Posted on Dec 13, 2016INDIANAPOLIS – When someone suffers a stroke – a deadly blockage of blood flow that can kill millions of brain cells in seconds – every minute matters. But stroke care isn’t just a matter of time; it’s also a matter of where one gets treated.
While it’s important to get immediate help if you notice the warning signs of a stroke, some medical centers are better equipped to provide the highest level of around-the-clock stroke care. Those hospitals are known as Comprehensive Stroke Centers – stroke treatment facilities certified by the Joint Commission and approved by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital recently received its first recertification as Indiana’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center – a member of an elite group of nearly 120 hospitals across the country that are nationally recognized for providing the most advanced treatments for people who have suffered a stroke, the nation’s fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability in adults.
IU Health’s flagship hospital earned this recognition with the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers. The hospital achieved Indiana’s first such certification in 2014. Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is a nationally recognized symbol of quality that reflects commitment to high-level performance and constant improvement to ensure better outcomes for patients. To earn this certification, hospitals must undergo a rigorous on-site evaluation by Joint Commission reviewers, demonstrate the quality standards of a Primary Stroke Center and prove they are equipped with the trained personnel, resources and technology to provide around-the-clock care for the most complex stroke cases.
IU Health Methodist Hospital: A destination center for stroke care:
- As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, IU Health Methodist Hospital was recognized for dramatically reducing its ‘door-to-treatment’ times for patients who show up at the hospital with stroke symptoms. Many of these patients need a clot-busting drug known as ‘tPA’ (tissue plasminogen activator), one of the most effective therapies for stroke which must be given within the first few hours after symptom onset. Hospitals with fast door-to-treatment times can help to bring about better outcomes and improved rates of survival and recovery for patients who have suffered a stroke.
- In addition, like other top-tier stroke centers, IU Health Methodist Hospital offers 24/7 access to minimally invasive catheter-based procedures for patients who have suffered a stroke. The hospital has a team of interventional neuroradiology specialists that can thread a wire tube up into the brain’s branches of blood vessels to repair ruptures, place stents and coils and remove deadly clots blocking healthy blood flow – all of which can help to limit disability if administered in enough time. IU Health Methodist Hospital also happens to be one of the nation’s highest volume providers of ‘endovascular mechanical thrombectomy’—a highly effective clot-retrieval therapy recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for select stroke cases.
- As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, IU Health Methodist Hospital also has neurosurgeons on-site 24/7, is home one of the largest Neuro Critical Care Units in the country, serves as a community resource for stroke-related research and functions as the hub of a statewide stroke services referral network that includes four Primary Stroke Centers at IU Health Bloomington Hospital, IU Health West Hospital in Avon, IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.
WARNING SIGNS OF A STROKE
Because time is of the essence when it comes to stroke, it is very important to spot symptoms quickly and rush the person who suffered the stroke to the nearest hospital best equipped to treat their condition. The acronym F-A-S-T can help to identify warning signs:
- F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- A – Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S – Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Do they slur their speech?
- T – Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately—even if the symptoms go away after a few minutes. The faster a stroke is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin and the less permanent damage there will be.
ADDITIONAL FACTS ABOUT STROKE
- Nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
- On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes.
IU Health is home to one of the largest neuroscience programs in the country and the only nationally ranked program of its kind in Indiana, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2016-2017 edition of “Best Hospitals”. For more information about the IU Health and its treatments for stroke, visit http://iuhealth.org/stroke.
Media Contact: Gene Ford, email@example.com, 317.985.8731