To receive The Joint Commission’s designation as a Primary Stroke Center, Eisenhower participated in a rigorous application process and submitted data on stroke admissions, treatment plans and outcomes. “Eisenhower Medical Center demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” says Jean E. Range, MS, RN, CPHQ, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission.
The Eisenhower Stroke Center’s multidisciplinary Acute Stroke Team includes Neurologists, Interventional Neuroradiologists, Nurse Practitioners and Emergency Physicians. All are trained to assess and treat acute ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, caused by blood clots that block blood flow to the brain. Eisenhower’s Acute Stroke Team is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and uses state-of-the-art imaging of the arteries in the brain, as well as the National Institutes of Health’s Stroke Scale, to begin an immediate assessment for stroke. The Team’s combined efforts meet the strict national standards required by the Commission for providing safe, high-quality care to stroke patients.
“Designation as a Primary Stroke Center demonstrates our commitment to the community we serve and recognizes the invaluable work of our exceptional Acute Stroke Team,” says Louise White, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, Eisenhower Medical Center. “We work diligently to educate the community about stroke, which can have a devastating impact on the victim and their loved ones,” explains White. “We know that the best treatment for stroke occurs early; therefore, education is key in helping people recognize signs and symptoms of stroke and to look for treatment immediately.”
Stroke is the nation’s number three killer (behind heart disease and cancer) and is the world’s number one cause of physical disability. A stroke interrupts blood flow to the brain. When a stroke occurs, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and can begin to die within minutes, often leading to permanent damage and disability. Treating stroke quickly, and restoring blood flow to the brain, is critical to recovery.
Signs and symptoms of stroke include:
- One-sided weakness, numbness or paralysis
- Blurred or decreased vision
- Sudden confusion, and problems speaking or understanding what others are saying
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sudden severe or unexplained headache
Anyone who experiences these symptoms should call 911 immediately.