In 2007, Community Medical Center was designated a Primary
Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department
of Health and Senior Services. Only facilities that adhere
to very stringent requirements achieve this designation.
a Primary Stroke Center, patients who present to Community
Emergency Department with signs and symptoms of a stroke are
immediately placed into the hospital’s Rapid Stroke Assessment
program. Under the guidelines of the program, potential stroke
patients are taken to a rapid assessment area within the ED
that was designated specifically for stroke and heart attack
patients. In this area, tests are performed and results are
Patients receive an immediate medical and
nursing assessment, CT scans, blood tests and ECG, an intravenous
line and certain medications. These protocols have been shown
to be extremely beneficial in quickly identifying a stroke,
and even prevent ones that are about to occur.
certain radiologic tests such as a CTA and MRI scan may be
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States
and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. The
Primary Stroke Center at Community Medical Center reminds
people that knowing the symptoms of stroke and acting quickly
can make the difference between life and death.
may often be minimized and possibly reversed if treatment is
delivered early. Studies have shown that clot-busting drugs
delivered within the first three hours may be effective in
limiting the debilitating effects of stroke. Patients must
recognize warning signs and call 911 immediately.
who suspect someone is having a stroke, remember the word “FAST.”
F = Facial weakness; ask the
person to smile to test for facial weakness.
A = Arm weakness, ask the
person to hold their arms straight out if front
of them to see if one drifts.
S = Speech disturbance; ask
the person to say a simple sentence (the cow
jumped over the moon) to see if they are able
to understand and repeat it.
T = Time to call 911.
Strokes do not discriminate, and although some
people are at higher risk than others due to
lifestyle and family history, anyone can have
a stroke. Treatable risk factors include hypertension,
diabetes, high cholesterol and heart problems. People often
wait to see if their symptoms will go away and unwittingly
put them selves in great danger. Symptoms that last for only
a few minutes and then subside may still indicate a transient
ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke.”
Learn the Signs of Stroke
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