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  • Tacoma General honored for stroke care

    MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award.

    The award honors the hospital’s commitment to a higher standard of stroke care. Tacoma General ensures that patients receive treatment quickly and in accordance with nationally accepted standards.

    Anyone coming to Tacoma General Hospital with symptoms of a stroke is met by a specially trained team of doctors and nurses who immediately assess the patient and start emergency response protocols. The team consistently completes the exam and diagnostic tests including results to start treatment within 45 minutes. The quick treatment improves the outcome for the patient and improves the odds for recovery.

    “When a patient is experiencing symptoms of a stroke, time lost is brain lost. This award recognized our staff’s dedication to providing great care and adopting the latest evidence-based treatments to improve the outcomes for our patients,” said Karen Kiesz, RN, MN, CNRN, Stroke Program Coordinator.

    The hospital offers the latest treatments such as clot-dissolving medications and neurosurgical endovascular interventions. Doctors at Tacoma General Hospital can perform life-saving procedures inside the vessels of the brain to treat strokes and aneurysms without invasive surgery.

    According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.

    A stroke occurs when not enough oxygen-rich blood is reaching part of the brain. The usual result of a stroke is paralysis of one side of the body. A stroke is an emergency situation and, like a heart attack, requires immediate medical attention. Health care providers caution that “time is brain.” About 1.9 million brain cells die each minute during a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 168,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.

    Tacoma General Hospital’s Stroke Program also has earned Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval – the highest possible – and earned an elite certification as a Primary Stroke Center.

    More information on strokes:

    If you think someone may be having a stroke, use a simple acronym - F.A.S.T. – to assess:

    FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

    ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

    SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?

    TIME If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or get to the hospital FAST. Brain cells are dying.

    Stroke Symptoms include:

    • Sudden numbness or weakness of 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.

    Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have any of these symptoms

    Note the time you experienced your first symptom. This information is important to your healthcare provider and can affect treatment decisions.

    Posted on May 3, 2011 in Stroke & Neurosciences, Trophy Case