MARTINSBURG – WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center recently received the Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke award from the American Heart Association for its commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment in accordance with recognized national guidelines and research-based.
The Berkeley Medical Center has shared information about strokes that the public should keep in mind, in general, but especially because extreme summer temperatures can impact stroke survivors.
According coursefoundation.org, extreme heat can certainly wreak havoc on anyone. However, stroke survivors have a higher risk of being seriously affected by heat.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of disability among adults in the United States, according to the WVU release.
“On average in the United States, one person experiences a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people experience a new or recurring stroke each year. Early detection and treatment of strokes are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times,” the statement added.
Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines.
“Developed with the goal of saving lives and speeding recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 12 million patients since 2001,” the statement read.
Each year, program participants apply for recognition of the award by demonstrating how their organization is committed to providing quality care to stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide patient education to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.
“Berkeley Medical Center is proud to receive this recognition from the American Heart Association,” said Jessica Copenhaver, stroke coordinator at Berkeley Medical Center. “Evidence shows that adherence to guideline-directed care improves outcomes. This status could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our care team.
Copenhagen shared useful information on stroke recognition, risk factors and how to respond to someone who has had a stroke.
“A cheat sheet for the basic signs of stroke is FAST,” Copenhaver said.
FAST stands for: Face — face drop; Arm – arm weakness; Speech — speech difficulty; and Time — time to call 911.
“Time is critical in the treatment of a stroke. Call 911 as soon as you expect a stroke,” Copenhaver said. “The reason timing is so important is that there is a clot-busting drug called TPA that we can give in the ER that could help restore blood flow to areas of the brain affected by a stroke if a certain criteria are met.”
She explained that health risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, atrial fibrillation, diabetes and often eating salty, fried or fatty foods.
BMC also received the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll from the American Heart Association.
“To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet the developed quality metrics, with over 90% compliance for 12 consecutive months for the ‘Global Cardiovascular Diabetes Initiative Composite Score,'” the statement said.
For more information, visit heart.org.