Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012
Following a rigorous evaluation by The Joint Commission, The Stroke Center at Rhode Island Hospital has received recertification as a primary stroke center. Under the direction of Brian Silver, MD, the Stroke Center provides services to more than 900 adult patients each year with suspected transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
“Rhode Island Hospital serves as the primary back-up to all other hospitals in the region,” Silver said. “Patients with severe stroke or medical conditions that complicate management are transferred to Rhode Island Hospital. Highly specialized treatments such as neurocritical, neurointerventional, and neurosurgical care, to name a few, can then be implemented in the care of the patient. We continuously strive to find new ways to improve care, and this two-year reaccreditation from The Joint Commission recognizes our commitment to excellence.”
The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification Program was launched in partnership with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) in December 2003. The Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that follow the best practices for stroke care, including:
Rhode Island Hospital has the only primary stroke center in Rhode Island that is located within a Level I trauma center, making it uniquely qualified to provide the most advanced clinical care to acute stroke patients. Additionally, to meet the growing demand for stroke care, Rhode Island Hospital opened the region’s only dedicated stroke unit earlier this year. This 10-bed unit located on the neurosciences floor, allows for specialized nursing care as well as disease-specific diagnosis and treatment following admission.
Each nurse on the dedicated stroke unit has received specialized education to care for stroke patients, and each follows approximately three patients, half as many as on a regular unit. The unit is equipped with telemetry units and fiber-optic cabling, which allow monitoring of the heart rhythm from outside the rooms. In addition, bedside testing for blocked arteries with a painless ultrasound test can be performed. Other unique features include the ability to administer tPA (the clot buster for stroke) in the patient’s room.
Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States; more than 800,000 people in the U.S. die each year from cardiovascular disease and strokes. Sometimes called a “brain attack,” stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. If not treated in a timely manner, stroke can cause death or significant disability, such as paralysis, speech difficulties and emotional problems.
The primary stroke center at Rhode Island Hospital brings together physicians, nurses and allied professionals representing neurology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, neurocritical care, medical critical care, pediatric neurology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and many more.
Lifespan’s other acute-care facilities, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital, are also certified primary stroke centers.
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