Lexington Medical Center has received a Gold Plus award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program. The Gold Plus award is the highest honor bestowed and recognizes commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients.
“This award demonstrates Lexington Medical Center’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing effective, evidence-based stroke care,” said Vicky Hicks, RN, B-C, outcomes coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.
Members of Lexington Medical Center’s stroke team accepted the award at a presentation.
The honor goes to hospitals with excellent adherence to Get With the Guidelines stroke quality indicators and measures, including aggressive use of proven medications, therapy, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
“Lexington Medical Center is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With the Guidelines National Steering Committee. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”
Get With the Guidelines is the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that helps health care providers save lives by following guidelines and recommendations for stroke care.
According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, stroke is the third leading cause of death in South Carolina, resulting in more than 2,000 deaths each year. South Carolina is among a group of Southeastern states with high stroke death rates referred to as the “Stroke Belt.”
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.
Warning signs include weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, facial drooping, confusion and the inability to talk. Risk factors for stroke are untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol. Modifying your lifestyle can help prevent stroke.
Photo Caption: Some members of the multidisciplinary Stroke Performance Improvement Committee (pictured l-r): Dr. Christine Scott-Demonbreun, medical director for Stroke Center; Dr. Frank Pusey, neurologist; Frances Glover, RN, nurse manager for 4th Medical/Stroke Unit; Maggie Bobo, director of Quality Improvement for American Heart/American Stroke Association; Patty Kadow, RN, clinical specialist; Donna Peterson, RN, nurse manager for MICU; Vicky Hicks, RN, outcomes coordinator; Shannon Turner, RN, clinical mentor for ED.