Video: Medical center encourages quick response with 'Fast Fast Baby'

The "Sepsy Crew" made the video to educate people about responding quickly to strokes

By Elizabeth Sanchez
The Bakersfield Californian

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The video is hilarious.

It opens with three residents in scrubs strutting down a hospital hallway, one donning oversized glasses, another a large clock around his neck a la rapper Flavor Flav. The familiar beat of "Ice Ice Baby" begins to play.

One resident falls to the floor. A doctor appears from behind an ambulance.

"Yo Sepsy Crew. Let's Treat It.

"Fast Fast Baby.

"Alright stop, take notes and listen.

"P is back with a stroke rendition.

"Gonna raise awareness oh so rightly,

"Make you think fast daily and nightly."

Those are just the first few lines to the Sepsy crew's newest project, "Fast Fast Baby," a music video about strokes, when blood flow to the brain is blocked, causing oxygen deprivation.

It's a project by Kern Medical Center staff to educate people in a fun way. They've done it before. Last year, the KMC group made their debut with a music video about Sepsis, a life-threatening immune response to infection.

Returning rapper Sage Wexner, the leader of the project, realized, while finishing his four-year residency program at KMC this year, many people in the community aren't aware of the symptoms of a stroke.

Take, for example, the 60-year-old patient that came into the hospital with legs that had given out.

Prior to checking into KMC, the patient didn't think much of it and decided to "sleep it off." Two days later, the patient's legs and arms weren't working.

The patient had a stroke.

"There was nothing I could do for him except physical therapy," Wexner said. "There’s a chance if he came in earlier, I could have him walking again."

Wexner, 44, had seen this time and time again, where patients could better recover from a stroke if they were aware of the symptoms and acted faster. So he decided to lead the stroke awareness project.

"Seconds really do count in an emergency department," he said. "You only have limited window."

Act 'FAST'

That's where the acronym "FAST" comes from.

Face drooping on one side.

Arm or leg weakness on one side or loss of balance and coordination.

Speech difficulty or sudden confusion.

Time to call 911 and get to a primary stroke center FAST.

The video was released in June, just a few months before Kern Medical Center celebrated the one year anniversary of its stroke center. Since the center opened, KMC has had 129 stroke patients, according to Jina Pappas, the hospital's stroke care coordinator.

Prior to KMC becoming stroke-certified, Bakersfield Memorial and Adventist Health Bakersfield hospitals were the only two hospitals in town that could take stroke patients.

Pappas explained that when you have minutes to spare, knowing the symptoms and having a hospital nearby is very important.

"We are just trying to get the 'FAST' acronym out to the public, so they know what to do if they are having a stroke," said Pappas.

In the video, you see Wexner, other residents, Kern Medical Center staff, Hall Ambulance EMTs and paramedics and Bakersfield College cheerleaders dressed as nurses dancing to lyrics that explain the protocol when undergoing a stroke.

“Face starts to droop — it’ll show.

"Arm is weak.

"Can’t hold a candle.

"Then it’s my speech and it’s time to handle.”


Raising awareness

As one of the lyricists, Wexner hopes he can raise awareness in teenagers and children, since they are often the ones watching YouTube videos and dialing 911. And some of these young adults and kids might even experience a stroke themselves.

Pappas said an 11 year old was the youngest person in Kern to have a stroke in 2016. That same year, 985 people who suffered a stroke were transported by ambulance to local hospitals. That number doesn’t include stroke patients who were taken to hospitals by other means of transportation.

Of course, Kern County makes up just a fraction of those who suffer from strokes. According to KMC, strokes occur in 800,000 people in the U.S. each year, and they are the leading cause of serious long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Dr. Venkata Dandamudi of KMC, who makes an appearance in “Fast Fast Baby,” explained that projects like this are also a good way to raise awareness to what’s happening in the medical world.

“What’s going on in the stroke world is being talked about a lot within physician circles, but the word isn’t getting out there in the public,” he said.

Within the last few years, Dandamudi said, doctors have had a major breakthrough. They have successfully removed blood clots that cause patients to have strokes.

With this procedure plus thrombolytic medication, which has been given to patients for many years, Venkata said patients are 50 percent more likely to function independently at three-month follow-up, up from 30 percent before with just the thrombolytic medication.

“At a community level, I think hospitals need to make more initiatives, but in this new age, we are all about YouTube,” he said.


Although strokes are difficult to prevent, Wexner says there are courses of action you can take to minimize your chances of having one.

He says it's important to keep blood pressure under control, to watch your cholesterol, to remain active and to have a healthy diet.

But sometimes, he said, you just have "bad brain vessels and bad genetics."

Copyright 2017 The Bakersfield Californian

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