Stroke is a significant cause of death and long-term disability in the United States. According to the ASA, roughly 700,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke each year. It is the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, and is the leading cause of long-term disability in this country. Click here for common signs.
Treatment during the first three hours of stroke onset is critical to halt its effects on the body.
Atlantic General Hospital has a stroke team, composed of physicians and nursing staff specially trained in stroke care, and integrated stroke protocols in its emergency department with the hospital’s diagnostic and inpatient clinical services to streamline treatment of stroke.
Too often, stroke victims ignore or are unaware of the significance of their symptoms and don’t seek the care they need. Please educate yourself on the warning signs and seek treatment immediately if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of stroke.
Common signs of stroke
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden confusion; trouble speaking or understanding
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause
! If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Too many wait as long as one or two days after an attack to seek medical attention. By this time, even the latest advances in stroke care cannot reverse the damage.
How much do you know about Stroke? Test you knowledge here.
Atlantic General Hospital’s Stroke Center received official designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) as a Primary Stroke Center in 2007. This designation means that Atlantic General has met the requirements put forth by the American Stroke Association (ASA), MIEMSS and the Joint Commission to optimize the quality of care to stroke patients.
Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award
Atlantic General’s stroke center was recently awarded the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award, the organization’s highest recognition for stroke care.
To receive the award, Atlantic General needed to achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines–Stroke achievement indicators for at least two consecutive 12-month periods. This is the second year that the hospital has reached these benchmarks. In fact, the hospital achieved between 91 and 100 percent on all indicators.
Achievement indicators are evidence-based treatments known to result in improved patient outcomes. They include appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including clot-busting and anti-clotting medications, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.
The Plus portion of the Gold Plus Award also represents a minimum of 75 percent compliance with other specific quality measures for at least twelve consecutive months
For providers, the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program offers quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines has been shown to improve the quality of care provided to stroke patients. This can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.