Kaiser receives national awards for stroke care

By From page A16 | July 14, 2013

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has awarded Kaiser Permanente Sacramento and South Sacramento Medical Centers its Get With The Guidelines — Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Both medical centers have received the award in the past, which recognizes Kaiser Permanente’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

“It is our vision that Kaiser Permanente will stand out as a leader in the medical community and as a world-class provider of stroke care,” said Robert Azevedo, M.D., physician in chief at Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center. “Our team has identified stroke risk factors that are helping patients and caregivers quickly recognize stroke symptoms, getting stroke patients the care they need faster.”

In addition to the award, the medical centers also were named to the association’s “Target: Stroke Honor Roll” for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of eligible ischemic stroke patients received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at one of the hospitals (known as “door-to-needle” time).

“This award demonstrates our commitment to providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Patricia Rodriguez, R.N., senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento. “Our team-based, integrated approach to care is well demonstrated when it comes to patients of stroke and it is improving patient outcomes.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or, more commonly, when a blockage develops.

Without proper emergency treatment, cells in the brain begin to die quickly. The result can be serious disability or death.

On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, the association reports.

Get With The Guidelines — Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

So what should you do if you think someone is having a stroke? Act FAST.

F — Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A — Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S — Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T — Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Enterprise staff

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