Stroke Intervention: Every Second Counts
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
In recognition of its role as a regional and national leader in stroke care, WVU Medicine’s Stroke Center has earned the highest honor possible from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines® program.
The Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite awards are reserved for hospital teams who meet the highest measures of following the most up-to-date guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.
Get With the Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for:
- Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
- Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
The Stroke Center at WVU Medicine has an emergency response team available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to evaluate and treat a stroke in time to minimize damage. West Virginia University Hospitals is designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations in recognition of excellence in patient care.
Know the symptoms of stroke. Do not delay in seeking emergency care.
The WVU Stroke Center has an emergency response team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to evaluate and treat a stroke in time to minimize damage.
When a stroke occurs or is suspected, call 911.
The 911 operator will contact an emergency medical service to dispatch an ambulance. When the emergency response team examines the stroke victim, they will contact WVU Hospitals with vital patient information.
The WVU Stroke Team, comprised of neurologists, emergency medicine physicians, radiologists and neurosurgeons, will begin to prepare before the patient arrives at the hospital.
The latest treatment options ensure a greater chance of survival. These treatments can stop a stroke while it is happening or drastically reduce the amount of damage it causes. Patients entering with symptoms of a stroke are rapidly assessed with a trio of tests, including CT scan, angiography, and perfusion, which then guide the choice of treatment.
WVU Hospitals is designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations. The WVU Stroke Center cares for patients in the tri-state region.