Wednesday, July 13, 2016

USAMC First in State For Excellence in Stroke Care

The University of South Alabama Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to be recognized by the American Heart Association for the way stroke patients are cared for when they arrive at the emergency department. The Medical Center’s stroke team had to achieve specific results spanning a two-year period to receive the award. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

The USA Medical Center’s stroke team earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award. USA Medical Center was the first hospital in Alabama to receive this honor for the rapid administration of a stroke-stopping medication called tPA.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said USA Medical Center Administrator Beth Anderson. “USA Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the guidelines help us achieve that goal.”

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. This recognition is granted to programs that have successfully rendered the high quality of care through the use of specific guidelines.

To qualify for the award, the hospital had to meet quality measures aimed at the reduction of time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with tPA. This clot buster is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat acute ischemic strokes. If given intravenously within 3 to 4.5 hours following the onset of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the debilitating effects of a stroke.

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