Level III Centers play an important role in providing access to time critical care which is important to patients in non-metropolitan areas.
When Minutes make a difference
Why is treatment of acute ischemic stroke time critical? Evidence shows that the earlier patients are treated with t-PA within the first 90 minutes from stroke onset – the higher the odds of a good outcome. What is t-PA? t-PA (Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA, also known as rt-PA) – A thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) agent the goal of which is to destroy the thrombus (or clot) within the blood vessel by stimulating fibrinolysis (clot breakdown) to allow restoration of blood flow) On the other hand, patients treated after 90 minutes from symptom onset have poorer outcomes and a graded response to t-PA with reduced recovery. Stroke (both ischemic and hemorrhagic) is the third leading cause of death and a major cause of disability in the United States and Missouri.
Why is this Level III Stroke designation so important?
Stroke victims who receive treatment within specific time frames from the time their symptoms begin are more likely to recover and less likely to have permanent disabilities. Currently, only a small percentage of stroke patients in Missouri get help within the recommended amount of time.
The center designation and the level is a voluntary designation. By PCMH applying for this designation, it shows the ongoing commitment and dedication that we have to provide this critical care for stroke victims in our community.
” The staff involved in the stroke process have received specialized stroke education and training. There are strict protocols and policies that align the transition of care between the departments that coordinates the time critical care the patient must receive,” said Tylie Mills, RN, BSN,MHA, PCMH Emergency/EMS Director.
What does this mean for the community?
PCMH has satisfied the stringent criteria to receive this Level III Stroke Center designation. If someone is showing the signs of a stroke, the Stroke Team at PCMH will implement the Stroke protocols. The coordination is designed to assess and confirm a stroke, then implement treatment to that patient in the shortest time possible. PCMH continuously performs Code Stroke drills, provides stroke education to staff, and maintains all required certifications to help ensure that when a patient with a stroke comes to PCMH, they will receive effective and efficient care.