Nassawadox, VA—On average throughout the United States, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Quick diagnosis and treatment of stroke can dramatically improve treatment options as well as the medical outcome and long-term effects of a stroke.
Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital was recently certified as a Primary Stroke Center by DNV GL in partnership with The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. DNV GL is an international certification organization which evaluates a hospital’s stroke care and the services provided by reviewing patient outcomes, care processes, care settings, and clinical records. This certificate of distinction is awarded only to those programs that comply with the highest national standards for safety and quality of stroke diagnosis, treatment and care. Certification is a voluntary process and is renewable every three years.
“We are pleased to be able to offer Eastern Shore residents this expertise,” said John Peterman, the Administrator at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital. “The extensive stroke training of our team members will save lives by providing the needed services quickly,” he said.
Riverside Shore Memorial Primary Stroke Center: What it Means for Patients
The Primary Stroke Center (PSC) certification means that a hospital is equipped to provide initial diagnostic services, stabilization, emergent care and therapies to most patients with acute stroke symptoms and admit the patient to a dedicated stroke unit or designated stroke beds.
The Emergency Department team of doctors, nurses and technicians at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital as well as local EMTs have undergone extensive stroke training, preparation and evaluation by DNV GL, and will continue to pursue ongoing training.
“In the case of stroke, we say ‘time lost is brain lost’ because the faster a person can get the right care, the better their chances of surviving the stroke and recovering more fully,” said Dr. Robert Paschall, a neurologist with Riverside Neurology Specialists Eastern Shore. “This certification validates our expertise in serving the community with all aspects of stroke care.”
Riverside’s Emergency Department’s team members are well-equipped to assess and treat stroke patients. Paschall’s dedication to stroke patients is evident 24 hours a day. With the advent of telemedicine and technology, Paschall is able to begin assessing a stroke patient from his secure office computer or even from a secure computer in his home in the middle of the night. This way, treatment can begin even before Paschall arrives at the Emergency Department because immediate intervention is of utmost importance to a patient’s recovery.
A stroke deprives the brain of essential nutrients and oxygen needed to keep brain cells alive; rapid diagnosis and treatment are critical. Emergency physicians at Riverside Shore Memorial are available 24×7 and use sophisticated techniques to diagnose and quickly treat stroke symptoms to improve blood flow to the brain and minimize loss of brain cells.
A PSC hospital has the infrastructure and capability to care for acute stroke, including administration of intravenous thrombolytic therapy (also known as tissue plasminogen activator or “tPA”). Stroke patients may be transferred to a Comprehensive Stroke Center such as the Center at Riverside Regional Medical Center that would provide a higher level of care and/or endovascular procedures and neurosurgical interventions after initial treatment and stabilization.
Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that patients treated at hospitals with Stroke Centers have reduced mortality rates, fewer complications and improved long-term outcomes.