Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 20, 2020

Duke Raleigh Hospital Joins National Clinical Trial

Hospitalist provides care at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Photo by Shawn Rocco/Duke Health.

Duke Raleigh Hospital is now participating in the second phase of a national study to investigate a therapy to treat symptoms of COVID-19.

Patients with significant symptoms of COVID-19 will be given the option to participate in the trial, which has already begun at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Those patients who choose to participate in the trial will be given the antiviral drug remdesivir, which has shown an improvement in the recovery time of more than 1,000 hospitalized patients from 15 days to 11 days. Remdesivir was cleared for emergency use by the FDA last week.

As a result, Duke Raleigh Hospital is helping to test if remdesivir could continue to improve COVID-19 symptoms when paired with another drug, baricitinib, usually used to treat inflammation associated with moderate-to-severe arthritis.

“The quicker we can find effective treatments to help our patients and the larger medical community, the quicker we can gain control of this disease,” said Dr. Michael Spiritos, chief medical officer, Duke Raleigh Hospital. “Here we have the opportunity to advance the understanding of this disease for everybody.”

Participants in this next phase of the study will receive a daily intravenous dosage of remdesivir for 10 days, followed by either baricitinib or a placebo of inactive ingredients, as tablets once daily while they are hospitalized for a period no longer than 14 days. Patients will be assessed daily for measurable changes in their conditions.

This is an adaptive randomized, double-blind trial that assigns patients at random to receive either remdesivir and baricitinib or remdesivir plus the placebo. Doctors and patients do not know who is getting both active therapies.

The study is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and managed by the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. Gilead Sciences Inc. developed remdesivir and is supplying it for the study.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside our colleagues within the Duke University Health System to bring this study to Duke in Wake County to inspire hope for some of our sickest COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. David Zaas, president, Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 12, 2020

Former Duke Nurse Gifts Pin to Nurse Who Cared for His Father

To recognize the compassionate care provided to his father, a former Duke nurse found a unique way to honor a Duke Raleigh Hospital nurse.

“I was trying to figure out a way I could recognize her quicker than normal,” said the former Duke nurse Henri Zevin. “And writing to her manager was something that I wanted to do, but I also knew that it had to contain something else.”

Henri Zevin wrote a letter to Vreeland’s manager, and attached a pin to it that he was awarded while working as a nurse at Duke.

“Although this letter is not about me, it is my previous experience at Duke that has prompted me to write to you about one of your nurses, Ms. Carolyn Vreeland,” wrote Henri Zevin in the letter.

Zevin’s father, Dr. Perry Zevin was admitted to Duke Raleigh Hospital in March 2020 after suffering a collapsed lung. Several days later, following surgery, he passed away.

Dr. Perry Zevin and his family.

While Dr. Zevin was at Duke Raleigh Hospital, Carolyn Vreeland, RN, BSN, cared for him and coordinated multiple phone calls and video chats with Dr. Zevin and his family.

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, Duke Raleigh Hospital is under visitor restrictions. However, Vreeland worked with hospital leadership and Henri Zevin to make an exception for Dr. Zevin’s wife and daughter to visit before surgery.

“I called management and said we have this 90 year old man, and all he’s asking to do is see his wife,” said Vreeland. “I think it’s only fair to let her come in and see him.”

After the surgery, Dr. Zevin was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where he later passed away.

In the weeks following Dr. Zevin’s death, Kelsey Bergstedt, MSN, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC, the Nurse Manager of Operations and Vreeland’s manager, surprised her with the pin and read Henri Zevin’s letter out loud in front of their team.

Carolyn Vreeland, RN, BSN with Chief Nursing Officer Priscilla Ramseur, DNP, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC and Hospital President Dr. David Zaas.

“Carolyn is the perfect example of the human side of caring, and the human side of nursing,” said Bergstedt. “Frontline nursing, it is more than just your 12-hour shift and you go home. We’re making impressions on people and it matters.”

For Vreeland, the three days she spent with Dr. Zevin will stay with her forever.

“What I’ll remember is how powerful those three days were, how they impacted not only their family, but myself,” said Vreeland. “And I get to keep that.”

Although this is a difficult time for the Henri Zevin and his family, the care his father received at Duke Raleigh Hospital is helping him heal.

“Having my nursing background gives me a sort of peace,” said Henri Zevin. “He was given the best possible chances, and he would have only been given the best possible chances, I believe, at Duke.”

This story is among the features showcasing our Duke Raleigh Hospital nursing team in honor of National Nurses Week (May 6 to May 12).

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 11, 2020

Raleigh First Responders Team Salute

Thank you to Raleigh Police Department, Wake County EMS, and the Raleigh Fire Department for saluting our team members at shift change today in honor of Hospital Week and Nurses week.

Watch the video of the salute.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 7, 2020

Air National Guard Flyover of Duke Raleigh Hospital

Watch the N.C. Air National Guard’s one C-17 flyover yesterday. They flew over hospitals across the state, including Duke Raleigh Hospital, to show gratitude for healthcare workers.  

Alyssa Tanner started a lemonade stand in her neighborhood several weeks ago (prior to stay-at-home guidelines) to raise money for patients and team members at Duke Raleigh Hospital.

A little girl’s idea for a weekend lemonade stand quickly became a way to help the healthcare heroes and the patients they care for at Duke Raleigh Hospital.

After watching the news coverage of COVID-19 and hearing about her mother’s work as a Duke Raleigh Hospital nurse, Alyssa Tanner, 11, decided she wanted to help.

“Alyssa’s always had a giving soul,” said Maggie Tanner, RN, Clinical Nurse II on Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Surgical Oncology unit. “She wanted to find a way to help give people happiness.”

Alyssa dedicated a weekend to selling lemonade in her neighborhood to provide nurses on her mother’s floor with goodies to brighten their day. The hard work earned enough to provide 50 goody bags to day and night shift team members on the floor.

“It was really great to see how happy everyone was,” Maggie Tanner said. “The happiness was shining from underneath all our masks.”

The bags with inspirational messages were filled with vegetable, herb, and flower seeds; bubble wands; candy; and hand sanitizer donated from a local distillery.

“The team members’ faces lit up when Maggie surprised us with the goody bags her daughter put together for us,” Kelsey Bergstedt BSN, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC, Nurse Manager, Operations, Fifth Floor Medical-Surgical Oncology.Everyone was so excited for the treats, especially the bubble wands because it was something they could go home and share with their own families.”

The generosity from the community through the lemonade stand didn’t stop there. Enough was raised to allow Maggie to stock the palliative care comfort cart the floor uses to provide patients with activities and gifts to lift their spirits.

“With visitor restrictions in place, we need to do even more to keep our patients occupied during their stay,” Maggie Tanner said. “As nurses, we can provide that comfort, but to have extra colored pencils, coloring books, word puzzles and journals helps give our patients a better care experience.”

This story is among the features showcasing our Duke Raleigh Hospital nursing team in honor of National Nurses Week (May 6 to May 12).

–By Erin McKenzie

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