In just a few seconds, a stroke can change a life forever. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. About 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year and another 100,000 have recurrent strokes.
Lutheran Hospital, which is recognized nationally for its care of stroke patients, is a primary stroke center. According to The Joint Commission, which bestows this designation, primary stroke certification is the Gold Seal of Approval™ for quality and safety. The center is recertified every three years.
To earn the Get With The Guidelines® -Stroke Gold Plus distinction from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Lutheran underwent a voluntary, extensive evaluation to demonstrate the program meets or exceeds national standards. These guidelines address stroke patients' needs from the minute they arrive in the emergency department until their discharge and include:
- 24/7 neurologist and neurosurgeon coverage with telemedicine capability
- Dedicated Neuro Intensive Care Unit
- 24/7 access to radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services
- Efficient triage, diagnosis and treatment within the emergency department
- Advanced neurosurgical techniques for stroke treatment and prevention
- Interventional neuroradiology procedures
- Specially certified and trained nurses
- Continual analysis and tracking of quality and outcomes
- Rehabilitation services including inpatient and outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
In 2018, for the sixth straight year, Lutheran achieved the Stroke Gold Plus designation. In addition, its primary stroke center also received the AHA/ASA Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient's arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the primary drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
The multidisciplinary stroke team at Lutheran, which is ready 24/7 to treat stroke patients, includes emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, nurses, therapists, social workers, pharmacists and dietitians.