Category

Uncategorized

Senior male worried, thinking about his mental health.

Let’s Talk About How Hard It Is to Discuss Mental Health

By Uncategorized

In 2019, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five Americans reported living with a form of mental illness. That means within any two estimated households across the country, at least one family member could currently be afflicted.

At LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, we live and work in the same communities that you do. Our homes and families are next door to yours. And we care deeply about your entire wellbeing — including your mental health.

So if mental health challenges are right here in our neighborhoods, why are they so tough to discuss?

Stumped by Stigma

Fear of being judged and mistreated due to mental illness is very real. Even though we are far from the days when mental illness was equated with possession by evil spirits, according to the American Psychiatric Association, “prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illness is still very much a problem.

How problematic? A study in World Psychiatry found that prejudices against those with mental illness may result in hostile behavior toward sufferers, withholding assistance, avoiding or terminating employment, and/or preventing individuals from exploring assistance and other life opportunities for themselves, among other punishments.

This mistreatment may not come from a single source, either. The American Psychiatric Association identifies three general types of stigma that someone with mental illness could encounter, including institutional (stereotypes embodied in laws or regulations), public (negative attitudes upheld by societies or groups of people), and self (shame that individuals have about their own condition). Many already wrestling with mental illness may find themselves living and working in areas where all three types of stigma are combined.

The discrimination isn’t felt only by mentally unwell individuals, either. It also impacts their family members, friends, and other loved ones, as well.

At a Loss for Words

Many times, the feelings and anxieties associated with a mental illness can be disorienting, and overwhelming. Identifying what’s going on internally may be difficult to do for yourself — let alone someone else.

But feeling equipped to express a condition doesn’t always mean others are able to handle or receive it.  “Even in 2020,” writes Rohini Chatterji in HuffPost,those with mental health concerns are perceived as being ‘weak’ or ‘dramatic’ by some.” Well-intended listeners may come off as dismissive, assuring that “Everything will be fine.”

Breaking the Silence

Even business associates can have a hard time with less-than-surface conversations — regardless of the subject matter’s severity. Amy Morin at Inc. recommends the following tips to alleviate almost any awkward conversation:

  • Set aside time to speak in private
  • Acknowledge the discomfort of the subject matter
  • Be clear and direct

Writing things out beforehand may also help, as the Child Mind Institute suggests, along with checking the facts and being equipped with data. A qualified online symptom checker could provide a helpful resource if you’re not yet ready to discuss symptoms with a doctor or mental health specialist.

Above all, knowing the prevalence of mental health challenges can remind you that you’re not alone. In 2018, Harper’s Bazaar published a list of celebrities who have given voice to their mental wellness struggles. The number of names continues to grow, now including Demi Lovato, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift.

LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early is committed to your entire well-being. Whatever you’re going through, we’re here to help.

Learn More About LifeBrite

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. For more about our specific services and facilities, visit our website or call 229-723-4241.

Family in bed, suffering from allergies.

Dealing with Pollen Allergy Season in Georgia

By Uncategorized

During March and April in Georgia, it’s hard to escape: yellow coatings of dust on cars and outdoor furniture, or rimes of it along the edges of puddles and curbs after the rain. Some of you may have sensed it, however — with your sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and itchy eyes — long before it was even visible.

Yes — spring is here, which means an increase in airborne pollen particles from trees, flowers, and grasses, and a resulting increase in allergic reactions to them. At LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, we care about providing compassionate, comprehensive care for you and your family in all seasons. Here are some recommendations we have for our local neighbors regarding this condition.

Besides Annoying, What are Allergies, Really?

“An allergy occurs,” The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America explains, “when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it.” These substances are called allergens, and when encountered by the immune system of someone with allergies, they cause the production of immunoglobulin E — resulting in your allergic reaction.

There are several types of allergens, including in food, pet hair, certain medicines, and even latex. But the allergic symptoms you might be experiencing as early as mid-February and even into May in Georgia are likely due to seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever:

  • Runny & stuffy nose
  • Mucus production
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
  • Red, watery, and irritated eyes

According to The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology allergies may also affect your concentration and focus, and cause feelings of irritability and fatigue — so they can impact your life in broader ways than simply requiring more tissues.

What Treatments are Available?

There are several nonprescription treatments The Mayo Clinic suggests may help with your allergic rhinitis symptoms:

  • Oral antihistamines – Examples include loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (Allegra).
  • Decongestants – These can be administered either orally as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol) or in nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine).
  • Nasal spray – “Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can ease allergy symptoms and doesn’t have serious side effects, though it’s most effective when you begin using it before your symptoms start.”
  • Combination medications – These combine an antihistamine with a decongestant, such as loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D) and fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D).

Some natural remedies may provide relief, as well, though keep in mind that it is important to speak to your doctor before beginning any new supplements or herbal remedies, as they may interfere with certain medications.

Three potential remedies reviewed by experts at Medical News Today include:

  • Vitamin C – Found primarily in fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes and tomato juice.
  • Bromelain – Available as a supplement, but also found at the core of pineapples and in pineapple juice.
  • Quercetin – An antioxidant flavonoid found in many plants and food, including broccoli, kale, grapes, and berries.

Action May Be the Best Medicine

Avoiding pollen may feel impossible during the spring months in Georgia, but there are some other actions you can take to minimize your exposure:

  • Monitor the daily pollen count and limit outdoor activities when they are at their highest.
  • Keep car and home windows closed, running air conditioning on the recycled air setting instead.
  • Wash your hair and body before going to bed, to keep yourself from spreading pollen all over your sheets.
    • And even then, wash bedding in hot water once a week.
  • Change or clean your air filters regularly.
  • If you have pets, wipe their paws and fur with a damp cloth before they come inside.

Learn More About LifeBrite

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. To learn more about our services and facilities, visit the LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early website or call 229-723-4241.

Providers moving patient on gurney

What Is Acute Care & How Does It Help Our Community?

By Uncategorized

Acute care is a branch of medicine which actively treats patients with severe, short-term medical needs. Symptoms of acute conditions often emerge suddenly, but the treatment and recovery periods are also generally brief. Unlike chronic care, which is provided in settings such as assisted living facilities or in a patient’s home, acute care is provided in emergency departments and hospitals.

Types of Acute Care

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acute care includes six main types of treatment:

  • Emergency care, including potentially life-threatening medical or surgical needs, such as heart attacks
  • Urgent care, which includes unscheduled visits that may not be life-threatening but still require prompt care, such as fevers in children or ankle sprains
  • Short-term stabilization, such as delivering fluids to a patient who is critically injured before they have surgery
  • Prehospital care, including treatments provided by first responders
  • Critical care, such as treatments for severe respiratory issues and other conditions requiring constant monitoring, usually in intensive care units
  • Trauma care and acute care surgery, which covers life-threatening injuries, appendicitis, and other serious and urgent surgical needs

Other examples of acute care diagnoses include congestive heart failure, kidney stones, bronchitis, pneumonia, dehydration, and gastrointestinal issues. Acute care may also include wound care and pain management.

The Importance of Acute Care in the Community

Clearly, the conditions treated by acute care professionals are often serious and require immediate intervention. Minutes can make the difference between life and death, or between a complete recovery and a lasting disability.

Access to acute care is important in any area, but in rural communities like ours, it’s especially critical.

Without local acute care providers, residents of rural communities have to travel far to receive care, losing precious time along the way. Consider the difference between the several minutes it might take you to get into Blakely and the hour or more it would take you to get to the hospitals in Columbus or Albany.

There are roughly 60 million residents in rural America, and nearly a quarter of them say that access to hospitals is a problem in their community. Just 9% of suburban residents have the same challenge. When acute care is within close reach, it eliminates the need for long journeys to receive medical attention, drastically improving patient outcomes.

While patients see the greatest benefits of having local access to acute care, it’s also good for the community overall.

Acute care facilities such as hospitals create more jobs for local members of their communities. From nurses to specialists, many well-paid professionals are needed to staff and maintain thriving acute care centers. In rural communities, healthcare jobs account for 14% of jobs on average, with hospitals often a rural community’s largest employer.

Communities with high-quality acute care facilities such as emergency rooms can also attract businesses and encourage locals to stay. This is especially true for any populations facing elevated risks for acute conditions, such as communities with many senior citizens.

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, always call 911 for help. To contact someone at our acute care hospital in a non-emergency situation, call (229) 724-4205.

Pam Temples

Employee of the Year: Pam Temples

By Uncategorized

For Pamela Temples, preparing for disasters has never been a hypothetical idea.

The respiratory director at LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, Temples manages the hospital’s disaster team. She also teaches CPR and First Aid classes to hospital staff and out in the community.

The COVID-19 pandemic was not the first time her emergency management skills were put to the test.

Responding to Hurricane Michael

When Hurricane Michael passed through southwest Georgia in 2018, knocking out power through much of Early County, Temples didn’t leave the hospital for days.

She coordinated with the Emergency Management Agency (EMA), law enforcement, and the city government of Blakely to make sure the hospital had everything we needed to care for our vulnerable patients and support our staff.

Temples brought more than 20 people with supplemental oxygen needs to the hospital, caring for them around the clock with little sleep. And when a baby was born prematurely during the hurricane, she was there to support the baby’s breathing until they could be transported to the Phoebe Putney Health System’s neonatal unit in Albany.

Finding Her Calling at Hall Drug

In high school, Temples got a job at Hall Drug, in Blakely. The drug store had a home healthcare service at the time, and they would send Temples around to check on patients’ oxygen machines.

“I would read up on different techniques of breathing,” says Temples, “and I would talk to them about that. I really enjoyed working with them.”

Bob Hall, owner of the drug store and a longtime mentor to Temples, took notice. He told her, she says, “You’re really good with patients. You really should think about being a respiratory therapist.”

And after a couple detours in her life, that’s just what she did. Temples became respiratory director at the hospital in 1993.

Responding to COVID-19

For a respiratory therapist managing a hospital’s disaster response to a respiratory virus, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the stuff of nightmares.

“It can be pretty scary, no doubt,” says Temples. “I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve never been afraid like that, but you know what you gotta do. You just take a deep breath, put on what you know, and do what you gotta do.”

Despite the best efforts of Temples and her respiratory team, some patients have succumbed to the virus.

“The most challenging part,” she says, “has been watching people pass away. That’s really, really hard. You worked so, so long and so hard, and you think you have it figured out. Then everything just goes up in the air. That’s really hard and discouraging.”

As science has learned more about the disease, Temples’ team has been able to adjust their techniques and improve their success.

And Temples has felt all the support of those around her at the hospital, and of statewide coalitions and agencies, including Georgia’s Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition for southwest Georgia, Region K.

“I’ve made good rapport with Region K directors and coordinators, and they respond very quickly when I ask questions,” says Temples. “The EMA here, the community EMS director, we used to have drills all the time, although we’ve been in the real deal for a year.”

But more than anyone, she turns for support to everyone else on the hospital staff.

“I certainly couldn’t do it without every one of them,” she says. “We’re a close knit hospital. I feel so close to everybody here. We’re like family, and we figure things out together. I could call on anybody here and they would help me with any situation.”

Having grown up in Early, she knows the people she’s fighting for are the people she grew up with, their parents and children, their grandchildren and cousins.

“I know everybody in the community,” she says, “so I’ve always tried to treat everybody like it’s my mom or daddy. I do love my job and I love what I do, and I think that makes a difference.”

The Importance of Family

Temples has four children and three grandchildren, and on Sundays she likes to bring the whole family together at church and, afterward, to her home for a family meal.

“We have a little white church down the road, with little shutters and a steeple,” she says. “I grew up there, so it means a lot to me.”

Her sons-in-law do the grilling for Sunday dinner, and afterward there might be a cake. Temples likes to bake and is known for her 14-layer chocolate cakes and 8-layer red velvet cakes.

The pandemic has made it harder for the family to gather, but they’ve stayed connected as well as they can. Her teenage grandson recently sent her a text message: “I hear my nana is pretty good at her job. Congratulations.”

From everyone at LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early: We couldn’t agree more.

Learn more about LifeBrite Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher. LifeBrite Hospital Group operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. To learn more about what LifeBrite Hospital Group is doing to make healthcare better, visit our homepage.

Emergency Care

Does your medical emergency really require a visit to the Emergency Department?

By Uncategorized

In the current situation with COVID-19, it is essential to make sure that we reserve the emergency care resources for those who are in the worst of conditions. You should ensure that your circumstances are severe enough to warrant seeking emergency care as you put yourself, as well as others, at risk of disease when you visit a hospital.

What constitutes emergency care?

Typically, emergency care is for ailments that threaten the life or requires medical intervention so as not to become life-threatening. Some emergency care can be considered urgent care, which is for non-emergency or life-threatening situations.

Emergency Care vs. Urgent Care
Emergency care is for any situation that could potentially cause severe and permanent impairments or could be life-threatening. For these conditions, it is usually best to dial 911 and seek medical care. Examples of these types of situations could be compound fractures, seizures, uncontrollable bleeding, chest pain with shortness of breath, and other life-threatening conditions. Emergency care should be reserved for those who are in the most serious of conditions.

Urgent medical care, which is slightly different from emergency care, is for conditions that are not emergencies, but that still require medical attention within 24 hours of onset. Examples of these types of situations are cuts that need stitches, minor broken bones in fingers or toes, and other less severe injuries and illnesses. These injuries may seem to be small, but they too could become severe if left untreated, which is why it is essential to seek medical care.

Some medical conditions do not require medical care in the immediate future. For these medical conditions, you are better off making appointments with your primary care doctor. Examples of this type of care include annual checkups and regular monitoring of preconditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Community Hospital of Early is ready to care for your emergency needs.

We all do our best to stay healthy and hope that you never find yourself in a situation where you would have to seek emergency care. However, for those who do find themselves in circumstances where you must seek emergency medical care, Community Hospital of Early is ready to welcome you and provide the level of services that you need. Our Emergency Care Department employs highly skilled medical care workers who are certified in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support.

We are prepared to treat our emergency care patients for any reason, including those suffering from COVID-19. Our hospital staff has been trained on how to screen patients effectively to minimize the spread of Coronavirus and we have deployed extra cleaning protocols to ensure extra sanitation for the safety of our patients and guests. We’re here for you because we’re all in this together.

Learn more about LifeBrite Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher. LifeBrite Hospital Group operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. To learn more about what LifeBrite Hospital Group is doing to make healthcare better, visit our homepage.

Care Centers in US Are Prepared for Coronavirus

By Uncategorized

 

US care centers and hospitals are ready for COVID-19 

As the number of coronavirus patients increases, hospitals across America are preparing for a pandemic. While hospitals and patient care centers have protocols and procedures for epidemics as seen with diseases such as the flu, a set plan was not in place for the novel coronavirus mainly because nobody knew it could pass to humans. These protocols are now being adapted for a COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Mobilizing resources ahead of a coronavirus outbreak

While store shelves are wiped clean of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and sprays, hospitals, and care centers are checking their inventory and storage of these essential supplies. Many medical supply companies have place allotments on facilities, limiting the number of purchases allowed at any given time. These facilities are forced to put conservation plans into place, and some centers have gone so far as to cancel elective surgeries because of the low supply of gowns, gloves, and masks. 

New screening protocols for coronavirus patients 

One of the crucial measures that some care centers have put in place is to change the way they screen and triage their incoming patients and visitors. The new screening measures include immediately questioning those entering the facility regarding recent travel or interaction with those who have recently traveled as well as any symptoms that they are currently experiencing. 

LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early is also asking that only true emergent-patients use the Emergency Room. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, do not come to the ER; call your primary care doctor for guidance. 

Care centers focused on preventative measures

While some hospitals and medical facilities are opting for new screening measures, others have decided to step up their preventive measures. These measures include more frequent sanitization of often touched items, such as elevator buttons, doorknobs, and switches. Many care centers have also increased their signs for patient education. These educational signs remind patients and visitors to cover their coughs and sneezes and to wash their hands frequently. 

LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early is also restricting visitors to the hospital as a preventative measure. There are no visitors allowed for patients or employees, with some exceptions. Patients at the end of life are allowed visitors, minors may have one parent or guardian present, and mental health patients are allowed their caregiver as a visitor.  We know these are tough guidelines and restrictions but we are committed to patient and staff safety.  

Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early is ready 

Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early has a team of skilled medical professionals experienced in emergency care. There is also a trained team of Registered Respiratory Therapists who are experienced with SARS, a close cousin to COVID-19. With state of the art equipment and technology, Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early is prepared to handle any cases of the coronavirus that may come our way. 

This is a daily changing situation, and our procedures will continually be updated as new information becomes available. To stay up to date on this fluid situation, follow the CDC website

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Compassionate care for elderly patients

LifeBrite Early in your community: Services we provide

By Uncategorized

Stability, continuity, sensitivity – LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early provides compassionate care that is close to home. Our goal is to ensure that all of our patients’ and residents’ needs are met in pleasant, home-like surroundings. 

Many people, however, may not know about all of the LifeBrite services available right here in their own backyard. 

These services include: 

  • sleep studies
  • endoscopy/colonoscopy
  • laboratory
  • physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapy
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • outpatient rehabilitation
  • swing bed program
  • long-term care
  • nursing home acute care
  • emergency room services
  • family medicine clinic
  • radiology

And much more. 

One of those services, Early Memorial Nursing Home, is specially equipped to provide a continuum of care to our area’s most vulnerable residents. 

Early Memorial Nursing Home, an affiliate of LifeBrite

The staff at Early Memorial Nursing Home is committed to providing our residents with the highest quality care and service. Our goal is to ensure that friendly and properly-trained associates meet all of our residents’ needs. 

These needs include providing a sense of “home,” as well as rehabilitative services, such as 

  • physical therapy;
  • occupational therapy;
  • speech therapy; and
  • pulmonary rehabilitation.

Long-term care at Early Memorial Nursing Home

At Early Memorial, we offer long-term care with skilled nursing services staffed with professionals who are prepared to assist your loved ones with regaining skills necessary to have the best quality of life possible. 

Our team of experienced, knowledgeable, caring, and energetic professionals motivates our residents to reach their highest potential. 

Laboratory services and x-ray services available

We also have a mobile laboratory service, and a mobile x-ray service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with technicians sensitive to the needs of our residents. STAT results are always available, as well. 

Dining options for our residents

Our dieticians know that proper nutrition is essential for optimal health and wellness goals, so we provide residents with their personal nutritional dietary needs. 

Cosmetology and barber services are also available

Many times, there’s nothing that makes our residents feel more at home and more like themselves than when they’re able to take advantage of cosmetology services on site. Sometimes looking good means feeling good.  

Early Memorial and our core values

Our medical director, Dr. Lamar Brand, is an independent medical doctor who aligns with our philosophy of “old fashioned values,” that is to say, our residents become like family. 

Call us today at 229-724-4243 to arrange a tour or for more information. We welcome all inquiries and are happy to share our home with your family. 


Learn more about LifeBrite 

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. To learn more about what LifeBrite Laboratories is doing to make healthcare better, visit our homepage.

Mature man, performing a simple lung function test by using a triflow

LifeBrite Now Offering Pulmonary Rehab

By Uncategorized

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs can help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and other lung ailments minimize symptoms and maximize their lives.

However, a rehab program is only as good as the patient’s compliance with the plan. And studies show patients are more likely to follow through with rehab if they live closer to the facility where they receive treatment.

That’s why LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early is so excited to offer a pulmonary rehabilitation program in its facility in Blakely.

The new program, operated by United Pulmonary Group, launched in August and offers physician-directed, personalized, one-on-one treatment and rehabilitation for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.

 Jared Hatcher, who oversees the LifeBrite’s program, says often in rural areas, people have to drive one to two hours to a larger market for pulmonary rehab services.

“A lot of times, there is a pent up need for these services,” he said. But if a patient relies on someone else for transportation and has to make the trip out of town two or three times a week, they often don’t follow through.

“It’s very beneficial to have a program like this in your community,” he said. “It’s really exciting to be able to offer it. We’re getting a lot of interest.”

What is COPD?

COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes breathing problems. Exposure to cigarette smoke plays a role in developing COPD, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also play a role.

Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus production, and wheezing. COPD increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and several other conditions. 

There is no cure, but it can be treated to slow its progression. Treatment options include quitting smoking and starting a pulmonary rehab program like the one offered by LifeBrite. 

Benefits of pulmonary rehab

Why is it important to have this program at LifeBrite?  Because pulmonary rehabilitation has been proven to reduce respiratory symptoms and:

  •     Improve exercise performance
  •     Improve mood ( by lowering depression and anxiety)
  •     Increase knowledge about pulmonary disease and its management
  •     Reduce hospitalizations and use of medical resources
  •     Help some patients return to work

Area physicians refer patients to the program for diagnostic testing, therapeutic exercise, educational training, outcomes assessment, and individualized treatment plans.
Don’t put off treatment of your emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or COPD any longer. Breathe better now and improve your quality of life! 

To learn more about LifeBrite’s pulmonary rehabilitation program, call 229-723-4241.

 

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Laboratories and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early, visit our homepage.

Medical professionals respond to emergencies during Hurricane Michael

Lessons learned from the worst hurricane in state history

By Uncategorized

Scientists in the United States have been tracking hurricanes since 1850, but modern technology has improved our knowledge about the storms. Although weather experts can predict hurricane paths and strengths, it is still difficult to prepare for the devastation that results when nature violently clashes with our communities.

Emergency teams and city leaders along the gulf coast had been meeting for several days going over scenarios and preparing for potential landfall. When Hurricane Michael made its final turn northeast toward the Florida panhandle, residents of southern Alabama, and much of southwest and central Georgia, braced for impact.

Delivering a baby during the worst hurricane in Georgia history

“During Hurricane Michael, we had lost power, there were trees down blocking roads, and we got a call that a woman who was 27 weeks pregnant was in labor,” said Ginger Cushing, administrator of Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early in Blakely, Georgia. “Police ended up bringing her into the hospital, and we delivered the baby. But we had to make a decision to send our team with the baby to a hospital with a NICU.”

That decision to send the team was a lesson in cooperation and perseverance.

The infant’s mother walked more than a mile before being spotted by local police and transported to Lifebrite. She delivered the baby almost immediately, and the hospital staff began searching for a way to get the baby to the nearest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) two counties away.

The team was in communication with the NICU staff at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, but air transport systems were grounded as far away as Birmingham. The NICU staff left Albany by ambulance but could not reach Blakely. The Emergency Medical Team began working to help clear the roads with a chainsaw and eventually hitched a ride with the father of a marine who helped them get to the hospital.

When the Lifebrite team and the Phoebe team connected, they made certain the baby was stabilized before transporting her and her mother to Columbus, where beds were available in another hospital.

Lessons learned after the storm

More than a year later, the lessons learned during Hurricane Michael still resonate throughout southwest Georgia. The collaborative efforts of three different hospital systems and the efforts of emergency medical teams worked as planned to provide quality care for the community in a time of crisis.

Hurricanes are not solely a coastal event. They can inflict damage and injuries hundreds of miles inland. Before it was over, Hurricane Michael is responsible for as many as 75 deaths and caused more than $25 billion in damages.

After the storm, the National Hurricane Center re-evaluated and upgraded Hurricane Michael to a Category 5 hurricane—making it the strongest to ever hit the Florida panhandle and the first major storm to hit Georgia since the 1800s.


Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Laboratories and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early, visit our homepage.

Man in bed covering his face with a clock on a nightstand that says 3:24 a.m.

Need a Nap? Maybe You Need a Sleep Study

By Uncategorized

Do you toss and turn all night? Do you wake up feeling like you haven’t slept at all? Do you have dark circles under your eyes and doze off at work? If so, it may be time for you to look at what’s going on with your sleep cycle.

Proper sleep plays a vital role in overall well-being. Most people need eight hours of quality sleep to function well. An occasional bad night of sleep is common. But several sleepless nights in a row can spell trouble.

Did you know that poor sleep can negatively impact your appearance, your immune system, and even the way your brain performs? It can also slow your metabolism and increase your risk of depression and cancer.

A sleep study, now offered through LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, can help determine what’s keeping you from getting the rest you need.

What is a sleep study?

A sleep study, also called a polysomnogram, is an overnight diagnostic test that allows doctors to monitor your brain and body while you sleep. Patients usually spend the night in a sleep lab or hospital.

While you sleep, an electroencephalogram (EEG) monitors your sleep stages (REM sleep, non-REM sleep) for disruptions and patterns. The study also measures eye movements, heart and breathing rates, snoring and body movement.

Who needs a sleep study?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep studies can help diagnose sleep disorders such as:

  • Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep.
  • Restless leg syndrome, a sleep-related movement disorder characterized by overwhelming and unpleasant urges to move the legs while at rest.
  • Shift work disorder, a condition affecting people whose wake and sleep pattern is out of sync with the body’s biological clock. 
  • Narcolepsy, a disorder with symptoms that include excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations and, in some cases, sudden loss of muscle control.

Sleep Study At LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early

If you suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, dry mouth, loud snoring, mood swings, and headaches, call LifeBrite to learn more about sleep studies.

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Laboratories and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early, visit our homepage.