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MUSC Health Blog

Date: 2017

MUSC Children’s Hospital is once again the only such institution in South Carolina to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 edition of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.”

The latest rankings are published online by U.S. News & World Report.

The leading specialties for MUSC Children’s Hospital are: No. 11 for cardiology and heart surgery; No. 28 for nephrology; No. 37 for urology; No. 36 for cancer; No. 47 for gastroenterology and GI surgery; and No. 45 for neurology and neurosurgery.

Newcomers to the list this year, although known throughout the state for their unparalleled, specialized care, neurology and neurosurgery were recognized for quality of care, strong clinical outcomes and survival rates. In addition, the cardiology and heart surgery programs now sit one spot away from the top 10 programs in the country. Cancer, gastroenterology and GI surgery, urology, and nephrology continued strong showings for this ranking period.

“These rankings represent a steadfast commitment by our entire children’s hospital staff to delivering the highest quality pediatric care in the region. Although each of these programs should be proud of these specific achievements, they truly reflect the collective hard work of all our teams,” said Mark A. Scheurer, M.D., MUSC Children’s Health chief of clinical services. “As we look to the opening of the new hospital in 2019 and continue developing our outpatient subspecialty care services within communities, we feel confident that we are striking the appropriate balance that puts the needs of our patients and their families first.”

The 11th annual rankings highlight the top 50 U.S. pediatric hospitals in each of 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. In the 2017-18 rankings, 81 of the 187 hospitals surveyed were ranked in at least one of the 10 specialties.

The current methodology combines clinical and operational data, results from a reputational survey of board-certified pediatric specialists, and supplemental information from resources such as the National Cancer Institute. RTI International collects and analyzes the data for the rankings. The methodology reflects the level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, such as staffing, technology and special services; delivery of health care, such as reputation among pediatric specialists, programs that prevent infections and adherence to best practices; and clinical outcomes, such as patient survival, infection rates and complications. Survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and procedure volume are among the many kinds of information about each ranked hospital that can be viewed on the U.S. News website.

"Once again, our care team members at the Children’s Hospital have another source of validation for the excellent care they are delivering to our patients and their families every day,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and university vice president for health affairs. “Clearly, the biggest validation they receive comes from those they serve, but these annual rankings certainly confirm that collectively we are leading health innovation for all the lives we touch at our Children’s Hospital. We can’t wait to see how the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital will take the state’s comprehensive care of children and their families to new and unprecedented heights for our state."

Guest Post by:
Jennifer Hunnicutt, MS, ATC
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

Following sports injuries, we know the basic healthcare regime: rest, ice, elevate. We know what to put on our bodies, but do we know what’s best to put in our bodies? Nutrition is a very important, yet often neglected, part of recovery from injury.

First let’s address what happens after an injury. Inflammation immediately occurs to stimulate the healing process. Your cells are producing chemicals to clean up the area and prevent further injury. Inflammation can last several days to weeks, however, excess or long-lasting inflammation is not a good thing. Small injuries can become chronic if we do not take care of our bodies. Unfortunately, many foods we eat cause inflammation within our bodies that slow the healing process.

While you are recovering from your injury, eat foods that are wholesome and natural. Find high-quality meats, fruits, and vegetables that will support your body while it repairs the injury. Avoid processed foods. Watch out for excess dairy, a food group known to cause inflammation. Limit alcohol consumption, as it has been shown to slow healing following muscle injury. Supplement your diet with lean protein to maintain muscle mass, especially when your injury requires surgery and/or immobilization.

So how do you know if you are eating the right foods? Consider keeping a food diary. Take notes of what foods make your feel better (or worse). Do you notice that a particular food increases the pain in your injury? If so, avoid it. Bring your food diary to your appointments to discuss your diet with a healthcare professional.

If your injury causes you to go from very active to less active, then you are going to be expending less energy each day. Thus, you may want to consider lowering your caloric intake to prevent weight gain. If possible, find another type of physical activity to maintain your cardiorespiratory fitness, even if it’s just walking. Lastly, ensure you are getting plenty sleep in order to give your body the energy it needs to recover.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association follows a “food first” philosophy: look for ways to supplement your diet through wholesome foods, such as high-quality proteins and vegetables, rather than pills and ergogenic aids.

Always talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. Be careful of products that promise faster healing. Just as there is no quick fix to enhance performance, there is no quick fix to recovery from injury. Recovery takes time, so let’s provide our bodies the best possible environment through a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. MUSC’s comprehensive sports medicine team of doctors, athletic trainers, and physical therapists can provide the guidance you need following your injury. Ask how you can improve your diet and lifestyle to promote recovery following your sports injury.

References

Buell JL, Franks R, Ransone J, Powers ME, Laquale KM, Carlson-Phillips A. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: Evaluation of dietary supplements for performance nutrition. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48(1):124–136.

Turocy PS, DePalma BF, Horswill CA, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: Safe weight loss and maintainance practices in sport and exercise. Journal of Athletic Training. 2011:46(3):322-336.

Guest Post by:

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

Bicycling Charleston:  Health Benefits, Injury Prevention Techniques, and Safety Tips

The Lowcountry is becoming a more “bike friendly” area with the increasing number of bike paths and trails along with the launch of the first official city-wide bike share program, Holy Spokes. There are some significant health benefits of regular cycling for fitness, leisure, or general transportation. Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity; it will increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping, which can improve your overall fitness. Some additional benefits of regular cycling are:

  •         Increased cardiovascular fitness
  •         Increased muscle strength and flexibility
  •         Improved joint mobility
  •         Improved posture and coordination
  •         Decreased stress levels
  •         Reduced anxiety and depression

Just like with any type of sports or physical activities, there are always some levels of risk of injury. Some of the more common cycling related injuries are: knee pain (patellofemoral syndrome, patellar or quad tendinitis, IT band friction syndrome), head injuries, neck and back pain, and wrist/forearm pain or numbness. But again, like with all activities, there are also injury prevention techniques that can be implemented to reduce the risk of injury:

  • Stretch before and after cycling — focus on hamstrings, hip flexors, piriformis, IT band, gastrc/soeum complex (calf stretching), wrist flexors, and extensors.
  • Core and expecially periscapular musculature strenthening to improve your posture and stability
  • Proper seat and handle bar positioning
  • Always wear a helmet!

In addition to the injury prevention techniques, here are some safety tips to keep in mind when getting on a bike:

  1. Protect your head. Always Wear a Helmet.
  2. See and be seen. Wear clothes that make you more visible to traffic and other cyclists.
  3. Avoid biking at night. But if you do bike at night, adapt your bike to include reflectors and lights and ride on streets that are well lit.
  4. Stay alert. Always keep a lookout for obstacles in your path.
  5. Go with the flow. Ride with the flow of traffic, and use the appropriate hand signals.
  6. Learn the rules of the road. Bicyclists must obey the same rules as motorists; read and follow all state laws, traffic signs, and rules for operating a vehicle on the road.
  7. Bicycle Readiness. Adjust your bike so it fits you (raise or lower handle bars and seat), make sure wheels are securely attached (mostly if you have quick release wheels), and always check your brakes before starting to ride.

Riding a bike is a great activity for healthy living and can allow you to enjoy your surroundings while getting a workout at the same time. But, please remember to protect yourself by following these injury prevention and safety tips while enjoying the roads. 

References:

Jewett, Amy, et al.  Bicycle helmet use among persons 5 years and older in the United States.  Journal of Safety Research, volume 59, December 2016.

Mueller, Natalie, et al. Health impact assessment of active transportation: A systematic review.  Preventative Medicine, volume 76, July 2015.

Loyola University Health System, Transportation and Safety Tips

Stop Sports Injuries – Preventing Cycling Injuries

“March Madness” is alive and well at MUSC Health. If not in fact, then at least in the heart and mind of Chris Streck, pediatric surgeon, residency program director, trauma chief, husband, father and college basketball aficionado. At a shade under 6’3”, a graduate of Duke University, and a former high school basketball champion, Chris Streck can’t deny the basketball fever that flows in his veins, and how it roils rapidly every March when the madness begins. And it is no coincidence that this father of four has two sons, and a dog, named after three famous Duke basketball players—Christian, Grant and Winslow. Well, perhaps not his 12 year old son, Christian, III. That is of course, a family name.  

Dr. Streck and family

Honoring former Duke basketball players aside, basketball is not the only competitive sport that is top of mind in the Streck household. He and his wife, Maria, also a physician at MUSC, enjoy running and try to make time for a sprint at least three times a week. Chris also plays basketball at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings in Mt. Pleasant with the “Early Risers,” a somewhat middle-aged group of weekend warriors who enjoy the exercise, as well as the thrill of hitting a basket beyond the three point arc—sometimes.

In addition to medicine, also at the top of their priority list, both of the doctors Streck take an active role in their children’s sporting events with verve and gusto. Together, they collaboratively manage the craziness of shuttling the kids back and forth to nearly ten separate soccer practices each week. “With all four of the kids playing soccer and no two practices at the same time, we have to do this as a team,” Chris beams proudly. Having met his wife in medical school at Wake Forest University, the two forged a relationship and continued on to Memphis for their residencies, pairing up in a perfect partnership. “We could not have been more suited to each other,” describes Chris. “We are both extremely passionate about our medical careers, and even more importantly, about our family,” adds Chris. “I am fortunate to have healthy, bright and motivated kids, a great wife, and outstanding colleagues at MUSC. In essence, I have two incredible families, and I consider it a privilege to be in this position.”  

As the wearer of many hats, when asked how he spends his free time, Chris responds quickly. “When I am not at the hospital with my MUSC family, I am cruising around in my jeep making sure the kids get to practice on time. My free time is with my kids and I am okay with that. I feel fortunate to have this life and I am all in regardless of where I am.”

Shooting baskets, juggling balls, running the kids to practice, teaching the next generation of pediatric surgeons, as the chief of pediatric surgery, one does not have to speculate about Chris Streck’s dedication to caring for kids. His life is kids. “My life is also like juggling balls,” he adds. “When one ball almost reaches the ground, I can catch it because that’s when the next one goes in the air.” And Chris Streck, master of much, seems destined to always be there to catch it.

For more information about Chris Streck, M.D., pediatric surgeon or to make an appointment, please call 843-876-2222 or visit our website.

Guest post by:
T. Ryan Littlejohn, ATC
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

It seems simple, but do you drink enough fluids before exercising? Proper hydration is one of the top preventive actions for heat related illnesses. According to CDC recommendations, when exercising you should drink 24 ounces of fluids two hours before activity and at least 16 ounces of fluid 15 minutes beforehand. I am not referring to soft drinks or alcohol, but water. When trying to rehydrate make sure to add a sport drink or some type of electrolyte fluid to add nutrients safely during your recovery. Checking your urine is also important. It should be clear; a person who is well hydrated should have the urge to go to the bathroom every two to four hours. It also seems obvious, but ingesting alcohol is a bad idea because it will cause dehydration, so avoid it completely.

Prevention is the most effective treatment for heat related illnesses. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Proper training for the heat with gradual increase in intensity level over 7 to14 days
  2. Fluid replacement/hydration
  3. Appropriate clothing – light colored, loose fitting, one layer
  4. Monitor intensity of activity during high heat hours
  5. Early recognition – have an athletic trainer on site during all practices and events

When an athlete is overheated, steps should be taken to ensure that the athlete is cooled properly. Exertional heat stroke is defined as the athlete having a rectal temperature above 104 degrees. A cold water immersion tub is extremely important to use in order to cool the body immediately. If at all possible, use a rectal thermometer to get an accurate temperature, as an oral temperature may give false readings. According to the Korey Stringer Institute, research suggests if a person is cooled within 10 min of collapse and is properly cooled below 104 degrees, they will have a 100 percent survival rate. There are also many other steps to be taken like removing clothing and helmets to release the heat from the body. Emergency medical services should always be called in the event of a heat illness, but make sure steps are taken to cool the body before EMS arrives. Hopefully this information will help you as you enjoy exercising in the Lowcountry. As a rule of thumb, when it doubt call 911.

Resources:

WebMD - Heat Related Illnesses Prevention

Korey Stringer Institute

Stop Sports Injuries

 

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