medical Center has begun offering an art class for cancer patients called “Healing Icons,” taught by Heidi Darr-Hope of Columbia. The class helps patients cope with a cancer diagnosis and find some peace.

One of the students is Lisa Phillips, a breast cancer survivor who also works as a nurse at Lexington Oncology Associates at Lexington Medical Center. You may recognize her from her appearance in LMC’s 2011 Pink Glove Dance.

Below, she shares some words and images from her first class.

From Lisa Phillips, breast cancer survivor and LMC oncology nurse:
I am blessed to be able to take a class at Lexington Oncology, where I work, called Healing Icons! This is a class that uses art to allow you to work through your feeling related to your diagnosis, treatment & even your life after cancer. It is AMAZING! It is so calming & helps bring into focus feeling you are not even aware of! If any of you have ever heard my testimony, you know that Ebenezer Stones have a special place in my life & I was able to make one in class!

Another picture of my Ebenezer Stone

Heidi started this mandala & allowed me to add to it ~ I added the 3 sand dollars & the 4 small stones. The 3 sand dollars represent Hannah, Benjamin & Noah (I also love the number 3 because of the Trinity) and the 4 small stones for our Babies that are in Heaven! Isn’t this a beautiful sight?!

For more information on the class and how to sign up, call the Lexington Medical Center Volunteer Services office at 803-791-2573.

The Role Potassium Plays to Lower Blood Pressure

By:  Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

When it comes to lowering blood pressure, most of us know we should eat less sodium, lose weight, and exercise.  However, getting enough potassium in our diets is often overlooked.

How does potassium help lower blood pressure?  It has two main functions:

  1. The more potassium we consume, the more sodium is excreted through urine and out of the body, and
  2. Potassium helps relax blood vessel walls, which helps lower blood pressure.

For these reasons, along with eating less sodium, it is recommended that most adults eat 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.  A word of caution, if you have kidney disease, please talk to your doctor before eating more potassium.

To get more potassium from you diet:

  • Eat 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  All fruits and vegetables have some potassium.  The highest in potassium are Sweet Potatoes, Greens, Spinach, Lima Beans, Peas, Bananas, Tomatoes, Oranges and Orange Juice, Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons, Raisins and Dates.
  • Eat 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free Milk or Yogurt per day.
  • Eat Fish 2 to 3 times a week.

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month and Stroke Awareness Month.  Set a goal today to get your blood pressure under control by eating less sodium and more POTASSIUM!

Lexington County’s Coroner and Medical Examiner Service

Since the early 1970s, death investigations in Lexington County
have had the combined advantages of a coroner system and a
medical examiner service.

Dr. Guy Calvert, the founding director of Lexington Medical Center’s laboratories,
offered his forensic pathology expertise to Coroner Harry Harman in 1974,
during Coroner Harman’s first term in office. Dr. Calvert and Coroner Harman
worked closely in a wide variety of death investigations, establishing the
pattern of law enforcement advantages of a coroner system with the forensic
medicine expertise of a medical examiner system. As the Lexington community and
the LMC pathology group have grown, the advantages of this combined service
have become an important part of the hospital’s quality assurance program.

Pathology Associates of Lexington, P.A., the 10-member pathology group
at LMC, has played a critical role in the full spectrum of death investigations
and has served as expert witnesses in numerous homicide and accidental death
cases. Through these investigations, the group has played an increasing role in
LMC’s medical staff quality assurance program. LMC’s pathologists investigate
all manners of death to the full extent of inpatient medical autopsy studies
and submit complete reports to LMC physicians involved in the care of patients
within the coroner’s investigation.

Possibly uniquely in the United States, annual QA reports to the medical staff
indentify opportunities to improve care. Thorough investigations of infant
deaths have led to a significant decrease in the number of accidental infant
deaths (SIDS) in Lexington County, and a significant decrease in the number
of sudden, unexpected cardiac deaths. Observations of sudden cardiac death in
the coroner system led directly to LMC offering 24/7 STAT AMI profiling in
1994, which has significantly decreased the number of cardiac deaths after
discharge from a community medical center or ER visit. LMC was the first
hospital in the Midlands to offer this service. Similar results of death
investigations have prompted the urgency of physician office referrals of patients
presenting with acute coronary symptoms directly to a CMC or LMC’s ER.

By using coroner autopsy findings as a medical staff quality assurance process,
we have identified the absence of a personal physician as the single greatest
risk factor; refusal to seek medical care is the second most important risk factor.
Other survival benefits resulting from the coroner/medical examiner interface
include improvements in EMS intubation of critically ill infants, the evaluation
of prosthetic cardiac valve dysfunction and treatment of excess anticoagulant
medication.