Jacksonville Memorial Hospital has recently received its re-designation as an acute stroke-ready hospital.
The Joint Commission, a national healthcare accreditation group, gives this designation for hospitals and emergency rooms that have a dedicated stroke response program.
Jacksonville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Manager Rachel Moore says the hospital designation means that JMH is ready to give urgent care for a patient exhibiting stroke symptoms at a moment’s notice: “This re-designation means our Emergency Department is able to provide patients with rapid lab and image testing, stabilization treatment such as TPA, which is a medication used to break up blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain, and it also means we are able to quickly transfer patients to a comprehensive stroke center like Springfield Memorial Hospital.”
Moore says the re-designation occurs every 2 years. She says the metrics for the designation are all based on time – from the time the person enters the hospital to the time they receive life-saving tests and treatment.
Moore says people presenting with stroke-like symptoms is a regular occurrence at JMH and she urges anyone who begins having those symptoms to immediately seek medical attention: “We are seeing 10 to 20 patients per month that present with stroke-like symptoms, and we are able to provide that rapid medical access within that narrow 60-minute treatment time. With that, I would encourage patients that if they are experiencing any change in neuro-status – severe headache, weakness especially on one side of the body, numbness, tingling, things like – to make sure they come right to the hospital. Don’t delay. Call an ambulance if you can’t get yourself here safely. We are ready to help you. We just need you to get here to the hospital as quickly as possible.”
The CDC says that patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms often have less disability three months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.
Moore says the re-designation indicates that JMH is ready to provide care at the highest level for patients who reach the hospital within that crucial three-hour window of presenting stroke symptoms.