Centennial Medical Center Kicks Off National Stroke Awareness Month with Primary Stroke Center Designation

May 05, 2011

A patient's access to high quality stroke care can not only mean the difference between life and death, but it can also make a difference in a patient's quality of life. Centennial Medical Center is pleased to announce that the hospital has received the Joint Commission Primary Stroke Certification, recognizing our commitment to the rapid assessment and treatment of stroke patients.

This new designation aids in quick intervention and diagnosis of patients exhibiting stroke symptoms and the administration of clot busting drugs to patients who meet the criteria. In order to maintain the Primary Stroke Certification, the Joint Commission will continue to assess Centennial Medical Center's processes for recognition and treatment of stroke patients and evaluate ongoing process improvement related to the care of stroke patients.

A stroke can happen to anyone. In fact, more than 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, making stroke the third leading cause of death behind diseases of the heart and cancer. The good news is that most strokes can be prevented by controlling risks – the biggest one being high blood pressure. During Stroke Awareness Month, take time to know what the risks are and how to reduce them through lifestyle changes, and most importantly, what to do if you or someone you know has stroke symptoms.

A simple way to help assess if a person is experiencing stroke symptoms is with the FAST test:

F – FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A – ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T – TIME – If you observe any of these signs, make a note of the time and call 9-1-1. A stroke is ALWAYS an emergency, and minutes matter in improving a patient's outcome!

For more information about stroke symptoms and warning signs, you can watch a HealthBreak video on stroke awareness at TriStarHealth.com, then click on Centennial Medical Center.

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