Lexington Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Certification

May is Stroke Month. Did you know…

Lexington Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center, as designated by DNV Healthcare, an organization that certifies health care organizations and programs around the nation. Achieved in September of 2011, this certification means that our hospital makes excellent efforts to treat patients experiencing a stroke.

That’s important because stroke is the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. In 2011, Lexington Medical Center treated approximately 500 patients for stroke. South Carolina is among a group of Southeastern states with high stroke death rates referred to as the “Stroke Belt.”

Criteria to be a Primary Stroke Center includes a hospital’s ability to provide comprehensive stroke care that follows national standards and guidelines to improve outcomes for stroke patients. That includes the use of drugs that can dissolve stroke-causing clots. Sometimes, if paramedics are taking someone with stroke symptoms to a hospital, they will work to take the patient to the closest Primary Stroke Center.

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.

Risk factors for stroke are untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol. In South Carolina, high blood pressure, smoking and other risk factors are prevalent.

The main warning signs of stroke are weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, facial drooping, loss of motor skills, confusion and inability to talk.

Never ignore the signs of stroke. Delayed treatment can cause the loss of brain tissue and lead to significant disability and long-term deficits.

Lexington Medical Center has received a Gold Plus award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s for excellent care for stroke patients. For more information on stroke, click here.

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