The Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County Georgia honored a group of individuals as Hospital Heroes at its February Board of Directors meeting for their team approach to excellent care of a stroke patient. Honorees included nurses Melissa Lieupo, Holly Turner, and Jessica Mullis, patient care coordinator Kevin Sparrow, CT technicians James Hysmith and April Carter, MRI technician Anita Howard, and physicians Brian Dawson and Julio Menendez.The 46 year old patient was admitted to SGMC with stroke symptoms, but initial neuro assessments were normal. However, the next morning, 22 minutes after his last normal assessment, the patient took a turn for the worse. The patient experienced known symptoms of stroke, including muscle weakness on the left side of the body, facial droop and somewhat slurred speech. Lieupo, who identified these changes, called a rapid response/code stroke. This set an entire team of professionals in motion to examine and perform a stat CT. Neurologist Dr. Dawson administered TPA and the patient received an MRI. Results required the patient to be transferred to another facility for further intervention, but upon arrival intervention was no longer needed as the TPA administered at SGMC rekindled blood flow to that side of the brain. “Every department that touched this patient that night was as efficient as anyone could be, from the inpatient and emergency nurses, radiology techs, hospitalists, physicians to the stroke team,” said Jessica Musgrove, Nursing Associate Unit Director. “It’s amazing we were able to stabilize and transfer the patient in less than 2-1/2 hours.” SGMC continues to encourage everyone to know the signs and symptoms of stroke, as time lost is brain lost. An easy way to remember and identify stroke is to use the mnemonic FAST. F is for facial droop, A is from arm weakness, S is for slurred speech, and T is for time, call 911.SGMC’s Stroke Program has received the Coverdell Champion Hospital of the Year by the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry for outstanding stroke care in the medium-sized hospital category for four consecutive years. For more information on the stroke program at SGMC, visit www.sgmc.org/stroke.Photo: Hospital leadership honors hospital heroes at the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County Georgia Board of Directors meeting on Feb. 15.