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National award honors stroke care at 3 MultiCare hospitals

Posted on Oct. 22, 2013 ( comments)

Only three hospitals in Pierce County – all of them with MultiCare Health System -- have been recognized for providing a high level of stroke care.

Presented by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the 2013 "Get With The Guidelines" awards recognize MultiCare’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

MultiCare Auburn Medical Center received the 2013 "Get With The Guidelines" Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital received the stroke Gold award and MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup received the stroke Silver award. Good Samaritan also qualified for “Target: Stroke” Honor Roll status. 

Gold hospitals follow treatment guidelines in certain key measures at least 85 percent of the time and have maintained this performance level for consecutive 12-month intervals. Silver Performance Award hospitals have maintained this performance level for at least twelve months. The Plus awards represent a current gold or silver award and additional 75 percent compliance with specific quality measures for at least 12 consecutive months.

Stroke information

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.

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.

What are stroke symptoms?

  • 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 911 immediately if you have any of these symptoms. Note the time you experienced your first symptom. This information is important to your health care provider and can affect treatment decisions.

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