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Guest Post by:
Brittany Darling, MS, ATC
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

           Last April I had the pleasure of volunteering at the 1st Annual Safe Kids Day as a MUSC Health representative. The event took place outside of the North Charleston Coliseum, and although the weather was questionable we lucked out with a beautiful day that attracted children and families from the surrounding Charleston area.  Some of the highlights included fire safety, exploring the inside of an ambulance, and of course my personal favorite, our hydration station questions and stretching techniques.

            This year’s event is set to take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 11am-2pm.  The exciting part is that we are changing the location- this year we plan to enjoy the activities within our very own MUSC Health Stadium. That’s right, it’s where the Charleston Battery soccer team play their home games!

            The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the possible harmful and preventable injuries that generally affect children in the United States. The key word here is preventable. That means that many of the injuries and deaths that occur do not need to be happening, and can be combated with the proper education and safety lessons. Some of the key topics presented will include water safety, vehicle heat stroke prevention, and sports safety. This is a fun and active event for the entire family to come experience. Any questions in regards to the MUSC Children’s Health Safe Kids Day Event may be directed to Melinda Biller ( or you can read more on our Facebook page- MUSC Health Sports Medicine.

The Joint Commission has certified MUSC as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, placing it in an elite group of about 100 hospitals nationwide. So what difference does the level make?

MUSC neurologist Christine Holmstedt, D.O., explains it this way. Primary Stroke Centers are hospitals that can do everything that an acute stroke-ready hospital can do, as well as admit and monitor acute stroke patients who have received the clot-busting medication tPA in a dedicated stroke unit. Then there’s the top comprehensive tier, the certification level MUSC recently received, that means a hospital can handle the most complex of stroke patients and provide the most advanced level of care achievable.

Complex stroke patients range widely, from “those patients who may require endovascular procedures, such as clot removal, those who require securing of an intracranial aneurysm or those that require neuro-critical intensive care, and emergent neuro-surgical evaluation and treatment,” Holmstedt said.

“To be comprehensive, you have to be able to provide those services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And, it’s not just offering the services. We have to monitor our outcomes and demonstrate true quality of care.”

What else it means:

  • MUSC’s door-to-needle time is 30 minutes or less, compared to the national standard of 60 minutes. The faster patients whose strokes can be treated with the clot-busting medication tPA get that treatment, the better their outcomes.
  • Telemedicine connects MUSC stroke experts with doctors in community hospitals, allowing the MUSC team to give life- and brain-saving advice. MUSC acts as the hub of stroke expertise and now has grown to serve 22 sites, ensuring that almost all state residents are within 60 minutes of having access to expert stroke and cerebrovascular care.
  • MUSC is known for its robust research program. Holmstedt says the combined stroke team group last year published 98 papers.
  • MUSC also leads in the testing of the latest in medical devices being manufactured to treat stroke. Many of the new devices and drugs to treat stroke that are being used all around the world came through MUSC early in the testing stages.
  • MUSC’s Stroke Recovery Research Center, one of a handful of such centers in the nation, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those who have had strokes. The center has 33 active grants that focus on stroke recovery.

Read how the dedicated doctors on MUSC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center team work together to help patients and ensure South Carolina has one of the top stroke centers in the country, on the MUSC News Center.

Guest Post by:

Michael J. Barr, PT, DPT, MSR
Sports Medicine Program Manager
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

The trophies have been presented, the cheers have quieted, and the clay has settled; the WTA tennis tournament on Daniel Island had a new name, the Volvo Car Open, but it was the same high quality tennis and outstanding tournament management and organization as we have grown accustomed to.  MUSC Health Sports Medicine once again partnered with the Family Circle Tennis Center and the WTA to provided sports medicine coverage for the athletes competing in the Volvo Car Open.

The main part of our responsibilities has continued to be onsite, hands-on coverage and medical care by our tournament physicians. In addition, 15 specialists are on-call beginning 2 days prior to the event to 1 day post event.  As MUSC Health is a leader in medical innovation, our sports medicine team is trying to do the same for the elite athletes of the WTA, while they are in Charleston.

This year at the VCO we added two new onsite technological advances, portable musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound and telehealth, to help aid in our medical care.  These technologies enabled the athletes, who are on a very tight training and competition schedule, to consult with any of our specialists from the convenience and privacy of the club house at the Family Circle Tennis Center.  One of our tournament physicians was in the room with the athlete as they completed the medical consultation with one of our specialists, via the high tech telemedicine equipment.  The WTA medical staff said that this was new technology to them and were excited about utilizing MUSC Health’s new and innovative technological advancements to provide the highest level of care to these elite athletes, in a very convenient way.

All of the technological advancements do not take away from the hard work and dedication of our tournament physicians and on-call specialists; however it is just another example of how MUSC Health is Changing What’s Possible in the realm of Sports Medicine.


Dr. Alec DeCastro utilizes Telehealth at the Volvo Car Open

Guest Post by:
Lindsey Clarke, MS, ATC, CMT
Athletic Trainer

MUSC Sports Medicine

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris’, I wonder where the starting line to the 39th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run is?  What better way to shake out the winter blues, celebrate vitality, and revel in a new season than to hop on over to Coleman Avenue and get your 10K on by participating in one of the premier road races in the country?!  Perhaps you’ve indulged in too many Easter basket treats, or maybe just feeling sluggish from winter.  Prepping yourself for the Cooper River Bridge Run is a perfect time to refocus your nutrition.  In making your weekend plans, spend a bit of time planning your pre- and post race nutrition for the week in advance so as to eliminate stress and discomfort come race day.  For both experienced, and novice runners alike, a race takes preparation, strength, and energy, and how you approach your pre-race eating plan can affect all three. Throughout training, your diet plays a significant role in helping you perform and recover; a correctly balanced pre-race nutrition plan will contribute towards your best performance.  If you are a professional, world class runner, or got struck with a little Spring Fever and signed up last week, here are a few tips on giving yourself everything your body needs to have a successful and enjoyable race.

WEEK PRIOR: Moderate quantities of carbohydrate-rich foods will fill your glycogen stores throughout the week leading up to the race. Depending on the length of your race, shoot for about 3-5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day, with foods like oatmeal, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. For example, a 150-pound adult would need at least 450 grams of carbohydrates per day. Many runners focus so much on getting enough carbohydrates that they don't pay enough attention to their protein consumption. Protein is used for some energy, but mostly in repair of tissue damaged during training. Again, depending on your training/length of race, you should consume .5 to .75 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  Good sources of protein are fish, lean meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, egg whites, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese and some vegetables.  Being a long distance race, you’ll want to aim for the higher amount of carbohydrate and protein per pound body weight.  This is the time to experiment with discovering which foods work best for you, and which foods you want to avoid…experimenting on race day is never a good idea!

DAY BEFORE: Many beginning runners hear that “carbo-loading” before a race is a good idea and mistakenly overindulge on enormous portions of carbohydrate-rich foods. Gone are the days of indulging in stacks of pancakes or sitting down to an all-you-can-eat pasta bowl.  Instead, continue eating as you have in the week leading up to the race, increasing your intake of up to 5.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight; a 150-pound adult would need up to 825 grams of carbohydrates. Foods with a moderate to high glycemic index are your best choices before a race. Eat foods like whole-wheat pastas, which contain 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per dry cup serving, and vegetables.

MORNING OF:   As a 10K(6.2m), this race is considered a long distance race.  For longer races, your body will require more fuel.  With an 8am start, a more substantial meal is warranted approximately 2 hours prior to start, so set that alarm just a little extra early.  In addition to your meal, it is good practice to have a light snack 1 hour prior to the race.  I’m not talking about Reese’s peanut butter eggs or chocolate bunnies…bring a granola bar, energy chews, GU, etc. as a option for more sustained energy release and a lower possibility for GI distress.

In making food choices, it’s always best to stick with what you know works. No one wants any surprises waiting in cue or during your run!  A well-rounded diet of lean meats, legumes, dairy, fruits, and vegetables is a great way to set your self up for success come race day. Some foods to include in race preparation are:

*Whole grain pastas, brown rice     *Lean proteins; salmon, chicken

*Fresh fruit          *Fruit/Vegetable juice                   *Oatmeal

*Bagels                  *Yoghurt drizzled with honey       *Toast with nut butter

Some foods to avoid in race preparation are:

*Cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower     *Sugar-free items/artificial sweeteners

*Bran; cereals, muffins     *Caffeine(unless you regularly consume)

*Fried foods     *fatty meats/high fat cheeses     *alcohol

Another extremely important and often forgotten about component of pre-race preparation is proper hydration practices. Many runners underestimate how much fluid they actually lose during their runs and don't drink enough while they're running as well as post workout/race. The result?  Dehydration. This is detrimental to performance and dangerous for your health. In the days leading up to your race, you’ll know you’re properly hydrated if you void a fairly large volume of pale urine at least six times a day. On the day of, drink 8-16oz. of water one to two hours before the race, and then another 4-8oz just before. Consumption will vary depending on the duration of your race.

Three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. Water is usually fine. For a tougher runs over 30 minutes, consider a sports drink to replace electrolytes and glycogen.

Three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. A sports drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes will replenish sodium.

Replace fluids, drinking enough so you have to use the bathroom within 60 to 90 minutes after your run(approximately 8-24oz).

Now that you’ve gotten your (bunny)tail across the finish line, what comes next? Post race practices are very important in regards to recovery. Replacing fluids lost and replenishing glycogen stores are crucial and the window of opportunity is small.  It is best to consume a recovery ‘meal’ within the first 30 minutes after completion of the run. The optimum ratio is 3:1 carbohydrates to protein.  Depending on your preference, this meal can take the form of nutrition bars, recovery sports drinks, or even chocolate milk.   There are numerous sponsors that provide fantastic goodies such as yoghurt, peanut butter crackers, bananas, oranges, and more for all runners, so there is certainly no excuse in consuming your post-race snack and replenishing fluids lost.  For longer runs, you should also take in a full meal within 2 hours of completing your race that contains lean proteins, carbohydrates, and maybe even a post-race treat…you deserve it!  This attention to detail in your meals leading up to your race will definitely take a bit of planning, but getting the proper nutrition for pre and post race will not only help your performance and recovery, but will make the experience over all much more enjoyable and successful!


With a red No symbol emblazoned across the word ‘Superwoman,’ MUSC alumna C. Nicole Swiner, M.D., has some explaining to do.

The family physician, wife and mother of two, author, conference planner, social media guru and businesswoman juggles on a superhuman level that would seem to run counter to the theme of her recent book: “How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex.”

She’ll explain how she makes it all happen at her talk March 25 in the Bioengineering Building in room 110 at 11 a.m. at MUSC. The event is open to the public. It is hosted by: College of Medicine Center for ARROWS (Advancement, Recruitment and Retention of Women in Science), MUSC Women Scholars Initiative and the University Chief Diversity Office. To reserve a seat, reply by March 22 to

Swiner’s Top Tips: How to avoid the Superwoman Complex:

1. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

Don’t allow yourself to feel like you have to be perfect all of the time and live up to these standards. Most of these standards we’ve created ourselves…So give yourself permission to not be perfect and be you the best way you can be.

2. Go to bed.

If I could list sleep as a hobby, I would. Going to bed on time and having a good seven or eight hours of rest for me is paramount. On the weekends I nap. It’s more important to people’s health than they realize.

3. Relax.

Find things that you like to do for rest, emotional rest, and mental rest. I like to get massages, I like to have date night every week with my husband, find some hobbies that help you to relax and do this often.

4. Find your passion.

Writing, speaking and social media postings energize me. It doesn’t feel like work. When you're passionate about your work, you can do it all day long and not tire.

Read more about Swiner in our newscenter article.


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