Dr. Francisco Albert, hospitalist at Lexington Medical Center, was on WLTX this month talking about stroke. South Carolina is in the region of the country known as the “Stroke Belt” because of our high incidence of stroke. Lexington Medical Center is certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has won the “Get With the Guidelines – Gold Plus Award” for stroke form the American Heart Association for its excellent care of stroke patients. May is Stroke Month.
Imagine you’re out in public or at home when someone has a heart attack. Would you know what to do?
Experts say to call 911 for an ambulance instead of driving the person to the hospital yourself when you suspect a heart attack or stroke. Unlike your car, the ambulance has an EKG machine in it. Paramedics can do an EKG inside the ambulance and send the results directly to the emergency department at the hospital. Then physicians in the ER can notify the on-call cardiologist and catheterization lab team or surgeon to send the patient straight into treatment upon arrival.
The ambulance also has a cardiac monitor that can tell if the patient has any arrhythmias.
Every minute counts.
As we continue to recognize Stroke Awareness throughout the month of May, LMC is proud to receive a prestigious award for stroke care. The award demonstrates commitment to quality care for stroke patients.
For the third 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 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, B-C, outcomes coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.
The honor goes to hospitals with excellent adherence to 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.
“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.”
“Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke” helps Lexington Medical Center develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.
Lexington Medical Center is certified by 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.
According to the American Heart Association/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 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 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.
From left to right: Christine Scott, MD/Medical Director Stroke Center, Tammy Fenske, RN,BC Care Manager, Melanie Lake, Frank Pussey, MD, Francis Glover, NM, Stroke Unit, Betsy Cromer, RN, Sean Valdepenas, PT, Kelly Nyberg RDLD, Vicky Hicks, RN,BC, Outcomes Coordinator, Shannon Turner, RN, and Kathy West, RT(R).