Upstate News

July 29, 2009
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

University Hospital earns honors for stroke care from American Stroke Association

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — University Hospital has received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines—Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award.

The award recognizes University Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“This recognition from the American Stroke Association is a testament to the high quality comprehensive care our stroke patients receive from our dedicated stroke team,” said Tarakad S. Ramachandran, M.D., professor of neurology and stroke director at University Hospital.

In 2006 University Hospital became central New York’s first hospital to receive Stroke Center designation from the New York state Department of Health. The centerpiece of University Hospital’s stroke center designation is its stroke team of physicians, pharmacists, technicians, nurses and administrators who mobilize quickly to provide rapid medical diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

In addition to providing rapid stroke treatment, University Hospital has the ability to treat complex stroke cases beyond the traditional three-hour window with a full team of neurocritical care specialists, board certified vascular neurologists and neurointerventional radiology specialists with round-the-clock neurosurgical, as well as and extensive physical therapy and rehabilitative services for post-stroke care.

University Hospital recently opened a floor dedicated to neuroscience in the new East Tower consisting of 46 private spacious state of the art patient rooms.

University Hospital also provides high-tech physician telemedicine consultations for stroke patients with emergency room staff in various hospitals throughout Central New York, including E.J. Noble Hospital of Gouverneur, Cortland Regional Medical Center in Cortland, and Schuyler Hospital in Montour Falls. Oneida Center Healthcare will soon join the program.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines—Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, University Hospital consistently complied for at least one year with the requirements in the Get With The Guidelines?Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This yearlong evaluation period is the second in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

“The American Stroke Association commends University Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., vice chair of the national Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee and vice chair of the Neurology department and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke — 610,000 are first attacks and 185,000 are recurrent. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States is suffering from a stroke. This deadly condition accounts for 1 out of every 18 deaths in the United States.

The American Stroke Association notes that “time is brain” and stresses the importance of getting to the hospital F-A-S-T: Face (Does the face look uneven?), Arm (Does one arm drift down?), Speech (Does your speech sound strange?), and Time (If you observe any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1).

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