If you or a loved one suffers a stroke, you might think that just getting to the hospital is all you need to worry about. And that’s partially true – immediate, or "acute” treatment (within the first 3 hours) is crucial. It identifies the location and severity of the stroke, and it greatly improves the patient's chance of survival.
But beyond that, there are actually different levels of care available to stroke patients depending on the facility and its individual capabilities. One such distinction is a Primary Stroke Center.
What is a Sentara Primary Stroke Center?
A Primary Stroke Center is a facility that has been certified to provide highly specialized care to stroke patients via a dedicated team that’s activated immediately to diagnose and treat patients the second they arrive in the ER. To be classified this way, a hospital needs to meet certain qualifications, such as:
· Access to brain surgeons and neurological services
· 24-houraccess to MRI or CT scan capabilities
· Additional, specialized stroke training for emergency personnel
· An acute stroke team must be available around the clock
But why does that matter to you? It that matters because with stroke treatment, time is of the essence. Every second counts. So being at a Primary Stroke Center provides a patient with a higher level of diagnosis and treatment that could make all the difference.
At Sentara, all of our hospitals in Hampton Roads are Sentara Primary Stroke Centers and accredited by the DNVHC (Det Norske VERITAS Healthcare, Inc). This means that Sentara demonstrated exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. Our emergency room physicians team up with neurologists and an interventional neuro radiologist, board-certified and specialty trained in neurovascular disease, to quickly assess and treat acute stroke symptoms and emergency neurology care.
As a result, improved clinical outcomes result from accurate speedy assessments and administering of tPA (tissue plasminogen activator)treatment on ischemic attacks. The experience of our Sentara specialists serve to directly minimize neurological damage and mortality risks - in effect preserving proper nervous system functions. .
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
Certified Primary Stroke Centers in Virginia
Facts about Primary Stroke Certification
Sentara Neurology Specialists
The Joint Commission
Virginia Stroke Systems