For the fifth time, 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 “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.
“Lexington Medical Center is proud to receive this award as it demonstrates our commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing effective, evidence-based stroke care,” said Vicky Hicks, RN, BSN, CPHQ, outcomes coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.
The honor goes to hospitals with excellent adherence to stroke quality indicators and measures for two or more consecutive years, including timely treatment, 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.
According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
A stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and begins 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. Stroke is an emergency. Call 911 at the first sign of stroke. Modifying your lifestyle can help prevent stroke.
“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines® National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Lexington Medical Center’s team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”
Lexington Medical Center also has certification from Det Norske Veritas Healthcare, Inc. as a Primary Stroke Center in the Midlands. The Certification Program for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes organizations that follow the best practices for stroke care. Achieving Primary Stroke Center Certification indicates the hospital’s dedication to cultivating better outcomes for patients.
May is Stroke Month. Think FAST to remember the warning signs of stroke.
Face – Look for an uneven smile.
Arm – Check if one arm is weak.
Speech – Has speech become difficult?
Time – Call 9-1-1 immediately.