Tag Archives: Primary Stroke Center

Lexington Medical Center Honored for Excellence in Stroke Care

Lexington Medical Center has received a “Gold Plus” Quality Achievement Award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke program. The hospital also received its Target: Stroke Honor Roll recognition.

The “Gold Plus” award is the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for stroke care and recognizes commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients. The honor goes to hospitals with excellent adherence to stroke quality indicators and measures, including 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.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator. If given in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

“Caring for patients experiencing a stroke is an interdisciplinary collaboration. Every member of the team strives to provide evidence-based stroke care with the goal of reducing the disabling effects a stroke can have on a person and his or her family. I am proud of our team and the level of stroke care they provide,” said Erin Stillinger, RN, BSN, stroke outcomes coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.

Lexington Medical Center is certified by Det Norske Veritas Healthcare, Inc. as a Primary Stroke Center. This certification program recognizes organizations that follow the best practices for stroke care. Achieving Primary Stroke Center certification demonstrates Lexington Medical Center’s dedication to promoting better outcomes for patients.

A Stroke at Age 25

It was March 24, 2014 and Savannah Tapler was on her way to work, excited to get the day going. It was her 25th birthday, but before the day was out, she would find herself facing the hardest test of her young life.

As Savannah arrived to work that morning at Lexington Medical Center — she’s a planning analyst — she stumbled getting out of her car. She was limping but felt no pain. As Savannah tried to walk toward her office, she could go no farther and called out for help. Co-workers rushed to her and took her to the Emergency department.

Savannah learned she suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain, resulting in a stroke. “When the doctor told me he thought I was having a stroke, I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Stroke is not something you associate with someone my age. I was dumbfounded.”

Savannah had always watched her diet and worked out on a regular basis. Now the doctor was telling her she may walk again but likely not run.

Once she had recovered enough to be released from Lexington Medical Center, Savannah went directly to a rehabilitation hospital. “I had one job to do and that was to get back to my old self,” she recalled.

Savannah had at least three hours of therapy every day and usually stayed longer to put in extra effort. By the time she was released from the rehabilitation center, she was able to take a few steps without holding on to anything for support. Her rehabilitation continued through outpatient therapy. She consistently worked on her recovery, taking exercise bands home and playing games such as picking up marbles with her toes. Her husband Aidan also learned some of the exercises so that he could help at home.

Today, Savannah is completely recovered. “I had a bit of lingering shaking in my leg for a while,” she said. “But that has almost completely disappeared.”
And now she has a bundle of joy that keeps her on the go as she and Aidan welcomed their son Beckett in the fall of 2015.

While Savannah’s stroke may not have been preventable — doctors now say she suffered from a ‘spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage’ that may have been the result of a weakened blood vessel since birth – she understands the significance of seeking help for stroke as quickly as possible. “I believe that getting to a doctor as quickly as I did probably saved my life.”

 

Lexington Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center. The hospital has also received a Gold Plus award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Both honors recognize Lexington Medical Center’s commitment to and success in stroke care.

For Stroke, Think F-A-S-T!

Thank you to our friends at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Hospital Association for sharing this important information.