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Time and Treatment Prove Vital for Stroke Patients at Banner Good Samaritan

 

PHOENIX (Jan.13, 2012) – Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke.  That’s why it is critical to obtain care as soon as possible – and Banner Good Samaritan has proven itself as one of the best hospitals to go when you or someone you know has a stroke.

The hospital has been re-accredited as a Primary Stroke Center with certification by the Joint Commission, an organization that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

“Every second counts when it comes to a stroke,” said Jeremy Payne, D, medical director of the Neuroscience Clinic for Banner Good Samaritan.  “The quicker we are able to evaluate a stroke patient, the quicker we will be able to deliver the treatment that may potentially restore blood flow to the brain.

"By achieving certification as a Primary Stroke Center, Banner Good Samaritan has proven that it has the staff and resources to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

To survive a stroke, patients need to be treated within hours of the first onset of symptoms.  There is only one type of drug approved to treat strokes - a clot-buster called tissue Plasminogen Activator, or tPA. Time is critical because the longer the drug is prolonged, the less the drug can do to prevent damage to the brain.  Banner Good Samaritan’s Stroke Program makes sure stroke patients who arrive at the Emergency Department receive tPA treatment as soon as possible.

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program was developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association.  It is based on the Brain Attack Coalition's "Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers."

Key elements of primary stroke centers include acute stroke teams, stroke units, written care protocols, and an integrated emergency response system. Important support services include availability and interpretation of computed tomography scans 24-hours everyday and rapid laboratory testing. Administrative support, strong leadership, and continuing education are also important elements for stroke centers. The Joint Commission's reviewers noted that no requirements for improvement were identified at Banner Good Samaritan. 

In August, Banner Good Samaritan was awarded the “Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award” by the American Stroke and American Heart Associations for its success in treating stroke patients.

Fast Facts:

  • In the United States, stroke is the third leading cause of death, killing about 137,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
  • Approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year.
  • Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.
  • Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
  • African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared with whites.

Few Americans know the symptoms of stroke. Common stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body,
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding,
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes,
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination,
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • Remember that strokes strike fast. Time is critical. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
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