Lake Regional participates in national program to improve stroke care

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Lake Regional Health System is participating in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke program. The goal of the program is to improve the overall quality of care for stroke patients by improving acute stroke treatment and preventing future strokes and cardiovascular events.

“The time is right for Lake Regional to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke,” said LaRae Wood, R.N., Lake Regional’s stroke coordinator, in a news release. “The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow throughout the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and an aging population.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke was developed to help hospitals employ proven science-based treatment guidelines, including those developed by the American Stroke Association, American Heart Association and Brain Attack Coalition. These guidelines address acute stroke management, primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, secondary prevention of strokes and the establishment of primary stroke centers.

As a Get With The Guidelines–Stroke participating hospital, Lake Regional has developed a comprehensive system for providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke when patients are admitted to the Emergency Department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, making neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications, when appropriate.

Lake Regional is also increasing its efforts to prevent secondary strokes through the aggressive use of medications, such as statins and anti-platelets, as indicated in the secondary stroke prevention guidelines. Other methods include the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atherosclerosis and management of smoking cessation, weight, exercise, diabetes and cholesterol.

Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association provides Lake Regional training and staffing recommendations, care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders, data-collection and measurement tools. The program also facilitates creating and sharing best practices among participating hospitals.

“Lake Regional is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in a news release. “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 Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.

As a state-designated Level II Stroke Center, Lake Regional offers comprehensive stroke care and recovery, including treatment from board-certified neurologists, specially trained Emergency Department physicians and staff, and rehabilitation services. As a result, Lake Regional offers definitive stroke care for acute patients and can receive transfers from other care centers. Learn more at lakeregional.com/StrokeCente

Lake Regional participates in national program to improve stroke care
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