When you are in need of stroke care, you want the best of the best. With that in mind, Coliseum Medical Centers has earned the Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center designation, the gold standard for ensuring the highest level of care is immediately available. Coliseum works with emergency and ambulance services to continually improve the speed of getting you treated and has far exceeded national standards for that process.
In 2009 Coliseum Medical Centers earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. Coliseum Medical Centers demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can “significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” says Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission. The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements/guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program – the nation’s first – in 2003.
Coliseum Medical Centers was recognized by the American Heart Association with the Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award for Get With The Guidelines – Stroke in 2010. Learn more about Get With The Guidelines – Stroke.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a “brain attack” which causes damage to part of the brain. It occurs when the blood supply is suddenly reduced or stopped. A stroke may also be called a cerebrovascular accident or CVA. The part of the brain deprived of blood dies and can no longer function.
How does it occur?
Blood cannot get to your brain when a blood vessel is blocked or bursts inside the brain. This can happen in different ways.
- A blood clot in an artery blocks the blood flow to the brain.
- A fatty deposit called plaque forms inside a blood vessel, breaks away, and blocks an artery in the brain.
- An artery in the brain tears or bursts. Blood spills out into the brain. This kind of stroke often happens without warning and is most often related to having high blood pressure.
Know the Signs & Symptoms
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden trouble seeing with one or both eyes
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Can a Stroke be Stopped?
Today there are treatments that can reduce the risk of damage from the most common type of stroke, but only if you get help quickly – within three hours of your first symptoms. That is why every minute counts!
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 9-1-1! Time Lost = Brain Lost
Any of the following factors can increase your risk of stroke.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Family history of stroke
- Heart disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Drug abuse
- History of “mini strokes” often called TIA’s (Transient Ischemic Attacks)