Wilcox receives stroke treatment award

The American Stroke Association recently honored Wilcox Memorial Hospital for ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations, states a hospital press release.

The achievement award was handed out as part of the association’s Get With The GuidelinesnStroke program.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTGnStroke initial performance achievement award addresses the important element of time,” Dr. Surendra Rao, a neurologist, said in the release.

Rao continued that signs and symptoms of stroke should be addressed immediately, as patients who get to the emergency room within an hour are good candidates for medication and treatment that may prevent paralysis and speech difficulties.

Wilcox’s system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients includes being able to provide brain imaging scans at all times and having neurologists available to evaluate patients.

As part of the award nomination process, Wilcox complied with the program requirements for 90 consecutive days. Guidelines include aggressive use of tPA and antithrombotics medications, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, states the release.

The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award, according to the release.

“Getting to the hospital that first hour that symptoms appear is critical,” nurse Cathy Adams, director of patient safety and quality at Wilcox, said in the release. She added that symptoms include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion; difficulty speaking or understanding; vision changes; trouble walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination; or severe headache with no known cause.

For more information on the American Stroke Association, visit www.StrokeAssociation.org or call (888) 4-STROKE. For more on the Get With The Guidelines n Stroke program, e-mail guidelinesinfo@heart.org or visit www.strokeassociation.org/getwiththeguidelines.

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