On Thursday, May 13, 2010, the Oklahoma State Health Department conducted a survey of SMH for the purpose of Primary Stroke Center Certification. It is now official!
"A great deal of planning, studying, organizing and team work has been displayed in preparation for this immense accomplishment," said Debbie Knoke, SMH CEO. "Very few hospitals, large and small, are Primary Stroke Centers."
This "gold standard" in stroke treatment now gives Sequoyah Memorial the opportunity to futher improve the health of our community, educate citizens about stroke risks, prevention, and treatment.
This certification is made possible through the use of telemedicine technology. Sequoyah Memorial first began the process of obtaining telemedicine services in the summer of 2008. Thankfully, gone are the days when patients in rural communities have to drive to the nearest big city to consult a medical specialist or get advanced medical advice critical to their health. Telemedicine is one of the fastest-growing technologies of the new millennium. The equipment obtained by Sequoyah Memorial will be used not only for stroke intervention and treatment, but also for other specialties and will provide critical medical support and access to specialists in urban areas. Sequoyah Memorial is excited to continue to improve efficiency, optimize quality and safety, and improve patient care. Knoke said, “This new service aligns directly with the mission of SMH in providing local access for services that enhance the individual health and well-being of our patients.”
What is a stroke? According to the American Stroke Association, Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within
Mr. and Mrs. O'Neal are pictured with members of the Sequoyah Memorial Stroke Team. Mr. O'Neal presented to the Sequoyah Memorial ER in March of 2010 with stroke symptoms. The Stroke Team acted quickly to evaluate and treat him He credits the quick action of the Stroke Team with saving his life.
the brain. It is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, behind diseases of the heart and cancer. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.
Would you know what to do if you thought you were having a stroke? A person’s first priority should be getting to the nearest hospital or certified stroke center. Sequoyah Memorial happens to be a Primary Stroke Center! But there are several symptoms of stroke that you should watch for. According to the American Stroke Association, a person may feel weakness, clumsiness, or heaviness in the face or the limbs. Language disturbance is also a symptom of stroke.
According to the American Stroke Association, a person may:
Several risk factors can affect a personís likelihood of having a stroke. High blood pressure, cigarette smoking, heart disease, and diabetes all increase chances for a stroke.
Since time is of the essence when a person is having a stroke, the following is good to remember to help you identify the symptoms of a stroke:
Face- Is there any drooping when the person smiles?
Arms- Can the person raise both arms?
Speech- Can they repeat a simple sentence, and is there any slurring?
Time- If the person exhibits any of these symptoms, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital.
It cannot be emphasized enough that when a person is having a stroke, time is of the essence. According to the National Stroke Association, two million brain cells die every minute when a person is having a stroke. This increases the risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death.
Sequoyah Memorial is proud to offer the technology and capability of recognizing and treating a stroke through the use of telemedicine equipment. Sequoyah Memorial is certified by the Oklahoma State Department of Health as a Primary Stroke Center. Currently, the Oklahoma State Health Department reports that there are 29 Primary Stroke Centers in the state. SMH is one of only 2 hospitals in our bed size category that have this distinction in our region. Being classified as a Primary Stroke Center means that SMH provides excellence in stroke treatment and care by a specially trained and certified stroke team including a neurologist. The care involves evaluation and treatment of the stroke patient, including the administration of the clot buster drug, t-PA if indicated. The delivery of this specialized care is provided by our on-site team in conjunction with our neurologist through telemedicine.
Remember, if you think you’re having a stroke act FAST to get to the nearest hospital or certified stroke center. Seconds count when you’re having a stroke!